Autonomous Republic of Crimea
The Autonomous Republic of Crimea (Ukrainian: Автономна Республіка Крим, Avtonomna Respublika Krym; Russian: Автономная Республика Крым, Avtonomnaya Respublika Krym; Crimean Tatar: Qırım Muhtar Cumhuriyeti, Къырым Мухтар Джумхуриети, Ҡырым Мухтар Җумхуриети) was an autonomous republic of Ukraine, encompassing most of Crimea, until annexed by Russia in 2014. While Russia and ten other UN member states recognize Crimea as part of the Russian Federation, Ukraine continues to claim Crimea as an integral part of its territory, supported by most foreign governments and United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262. It therefore remains, de jure, part of Ukraine but is, de facto, part of the Russian Federation.
|Autonomous Republic of Crimea|
1991-present (de jure)|
1991-2014 (de facto)
"Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина" (Russian)
Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina (transliteration)
Your fields and mountains are magical, Motherland
Location of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (red)
in Ukraine (light yellow)
Location of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (light yellow)
in the Crimean Peninsula
and largest city
|Recognized regional languages||Russian, Crimean Tatar|
|Ethnic groups (2001)|
|12 February 1991|
|18 February 2014|
|26,100 km2 (10,100 sq mi) (148th)|
• 2001 census
|77.9/km2 (201.8/sq mi) (116th)|
|ISO 3166 code||UA-43|
Crimea first came under Russian control in 1783 but this ended in 1954 when it was transferred, within the USSR, from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. The territory was upgraded to the status of an autonomous republic within the Ukrainian SSR following a referendum that was held on 20 January 1991. Later in 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed, Crimea remained part of the newly independent Ukraine.
In March 2014, following the Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces took over the territory. A controversial Crimea-wide referendum, unconstitutional under the Ukrainian and Crimean constitutions, was held on the issue of reunification with Russia which official results and opinion polls indicated was supported of a large majority of Crimeans. Crimea was then annexed by Russia and incorporated as two federal subjects of Russia—the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol.
Crimea was annexed from the Crimean Khanate by the Russian Empire in 1783 and this was formally recognised in 1792 when the peninsula was ceded to Russia by the Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of Jassy. Russian rule in Crimea spanned a period of 171 years, punctuated by short periods during political upheavals and wars, which ended on 19 February 1954 when the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet issued a decree that transferred the Crimean Oblast from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, within the Soviet Union. The reason for the transfer, as stated in the decree, was "the integral character of the economy, the territorial proximity and the close economic and cultural ties between the Crimea Province and the Ukrainian SSR.":
Following a referendum on 20 January 1991 in which over 94% backed the proposal, the Crimean Oblast was upgraded to the status of a Republic on 12 February 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR. When the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became an independent country, Crimea remained a republic within the newly independent Ukraine leading to tensions between Russia and Ukraine as the Black Sea Fleet was based on the peninsula.
On 26 February 1992, the Crimean parliament renamed the ASSR the Republic of Crimea and proclaimed self-government on 5 May 1992 (which was yet to be approved by a referendum that was planned for August 1992, but postponed and never conducted) and passed the first Crimean constitution the same day. On 6 May 1992 the same parliament inserted a new sentence into this constitution that declared that Crimea was part of Ukraine. On 19 May, Crimea annulled its proclamation of self-government, but Crimean Communists forced the Ukrainian government to expand on the already extensive autonomous status of Crimea.:587 In the same period, Russian president Boris Yeltsin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk agreed to divide the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet between Russia and the newly formed Ukrainian Navy.
On 14 October 1993, the Crimean parliament established the post of President of Crimea and agreed on a quota of Crimean Tatars represented in the Council of 14. However, on 17 March 1995, the parliament of Ukraine abolished the Crimean Constitution of 1992, all the laws and decrees contradicting those of Kiev – including laws that guaranteed representation for the Crimean Tartars and other ethnic groups – and removed Yuriy Meshkov (the President of Crimea) as well as the office of The President of Crimea. After an interim constitution, the Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was put into effect, changing the territory's name to the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Following the ratification of the May 1997 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine, in which Russia recognized Ukraine's borders and sovereignty over Crimea, international tensions slowly eased. However, in 2006, anti-NATO protests broke out on the peninsula. In September 2008, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko accused Russia of giving out Russian passports to the population in Crimea and described it as a "real problem" given Russia's declared policy of military intervention abroad to protect Russian citizens.
