• Contested territories
  • Annexed by Russia (18 March 2014)
  • Independence declared 16 March 2014
  • Area 27,000 km²
  • Population 2,416,856

Crimea is a peninsula in Eastern Europe, almost entirely surrounded by the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov. Internationally, it is recognized as being part of Ukraine, but it is ruled by Russia since its annexation in 2014. Following the Ukrainian revolution that ousted the Ukrainian pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych, the Crimean parliament and the Sevastopol City Council announced a referendum on the issue of joining Russia—a referendum that was called ‘a sham’ by the international community. In the meantime, the peninsula was taken over by Russian armed forces without insignias and pro-Russian separatists. Since then, the area is under Russia’s effective control.