Crimea  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Crimea is a peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. Crimea is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge since 2018. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania, and to its south, Turkey.

Crimea (or the Tauric Peninsula, as it was called from antiquity until the early modern period) has historically been at the boundary between the classical world and the Pontic–Caspian steppe. Its southern fringe was colonised by the Greeks and then ruled by the Persians followed by the Roman Empire, the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, and finally successor states including the Empire of Trebizond and Principality of Theodoro. During the entirety of this period the urban areas were Greek-speaking and eventually eastern Christian (Orthodox). During the collapse of the Byzantine state some cities fell to its creditor, the Republic of Genoa, until eventually all were absorbed by the rapidly rising Ottoman Empire. Throughout this time the interior was occupied by a changing cast of invading steppe nomads and empires, such as the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Crimean Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Huns, Khazars, Kipchaks, Mongols, and the Golden Horde. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate, a sometime dependency of the Ottomans, during the 15th to 18th century.

In 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire as the result of the Russo-Turkish War (1768–1774). Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became an autonomous republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the USSR. During World War II, Crimea was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast and the entirety of one of its indigenous populations, the Crimean Tatars, were deported to Central Asia, an act recognized as a genocide by Ukraine and three other countries. In 1954, the Soviet Union transferred Crimea to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was reestablished as an independent state in 1991, and most of the peninsula was reorganized as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, and the city of Sevastopol retained its special status within Ukraine. The 1997 Partition Treaty on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet partitioned the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet and allowed Russia to continue basing its fleet in Crimea: both the Ukrainian Naval Forces and Russian's Black Sea Fleet were to be headquartered in Sevastopol. Ukraine extended Russia's lease of the naval facilities under the 2010 Kharkiv Pact in exchange for further discounted natural gas.

In February 2014, following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, Russia annexed Crimea after a military intervention by pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces. A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, illegal under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, was held on the issue of reunification with Russia; its official results showed over 90% support for reunification, however, the vote was boycotted by many loyal to UkraineTemplate:R and declared illegitimate by Western governments and the United Nations. Russia formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, incorporating the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as the 84th and 85th federal subjects of Russia. The status of Crimea is disputed. It is claimed by Ukraine and recognized as Ukrainian by the United Nations and most other countries.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Crimea" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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