On 24 August 2009, anti-Ukrainian demonstrations were held in Crimea by ethnic Russian residents. Sergei Tsekov (of the Russian Bloc and then deputy speaker of the Crimean parliament) said then that he hoped that Russia would treat Crimea the same way as it had treated South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The 2010 Ukrainian–Russian Naval Base for Natural Gas treaty extended Russia's lease on naval facilities in Crimea until 2042, with optional five-year renewals.
Following the 2014 Ukrainian revolution that ousted the pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on 22 February 2014, there was a push by pro-Russian protesters for Crimea to secede from Ukraine and seek assistance from Russia. Crimea had largely voted for Viktor Yanukovych during the presidential elections of 2004 and 2010 and his Party of Regions also won most of the votes from Crimea in the Ukrainian parliamentary elections of 2006, 2007 and 2012, and in the Crimean parliamentary elections of 2006 and 2010.
On 26 February 2014, thousands of pro-Russian and pro-Ukraine protesters clashed in front of the parliament building in Simferopol. Two days later, Russian forces occupied airports and other strategic locations in Crimea which the interim Government of Ukraine described as an invasion and occupation. Gunmen, either armed militants or Russian special forces, occupied the Crimean parliament. Under armed guard and with the doors locked, members of parliament reportedly elected Sergey Aksyonov as the new Crimean Prime Minister. The de facto Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov said that he asserted sole control over Crimea's security forces and appealed to Russia "for assistance in guaranteeing peace and calmness" on the peninsula. The central Ukrainian government did not recognize the Aksyonov administration and considers it illegal. Ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich sent a letter to Putin asking him to use military force in Ukraine to restore law and order. The Russian foreign ministry stated that "movement of the Black Sea Fleet armored vehicles in Crimea (...) happens in full accordance with basic Russian-Ukrainian agreements on the Black Sea Fleet".
On 1 March, the Russian parliament granted President Vladimir Putin the authority to use military force in Ukraine. On 4 March several Ukrainian bases and navy ships in Crimea reported being intimidated by Russian forces and Ukrainian warships were also effectively blockaded in Sevastopol.
On 6 March, members of the Crimean Parliament asked the Russian government for the region to become a subject of the Russian Federation with a referendum on the issue set for the Crimean region for 16 March. The Ukrainian government, the European Union, and the US all challenged the legitimacy of the request and of the following referendum. Article 73 of the Constitution of Ukraine states: "Alterations to the territory of Ukraine shall be resolved exclusively by an All-Ukrainian referendum." International monitors arrived in Ukraine to assess the situation in Crimea but were halted by armed militants at the Crimean border.
The 16 March referendum required voters to indicate a positive choice between "Do you support rejoining Crimea with Russia as a subject of the Russian Federation?" and "Do you support restoration of the 1992 Constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine?" There was no option on the ballot to maintain the status quo and although some Ukrainian outlets considered the questions to be equivalent to "join Russia immediately" or "declare independence and then join Russia" support for the second question would have restored the Republic's autonomous status within Ukraine. The official turnout for the referendum was 83%, and the overwhelming majority of those who voted (95.5%) supported the option of rejoining Russia. However, a BBC reporter claimed that a "huge number of people in the minority population – the Tatars and Ukrainians – abstained from the vote", making it difficult to tell if the figures added up.
Following the referendum, the members of the Supreme Council voted to rename themselves the State Council of the Republic of Crimea and also formally appealed to Russia to accept Crimea as part of the Russian Federation.
On 18 March 2014, the self-proclaimed Republic of Crimea signed a treaty of accession to the Russian Federation. The accession was granted but separately for each the former regions that composed it: one accession for the Republic of Crimea, and another for Sevastopol as a federal city.
Politics and governmentEdit
Executive power in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea was exercised by the Council of Ministers of Crimea, headed by a Chairman, appointed and dismissed by the Supreme Council of Crimea, with the consent of the President of Ukraine. While not an official body, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People represented Crimean Tatars and could address grievances to the Ukrainian central government, the Crimean government, and international bodies.
