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Republic of Crimea

Republic of Crimea
Республика Крым (Russian)
Республіка Крим (Ukrainian)
Къырым Джумхуриети (Crimean Tatar)
—  Republic  —


Coat of arms
"Нивы и горы твои волшебны, Родина" (Russian)
Nivy i gory tvoi volshebny, Rodina  (transliteration)
Your fields and mountains are magical, Motherland
Location of the  Republic of Crimea  (red)

in Russia  (light yellow)

Location of the  Republic of Crimea  (light yellow)

in the Crimean Peninsula

Political status
Country Russia
Federal district Crimean[1][2]
Economic region Not yet assigned[3]
Established March 21, 2014
Capital Simferopol
Government (as of April 2014)
 • Head Sergey Aksyonov [4]
 • Legislature State Council
Area [5]
 • Total 26,100 km2 (10,100 sq mi)
Population (2014 est.)
 • Total 2,284,400[6]
Time zone(s) MSK (UTC+03:00)[7]
License plates 82[8][9]
Official languages Russian;[10] Ukrainian;[11] Crimean Tatar[11]
Official website

The Republic of Crimea ( or ; Russian: Республика Крым, tr. Respublika Krym; IPA: ; Crimean Tatar: Къырым Джумхуриети, Qırım Cumhuriyeti; Ukrainian: Республіка Крим, Respublika Krym) is a federal subject of Russia, located on the Crimean Peninsula. The Republic of Crimea and Federal City Sevastopol were formed after the independent Republic of Crimea had been absorbed by the Russian Federation.

Ukraine and most countries consider the Crimean Peninsula to be Ukrainian territory annexed by Russia.[12][13]


  • History 1
    • Background 1.1
    • Separation from Ukraine 1.2
    • Russian annexation 1.3
  • Government and politics 2
    • Administrative divisions 2.1
  • Political geography 3
  • Demographics 4
    • Ethnic groups 4.1
    • Languages 4.2
  • Human rights 5
    • Crimean Tatars 5.1
  • Economy 6
  • International status 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9



Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet "About the transfer of the Crimean Oblast", 1954

In 1792, under the Russian Empress Catherine the Great, Crimea was legally ceded to Russia by the Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of Jassy, which formally ended the Russo-Turkish war of 1787-1792. From 1802, it constituted a southern part of the Taurida Governorate of the Russian Empire until the collapse thereof in 1917. During the Russian Civil War (1917–1921) Crimea changed hands multiple times, being inter alia the last territory held by the White Russian government in the European part of Russia in 1920, and finally became an autonomous republic within Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) in 1921.

During World War II, in 1944, the central Soviet authorities deported the Crimean Tatars for alleged collaboration with the Nazi occupation regime; in 1945, the region was stripped of its autonomy status. In 1954, the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet transferred the region from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, another constituent republic of the USSR, then a highly centralised state, wherein borders between constituent republics was a technical issue of administration. The Crimean Tatars were allowed to return to Crimea in the mid-1980s under perestroika.[14]

Ukraine restored Crimea's autonomous status in 1991. Crimea's autonomous status was re-affirmed in 1996 with the ratification of Ukraine's current constitution, which designated Crimea as the "Autonomous Republic of Crimea", but also an "inseparable constituent part of Ukraine".[15]

Separation from Ukraine

On March 11, 2014, in the course of the annexation of Crimea, the Crimean parliament and the Sevastopol City Council issued a letter of intent to unilaterally declare independence from Ukraine.[16] The document specifically mentioned Kosovo as a precedent in the lead part.[16]

The declaration was made in an attempt to legitimise a referendum on the status of Crimea where citizens were to vote on whether Crimea should apply to join Russia as a federal subject of the Russian Federation, or restore the 1992 Crimean constitution and Crimea's status as a part of Ukraine. The available choices did not include keeping the status quo of Crimea and Sevastopol as they were at the time the referendum was held.[17]

