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Political Holidays - Understand the World

  Copyright ©2019 Adventure Holidays Limited, Hong Kong.

Crimea Profile

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Crimea Overview

 

 

Crimea, internationally recognized as part of Ukraine, lies on a peninsula stretching out from the south of Ukraine between the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It is separated from Russia to the east by the narrow Kerch Strait.

 

In early 2014 Crimea became the focus of the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War, after Ukraine's pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych was driven from power by violent protests in Kiev. 

 

Kremlin-backed forces seized control of the Crimean peninsula, and the territory, which has a Russian-speaking majority, voted to join Russia in a referendum that Ukraine and the West deem illegal.​ 

 

Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire during the reign of Catherine The Great in 1783 and remained part of Russia until 1954, when it was transferred to Ukraine under the then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Although Crimea is one peninsula, according to Russian law, it is actually two separate entities, Crimea itself and the federal city of Sevastopol.

Crimea During the Soviet Union (1921–1991)

See also: Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and Crimean Oblast

Crimea became part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in 1921 as the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, which became part of the Soviet Union in 1922.

Autonomy in Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1921–1944)

 

The "Big Three" at the Yalta Conference in Crimea: Winston ChurchillFranklin D. Roosevelt, and Joseph Stalin.

The Artek youth camp was created in 1925. During the Second World War the peninsula was invaded by Nazi Germany and Romanian troops in summer 1941 across the Isthmus of Perekop.

 

Following the capture of Sevastopol on 4 July 1942, Crimea was occupied until German and Romanian forces were expelled in an offensive by Soviet forces ending in May 1944. The Nazis murdered around 40,000 Crimean Jews.

Region in Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (1945–1954)

On 25 June 1946, it was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast, and the Crimean Tatars were deported for alleged collaboration with the Nazi forces. A total of more than 230,000 people – about a fifth of the total population of the Crimean Peninsula at that time – were deported, mainly to Uzbekistan. 14,300 Greeks, 12,075 Bulgarians, and about 10,000 Armenians were also expelled.

 

Region in Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (1954–1991): 1954 transfer of Crimea

On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR issued a decree on the transfer of the Crimean region of the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR. This Supreme Soviet Decree states that this transfer was motivated by "the commonality of the economy, the proximity, and close economic and cultural relations between the Crimean region and the Ukrainian SSR".

 

At that time no vote or referendum took place, and Crimean population had no say in the transfer (also typical of other Soviet border changes). After the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation, doubts have been expressed - from the Russian side by all means, but even by Western historians (Richard Sakwa, "Frontline Ukraine. Crisis In the Borderlands", 2015) - about the very legitimacy of the 1954 transition of Crimea to Ukraine; in the critics' view the transition contradicted even the Soviet law.

In post-war years, Crimea thrived as a tourist destination, with new attractions and sanatoriums for tourists. Tourists came from all around the Soviet Union and neighbouring countries, particularly from the German Democratic Republic

 

In time the peninsula also became a major tourist destination for cruises originating in Greece and Turkey. Crimea's infrastructure and manufacturing also developed, particularly around the sea ports at Kerch and Sevastopol and in the oblast's landlocked capital, Simferopol. Populations of Ukrainians and Russians alike doubled, with more than 1.6 million Russians and 626,000 Ukrainians living on the peninsula by 1989.

Facts About Crimea

Politics: Officially an autonomous part of Ukraine, but seized by pro-Russian forces and annexed by Russia in February/March 2014

Economics: Tourism and agriculture are its main earners

Population: 2 million - ethnic Russians 58%, Ukrainians 24%, Tatars 12%, other 6% (2001 census)

International: Russia has been accused of annexing the territory in a move seen as the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War

Ethnic Russians make up the majority of the population, but with significant Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities.

 

Under Greek and Roman influence for centuries, in 1443 Crimea became the centre of a Tatar Khanate, which later fell under Ottoman control. 

 

Rival imperial ambitions in the mid 19th century led to the Crimean War when Britain and France, suspicious of Russian ambitions in the Balkans as the Ottoman Empire declined, sent troops. 

 

Given autonomous republic status within Russia after the Bolshevik revolution, Crimea was occupied by the Nazis in the early 1940s.

Ukraine-Russia Tensions

The port of Sevastopol is a major naval base and has been home to the Black Sea Fleet since 1783.

 

Following the collapse of the USSR, the fleet was divided up between Russia and Ukraine. The continuing presence of the Russian fleet in Sevastopol has been a focus of tension between Russia and Ukraine.

 

In 2008, Ukraine - then under the pro-Western President Viktor Yushchenko - demanded that Moscow not use the Black Sea Fleet during the its conflict with Georgia. 

 

Both countries had agreed to allow the Russian fleet to stay until 2017, but after the election of the pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych as president in 2010, Ukraine agreed to extend the lease by 25 years beyond 2017, in return for cheaper Russian gas.

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A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more territorial entities or over the possession or control of land, usually between a new state and the occupying power.

 

Territorial disputes result often from vague and unclear language in a treaty that set up the original boundary.

Territorial disputes are a major cause of  wars and terrorism as states often try to assert their sovereignty over a territory through invasion, and non-state entities try to influence the actions of politicians through terrorism.

Text Here

A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more territorial entities or over the possession or control of land, usually between a new state and the occupying power.

 

Territorial disputes result often from vague and unclear language in a treaty that set up the original boundary.

Territorial disputes are a major cause of  wars and terrorism as states often try to assert their sovereignty over a territory through invasion, and non-state entities try to influence the actions of politicians through terrorism.

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A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two