The republic is situated on the Crimea peninsula. It is between the Black Sea in the west and south, and the Sea of Azov — in the east. In the east the Crimea is separated from Russia by the Kerch Strait.
The total area of the republic is 26 100 km2, population is 2 137 700. It is divided into 15 regions and 15 cities.
Symferopol is the administrative centre of the Crimea.
The Crimea consists of two very different parts — treeless steppe of the Crimean Lowland in the northern and central parts, and the Crimean Mountains in the south.
The Crimean steppe, with its continental climate and steppe soils, occupies four-fifths of the territory.
The Crimean Mountains consist of a narrow range of foothills and a low mountain chain covered with forests and high pastures. Below the mountains in the south there is a narrow coastal lowland — the Crimeansouthern shore — with a Mediterranian climate and vegetation.
The rivers are short and shallow. On the northern slopes of the Crimean Mountains we find the Chorna, the Belbek, the Kacha, the Alma, the Salhyr and other rivers. There are also salt lakes there, such as the Sasyk, the Aktash and others.
It is rich in natural resources, such as iron ore, natural gas, building materials, and salt from the lakes. Russians constitute 67.2 percent of the population, Ukrainians — 26.5 percent and there are 300 000 Tatars.
Food production is the Crimea's main industry. Food industry produces canned goods, fish and wines. Agriculture mostly specializes in plant-growing, vine-growing and animal husbandry. It is followed by iron-ore mining, metallurgy and machine-building.
The main sea-ports are Kerch, Teodosia, Yalta, Sevastopol, and Yevpatoria. The Crimea is also the main resort and tourist area of Ukraine.
The artist I. Ayvazovsky and the polar explorer I. Papanin were born in the Crimea.