On March 16, 2014, according to statements of organizers of Crimean status referendum, a large majority (reported as 96.77% of the 81.36% of the population of Crimea who voted) voted in favour of independence of Crimea from Ukraine and joining Russia as a federal subject.[18][19] The referendum was not recognized by most of the international community and the reported results were disputed by numerous independent observers. The BBC reported that most of the Crimean Tatars that they interviewed were boycotting the vote.[18] Reports from the UN criticised the circumstances surrounding the referendum, especially the presence of paramilitaries, self-defence groups and unidentifiable soldiers.[20] The European Union, Canada, Japan and the United States condemned the vote as illegal.[18][21]

After the referendum, Crimean lawmakers formally voted both to secede from Ukraine and applied for their admission into Russia. The Sevastopol City Council, however, requested the port's separate admission as a federal city.[22]

Russian annexation

Diagram showing the merge, short-lived independence, and separation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and Sevastopol that leading to the Republic of Crimea as a federal subject of Russia.

On March 18, 2014, the self-proclaimed independent 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 Autonomous Republic of Crimea as a republic, and another accession for Sevastopol as a federal city. The newly formed federal subject comprising the former Autonomous Republic of Crimea now bears the name Republic of Crimea—the same name as the short-lived self-proclaimed independent republic. During the transition period, which lasted until January 1, 2015, both sides were to resolve the issues of integration of the new subjects “in the economic, financial, credit and legal system of the Russian Federation.”[23] The accession has been recognised internationally by only a few states.

On March 19, 2014, the Ukrainian military began to withdraw from Crimea.[24]

