Russian MiniLessons: Крым: хронология событий – A Crimean Timeline
Topographical map of Crimea and its immediate area, showing the massive Crimean Mountains. For a full map, which also shows major population centers and overland transport routes, click here.
25 March 2014
The following bilingual Russian MiniLesson is meant to build your vocabulary by providing Russian phrases within English text. Hover over the bold Russian to reveal its English translation.
Крымский полуостровThe Crimean Peninsula is currently the location of the Республика КрымRepublic of Crimea and город Севастопольcity of Sevastopol. From 1954 until recently, it was the Автономная республика КрымAutonomous Republic of Crimea, which was автономная республика в составе Украиныan autonomous republic of Ukraine. Sevastopol was административно-территориальная единица общегосударственного подчиненияan administrative city with special status. This special status was given it because of its importance as a naval base.
Crimea’s population of two million is многонациональноеmultinational: русскиеRussians make up about 60 percent, украинцыUkrainians – 25 percent, крымские татарыCrimean Tatars – 12 percent, and белорусыBelarusians – 1.5 percent. There are also грекиGreeks, армянеArmenians, and people of other nationalities.
Крымские татарыthe Crimean Tatars are one of the most ancient peoples of Crimea. They had their own Crimean state, the Крымское ханствоCrimean Khanate, which existed from 1441 to 1783. Крымское ханство вело постоянные войны The Crimean Khanate was constantly at war with Russia and Poland. It was weakened by these wars and sought an alliance with the Ottoman Empire, which eventually absorbed it. The Ottomans were ethnically related to the Crimean Tatars. In 1783, Russia defeated the Ottoman Empire and Крым был сначала оккупирован, а затем аннексирован РоссиейCrimea was first occupied and then annexed by Russia.
Crimea was part of Russia until 1954, when then Soviet leader Khrushchev, who at one point worked as head of the Communist party in Ukraine, ordered передать Крымскую областьthe transference of the Crimean region from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic into the Ukrainian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic due to the территориальная общность и общность экономики УССР с Крымом.territorial and economic solidarity of the Ukrainian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic with Crimea Crimea has always получал большую часть энергетических ресурсов и товарооборота из Украины,received most utilities and trade from mainland Ukraine with which it has a narrow land connection. Thus, for accounting purposes, joining it with Ukraine made sense.
Crimea is of strategic military importance as он дает возможность контроля над всем Черноморским регионом.it enables control over the entire Black Sea region One of the main reasons for Russia’s takeover of Crimea, then, is so that Russia will gain full, unrestrained control over the base of the Black Sea Navy in Sevastopol and also will obtain all the military ports and military bases in Crimea. Before, Russia had to rely on treaties with Ukraine для поддержания этой стратегической позицииto maintain this strategic position.
In addition, Россия получает практически полный контроль над Азовским моремRussia will obtain virtually full control over the Azov Sea, and the entrance and exit to it through the Kerch Strait – considered strategic to preventing any invasion of southern Russia. Also, Russia will gain the possibility to проложить альтернативный газопровод в Европу через Крымbuild an alternative gas pipeline to Europe through Crimea.
The city of Sevastopol is the главная военно-морская базаmain naval base of the Черноморский флот РоссииRussian Black Sea Navy. Additionally, the Черноморский флотBlack Sea Navy uses the port city of Feodosia, two аэродромыair fields, and some other объектыfacilities, which have now become the property of Russia.
In total, the Черноморский флотBlack Sea Navy has 41 надводный корабльsurface ship and two дизельные подводные лодкиdiesel submarines. The общая численностьtotal headcount of sailors in the Черноморский флотBlack Sea Navy is about 14,000 people.
At the end of February 2014, events in the current Crime Crisis started unfolding. On February 24, deputies of Crimea’s Supreme Council выразили недовериеheld a vote of no confidence in the Council of Ministers of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and requested that Prime Minister Anatoly Mogilev resign.
On February 23, Sevastopol had a митинг народной воли против фашизма на Украинеrally of the people’s will against fascism in Ukraine, where Russian citizen and businessman Alexei Chaly was elected as mayor.
