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    Peninsula located on the north coast of the Black Sea
    Connected to Ukraine by the Isthmus of Perekop
    Area: 10,425 square miles (27,000 square kilometers)
    Population: 2,284,000 (2014 census)
    Part of the Crimean Khanate (1441-1783)
    Annexed by the Russian Empire (1783)
    Transferred from the Russian SFSR to the Ukrainian SSR (1954)
    Part of Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union (1991)
    Occupied by pro-Russian separatists and Russian armed forces (February, 2014)
    Annexed by Russia (March 18, 2014)
    The Mongol Golden Horde besieging the Crimean port of Kaffa engaged in primitive biological warfare by catapulting the bodies of bubonic plague victims into the city (1346); refugees returning to their native Genoa may have been responsible for the Black Death spreading through Western Europe.
    During the era of the Crimean Khanate, Crimean Tartars would raid Ukrainian lands for slaves; about 20,000 slaves were sold per year.
    It was physically devastated during the Crimean War (1853-56).
    It was the site of one of the largest masscres of the Russian Civil War, when Bolsheviks ordered the summary execution of 50,000 POWs and civilians after the defeat of White General Pyotr Wrangel (1920).
    Josef Stalin ordered the entire Crimean Tartar population deported to Central Asia for allegedly collaborating with the Germans during World War II.
    One hundred nations voted for a UN resolution declaring Russia's annexation of the Crimea illegal (March 27, 2014).
    Florence Nightingale began modern nursing during the Crimean War.
    The main port of Svestapol was declared a 'Hero City' for holding out against the Nazi German invasion for nine months.
    The resort city of Yalta was the second meeting of the It was a popular tourist destination for citizens of Eastern bloc countries during the Cold War.
    Crimean Tartars were allowed to return after the Supreme Soviet ruled that their deportation had been illegal (1989).
    The Crimean Bridge, connecting the peninsula to Russian territory, is the longest bridge in Europe.

Credit: C. Fishel

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