Should Crimea Even Belong to Ukraine? — Why I Think Crimea Should Be Autonomous

Jakub Ferencik
5 min readMay 7, 2023

At the outset, I should be clear: Crimea belongs to Ukraine. As of now, it is illegally occupied due to Putin’s annexation in 2014.

In an ideal world, we would give Crimeans the right to decide the fate of Crimea. But we don’t live in that world. Putin is not willing to give up Crimea because its possession in Russian hands was hugely popular in Russia following the annexation.

Nonetheless, if it wasn’t for the forcible displacement of Crimean Tatars during Stalin’s reign to Central Asia (and some other historical reasons I’ll get into below), the majority of the population would not be Russian or Ukrainian.

Crimean Tatars were reduced from 98 percent of the peninsula in the 18th century to 12 percent in the 21st century.

Their history is forgotten. Here’s my hope to shed light on it once more.

Photo by Konstantin Dyadyun on Unsplash

As I said above — and I stress this — I firmly believe that the Crimean peninsula belongs to Ukraine. But if we were to be technical, Crimea shouldn’t belong to any Slavic nation. Instead, it belongs to Crimean Tatars who made up more than 98 percent of the population for centuries.

From Catherine the Great’s occupation to Joseph Stalin’s deportation, Crimean Tatars were slowly replaced by…



Jakub Ferencik

Journalist in Prague | Author of “Up in the Air,” “Beyond Reason,” & "Surprised by Uncertainty" on AMAZON | MA McGill Uni | 750+ articles with 1+ mil. views