Perhaps one of the most surprising details of the history of Crimea comes when you discover that the vast majority of folk today are ignorant of the history of this great region. For many Russians that ignorance is willful, especially in view of the recent annexation of both Crimea and Sevastopol. The truth is that it will take Russia hundreds of years to equal the history of the ancient Greeks, the Scythians, the Ottoman Turks, the Golden Horde, the Tatars or the Cimmerians who occupied this land for centuries upon centuries.
History however doesn't however negate Russia's current control and history textbooks are written by the victors so we'll move forward.
Western readers are often surprised to learn that Sevastopol has been separate from Crimea during the Crimean Republic from the time of the Empire, during Soviet control, in the Ukrainian period and now again under Russian rule. It is within the Republic of Crimea but is a separate administrative city-state not governed by or subservient to the Republic of Crimea. Today Sevastopol is a federal city of the Russian Federation, one of only three of which Moscow and Saint Petersburg are the others.
Last year my friend and photo journalist Tamara Timofeeva captured both these photo scenes of Crimea and it is a beautiful place in the world.
When we speak of Crimea technically we do not refer to Crimea and Sevastopol together. When speaking of both we name each and if you want to know who is best at parsing the two, listen carefully to President Vladimir Putin. He knows his version of Russian history, relishes the idea of being the man who is reuniting the Russian/Soviet Empire and whether speaking to Cabinet Ministers or in speeches to the public, he carefully cultivates this idea of Crimea as a region but the even grander idea of Sevastopol as a self governoring city-state of the RF, a federal city just like Moscow and Piter, and you will see him put his full might into making Sevastopol into the kind of federal city he envisions.
I will move Sevastopol soon from the Ukraine section to this Russian section but first want to introduce you to Crimea. We'll move other cities such as Yalta over to this Russian section but first each city page will be updated.