Crimea, (Russian: Крым), (Ukrainian: Крим) sometimes also called The Crimea, is a peninsula in the Black Sea that separates it from the Sea of Azov. Crimea has a surface of 26,081 square kilometres (10,070 sq mi). It is about 200 kilometres (120 mi) by 320 kilometres (200 mi). About 2.4 million people live there.
Crimea was part of Russia until the Soviet Union gave it to Ukraine in 1954. Ukraine gave it a limited self-rule as an autonomous republic. The seat of the government is Simferopol, which is also the biggest city. Other major cities are Sevastopol and Kerch.
In March 2014, after a series of protests in Ukraine the previous month, Russian troops took control of Crimea. A referendum was held in which over 95% of voters voted to join the Russian Federation. The Crimean Parliament quickly proclaimed independence from Ukraine and on March 18. The area became the Republic of Crimea, a federal subject of Russia.
However, Ukraine and most other countries in the world continue to recognize Crimea as part of Ukraine. On March 24, Russia expelled from the G8 (which became the G7), and on March 27, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 68/262, which states that the referendum was invalid and Crimea still belongs to Ukraine. In later months, the United States, the European Union, and other places started economic sanctions to prevent Russian people and goods from entering those countries.