Where is Crimea?

The famous Swallow's Nest Castle, Crimea.

Where Is Crimea?

Crimea is a peninsula which occupies an area of 10,000 square miles on the northern coast of the Black Sea. It lies south of Kherson in Ukraine and west of the Kuban in Russia. Historically, the region has been occupied by many civilizations from the Cimmerians, Scythians, Romans, Bulgars, Khazars, and the Kipchaks. From 1441 to 1783, Crimea was part of the Ottoman Empire after it succeeded the Golden Horde. The Russians subsequently annexed it and became part of the Soviet Union between 1921 to 1991.

Geography Of Crimea

In addition to the Black Sea, the peninsula is also bounded by the Sea of Azov. Crimea has its only land border with Kherson Oblast in Ukraine from the north. The land border is naturally formed by an extensive system of shallow lagoons known as Sivash or Rotten Sea. Specifically, the border connects to the Henichesk Raion in Kherson Oblast. The Isthmus Perekop, a 3.1-4.3 miles wide strip of land, links mainland Crimea to Ukraine and it is situated between the Black Sea and the Sivash. Bridges also connect Crimea to mainland Ukraine. The Crimean Peninsula is comprised of numerous smaller peninsulas including the Tarkhankut Peninsula and the Kerch Peninsula. The territory is also home to many headlands such as Cape Akburun and Cape Priboiny. The peninsula’s coastline is broken by a number of harbors and bays.

Landscape Of Crimea

The Crimean Mountains run parallel to the southeastern coast of the peninsula. The mountains lie between about 5-8 miles from the Black Sea and are backed by secondary parallel mountain ranges. The primary range rises abruptly from the floor of the Black Sea to an altitude of between 1,969 and 5,069 feet. The highest Crimean waterfall, the Uchan-su, lies on the southern slopes of the ranges. A network of 257 rivers and major streams in the peninsula mainly get their water from rainfall. The longest of these rivers is the Salhir at a length of 127 miles. Other notable rivers include the Uchan-su, the Alma, the Indole, and the Burulcha. Also located in Crimea are over fifty salt lakes and salt pans. Part of the greater Pontic-Caspian steppe extends from the foot of the Crimean Mountains range to the northwest. This area is characterized by semiarid prairie lands. Beyond the Crimean Mountains is a green terrain which runs along the southeastern coast.

Disputes Concerning Crimea

Crimea has been a subject of territorial and political disputes between Russia and Ukraine. From 1991 to 2014, Crimea had been recognized as an autonomous republic within Ukraine. Russia annexed the region in 2014 and established an administration framework. Crimea is currently governed as two Russian federal subjects. Although a referendum was held to join Russia, Ukraine, as well as most of the global community, insists that the peninsula is part of Ukraine. Only North Korea, Venezuela, Sudan, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, Syria, Cuba, and Nicaragua support the Russian occupation of Crimea.

Demographics Of Crimea

2014 census places the Crimean population at 2,284,000 and a population density of 219.1 per square miles. The ethnic composition of the region’s inhabitants includes Russian, Ukrainian, and Crimean Tatar in addition to small populations of Belarusians, Armenians, and Jews. Concerns have been raised regarding the sustainability of the Crimean Tatar language which was considered to be on the brink of extinction in 2013. About 58% of Crimean adhere to Christianity while 15% are Muslims and 10% are classified as believers without religion.


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