Crimean Oblast

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Crimean Oblast


part of the Ukrainian SSR. Formed on June 30, 1945. Until Feb. 19, 1954, part of the RSFSR. Area, 27,000 sq km. Population, 1,909,000 (1972). It is divided into 14 raions and has 14 cities and 49 urban-type settlements. The administrative center is Simferopol’.

Crimean Oblast has been awarded the Order of Lenin (Oct. 25, 1958) and the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (Dec. 14, 1970).

Population. Most of the population of Crimean Oblast are Russian (67.3 percent in 1970) and Ukrainian (26.5 percent). Byelorussians (2.2 percent) and Jews (1.4 percent) are among the other groups in the population. The average population density is 70.7 per sq km. The most densely populated areas are the southern shore of the Crimea, the northern piedmont regions, and the regions along the Dzhankoi-Simferopol’-Sevastopol’ railroad. Of the total population, 65 percent is urban. The most important cities are Simferopol’, Sevastopol’, Kerch’, and health resorts such as Yalta, Evpatoria, Saki, Feodosia, Alupka, and Alushta.

Economy. Crimean Oblast is an important region for mining and for the chemicals industry, but machine building, food processing, light industry, and the building materials industry are also well developed. Agriculture is very intensive and diversified. Crimean Oblast is a health-resort area for the entire Soviet Union, as well as a tourist region.

In 1972 the total output of all industries was 11.1 times greater than in 1940. The industrial energy base consists of the Simferopol’, Sevastopol’, and Kamysh-Burun State Regional Power Plants, which operate chiefly on fuel shipped in from other parts of the country. During the last few years (1960–70) some natural gas deposits have been discovered in the western and northern parts of Crimean Oblast. They are already being exploited. A local gas pipeline has been built from Glebovka (on the Tarkhankut Peninsula) to Simferopol’ and Sevastopol’. In addition, Simferopol’ is supplied with gas from a deposit at Dzhankoi.

Among the leading branches of industry are metallurgy and the mining of iron ore, both of which depend on major deposits of iron ore near Kerch’. The chief enterprises in these branches of industry are the Kamysh-Burun Iron-Ore Combine, with its high-capacity, highly mechanized quarries and dressing and agglomeration factories, and the Voikov Kerch’ metallurgical Plant. Of great importance to the economy are machine building and metalworking, whose major enterprises include shipyards in Kerch’ and Sevastopol’, as well as plants producing equipment for the food-processing and wine-making industries (Simferopol’), television sets and spare parts for farm machinery (Simferopol’), tractor trailers (Dzhankoi), and hoisting and transportation equipment (Feodosia). Because there are reserves of various salts in the waters of the Sivash and the largest lakes, a chemicals industry developed in the Crimean Oblast. The Saki and Krasnoperekopsk bromine plants are among the many enterprises in this branch. In Simferopol’ there are plants that produce plastic and rubber goods.

The principal branch of industry is food processing, which accounted for more than 50 percent of the total industrial output in 1972. Wine-making, fish processing, canning, tobacco, essential oils, and the meat-and-dairy industry are particularly important. The finest Crimean wines, which are produced by the Massandra and Zolotaia Balka combines, are world-famous. The principal wineries are concentrated near the cities of Yalta, Alushta, Sevastopol’, Simferopol’, Feodosia, Sudak, and Staryi Krym.

Fish processing has developed in Kerch’, Yalta, Sevastopol’, and Evpatoria. The canning industry (vegetables and fruits) is concentrated in Simferopol’, Dzhankoi, and Bakhchisarai. In Sevastopol’ and Feodosia there are factories that produce grape juice. There is a tobacco factory in Feodosia, and in Simferopol’ and Yalta, tobacco-curing enterprises. In 1971, Crimean Oblast supplied about 40 percent of the Soviet Union’s total output of rose oil and more than 60 percent of its lavender oil. Enterprises producing essential oils are located in Simferopol’, Bakhchisarai, Alushta, Sudak, and Nizhnegorskii. The chief centers of the meat-and-dairy industry are Simferopol’, Sevastopol’, Kerch’, Yalta, and Evpatoria. The flour, macaroni, and other food-processing industries are well developed.