On March 24, 2014, the

External links

  1. ^ Putin signs set of laws on reunification of Crimea, Sevastopol with Russia
  2. ^ Президент Российской Федерации. Указ №849 от 13 мая 2000 г. «О полномочном представителе Президента Российской Федерации в федеральном округе». Вступил в силу 13 мая 2000 г. Опубликован: "Собрание законодательства РФ", №20, ст. 2112, 15 мая 2000 г. (President of the Russian Federation. Decree #849 of May 13, 2000 On the Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in a Federal District. Effective as of May 13, 2000.).
  3. ^ Госстандарт Российской Федерации. №ОК 024-95 27 декабря 1995 г. «Общероссийский классификатор экономических регионов. 2. Экономические районы», в ред. Изменения №5/2001 ОКЭР. (Gosstandart of the Russian Federation. #OK 024-95 December 27, 1995 Russian Classification of Economic Regions. 2. Economic Regions, as amended by the Amendment #5/2001 OKER. ).
  4. ^ Crimea Deputies Back Acting Leader Sergei Aksyonov to Head Republic The Moscow Times
  5. ^
  6. ^
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  10. ^ Official on the whole territory of Russia according to Article 68.1 of the Constitution of Russia.
  11. ^ a b Putin addresses Russia's parliament in Crimea
  12. ^ Law about occupied territories of Ukraine. Mirror Weekly. 15 May 2014
  13. ^ Higher educational institutions at the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine will not work - the minister of education. Newsru. 1 October 2014
  14. ^ "The Crimean Tatars began repatriating on a massive scale beginning in the late 1980s and continuing into the early 1990s. The population of Crimean Tatars in Crimea rapidly reached 250,000 and leveled off at 270,000 where it remains as of this writing [2001]. There are believed to be between 30,000 and 100,000 remaining in places of former exile in Central Asia." Greta Lynn Uehling, The Crimean Tatars (Encyclopedia of the Minorities, Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn)
  15. ^
  16. ^ a b
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  18. ^ a b c BBC News – Crimea referendum: Voters 'back Russia union'
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  25. ^ ITAR-TASS: Russia - Russian ruble goes into official circulation in Crimea as of Monday
  26. ^
  27. ^ Medvedev visits Crimea, vows development aid - The Wall Street Journal - MarketWatch
  28. ^ Now foreigners need Russian visas to visit Crimea - Russian Foreign Ministry - News - World - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, ...
  29. ^ Moscow Sent Diplomatic Note to Ukraine on Terminating Black Sea Fleet Agreements | Russia | RIA Novosti
  30. ^ Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol become part of Southern Military District - News - Russia - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, Int...
  31. ^ Crimean Parliament Approves New Constitution | Russia | RIA Novosti
  32. ^ Crimea approves new Constitution - English
  33. ^ Crimea’s new constitution put up for discussion — RT Russian politics
  34. ^ Russia Amends Constitution to Include Crimea, Sevastopol | Russia | RIA Novosti
  35. ^ Crimean Constitution comes into legal force - News - Russia - The Voice of Russia: News, Breaking news, Politics, Economics, Business, Russia, International current events, Ex...
  36. ^ Ukraine’s Parliament Declares Crimea, Sevastopol ‘Occupied Territory’ | World | RIA Novosti
  37. ^
  38. ^ Crimea switches to Russian telephone codes, Interfax-Ukraine (7 May 2015)
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  42. ^ a b c d e Ukraine human rights 'deteriorating rapidly', Al Jazeera English (03 Dec 2014)
    Disappearing Crimea's anti-Russia activists , Al Jazeera English ()
  43. ^
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  49. ^ a b c (Ukrainian) Crimea has no longer Ukrainian classes, Ukrayinska Pravda (14 August 2014)
  50. ^ (Russian) In Crimea, Ukrainian schools left - "Minister of Education", UNIAN (10 October 2014)
  51. ^ a b c U.N. monitors warn on human rights in east Ukraine, Crimea
  52. ^ a b c U.N. Cites Abuses in Crimea Before Russia Annexation Vote
  53. ^
  54. ^ a b
  55. ^ Russia Abusing Rights in Annexed Crimea, Human Rights Watch Says, Bloomberg News (17 November 2014)
    Human Rights Watch releases damning report on Crimea, Kyiv Post (18 November 2014)
  56. ^
  57. ^ a b Missing Crimean Tatar Reportedly Found Dead
    Crimean Tatar Scholar Attacked, Library Shut As Pressure Mounts
    Crimean Leader Says Disappeared Tatars May Have Gone to Fight in Syria
  58. ^ a b
  59. ^ Crimean GRP
  60. ^ a b c Crimea enters the rouble zone, ITAR-TASS (1 June 2014)
  61. ^ a b
  62. ^ a b c
  63. ^ a b c
  64. ^
  65. ^ a b c d Russia Delivers a New Shock to Crimean Business: Forced Nationalization, Bloomberg News (November 18, 2014 )
  66. ^ Crimea’s rapid Russification means pride for some but perplexity for others, Guardian Weekly (11 November 2014)
  67. ^ a b
  68. ^ a b c d Tourism takes a nosedive in Crimea, BBC News (7 August 2014)
    Russia's takeover of Crimea is killing tourism industry, Kyiv Post (14 August 2014)
  69. ^ (Russian) In Crimea, we saw an increase in tourist traffic as compared to the year 2014, Radio Free Europe (2 August 2015)
  70. ^ Six More Ukrainian Banks Expelled from Crimea, Moscow Times (May 13, 2014)
  71. ^ a b c Months After Russian Annexation, Crimeans Ask: 'Where Is Our Money?', Moscow Times (20 November 2014)
  72. ^ (Ukrainian) Grey financial zone: why with annexed the Crimea are Russian banks, Deutsche Welle (2 August 2015)
  73. ^
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  81. ^ United Nations News Centre - Backing Ukraine’s territorial integrity, UN Assembly declares Crimea referendum invalid
  82. ^
  83. ^ UN Gen Assembly adopts resolution backing Ukraine's territorial integrity — RT News
  84. ^ UN vote shows Russia far from isolated – Churkin — RT News
  85. ^
  86. ^ a b WATCH : KASUKUWERE SCORES A FIRST IN CRIMEA, NewsdzeZimbabwe (22 December 2014)
    Ukraine angry as Zimbabwe minister visits Crimea, Interfax-Ukraine (22 December 2014)
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On September 11, 2015, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has visited Crimea to lay flowers with President Putin at a memorial to Sardinian soldiers killed in the Crimean war.[90][91][92]

