Sevastopol (Ukrainian and Russian: Севастополь; Crimean Tatar: Aqyar) is a port city in Ukraine, located on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula. It has a population of 342,451 (2001). The city, formerly the home of the Soviet Black Sea Fleet, is now home to a Ukrainian naval base and facilities leased by the Russian Navy and used as the headquarters of both the Ukrainian Naval Forces and Russia's Black Sea Fleet. In 1993, the city was the subject of a territorial dispute between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
The unique geographic location and navigation conditions of the city's harbors make Sevastopol a strategically important naval point. It is also a popular seaside resort and tourist destination, mainly for visitors from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries.
The trade and shipbuilding importance of Sevastopol's Port has been growing since the fall of the Soviet Union, despite the difficulties that arise from the joint military control over its harbors and piers.
Sevastopol is also an important centre of marine biology research. In particular, studying and training of dolphins has been conducted in the city since the end of World War II. It was first conducted as a secret naval program to use the animals for special undersea operations.
The name of Sevastopolis
The name of Sevastopolis (Modern Greek: Σεβαστούπολη, Sevastoupoli, old-fashioned Σεβαστούπολις, Sevastoupolis), or currently Sevastopol, was originally chosen in the same etymological trend as other cities in the Crimean peninsula that was intended to reflect its ancient Greek origins. It is a compound of two Greek nouns, σεβαστός (sebastós, Modern sevastós) ('venerable') and πόλις (pólis) ('city'). Σεβαστός is the traditional Greek translation of the honorable Roman title Augustus ('venerable'), originally given to the first emperor of the Roman Empire, G. Julius Caesar Octavianus and later awarded as a title to his successors.
Despite its Greek origin, the name is not old. The city was probably named after the Empress ("Augusta") Catherine II of Russia who founded Sevastopol in 1783. She visited the city in 1787 accompanied by Joseph II, the Emperor of Austria, and other foreign dignitaries.
In the west of the city, there are well-preserved ruins of an ancient Greek port city Chersonesos founded in the 5th c. BC. The name means "peninsula" reflecting its location and is not related to the ancient Greek name for the Crimean Peninsula, Chersonēsos Taurikē ("the Taurian Peninsula").
Sevastopol together with Kronstadt and Gibraltar is one of the most famous naval citadels in Europe. It was founded in 1783 by Rear Admiral Makenzie, in Russian service, as a base for a naval squadron, when Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula. Five years earlier, Aleksandr Suvorov ordered that earth works be erected along the harbor and Russian troops be located there. At first, the place was called by its ancient name, Akhtiar. In February 1784, Catherine II (the Great) ordered Grigory Potyomkin (Grigoriy Potemkin) to build there a fortress and call it Sevastopol. The realization of the initial building plans fell to Captain F.F. Ushakov, in 1788 named commander of the port and of the Black Sea squadron. It became an important naval base and later a commercial port. In 1797 under an edict issued by Emperor Paul I, the military stronghold was renamed Akhtiar. Finally, on April 29 (May 10), 1826, the Senate returned the city's name to Sevastopol.
One of the most notable events involving the city is the Siege of Sevastopol (1854–1855) carried out by the British, French, Sardinian, and Turkish troops during the Crimean War, which lasted for 11 months. Despite its efforts, the Russian army had to leave its stronghold and evacuate over a pontoon bridge to the north shore of the inlet. The Russians had to sink their entire fleet to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy and at the same time to block the entrance of the Western ships into the inlet. When the enemy troops entered Sevastopol, they were faced with the ruins of a formerly glorious city.
A panorama of the siege originally was created by Franz Roubaud. Later after its destruction in 1942 during WWII, it was restored and is being housed in a specially constructed circular building in the city. It portrays the situation in the height of the siege, on 18 June 1855.
Eduard Totleben Monument in Sevastopol (1909) During World War II, Sevastopol withstood bombardment by the Germans in 1941–1942, during the Axis siege which lasted for 250 days before it fell in July 1942. During the German occupation the city was renamed as "Theodorichhafen" in 1942 and was administered by the Wehrmacht jurisdiction as the rest of the Crimea for the future colonization by Greater Germany. It was liberated by the Red Army on May 9, 1944 and was awarded with the Hero City title a year later.In 1957, the town of Balaklava was incorporated into Sevastopol.
During the Soviet era, Sevastopol became a so-called "closed city". This meant that any non-residents had to apply to the authorities for a temporary permit to visit the city. It was directly subordinate to the central Russian SFSR authorities rather than the local oblast and later (after 1978) to the Ukrainian SSR administration.