In Simferopol’ there are light industrial enterprises producing knit goods, cotton, woven fabrics, garments, leather goods and haberdashery, and leather footwear. There is a stocking factory in Feodosia, and in Sevastopol’ and Kerch’ there are light industries. The building-materials industry, which relies on local raw materials, produces stone blocks for walls, bricks, precast rein-forced concrete, and cement (Simferopol’, Yalta, Sevastopol’, Kerch’, and Bakhchisarai).

The principal branches of agriculture are viticulture, horticulture, the production of essential-oil and field crops, and meatand-dairy animal husbandry. In 1972 there were 119 kolkhozes in Crimean Oblast (excluding fishing kolkhozes) and 144 sovkhozes. In 1972 467,400 hectares (ha) were sown with cereal crops, including 197,400 ha of winter wheat, 49,000 ha of seed corn and 3,100 ha of legumes. In the same year, 94,700 ha were sown with industrial crops (sunflowers, essential-oil crops, tobacco, and flax for tow), 20,000 ha with vegetables, and 15,000 ha with potatoes. Fodder grasses are also cultivated. More than three-fourths of the arable lands are concentrated in the steppe zone, which is the chief agricultural region.

Crimean Oblast ranks second in the Ukrainian SSR in total grape harvest (2,125,100 centners in 1972). The total area of vineyards is 108,700 ha and the total area of orchards and berry plantings, 67,600 ha. The principal areas for perennial fruit plantings are situated in the central and piedmont belt. Located in the southern coastal and piedmont regions are tobacco plantations and areas sown with essential-oil crops (roses, lavender, and nutmeg sage). In 1973 the Northern Crimean Canal, which will make it possible to irrigate the arid Crimean Steppe with water from the Dnieper, was under construction. (By 1971 water had been supplied to Kerch’.) Besides the basic farm crops, rice is being grown on the irrigated lands (more than 200,000 ha).

Meat-and-dairy animal husbandry is important in the steppe regions, whereas in the piedmont areas there is a greater emphasis on dairy products than on meat. As of Jan. 1,1973, there were 651,200 cattle, including 228,400 cows, as well as 406,700 pigs and 953,400 sheep and goats. Poultry farming has also been developed.

As of 1971, Crimean Oblast had 631 km of railroads. The most important trunk lines are the Sevastopol’-SimferopoFDzhankoi line and the Krasnoperekopsk-Dzhankoi-Feodosia-Kerch’ line. Crimean Oblast is connected with the railroad network of the Northern Caucasus by an electric diesel ferry across the Kerch’ Straits. As of 1972 there were about 5,700 km of paved automobile roads. The principal highways run from Yalta to Simferopol’ and from Yalta to Sevastopol’. The first mountain trolley built in the USSR was the Simferopol’-Alushta-Yalta line. The most important seaports are Feodosia, Kerch’, Sevastopol’, and Yalta. Air transportation links Crimean Oblast with Moscow, Kiev, Leningrad, and other cities in the USSR.


Educational scientific, and cultural institutions. During the academic year 1914–15 there were 849 general education schools (67,000 pupils), seven specialized secondary educational institutions (500 pupils), and no higher educational institutions on the territory of Crimean Oblast. By contrast, during the academic year 1971–72 there were 895 general education schools of all types (enrollment, 326,900), 31 vocational-technical schools (15,800 students), and 27 specialized secondary educational institutions (24,600 students). The oblast’s higher educational institutions—a university and agricultural and medical institutes in Simferopol’ and an instrument-manufacturing institute in Sevastopol’ with a branch in Simferopol’ and a general technical department in Kerch’—had an enrollment of 22,000. In 1971, 112,400 children were enrolled in 1,175 preschool institutions.

Crimean Oblast has a number of scientific research institutes and their branches and divisions. Among the most important of them are the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (AN SSSR), located at the Nauchnyi settlement near Bakhchisarai, the Marine Hydrophysics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (Sevastopol’), the Institute of Biology of the Southern Seas of the Academy of Sciences of the Ukrainian SSR (Sevastopol’), and the Nikita Botanical Gardens of the Lenin All-Union Order of Lenin Academy of Agricultural Sciences (Yalta). Other major scientific institutions include the Sechenov Scientific Research Institute for the Study of Physical Methods of Treatment and Medical Climatology (Yalta), the Magarach Ail-Union Scientific Research Institute of Wine-making and Viticulture (Yalta), and the Azov-Black Seas Scientific Research Institute of Marine Fishery and Oceanography (Kerch’).