On July 23–24, 2015, a delegation of ten members of the French Parliament visited Crimea. MPs were in the Crimean parliament, spoke with habitants on streets of Simferopol, Yalta, Sevastopol. Their trip was declared to be unofficial and was condemned by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and politicians in Ukraine.[87][88][89]

On December 22, 2014, Zimbabwe's Minister of the Environment Saviour Kasukuwere became the first non-Russian politician to visit Crimea since March 2014.[86] Zimbabwe had also voted against the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262.[86]

On March 27, 2014, the UN General Assembly voted on a non-binding resolution claiming that the referendum was invalid and reaffirming Ukraine’s territorial integrity, by a vote of 100 to 11, with 58 abstentions and 24 absent.[81][82] Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, United States and other 89 countries voted for; Armenia, Belarus, Bolivia, Cuba, North Korea, Nicaragua, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, as well as Russia, voted against.[83] Among the abstaining countries were China, India, and Brazil; Israel was among the countries listed as absent. RT reported that Western countries resorted to "political blackmail and economic threats" to coerce diplomats to vote for the resolution,[84] whereas Reuters reported per anonymous UN diplomats, the Russian delegation threatened punitive action against certain Eastern European and Central Asian countries if they supported the resolution.[85]

On March 21, 2014, Armenia recognised the Crimean referendum, which led to Ukraine recalling its ambassador to that country.[76] The unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic also recognised the referendum earlier that week on March 17.[77] On March 22, 2014, President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan told a U.S. delegation that he recognised and supported the Crimean referendum and "respects the free will of the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to decide their own future".[78] On March 23, 2014, Belarus recognised Crimea as de facto part of Russia.[79] On March 27, 2014, Nicaragua unconditionally recognised the incorporation of Crimea into Russia.[80]

The official line of the US, EU and Australia is that they don't grant visas for Crimeans with Russian passports.[62][73] Nevertheless, Russian media claims Crimeans get visas from some EU countries.[74][75]

The status of the republic is disputed as Russia and some other states recognised the independence declared by the Autonomous Republic and Sevastopol and their subsequent incorporation into the Russian Federation. Most other nations do not recognise these actions due to the Russian military intervention that occurred as these events unfolded. Russia argues that the results of a referendum held in Crimea and Sevastopol justify the accession. In the West, Russia's actions have been widely condemned as a violation of sovereignty of Ukraine and as an act of aggression. Ukraine still considers both the Autonomous Republic and Sevastopol as subdivisions of Ukraine under Ukrainian territory and subject to Ukrainian law. According to some unverified media reports, The Ukrainian government did however discontinue supplying the region with water through the North Crimean Canal.

Results of the United Nations General Assembly vote about the territorial integrity of Ukraine on March 2014.
  In favour   Against   Abstentions   Absent

International status

Because of international sanctions Crimea's once bustling IT-sector has been reduced to a few IT companies.[63]

Many international businesses have left Crimea but because of fear of sanctions few Russian companies invest in Crimea.[61]

On 6 May 2014 the National Bank of Ukraine ordered Ukrainian banks to cease operations in Crimea; the following weeks the Central Bank of Russia closed all Ukrainian banks on the peninsula because "they had failed to meet their obligations to creditors".[70] 8 months after the 21 March 2014 formal annexation of Crimea by Russia it had become impossible for clients of Ukrainian banks to access their deposit and most of them did not by their interest (on loans).[71] A "Fund for the Protection of Depositors in Crimea", as part of Russia's Deposit Insurance Agency, was set up by Russia to compensate Crimeans.[71] By 6 November 2014 it had paid out more than $500 million to 196,400 depositors; the fund has a limit of about $15,000 per bank account.[71] In July 2015 25 banks operated in Crimea, prior to Russia's annexation of the peninsula there were 180 banks in Crimea.[72]