On February 25, a delegation of deputies from Russia’s State Duma посетила Крым.visited Crimea The delegates stated that если Крым попросит о присоединении,(if Crimea asks to join (Russia)), then эта просьба будет рассмотрена в кратчайшие сроки.the request will be considered immediately
On February 26, Ukrainian and Russian media wrote about the появление подразделений российского спецназа в Крымуappearance of Russian special forces in Crimea. Crimea’s authorities called these military men силы самообороны КрымаCrimean self-defense forces. Armed men in military uniform entered the two airports in Crimea – in Simferopol and Sevastopol so that militants would not be able to arrive. Вооруженные людиarmed peopleпостепенно взяли под контроль основные крымские административные и военные объекты,gradually took over control of key Crimean administrative and military facilities but managed to do so without violence.
Украинские воинские части в Крыму были заблокированыUkrainian military units in Crimea were blocked and/or захвачены.captured In this process, only one перестрелкаexchange of fire took place, with two people killed. The Russian media called this incident провокация, устроенная Киевомprovocation sponsored by Kyiv. Некоторые военнослужащие Украины перешли на сторону Крымаsome of Ukraine’s military joined Crimea, about 50%, according to statistics released by Kyiv, and принесли присягу “народу Крыма”took an oath to the people of Crimea.
On February 27, the building of the Supreme Council of Crimea было захвачено отрядом неизвестных вооружённых лиц в камуфляжной формеwas taken over by a group of unknown armed people in camouflage, and над зданием был поднят флаг Российской Федерацииthe Russian flag was hoisted above the building. Then, inside, the deputies voted to appoint Sergey Aksenov as Prime Minister of the new government and decided that a referendum on the status of Crimea would be conducted.
On March 6, Crimean authorities определились с датой проведения референдума о статусе автономной республикиset the date to hold the referendum on the status of the autonomous republic. The referendum was set for March 16.
A day later, on March 7, deputies of Sevastopol’s city council passed a resolution that Sevastopol would join Russia.
On March 11, Crimea’s authorities объявили о национализации военного флота Украиныannounced the nationalization of the Ukrainian Navy, declaring it under their authority. On the same day, Crimean authorities stated that Киев блокировал казначейские счета КрымаKyiv blocked Crimea’s treasury accounts, and the following day, Рада Украины досрочно прекратила полномочия Верховного Совета КрымаUkraine’s parliment preemptively terminated the authority of the Supreme Council of Crimea. The Supreme Council of Crimea did not recognize this decision.
On March 15, Russia used its вето на резолюцию Совета Безопасности ООНveto in the United Nations Security Councilпо проекту резолюции,on a draft resolution объявляющей референдум по статусу Автономной Республики Крым незаконным.declaring the referendum on the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea illegal
On March 16, the referendum on the status of Crimea took place, where the official явка избирателей на участки составила более 80%voter turnout was over 80% with 95,7% голосующих проголосовали за воссоединение с Россией95.7% of voters voting for unification with Russia.
On March 18, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an unscheduled Statement to the Federal Assembly, where he подписал договор о присоединении Крыма и Севастополя к Россииsigned an agreement on Crimea and Sevastopol joining Russia. On March 19, Конституционный Суд России признал договор законнымRussia's Constitutional Court approved the treaty. On March 20, the Госдума ратифицировала договорState Duma ratified the agreement on Crimea becoming a part of Russia, the final step in annexing a territory by Russian law.
Andrei Nesterov leads SRAS' Research Services, performing remote archive research and consultations for researchers around the globe. Andrei graduated from Ural State University (journalism) and Irkutsk State Linguistic University (English). He also studied public policy and journalism at Duke University on a Muskie Fellowship and taught Russian at West Virginia University. As a journalist, he has reported in both Russian and English language outlets and has years of archival research experience. He has travelled Russia extensively and penned many stories on the “real Russia” which lies beyond the capital and major cities. Andrei also contributes news, feature stories, and language resources to the SRAS Family of Sites.