The Crimean Peninsula, also known simply as Crimea, is a major land mass on the northern coast of the Black Sea that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. The peninsula is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson and west of the Russian region of Kuban.
In 1783, Crimea was annexed by the Russian Empire. Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, Crimea became a republic within the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic in the USSR, though later, during World War Two, it was downgraded to the Crimean Oblast. In 1954, the Crimean Oblast was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. It became the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine in 1991, with Sevastopol having its own administration, within Ukraine but outside of the Autonomous Republic.