Crimean Peninsula
Satellite picture of Crimea, Terra-MODIS, 05-16-2015.jpg
May 2015 satellite image of the Crimean Peninsula
Crimea (orthographic projection).svg
Location Eastern Europe
Coordinates 45°18′N 34°24′E / 45°18′N 34°24′E / 45.3; 34.4
Adjacent bodies of water
Largest city Sevastopol
Area 27,000 km2 (10,000 sq mi)
Highest elevation 1,545 m (5,069 ft)
Status Controlled and governed as part of the Russian Federation (except Ukrainian-controlled part of Arabat Spit), though internationally recognised as part of Ukraine
Regions Autonomous Republic of Crimea (de jure)
Sevastopol (de jure)
Kherson Oblast (northern part of Arabat Spit, Henichesk Raion)
Russia (de facto)
Federal district Southern Federal District
Federal subjects Republic of Crimea
Sevastopol [1]
Demonym Crimean
Population 2,284,000 [2] (2014 census)
Pop. density 84.6 /km2 (219.1 /sq mi)
Ethnic groups Russians
Crimean Tatars
Pontic Greeks
Crimean Karaites
Ashkenazi Jews
Crimea Germans
Map of the Crimean Peninsula

Crimea ( ə/; Russian: Крым, Krym; Ukrainian: Крим, Krym; Crimean Tatar: Къырым, translit. Qırım; Turkish: Kırım) is a peninsula 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. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson and west of the Russian region of Kuban. It is connected to Kherson Oblast by the Isthmus of Perekop and is separated from Kuban by the Strait of Kerch. 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.

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, the Persians, the Romans, the Byzantine Empire, the Crimean Goths, the Genoese and the Ottoman Empire, while at the same time its interior was occupied by a changing cast of invading steppe nomads and empires, such as the Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, Goths, Alans, Bulgars, Huns, Khazars, Kipchaks, Mongols and the Golden Horde. Crimea and adjacent territories were united in the Crimean Khanate during the 15th to 18th century.

In 1783, Crimea became a part of the Russian Empire as the result of 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 then, in 1954, it was transferred to the Ukrainian SSR from the Russian SFSR by Nikita Khrushchev. [3]

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine was formed as an independent state in 1991 and most of the peninsula was reorganized as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, while 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 March 2014, following the Ukrainian revolution and subsequent takeover of the territory by pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed Forces, [4] a referendum, deemed unconstitutional by the Ukrainian Constitutional Court, [5] [6] [7] was held on the issue of "reunification" with Russia; the official result was that a large majority of Crimeans wished to join with Russia. [8] Russia then annexed Crimea to incorporate the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol as federal subjects of Russia. [9] 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. [10]


The classical name Tauris or Taurica is from the Greek Ταυρική, after the peninsula's Scytho-Cimmerian inhabitants, the Tauri.

Strabo (Geography vii 4.3, xi.2.5), Polybius, (Histories 4.39.4), and Ptolemy refer to the Strait of Kerch as the Κιμμερικὸς Βόσπορος (romanized spellings, Kimmerikos Bosporos, Bosporus Cimmerius), and to Cimmerium as the capital of the Taurida, whence the peninsula, and so also its easternmost part was named Promontorium Cimmerium (Κιμμέριον Ἄκρον). [11] [12]

In English usage since the early modern period the Crimean Khanate is referred to as Crim Tartary. [13] The Italian [14] form Crimea (and "Crimean peninsula") also becomes current during the 18th century, [15] gradually replacing the classical name of Tauric Peninsula in the course of the 19th century. The omission of the definite article in English ("Crimea" rather than "the Crimea") became common during the later 20th century.[ citation needed]

The name "Crimea" follows the Italian form from the Crimean Tatar name for the city Qırım (today's Stary Krym) [16] which served as a capital of the Crimean province of the Golden Horde. The name of the capital was extended to the entire peninsula at some point during Ottoman suzerainty. [17] The origin of the word Qırım is uncertain. Suggestions argued in various sources include:

  1. a corruption of Cimmerium ( Greek, Kimmerikon, Κιμμερικόν). [18] [19] [20]
  2. a derivation from the Turkic term qirum ("fosse, trench"), from qori- ("to fence, protect"). [21] [22] [23]

Other suggestions that have not been supported by sources but are apparently based on similarity in sound include:

  1. a derivation from the Greek Cremnoi (Κρημνοί, in post-classical Koiné Greek pronunciation, Crimni, i.e., "the Cliffs", a port on Lake Maeotis (Sea of Azov) cited by Herodotus in The Histories 4.20.1 and 4.110.2). [24] However, he identifies the port, not in Crimea, but as being on the west coast of the Sea of Azov. No evidence has been identified that this name was ever in use for the peninsula.
  2. The Turkic term is related to the Mongolian appellation kerm "wall", but sources indicate that the Mongolian appellation of the Crimean peninsula of Qaram is phonetically incompatible with kerm/kerem and therefore deriving from another original term. [25] [26] [27]

The classical name was revived in 1802 in the name of the Russian Taurida Governorate. [28] While it was abandoned in the Soviet Union, and has had no official status since 1921, it is still used by some institutions in Crimea, such as the Taurida National University, or the Tavriya Simferopol football club.

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Krim
Alemannisch: Krim
አማርኛ: ክሪሜያ
Ænglisc: Taurica
العربية: القرم
asturianu: Crimea
azərbaycanca: Krım
Bân-lâm-gú: Krym
башҡортса: Ҡырым
беларуская: Крым
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Крым
български: Крим
Boarisch: Krim
bosanski: Krim
brezhoneg: Krimea
català: Crimea
čeština: Krym
dansk: Krim
Deutsch: Krim
dolnoserbski: Krim
Ελληνικά: Κριμαία
español: Crimea
Esperanto: Krimeo
estremeñu: Crimea
føroyskt: Krim hálvoyggin
français: Crimée
Frysk: Krim
Gaeilge: An Chrimé
𐌲𐌿𐍄𐌹𐍃𐌺: 𐌺𐍂𐌴𐌹𐌼
한국어: 크림반도
Հայերեն: Ղրիմ
हिन्दी: क्रीमिया
hornjoserbsce: Krim
hrvatski: Krim
Ido: Krimea
Bahasa Indonesia: Krimea
Interlingue: Crimea
Ирон: Хъырым
íslenska: Krímskagi
Basa Jawa: Krim
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಕ್ರಿಮಿಯ
къарачай-малкъар: Кърым
ქართული: ყირიმი
қазақша: Қырым
Kiswahili: Krim
Kurdî: Qirim
лакку: Къирим
Latina: Crimaea
latviešu: Krima
Lëtzebuergesch: Krim
Ligure: Crimea
magyar: Krím
македонски: Крим (полуостров)
მარგალური: ყირიმი
مازِرونی: کریمه
Bahasa Melayu: Krimea
монгол: Крымын хойг
Nederlands: Krim
Napulitano: Crimea
нохчийн: ГӀирма
norsk: Krim
norsk nynorsk: Krimhalvøya
occitan: Crimèa
олык марий: Крым
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Qrim
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਕ੍ਰੀਮੀਆ
Pälzisch: Krim
پنجابی: کریمیا
Plattdüütsch: Krim
português: Crimeia
qırımtatarca: Qırım
română: Crimeea
Romani: Krimeya
русский: Крым
саха тыла: Кырыым
sardu: Crimea
Scots: Crimea
shqip: Krimea
sicilianu: Crimea
Simple English: Crimea
slovenčina: Krym (polostrov)
کوردی: کریمیا
српски / srpski: Крим
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Krim
suomi: Krim
svenska: Krim
татарча/tatarça: Кырым
удмурт: Крым
українська: Крим
vèneto: Crimia
Tiếng Việt: Bán đảo Krym
walon: Crimêye
Winaray: Crimea
ייִדיש: קרים
粵語: 克里米亞
Zazaki: Qırım
Zeêuws: Krim
中文: 克里米亚