In 2014 about two million tourists holidayed in Crimea, including 300,000 Ukrainians.[68] In 2013 3.5 million Ukrainian and 1.5 million Russian tourists visited Crimea.[68] Tourism is the mainstay of the Crimean economy.[68] In August 2014 Head of the Republic Aksyonov was confident that in 2015 Crimea will welcome "at least five million visitors - I have no doubts about that".[68] Early August 2015 the press service of his government stated that in 2015 2.02 million tourist had visited Crimea (16.5% more than in 2014).[69]

Tourists in Crimea in June 2015

By late October 2014 90% of the heads of Crimean government-owned corporation were fired as part of a supposed anti-corruption campaign, although no charges have been filed against anyone. Human rights activists in the region have described the seizures as lacking a legal basis and dismissed the "anti-corruption" rationle.[66] In June 2015 the Federal Security Service (FSB) started several anti-corruption criminal cases against high ranking Crimean officials.[67] According to Aksyonov the FSB had opened these criminal cases because it was "interested in destabilizing the situation in Crimea".[67]

Starting in the summer of 2014 Crimea's government nationalized various large Crimean companies and assets; reasons given for this were (among others) "the company helped to finance military operations against Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic" and "the resort complex illegally blocked public access to nearby park lands".[65] The government can nationalise assets considered to have “particular social, cultural, or historical value”.[65] In the case of the Zalyv Shipbuilding yard, Crimean “self-defense” forces stormed the company’s headquarters to demand nationalization.[65] Head of the Republic Sergey Aksyonov claimed that in at least one case “Employees established control of the enterprise on their own, we just helped them a little”.[65]

According to the Crimean authorities local food prices have grown 2.5 times since Russia's annexation.[63] Since then the peninsula now has to import most of its food from Russia.[63] Ukrainian news agency UNIAN claimed in June 2015 that many Crimeans travel to mainland Ukraine to buy groceries.[64]

In June 2015 The Economist estimated that the average salary in Crimea was about two-third of the average salary in Russia.[62]

After annexing Russia doubled payments to about 560,000 pensioners and 200,000 public workers (in Crimea).[61] Those raises were cut back in April 2015.[62]

In March 2014 Crimean GDP was estimated at $4.3 billion[59] or 0.2% of Russia based on current prices and 0.5% based on purchasing power parity. The Russian rouble became an official currency in Crimea on 21 March 2014.[60] Until 1 June 2014, the Ukrainian hryvnia could also be used for cash payments only.[60] At first it was planned that the Ukrainian hryvnia could be used till 1 January 2016.[60]


The [57][58]

Vladimir Putin meeting with representatives of the Crimean Tatars, 16 May 2014

Crimean Tatars

In its November 2014 report on Crimea Human Rights Watch stated that "The de facto authorities in Crimea have limited free expression, restricted peaceful assembly, and intimidated and harassed those who have opposed Russia’s actions in Crimea”.[55] According to the report 15 people had gone missing since March 2014, according to Ukrainian authorities this number was 21 people.[42] Head of the Republic Sergey Aksyonov pledged to find the missing men and the culprits behind the kidnappings.[42] Aksyonov regularly meets with a group of parents, whose children have gone missing, and human rights activists.[42] These parents and human rights activists have complained that rotation of the team of investigators into these missing persons has harmed these investigations.[42]

According to Human Rights Watch "Russia has violated multiple obligations it has as an occupying power under international humanitarian law – in particular in relation to the protection of civilians’ rights."[53][54]