Citizens of Crimea can take part in the open party-list proportional representation part of Ukrainian parliamentary elections, but not in the elections for constituencies where 50% of the seats are elected.
There were 25 administrative areas in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea: 14 raions (districts) and 11 mis'kradas and mistos (city municipalities), officially known as territories governed by city councils.
- Simferopol: capital
- Kerch: Hero City, important industrial, transport and tourist centre
- Yevpatoria: major port, a rail hub, and resort city
- Feodosiya: port and resort city
- Yalta: one of the most important resorts in Crimea
- Dzhankoy: important railroad connection
- Bakhchisaray: historical capital of the Crimean Khanate
- Krasnoperekopsk: industrial city
- Armyansk: industrial city
- Alushta: resort city
- [dead link]
- "Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine". CNN. 18 March 2014.
- "Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club". Kremlin.ru. 24 October 2014. Archived from the original on 15 April 2015.
I will be frank; we used our Armed Forces to block Ukrainian units stationed in Crimea
- КС признал неконституционным постановление крымского парламента о вхождении АРК в состав РФ и проведении референдума о статусе автономии [Constitutional Court of Ukraine deemed Crimean parliament resolution on accession of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to the Russian Federation and holding of the Crimean status referendum unconstitutional] (in Russian). Interfax-Ukraine. 14 March 2014.
"Judgement of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine on all-Crimean referendum". Embassy of Ukraine in the United States of America. 15 March 2014.
- Tokarev, Alexey (2014). Электоральная история постсоветского Крыма: от УССР до России [The electoral history of the post-Soviet Crimea: from Ukrainian SSR to Russia] (PDF). MGIMO Review of International Relations (in Russian). 5 (44): 32–41.
Спустя 22 года и 364 дня после первого в СССР референдума в автономной республике Украины Крым состоялся последний референдум. Проводился он вопреки украинскому законодательству, не предусматривающему понятия региональный референдум и предписывающему решать территориальные вопросы только на всеукраинском референдуме
- Marxen, Christian (2014). "The Crimea Crisis – An International Law Perspective" (PDF). Zeitschrift für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht (Heidelberg Journal of International Law). 74.
Organizing and holding the referendum on Crimea's accession to Russia was illegal under the Ukrainian constitution. Article 2 of the constitution establishes that "Ukraine shall be a unitary state" and that the "territory of Ukraine within its present border is indivisible and inviolable". This is confirmed in regard to Crimea by Chapter X of the constitution, which provides for the autonomous status of Crimea. Article 134 sets forth that Crimea is an "inseparable constituent part of Ukraine". The autonomous status provides Crimea with a certain set of authorities and allows, inter alia, to hold referendums. These rights are, however, limited to local matters. The constitution makes clear that alterations to the territory of Ukraine require an all-Ukrainian referendum.
- "Crimea 'votes to rejoin Russia' after controversial poll". ITV. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
- "Crimea applies to be part of Russian Federation after vote to leave Ukraine". The Guardian. 17 March 2014.
- Распоряжение Президента Российской Федерации от 17.03.2014 № 63-рп 'О подписании Договора между Российской Федерацией и Республикой Крым о принятии в Российскую Федерацию Республики Крым и образовании в составе Российской Федерации новых субъектов'. Archived from the original on 18 March 2014. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
- Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Crimea". Encyclopædia Britannica. 7 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 449–450.
- "'The Gift of Crimea'". www.macalester.edu. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- 'Подарунок Хрущова'. Як Україна відбудувала Крим (in Ukrainian). Istpravda.com.ua. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Calamur, Krishnadev (27 February 2014). "Crimea: A Gift To Ukraine Becomes A Political Flash Point". NPR. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- Wolczuk, Kataryna (31 August 2004). "Catching up with 'Europe'? Constitutional Debates on the Territorial-Administrative Model in Independent Ukraine". Taylor & Francis Group. Retrieved 16 December 2006.