On December 11, 1992, the President of Ukraine called the attempt of "the Russian deputies to charge the Russian parliament with a task to define the status of Sevastopol as an imperial disease". On December 17, 1992, the office of the Ukrainian presidential representative in Crimea was created, which caused a wave of protests a month later. Among the protesters that created the unsanctioned rally were the Sevastopol branches of the National Salvation Front, the Russian Popular Assembly, and the All-Crimean Movement of the Voters for the Republic of Crimea. The protest was held in Sevastopol on January 10 at the Nakhimov Square. On July 10, 1993 the Russian parliament passed a resolution declaring Sevastopol to be "a federal Russian city". At the time many supporters of then President Yeltsin had ceased taking part in the Parliaments work. On April 14, 1993 the Presidium of the Crimean parliament called for the creation of the presidential post of the Crimean Republic. A week later the Russian deputy, Valentin Agafonov, stated that Russia is ready to supervise the referendum on Crimean independence and include the republic as a separate entity in the CIS. On July 28, 1993, one of the leaders of the Russian Society of Crimea, Viktor Prusakov, stated that his organization is ready for an armed mutiny and establishment of the Russian administration in Sevastopol. In September Eduard Baltin accused Ukraine of converting some of his fleet and conducting an armed assault on his personnel, and threatened to take countermeasures of placing the fleet on alert. In May 1997, Russia and Ukraine signed the "Peace & Friendship" treaty ruling out Moscow's territorial claims to Ukraine.
Like in the rest of the Crimea, Russian remains the predominant language in the city, although following the independence of Ukraine there have been some attempts at Ukrainization that have had very little success. Government-appointed administration retains formal control of Sevastopol's life (such as of taxation and civil policing) and tries to avoid confrontation with the Black Sea Fleet command and pro-Russian groups. A few years ago, the Communist-dominated city council rejected an EBRD loan to renovate Sevastopol's poor sewage system, declaring that the project was intended to increase the city's dependence on the Ukrainian government and the West.
The WE Youth Political Organization, which advocates Russian citizenship for Sevastopol residents, published a poll in 2004 claiming "72% of the Sevastopol citizens support the idea of the independent status of Crimea. The Crimea is an autonomous Republic within Ukraine. Besides, 95% of the respondents support the constant stationing of the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol even after 2045, when the time of the corresponding agreement between Russia and Ukraine is up. Also, 100% of those polled are for the having the option for citizens of Sevastopol of dual citizenship, Russian and Ukrainian. It is notable, however, that of those expressing a desire to be able to obtain Russian citizenship only 16% of the Sevastopol citizens are ready to give up the Ukrainian one.
Sights and monuments
After World War II, Sevastopol was entirely rebuilt. Many top architects and civil engineers from Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and other cities and thousands of workers from all parts of the USSR took part in the rebuilding process which was mostly finished by the mid-1950s. The downtown core situated on a peninsula between two narrow inlets, South Bay and Artillery Bay, features mostly Mediterranean-style, three-story residential buildings with columned balconies and Venetian-style arches, with retail and commercial spaces occupying the ground level. Some carefully restored landmarks date back to the early 20th c. (e.g., the Art Nouveau Main Post Office on Bolshaya Morskaya St and the Art Museum on Nakhimovsky Prospect). It has been a long-time tradition for the residents of surrounding suburbs to spend summer evenings by coming to the downtown area for a leisurely stroll with their families along the avenues and boulevards encircling the Central Hill, under the famous Sevastopol chestnut trees, and usually ending up on the waterfront with its famous Marine Boulevard.
Due to its military history, most streets in the city are named after Russian and Soviet military heroes. There are hundreds of monuments and plaques in various parts of Sevastopol commemorating its military past.
Modern Sevastopol City
Founded in 1783 as the base of the Black Sea Navy of Russia, Sevastopol city grew out of bounds of naval base and became one of the biggest Ukrainian sea ports, a cultural, historical and recreation-tourist center. The laws of Ukraine are in force at the territory of the city. The city has a certain city status of the central submission. The legislative authority is the city Council of people's deputies. The executive authority is the city state administration. The official languages are Ukrainian and Russian. The monetary unit is hryvna. The majority of believers are Orthodox.