As of Jan. 1, 1972, Crimean Oblast had 1,080 public libraries (13.1 million copies of books and journals). There are 15 museums in the oblast, including the oblast museum of local lore and the art gallery in Simferopol’, the Museum of the Heroic Defense and Liberation of Sevastopol’, the Chersonesus Historical-Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet, and art galleries in Sevastopol’, historical and archaeological museums in Kerch’ and Bakhchisarai, and museums of local lore in Yalta (including the Museum Home of N. Z. Biriukov), Evpatoria, and Feodosia. The oblast’s other museums are the I. K. Aivazovskii Picture Gallery in Feodosia, the Museum Home of A. P. Chekhov in Yalta, the S. M. Sergeev-Tsenskii Literary Memorial Museum in Alushta, and the Alupka Palace Museum.

In 1972 there were five theaters—the M. Gorky Russian Drama Theater, the Ukrainian Music Drama Theater, the oblast puppet theater in Simferopol’, the A. V. Lunacharskii Russian Drama Theater, and the Theater of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol’. The oblast has a philharmonic society, 936 club-type institutions, 1,411 motion-picture theaters, and 56 extracurricular institutions.

The oblast newspapers are Krymskaia pravda (since 1918; in Ukrainian since 1959), Kurortnaia gazeta (since 1939), and Krymskii komsomolets (since 1933). Oblast television carries broadcasts for four hours and 47 minutes per day. Local radio broadcasts are carried for two hours and 40 minutes per day. Radio and television broadcasts are relayed from Moscow and Kiev.

Public health. The Crimea’s favorable climate and beautiful scenery, its mud-bottom lakes and mineral springs, and its famous historical and architectural landmarks have long made it famous as a place for medical treatment, rest, and recreation. The most outstanding areas are the southern coast, where the principal climatic and seaside health resorts are located (Yalta, Simeiz, Alupka, Miskhor, Livadia, Gurzuf, and Alushta), the western coast (for the most part, mud-bath resorts—Evpatoria and Saki, which use medicinal mud from the salt lakes), and the southeastern coast (climatic resorts at Feodosia, Planerskoe, and Sudak). In 1971 there were 105 sanatoriums with 40,000 beds (1,500 beds in 1913), 24 workers’ resorts with 6,300 places, and 21 boarding houses with 8,300 places. There were 1,200 physicians employed in the sanatoriums and health resorts.

In addition, as of Jan. 1, 1972, the oblast’s public health division was operating 157 hospital-type institutions with 19,800 beds (10.3 per 1,000 inhabitants). These institutions employed 8,900 physicians (one per 214 inhabitants).

TOURISM. The Crimea is a major center for tourism. In 1972 there were 20 tourist facilities with 7,900 places, 109 recreational facilities with 9,600 places, and six boarding houses for tourists traveling by automobile (including the Primor’e—the largest in the USSR). There are also automobile, hiking, and maritime travel routes for tourists. Among the automobile routes are the Crimean route (Simferopol’-Bakhchisarai-Sevastopol’-Yalta-Alushta) and a road through the eastern Crimea. There are several hiking trails through the Crimean forests, the Crimean Mountains area (Simferopol’-Bakhchisarai-Sevastopol’-Sokolinoe-Yalta), the central Crimea, the mountains of the Crimea, eastern Crimea, and southwestern Crimea. In addition, several trails pass through sites of partisan fighting in the eastern Crimea (Simferopol’-Bakhchisarai-Sevastopol’, then through the eastern Crimea to Feodosia). There is a trail to Kerch’ (the Adzhimushkai stone quarry).


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Petrov, B. I., and N. G. Novikov. Ot Alushty do Baidar: Putevoditel’. Simferopol’, 1969.
Makhneva, V., and G. Sergeeva. Turistskimi tropami Kryma: Putevoditel’. Simferopol’, 1971.
V katakombakh Adzhimushkaia, 2nd ed. Simferopol’, 1970.
Krym za 50 let Sovetskoi vlasti. Simferopol’, 1970.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.