United Nations monitors (that had been in Crimea from 2 April to 6 May 2014) expressed concern on the treatment of journalists, sexual, religious and ethnic minorities and AIDS patients.[51] The monitors had found that journalists and activists who had opposed the 2014 Crimean referendum had been harassed and abducted.[52] They also claimed that Crimeans who had not applied for Russian citizenship faced harassment and intimidation.[51] Russia criticized their report as politically motivated and as an attempt to whitewash "the self-proclaimed Kiev authorities".[51] Russia added that it did not support the deployment of human rights monitors in Crimea.[52] The (new) Crimean authorities vowed to investigate the reports of human rights violations.[52]

Human rights

Its Education Minister Natalia Goncharova announced mid-August 2014 that (since no parents of first-graders wrote an application for learning Ukrainian) Crimea had decided not to form Ukrainian language classes in its primary schools.[49] Goncharova said that since more than a quarter of parents at the Ukrainian gymnasium in Simferopol had written an application to teach children in Ukrainian; this school might have Ukrainian language classes.[49] Goncharova also added that the parents of first-graders had written application for learning the Russian language, and (in areas inhabited by Crimean Tatars) for learning Crimean Tatar.[49] Goncharova stated on 10 October 2014 that at that time Crimea had 20 schools where all subjects were conducted in Ukrainian.[50]

  • In Russian - 96,74%
  • In Crimean Tatar - 2.76%. 5083 pupils (+188 to 2014 year) study in Crimean Tatar language in 53 schools in 17 districts. There have been opened 37 the 1st grade classes of primary school.
  • In Ukranian - 0.5%. 949 pupils study in Ukranian language in 22 schools in 13 districts. There have been opened 2 the 1st grade classes of primary school (in 2014 - 0).

According to the Republic of Crimea Ministry of Education, Science, and Youth,[48] most primary and secondary school pupils have decided to study in Russian in 2015.

According to the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea:[47]


It was the first official Russian census in Crimea since Ukrainian that held in 2001.[46]

According to the 2014 census, 84% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 7.9% – Crimean Tatar; 3.7% – Tatar; and 3.3% – Ukrainian.

According to the 2014 Crimean Federal District census (Russian: Перепись населения в Крымском федеральном округе (2014)) the ethnic makeup of the population of the whole Crimean peninsula at the time comprised the following self-reported groups:

Ethnic groups


If Crimea is considered separate from Ukraine, which continues to claim sovereignty over the peninsula, then Ukraine is the only country with which it shares a land border, with a number of road and rail connections. These crossings have been under the control of pro-Russian troops since at least mid-March 2014.

Crimea is one of two parts of European Russia that have no land connection to the rest of the country, the other being Kaliningrad Oblast on the Baltic Sea. There are plans to construct a bridge over the Kerch Strait to link the Republic of Crimea to its closest neighbour in Russia, Krasnodar Krai.[45]

Political geography

1. Bakhchysarai Raion
2. Bilohirsk Raion
3. Dzhankoy Raion
4. Kirovske Raion
5. Krasnohvardiiske Raion
6. Krasnoperekopsk Raion
7. Lenine Raion
8. Nyzhnohirskyi Raion
9. Pervomaiske Raion
10. Rozdolne Raion
11. Saky Raion
12. Simferopol Raion
13. Sovietskyi Raion
14. Chornomorske Raion
City municipalities
15. Alushta Municipality
16. Armyansk Municipality
17. Dzhankoy Municipality
18. Yevpatoria Municipality
19. Kerch Municipality
20. Krasnoperekopsk Municipality
21. Saky Municipality
22. Simferopol Municipality
23. Sudak Municipality
24. Feodosia Municipality
25. Yalta Municipality
Subdivisions of Crimea.

