The Arabat Spit (Ukrainian: Арабатська коса; Russian: Арабатская коса; Crimean Tatar: Arabat beli) or Arabat Arrow is a barrier spit that separates the large, shallow, salty Syvash lagoons from the Sea of Azov. The spit runs between the Henichesk Strait in the north and the north-eastern shores of Crimea in the south.[3] It is the largest of several spits of the Sea of Azov.

Arabat Spit
Arabat Spit is located in Crimea
Arabat Spit
Arabat Spit
Arabat Spit is located in Ukraine
Arabat Spit
Arabat Spit
Coordinates: 45°42′N 35°00′E / 45.700°N 35.000°E / 45.700; 35.000
LocationHenichesk Raion, Republic of Crimea, Ukraine/Russian Federation (disputed[nb 1])
Part of
Native name
The southern part of the spit viewed from Arabat Fortress
Aerial view of the spit between the Syvash lagoons (left) and Sea of Azov (right)

Name edit

The spit is commonly called the Arabat Arrow (Ukrainian: Арабатська стрілка, Arabatska strilka; Crimean Tatar: Arabat beli; Russian: Арабатская стрелка, Arabatskaya strelka) in Russia and Ukraine. It has been called an "arrow" since at least the middle of the 19th century.

The Arabat part of the name comes from the Arabat Fortress, a 17th-century Turkish fort at the southern end of the spit. "Arabat" derives from either Arabic "rabat" meaning a "military post" or Arabic "rabad" meaning a "suburb".[4]

Geography and geology edit

The Arabat Arrow is 112 km (70 mi) long,[5] and from 0.270 to 8 km (0.17 to 5.0 mi) wide.[6][7] Its surface area is 395 km2 (153 sq mi) and thus the average width is 3.5 km (2.2 mi). The spit is low and straight on the Azov Sea side, whereas its Sivash side is more convoluted. It contains two areas which are 7–8 km (4–5 mi) wide and have brown-clay hills. They are located 7.5 km (4.7 mi) and 32 km (20 mi) from the Henichesk Strait.[8][9]

The top layers of other parts of the spit are formed by sand and shells washed by the flows of the Azov Sea. Its vegetation mostly consists of various weed grasses, thorn, festuce grasses, spear grass, crambe, salsola, salicornia, Carex colchica, tamarisk, rose hip, liquorice, etc.[8][9]

Offshore water is shallow with the depth reaching 2 m (7 ft) only some 100–200 m (330–660 ft) from the shore.[10] Its temperature is around 0 °C (32 °F) in winter (near freezing), 10–15 °C (50–59 °F) in spring and autumn, and 25–30 °C (77–86 °F) in summer; air temperature is almost the same.[11]

The spit is very young and was created by sedimentation processes around 1100–1200 AD.[12]

History edit

The Arabat Arrow was wild until 1835 when a road and five stations at 25–30 km (16–19 mi) intervals were built along it for postal delivery. Later in the 19th century, 25 rural and 3 military settlements and one village named Arabat appeared on the spit. The rural population amounted to some 235 people whose occupation was mostly fishing, farming, and salt production. The latter activity is traditional for the region due to the vast areas of shallow and very saline water in the Sivash lagoons. Salt production in the 19th century was about 24,000 tonnes per year (26,000 short tons per year) on the Arabat Arrow alone.[9]

Nowadays, the spit is a health resort and its Azov Sea side is used as a beach.

While the spit is geophysically part of the Crimean Peninsula, politically its northern half belongs to Kherson Oblast, Ukraine, while its southern portion is, de facto since 2014, a part of the Russian Republic of Crimea.[1][2] The entirety of the spit was occupied during the annexation, although Russia withdrew its forces from the northern Kherson side in December 2014.[13] The entire spit has been back under Russian control since 25 February 2022, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

On 5 January 2023, Vladimir Saldo, head of the Russian occupation authorities in Kherson Oblast, stated that a new city would be planned on the spit. He urged preferential mortgages be offered to attract residents from the Russian Federation.[citation needed]

Populated places edit

The rural communities of Henicheska Hirka, Shchaslyvtseve and Strilkove are located in the northern section of the spit, within the Kherson Oblast. The community of Solyane is located in the southern part of the spit, administered as part of the Republic of Crimea.

Tourism edit

Arabat Spit is a popular place for summer vacation among Ukrainians because of the warm water of the Sea of Azov. There are a variety of hotels and guesthouses on the first line of the sea. Arabat Spit is popular among kitesurfers and windsurfers.

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ The status of the Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol is currently under dispute between Russia and Ukraine; Ukraine and the majority of the international community consider the Crimea to be an autonomous republic of Ukraine and Sevastopol to be one of Ukraine's cities with special status, while Russia, on the other hand, considers the Crimea to be a federal subject of Russia and Sevastopol to be one of Russia's three federal cities since the March 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia.[1][2]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Gutterman, Steve (18 March 2014). "Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions". Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Ukraine crisis timeline". BBC News. 13 November 2014. Retrieved 22 June 2023.
  3. ^ Semenov, p. 624.
  4. ^ "Arabat Fortress" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2014-03-23. Retrieved 2016-11-25.
  5. ^ Petrov, V.P. (1964). Geography of the Soviet Union: Physical features. p. 112.
  6. ^ V. I. Borisov and E. I. Kapitonov (1973). Azov Sea (in Russian). KKI. Archived from the original on 2010-09-17. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  7. ^ Сиваш in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978 (in Russian)
  8. ^ a b Shutov. Арабатка курортная, Part 1. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  9. ^ a b c Semenov, p.111
  10. ^ Арабатская стрелка (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2011-02-22. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  11. ^ Shutov. Арабатка курортная, Part 5. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  12. ^ Shutov. Немного геологии (Part 4). Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  13. ^ Россия убрала войска с Арабатской стрелки [Russian troops removed from the Arabat Spit] (in Russian). Ukrinform. 9 December 2014. Archived from the original on 17 July 2015. Retrieved 14 April 2016.

Bibliography edit

External links edit