Wydra, Doris (11 November 2004). "The Crimea Conundrum: The Tug of War Between Russia and Ukraine on the Questions of Autonomy and Self-Determination". International Journal on Minority and Group Rights. 10 (2): 111. doi:10.1163/157181104322784826.
- Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia 2004, Routledge, 2003, ISBN 1857431871 (page 540)
- Russians in the Former Soviet Republics by Pål Kolstø, Indiana University Press, 1995, ISBN 0253329175 (page 194)
- Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
- Ready To Cast Off, TIME Magazine, 15 June 1992
- Belitser, Natalya (20 February 2000). "The Constitutional Process in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Context of Interethnic Relations and Conflict Settlement". International Committee for Crimea. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- Laws of Ukraine. Verkhovna Rada law No. 93/95-вр: On the termination of the Constitution and some laws of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Adopted on 17 March 1995. (Ukrainian)
- Russia tells Ukraine to stay out of Nato, The Guardian (8 June 2006)
- Cheney urges divided Ukraine to unite against Russia 'threat Archived 21 May 2011 at the Wayback Machine.. Associated Press. 6 September 2008.
- Kuzio, Taras (8 February 2007). "Ukraine: Kiev fails to end Crimea's ethnic tentions" (PDF). Oxford Analytica. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 July 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Kuzio, Taras. "Separatists and Russian nationalist-extremist allies of the Party of Regions call for union with Russia" (PDF). KyivPost. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 May 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
- Levy, Clifford J. (28 August 2009). "Russia and Ukraine in Intensifying Standoff". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Update: Ukraine, Russia ratify Black Sea naval lease, Kyiv Post (27 April 2010)
- "Putin orders military exercise as protesters clash in Crimea". Russia Herald. 27 February 2014. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- Local government elections in Ukraine: last stage in the Party of Regions’ takeover of power, Centre for Eastern Studies (4 October 2010)
- "This is what it looked like when Russian military rolled through Crimea today (VIDEO)". UK Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Charbonneau, Louis (28 February 2014). "UPDATE 2-U.N. Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Ukraine crisis". Reuters. Retrieved 28 February 2014.
- Higgons, Andrew, Grab for Power in Crimea Raises Secession Threat, New York Times, 28 February 2014, page A1; reporting was contributed by David M. Herszenhorn and Andrew E. Kramer from Kiev, Ukraine; Andrew Roth from Moscow; Alan Cowell from London; and Michael R. Gordon from Washington; with a graphic presentation of linguistic divisions of Ukraine and Crimea
- Shuster, Simon (10 March 2014). "Putin's Man in Crimea Is Ukraine's Worst Nightmare". Time. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
Before dawn on Feb. 27, at least two dozen heavily armed men stormed the Crimean parliament building and the nearby headquarters of the regional government, bringing with them a cache of assault rifles and rocket propelled grenades. A few hours later, Aksyonov walked into the parliament and, after a brief round of talks with the gunmen, began to gather a quorum of the chamber's lawmakers.
- Radyuhin, Vladimir (1 March 2014). "Crimean PM claims control of forces, asks Putin for help". Chennai, India. The Hindu. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Ukraine army on full alert as Russia backs sending troops". BBC.com. 1 March 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "Yanukovich sent letter to Putin asking for Russian military presence in Ukraine". RT.com. 3 March 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "Movement of Russian armored vehicles in Crimea fully complies with agreements – Foreign Ministry". Russia Today. 28 February 2014. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- Smale, Alison; Erlanger, Steven (1 March 2014). "Kremlin Clears Way for Force in Ukraine; Separatist Split Feared". New York Times. Retrieved 1 March 2014.
- "'So why aren't they shooting?' is Putin's question, Ukrainians say". Kyiv Post. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "Ukraine resistance proves problem for Russia". BBC Online. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 4 March 2014.
- "'another view of the Ochakov – scuttled by Russian forces Wed night to block mouth of Donuzlav inlet". Twitter@elizapalmer. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "'Ukraine crisis: Crimea parliament asks to join Russia". BBC.com. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "'Ukraine crisis: 'Illegal' Crimean referendum condemned". BBC.com. 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "'Constitution of Ukraine – Title III". Government of Ukraine. Retrieved 6 March 2014.