Sevastopol - Its heart is beating full of warmth and youth. Thrice born, uniquely beautiful, to its last stone, it is the bright chronicle of feats, and Sevastopol monuments are the imperishable lines of it. They are kept by the Black sea waves, rocks of the coast, streets and squares, which can't be imagined without slim, neat seamen, the worthy heirs of glory of their fathers and grandfathers, and without numerous monuments. There are more than one thousand and four hundred of monuments, 985 of them are the monuments of history, placed by grateful descendants at the places of bloody battles and soldiers burial places at times of the Crimean (Eastern) War and the Great Patriotic War. Sevastopol monuments and obelisks are the chronicles of the city, which celebrated its 200th anniversary in 1983 and is preparing to celebrate its 220th anniversary in 2003. But there have been so many significant events for these years, so many deeds done, so many famous names, that we come up to the point - the city is proving its given name with honor!
The white colonnade of the Grafskaya Wharf has been decorating the city since 1846. Starting from Nakhimov Square, situated in the center of Sevastopol, its granite steps go down to the sea. The image of the Grafskaya Wharf has become a specific emblem of the hero-city: the whole history of Sevastopol from foundation to the present days relates to this architecture monument. Four wide solemn flights of stairs go from the sea surface up to the white colonnade. The stairs are surrounded by the retaining walls from both sides. Two rows of refined Doric columns (6 in each row) support the strict classical frieze with the small parapet cornice above. The higher parapet (attic) decorates it and shows the date of the building - 1846. There are two antic statures made by Italian sculptor Fernando Pellichio, situated in the bays of the colonnade. Two lying lions, made by the same master, complete the set of the stairs at the way down to the sea. As it was planned by the admiral Lazarev, the wharf became the front berth of Sevastopol. Today the Grafskaya Wharf, one of the oldest monuments of the city and its decoration, still shares all worries and joys of Sevastopol.
One of the most beautiful squares of the city, the admiral Nakhimov Square, starts from the Grafskaya Wharf. It has the monument of the admiral in the center. The authors of the monument are the sculptor, laureate of Lenin and State Premium, national artist of the USSR, hero of Socialistic Labor, academician Tomskiy N.V. and the architect Chesakov M.Z. The Nakhimov Square, Nakhimov street, and Nakhimov district prove deep respect to the memory of the hero of the Sinopskaya battle and the first heroic defense of the city, the talented naval commander, the true patriot of Russia.
Primorskiy Boulevard and its monuments are situated in the beginning of Nakhimov Street, across the Seaman's Boulevard. This is one of the most favorite places of Sevastopol people for having rest. It's not only the wonderful view to the raid and the famous Sevastopol Bay, but also the cozy nooks of rest and pictorial alleys, which attract visitors. Primorskiy Boulevard is the complex of monuments and memorial places, which show the events, happened in Sevastopol since the day of its foundation.
In several meters from the wharf of the Primorskiy Boulevard, at the 3 meters cliff, built from roughly processed granite blocks, the shaped Corinthian column - the monument of the Sunk Ships - is raising. The bronze eagle with spread wings crowns it. With bent head, it has a laurel wreath in its beak. The inscription at the pedestal says: "In memory of the ships sunk in 1854-1855, to block the entrance into the roadstead". The monument was build to the honor of the ships, which were sunk in the Crimean War to defend Sevastopol from enemy attacks from the sea. The total height of the monument is 16, 66 m. The anchors from the sunken ships are attached to the wall of the wharf of the Primorskiy Boulevard, across the monument. Today this romantic monument, one of the favorites of Sevastopol people, is shown at the Sevastopol flag.
The modern Sevastopol looks proudly in the mirror of its bays; it is one of the biggest industrial, cultural and scientific centers of the south of Ukraine, one of the most beautiful cities. It became bigger and better after the war. In the fifties of XX century, at times of the high working enthusiasm in the USSR, the circle of central streets and squares was built up. Then the outlying districts were changed to better. The new many-storied housing estates were built; each of these districts has almost the size of the prewar Sevastopol. The avenues of Octyabrskoy Revolyutsii, Pobedy (Victory), general Ostryakov, the streets of Dmitriy Uliyanov and Khustaleva, they are wide and beautiful, open towards the sun and the sea.
A big part of Ukrainian fishing, transport-refrigerating and scientific-research fleets is based in Sevastopol; there are developed ship-repairing, radio-electronic industries, the power construction and the agro industrial complexes. There are more than 10 thousand enterprises of different industrial fields and forms of property in the administrative borders of the city.
Majority of the big enterprises is developed in the fishing catching and processing fields. Every year floating and coastal tinned food factories produce millions of tons of canned fish goods and thousands of tons of different smoked, dried and pickled production. The entire sea transport-refrigerating fleet of Ukraine is based in Sevastopol, which is 4 % of the world's refrigerating fleet.