The Republic of Crimea continues to use the administrative divisions previously used by the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and is thus subdivided into 25 regions: 14 districts (raions) and 11 city municipalities (gorodskoj sovet or gorsovet), officially known as territories governed by city councils.[44]

Administrative divisions

Till July 2015 20,000 Crimeans had renounced their Ukrainian citizenship.[43]

Crimeans who refused to get Russian citizenship are barred from holding government and municipal jobs.[42]

While not an official body controlling Crimea, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People is a representative body of the Crimean Tatars, which addresses grievances to the State Council, the Prime Minister, and international bodies.[41]

Justice is administered by courts, as part of the judiciary of Russia.

The executive power is represented by the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister (officially called Head of the Republic). The authority and operation of the State Council and the Council of Ministers of Crimea are determined by the Constitution of Crimea and other Crimean laws, as well as by regular decisions carried out by the Council.[40]

The legislative body is a 100-seat parliament, renamed the State Council of Crimea.[39]

Dmitry Medvedev and Crimean PM Aksyonov meeting Crimean school children in Simferopol, 31 March 2014

Government and politics

On May 7, 2015 Crimea switched its phone codes (Ukrainian number system) to the Russian number system.[38]

On June 1, 2014 Crimea officially switched over to the Russian ruble as its only form of legal tender.[37]

On April 15, 2014 the Ukrainian parliament declared Crimea and the city of Sevastopol "occupied territories".[36]

On April 12, 2014, the Constitution of the Republic of Crimea, adopted at the session of the State Council on April 11 entered into legal force. The Constitution was published by the Krymskiye Izvestiya newspaper, and it has entered into legal force today, the State Council of Crimea said. The Constitution of Crimea consists of 10 chapters and 95 articles; its main regulations are analogous to the articles of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. The text states that the Republic of Crimea is a democratic, legal state within the Russian Federation and an equal subject of the Russian Federation. The source of power in the Crimean Republic is its people, which is part of the multinational people of the Russian Federation. It is noted that the supreme direct manifestation of the power of the people is referendum and free elections, seizure of power and appropriation of power authorization is unacceptable.[35]

On April 11, 2014, the parliament of Crimea approved a new constitution, with 88 out of 100 lawmakers voting in favor of its adoption.[31] The constitution ensures the Republic of Crimea as a democratic state within the Russian Federation and says that its territory is united and inseparable. The Crimean parliament will become smaller and have 75 members instead of current 100.[32] According to the Kommersant newspaper, the authorities, including the State Council chair Vladimir Konstantinov unofficially promised that certain quotas would be reserved for Crimean Tatars in various government bodies.[33] On the same day a new revision of the Russian Constitution was officially released with the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol included in the list of federal subjects of the Russian Federation.[34]

On April 3, 2014, Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became part of Russia's Southern Military District.[30]

Sevastopol, Crimea, 9 May 2014

On April 3, 2014, Moscow sent diplomatic note to Ukraine on terminating the actions of agreements concerning the deployment of the Russian Federation's Black Sea Fleet on the territory of Ukraine. As part of the agreements, Russia paid the Ukrainian government $530 million annually for the base, and wrote off nearly $100 million of Kiev's debt for the right to use Ukrainian waters. Ukraine also received a discount of $100 on each 1,000 cubic meters of natural gas imported from Russia, which was provided for by cutting export duties on the gas, money that would have gone into the Russian state budget. The Kremlin stated that as the base is no longer located in Ukraine, there were no legal grounds for the discount to be continued.[29]

On March 31, 2014, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that foreign citizens visiting Crimea need to apply for a visa to the Russian Federation in one of the Russian diplomatic missions of Russian consulates.[28]

On March 31, 2014, the Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced a series of programs aimed at swiftly incorporating the territory of Crimea into Russia’s economy and infrastructure. Medvedev announced the creation of a new ministry for Crimean affairs, and ordered Russia’s top ministers who joined him there to make coming up with a development plan their top priority.[27]

On March 29, the clocks in Crimea were moved forward to Moscow time.[26]


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