Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine Date in the current year: January 20, 2024

Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine The Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea is a Ukrainian observance held every January 20. It was created to commemorate the 1991 Crimean sovereignty referendum that resulted in the re-establishment of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

Crimea is a peninsula situated in Eastern Europe along the northern coast of the Black Sea. Throughout its early history it was ruled by the First Persian Empire, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Republic of Genoa, the Ottoman Empire, and the Golden Horde.

The Crimean Khanate was in control of the peninsula from 1449 to 1783. It was a vassal state of the Ottoman Empire. Following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War and a series of revolts, Crimea was annexed by Russia. It changed hands several times during the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing civil war before finally being conquered by the Red Army.

The Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic was originally created in 1921 within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. During World War II, the peninsula was invaded and temporarily occupied by Nazi Germany. Following the liberation of Crimea by the Red Army, hundreds of thousands of the Crimean Tatars, Russian Germans, Bulgarians, Armenians and Greeks were deported from Crimea to Central Asia.

After the war, Crimea was stripped of its autonomy and transformed into an oblast (region or province) of Russia. Following the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953, the new Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred the Crimean Oblast to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. The transfer was formalized in February 1954.

In 1988, the collapse of the Soviet Union began, as some of its constituent republics began to lean towards independence. Two years later, the Communist Party gave up its monopoly on political power, and all Soviet republics held their first relatively free and competitive elections.

On January 20, 1991, two years after the return of the Crimean Tatars from their exile in Central Asia, a sovereignty referendum was held in Crimea. Residents of the Crimean Oblast of the Ukrainian SSR were asked whether they supported the re-establishment of the Crimean ASSR; 94% of the voters voted “yes”.

The autonomous status of Crimea was officially restored on February 12, 1991. On August 24, Ukraine declared its independence from the Soviet Union. In February 1992, the Crimean ASSR was renamed the Republic of Crimea. In June, it was granted the status of an autonomous republic within Ukraine.

The anniversary of the 1991 referendum on the sovereignty of Crimea is observed as the Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Although it isn’t an official holiday in Ukraine, the government of the republic used to organize festive events on the occasion.

In February and March 2014, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea; since then, the Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea has been observed in Ukraine as a sign of hope that one day Ukraine will restore control over the Crimean Peninsula. Six days later, Ukrainians observe the Day of Resistance to Occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

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Day of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, observances in Ukraine, holidays in Ukraine, Crimean sovereignty referendum, Crimea