There are six ship-repairing factories in the city, which can make repair of all kinds and classes of the ships. Workers of the docks have a big experience in repairing the ships of different countries of the world.
The most power sea-floating cranes of the former Soviet Union with tonnage from 100 to 1600 tons were being built at the Sevastopol Sea Factory of S. Ordzhonikidze. The floating cranes are easy to use in ports, at shipbuilding plants and in the open water areas. They perform all kinds of sea load lifting, building and assembly, and emergency rescuing jobs.
The enterprises of the former military-industrial establishment of the USSR, the radio electronics and instrument-making enterprises take a special part in the industrial potential of the city.
Balaklava's ore plant takes an important part in the city economics, it produces metallurgical limestone; and such building materials as crushed stone of different fractions, marble aggregate, quarry stone and others are produced from the raw materials, which can't be used for limestone producing.
Construction enterprises of Sevastopol make building materials from the Inkerman stone that is exported to many countries of the world.
Clothing and knitting industry consists of several enterprises, which produce garments that are in demand in all regions of Ukraine. The garment factory of N. Onilova is provided with the programmed complex aggregates. The factory puts on sale thousands suits a year.
Agriculture of the region specializes in gardening, wine growing and vegetable growing. Sevastopol is one of the most significant grapes regions of Ukraine; the area for vineyards is about 8 thousand hectares. Sevastopol grapes have a high quality and a variety of sorts; the selected table wines were produced here. The rich technological, producing base of wine-making and the store experience make the city a supplier of the best grape wines and champagne in Ukraine.
External economic links of Sevastopol city and other countries are constantly developing. The foreign trade turnover of the city was 254, 1 millions USD in 2009. There are more than 100 joint ventures working in the city. The companies of the city make export and import operations with partners from 100 countries. Commodity composition of export output is mostly based on fishing production delivery abroad - 55% of the total volume, canned fish delivery - 34, 2%, and also on ferrous metallurgy, marine engines with spares and others. Non-ferrous metallurgy goods, varnishes and paints, cable, plastic goods, video equipment, measuring instruments, perfumes and cosmetics, fuel, diesel oil, technical oil and other stuff are imported. All the year round, Sevastopol marine commercial and fish port realizes transportation of different frights, including oils, with the total volume up to 1, 5 million tons a year.
According to the Decree of Ukrainian Government, Sevastopol city became open for visitors from other countries, and foreign ships can enter the ports. About 500 thousand tourists, including 12-15 thousand of foreign tourists, visit Sevastopol every year. There are 15 hotels for 1500 persons, more than twenty restaurants for more than 1000 seats and more than 500 stores.
The efficient geographical location of the city, the auspicious natural-climatic conditions, the quite high resort potential and the experience of the international activity presume to consider the perspectives of the region development as a big international commercial industrial and tourist center of the south of Ukraine.
The transport complex of the city consists of 6 train stations with length of the branch lines 35 km and manufacture of 600 freight cars per day. The carrying capacity is 23 train pairs per day. The train branches and dead-end sidings lead to the most of Sevastopol bays, where the freight transportation is realized.
The main motorways Sevastopol-Simferopol (the traffic capacity is 18 thousand ones per day) and Sevastopol-Yalta (the same traffic capacity) provide the highway connection of Sevastopol to all regions of Crimea.
The city has a good mooring line; its length is more than 30 km. There are 287 berths in the city; some of them are deep-water, equipped for loading the large-capacity vessels with settlement up to 10-12 m.
The city has two first class aerodromes (the runway is 3, 2 km) that can bring to land passenger and transport airplanes of all kinds. The aerodrome Belbek can realize working with 500 tons of freight and 500 passengers per day.
The scientific and educational base of the city consists of 12 research institutes and research and development organizations, including 2 research institutes of the Ukraine National Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol National Technical University for 10 thousand students, Sevastopol Naval Institute, Sevastopol Institute of nuclear energy and industry, 17 branches of higher institutes, 12 technical and specialized schools, 60 secondary schools, colleges and lyceums.
In 1999 the branch of Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov was opened in Sevastopol. More than 60 thousand people have the higher education, 8 thousand people have incomplete higher education, and 75 thousand people have specialized secondary education. 8 Academicians, 3 Corresponding Members of the Sciences Academy, 82 Doctors of Science, and more than 600 candidates of science are working at the scientific and educational institutions, at enterprises and organizations of the city.