- "Russians Scuttle Another Ship to Block Ukrainian Fleet". Ukrainian Pravda. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014 – via iwpr.net.
- Ukraine Votes to Dissolve Crimean Parliament. NBC News. 15 March 2014
- "'Приложение 1 к Постановлению Верховной Рады Автономной Республики Крым от 6 марта 2014 года No 1702-6/14" (PDF). www.rada.crimea.ua. 7 March 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2014.
- Gorchinskaya, Katya (7 March 2014). "Two choices in Crimean referendum: yes and yes". Kyiv Post. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- Sasse, Gwendolyn (3 March 2014). "Crimean autonomy: A viable alternative to war?". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 September 2017.
- "Crimea referendum: Voters 'back Russian union'". BBC.co.uk. 16 March 2014. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- "Ukraine crisis: Do Crimea referendum figures add up?". BBCco.uk. 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
- Lawmakers in Crimea Move Swiftly to Split From Ukraine New York Times, accessed 26 December 2014
- "Kremlin: Crimea and Sevastopol are now part of Russia, not Ukraine". CNN. 18 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
- "Ukraine: Putin signs Crimea annexation". BBC.co.uk. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
- Crimean parliament to decide on appointment of autonomous republic's premier on Tuesday, Interfax Ukraine (7 November 2011)
- "Autonomous Republic of Crimea – Information card". Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Retrieved 22 February 2007.
- Ziad, Waleed; Laryssa Chomiak (20 February 2007). "A lesson in stifling violent extremism". CS Monitor. Retrieved 26 March 2007.
- Electoral dead-end for Rada, UNIAN (29 September 2016)
"Parliament passes law on parliamentary elections". Kyiv Post. Interfax-Ukraine. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 9 August 2015.
"Ukraine: The Law on Election of the People's Deputies (Unofficial translation by IFES), 2011" (PDF). 17 November 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
- Автономна Республіка Крим [Autonomous Republic of Crimea]. Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 1 October 2007. Retrieved 23 February 2007.
- Subtelny, Orest (2000). Ukraine: A History. University of Toronto Press. p. 78. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.
- "Autonomous Republic of Crimea – Information card". Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. Retrieved February 22, 2007.
- Crimea, terra di mille etnie, 1993 di Giuseppe D'Amato in Il Diario del Cambiamento. Urss 1990 – Russia 1993. Greco&Greco editori, Milano, 1998. pp. 247–252. ISBN 88-7980-187-2 (The Diary of the Change. USSR 1990 – Russia 1993) Book in Italian.
- Crimea, la penisola regalata di Giuseppe D'Amato in L’EuroSogno e i nuovi Muri ad Est. L'Unione europea e la dimensione orientale. Greco&Greco editori, Milano, 2008. pp. 99–107 ISBN 978-88-7980-456-1 (The EuroDream and the new Walls at East. The European Union and the Eastern dimension) Book in Italian.
- (in German) Stefan Albrecht, Michael Herdick, Rainer Schreg: Neue Forschungen auf der Krim. Geschichte und Gesellschaft im Bergland der südwestlichen Krim – eine Zusammenfassung. =New Researches on the Crimea. Synthesis: A Hypothetical Model of Competing Neighborhoods. In: Stefan Albrecht, Falko Daim, Michael Herdick (Hg.): Die Höhensiedlungen im Bergland der Krim. Umwelt, Kulturaustausch und Transformation am Nordrand des Byzantinischen Reiches. RGZM, Mainz 2013, S. 471–497. ISBN 978-3-884-67220-4 (with an Englisch and Russian Summary)
- www.ppu.gov.ua, official website of the Presidential Representative in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (in Ukrainian)
- ark.gp.gov.ua, official website of the Prosecutor's Office of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (in Ukrainian)
- www.rada.crimea.ua, official website of the Supreme Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea (in Ukrainian) (in Russian)
- qtmm.org, official website of the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People (in Crimean Tatar) (in Ukrainian) (in Russian) (in English)
- uakrym.com, official website of UA:Krym, the Crimean division of the National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (in Ukrainian)
- Series about the recent political history of Crimea by the Independent Analytical Centre for Geopolitical Studies "Borysfen Intel"