Taurida Governorate

The Taurida Governorate (Russian: Тавріическая губернія, modern spelling Таврическая губерния, Tavricheskaya guberniya; Crimean Tatar: Tavrida guberniyası, Таврида губерниясы) or the Government of Taurida, was a historical governorate of the Russian Empire. It included the Crimean Peninsula and the mainland between the lower Dnieper River and the coasts of the Black Sea and Sea of Azov.[4] It was formed after the Taurida Oblast was abolished in 1802 in the course of Paul I's administrative reform of the southwestern territories that had been annexed from the Crimean Khanate. The governorate's centre was the city of Simferopol. The province was named after the ancient Greek name of Crimea - Taurida.

Taurida Governorate
Таврическая губернія
Governorate of Russian Empire
Coat of arms of Taurida
Coat of arms
Taurida in Russian Empire (1914).svg
• 1918
63,538 km2 (24,532 sq mi)
• 1906
• Annexation of the Crimean Khanate
April 19 [O.S. April 8], 1783
• Established
October 20 [O.S. October 8], 1802
• Disestablished
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Novorossiysk Governorate
Yekaterinoslav Governorate
Crimean People's Republic
Today part ofUkraine
Russia (disputed)[nb 1]

Administrative divisionsEdit

The governorate comprised three counties (uyezds) on the mainland:

and five counties plus two city authorities (gradonachalstvo) on the peninsula:

Before 1820 the governorate consisted of seven counties, including Tmutarakan county on the Taman Peninsula on the eastern side of the Kerch Strait. The Yalta and Berdyansk counties formed later. From 1804 to 1829 there also existed the gradonachalstvo of Feodosiya; and in 1914 Yalta county became the gradonachalstvo of Yalta.

In December 1917 the governorate split, with most of its peninsular part forming the Crimean People's Republic (1917-1918), while the rest remained in undefined position including the city of Sevastopol which remained the main naval base of the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Republic. The mainland counties were declared part of the Ukrainian People's Republic, yet remained under effective of jurisdiction of the Taurida Governorate.

On November 20, [O.S. November 7] 1917 the Third Universal of the Tsentralna Rada of the Ukrainian People's Republic[5][need quotation to verify] proclaimed the territory of the Ukrainian Republic as comprising: Volyn Governorate, Kiev Governorate, Podolie Governorate, Chernigov Governorate, Poltava Governorate, Kharkov Governorate, Yekaterinoslav Governorate, Kherson Governorate and Taurida Governorate (not including Crimea).

After occupation of Ukraine by Bolsheviks during the Ukrainian–Soviet War, the Taurida Governorate became finally split between Russian soviet republics of the Donetsk-Krivoi Rog Soviet Republic and Taurida Socialist Republic of Soviets.


The governorate bordered Yekaterinoslav Governorate and Kherson Governorate to its north. The Strait of Kerch bordered the Free lands of the Don Cossacks. It has natural borders, being surrounded by the waters of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov.

The mainland and the peninsular parts of the region differ significantly. The total area of the governorate was 63,538 km2 (24,532 sq mi) of which the mainland portion consisted of 38,405 km2 (14,828 sq mi) and is largely black earth steppe land. The population of the whole region was 1,634,700 in 1906. At that time, the mainland part of the governorate was mostly populated by Ukrainians and Russians but had significant ethnic minorities of Germans, Bulgarians, Armenians and Jews, while major ethnic groups of the Crimean peninsula were Crimean Tatars and Russians with German, Greek, Poles, Armenian, and Karaim minorities. Major urban centres were Simferopol, Sevastopol, Theodosia, Bakhchisaray, and Yalta in Crimea, and Aleshki, Berdyansk, and Melitopol on the mainland.[4]


The linguistic composition of the uyezds (povits) of Taurida in 1897. Ukrainians in yellow, Russians in red, Crimean Tatars in green, Germans in gray, Yiddish speakers in blue, and others in purple. (in Ukrainian)
  • The Imperial census of 1897[6] found that the population of the governorate consisted of 1,447,790, with 762,804 male and 684,986 female.

In 1897 289,316 people lived in the cities, constituting 19.98% of the total population. The ethnicities of the urban population were Russians (49.1%), Tatars (17.16%), and Jews (11.84%), with only 31 people living in cities who chose not to disclose their identity.


  • By the Imperial census of 1897[10] there were around 1,100,000 Eastern Orthodox followers, just over 30,000 Catholic, around 70,000 Protestant Christians and about the same number of Judaic followers. Only 13% of population were Muslims (known in the Russian Empire as Magometians) who mainly lived in the peninsular portion of the guberniya, Crimea itself. They were the main force that after the next 10 years established the first Muslim democratic state of the Crimean People's Republic. Beside the Magometians and Jews there were only eight (8) other non-Christian followers in the whole guberniya (not necessarily Atheists).


In 1783, the Khanate of Crimea was annexed by Catherine the Great’s Russia. Soon after this the Taurida Oblast was established. During the reign of Paul I the oblast was abolished, but soon (in 1802) re-established as a governorate (guberniya). It was a part of the Russian Empire until the Russian Revolution of 1918.

Following the 1917 October Revolution, the ethnic Tatar government proclaimed the Crimean People's Republic on December 13, 1917, which was the first Muslim Democratic state. The Tatar republic covered the peninsular portion of the former governorate, while its northern counties ended up temporarily under jurisdiction of the Yekaterinoslav Governorate. However neither Ukraine nor the Crimea managed to hold on to their territories and were overrun by Bolshevik Red Guards in the winter of 1917-18. Briefly in early 1918 the bolsheviks split the governorate territories between the Taurida Soviet Socialist Republic and the Donetsk-Krivoi Rog Soviet Republic before being overrun by the forces of the Ukrainian People's Republic with military assistance from the German Empire.


  1. ^ Since the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea the status of the Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol is under dispute between Russia and Ukraine; Ukraine and the majority of the international community considers the Crimea and Sevastopol an integral part of Ukraine, while Russia, on the other hand, considers (and administrators) the Crimea and Sevastopol an integral part of Russia.[1][2][3]


  1. ^ Gutterman, Steve. "Putin signs Crimea treaty, will not seize other Ukraine regions". Reuters.com. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  2. ^ Ukraine crisis timeline, BBC News
  3. ^ UN General Assembly adopts resolution affirming Ukraine's territorial integrity, China Central Television (28 March 2014)
  4. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Taurida" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 26 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 455.
  5. ^ The Third Universal in the archives of the Verkhovna Rada (in Ukrainian)
  6. ^ Language Statistics of 1897 (in Russian)
  7. ^ including Slovakian language
  8. ^ including Moldavian language
  9. ^ languages, number of speakers which in all gubernia were less than 1,000
  10. ^ Religion Statistics of 1897 (in Russian)
  11. ^ Religions, number of believers which in all gubernia were less than 1,000

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 44°56′53″N 34°06′15″E / 44.9481°N 34.1042°E / 44.9481; 34.1042