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Coordinates: 44°57′7″N 34°6′8″E / 44.95194°N 34.10222°E / 44.95194; 34.10222
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Ukrainian transcription(s)
 • NationalSimferopol
 • ALA-LCSimferopol′
 • BGN/PCGNSimferopol’
 • ScholarlySimferopol′
Clockwise: The railway station, Kebir-Jami, Karl Marx Street, the State Medical University, Trinity Cathedral, Salgirka Park
Clockwise: The railway station, Kebir-Jami, Karl Marx Street, the State Medical University, Trinity Cathedral, Salgirka Park
Flag of Simferopol
Coat of arms of Simferopol
Город пользы  (in Russian)
The City of Usefulness  (translation)
Simferopol is located in Ukraine
Simferopol is located in Crimea
Coordinates: 44°57′7″N 34°6′8″E / 44.95194°N 34.10222°E / 44.95194; 34.10222
Country Ukraine (occupied by Russia)
Autonomous republicCrimea (de jure)
RaionSimferopol Raion (de jure)
Federal subjectCrimea (de facto)
MunicipalitySimferopol Municipality (de facto)
Founded215th century
  • Zaliznychnyi District
  • Tsentralnyi District
  • Kyivskyi District
 • HeadMikhail Afanasev (de facto)
 • Total107 km2 (41 sq mi)
350 m (1,150 ft)
 • Total332,317
 • Density3,183.17/km2 (8,244.4/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3
Postal code
Area code+7 3652
Licence plateAK(UA) 82(Rus)[1]
Sister citiesHeidelberg, Kecskemét, Salem, Bursa, Eskişehir, Ruse, Nizhny Novgorod
Websitesimgov.ru (Russian administration)
1 United Nations General Assembly Resolution 68/262
2 Founded in 1784 as Simferopol, a Russian city. The settlement was previously known by the Crimean Tatar name Aqmescit.

Simferopol (/ˌsɪmfəˈrpəl/), also known as Aqmescit,[a] is the second-largest city on the Crimean Peninsula. The city, along with the rest of Crimea, is internationally recognised as part of Ukraine, and is considered the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

Since 2014 it has been under the de facto control of Russia, which annexed Crimea that year and regards Simferopol as the capital of the Republic of Crimea.

Simferopol is an important political, economic and transport hub of the peninsula, and serves as the administrative centre of both Simferopol Municipality and the surrounding Simferopol District. Its population was 332,317 (2014 Census).[2]

After the 1784 annexation of the Crimean Khanate by the Russian Empire, the Russian empress decreed the foundation of a city named Simferopol on the location of the Crimean Tatar town of Aqmescit ("White Mosque").


The name Simferopol (Ukrainian: Сімферо́поль [sʲimfeˈrɔpɔlʲ] ; Russian: Симферо́поль [sʲɪmfʲɪˈropəlʲ]) comes from the Greek Sympheropoli (Greek: Συμφερόπολη, romanizedSymferópoli, lit.'city of common good'. The spelling Symferopil (Ukrainian: Симферопіль) is also used.[3]

In Crimean Tatar, the name of the city is Aqmescit (or in Cyrillic, Акъмесджит, lit. 'The white mosque', from Aq "white", and mescit "mosque"). But aq does not refer to the colour of the mosque, but rather to its location in cosmology. The Turkic peoples give a colour designation to the cardinal points, and white is the west. Thus, the exact translation of the name of the town is "the Western Mosque."

In English, the name was often given as Akmechet or Ak-Mechet (e.g. in Encyclopædia Britannica),[4]. This was a transliteration from the Russian spelling of Crimean Tatar word Акмечет, Ак-Мечеть, where Mechet (Мечеть) is the Russian word for "mosque".


Early history

The city in 1856, by Carlo Bossoli.

Archaeological evidence in the Chokurcha cave [ru; uk] shows the presence of ancient people living in the territory of modern Simferopol. The Scythian Neapolis, known by its Greek name, is also located in the city, which is the remnants of an ancient capital of the Crimean Scythians who lived in the territory from the 3rd century BC to the 4th century AD.[5]

Later, the Crimean Tatars founded the town of Aqmescit. For some time, Aqmescit was the residence of the Qalğa-Sultan, the second most important position in the Crimean Khanate after the Khan himself.[6] The area of the city once known as Aqmescit is today called Old Simferopol.

Russian Empire

Ruins of Greek chapel near Simferopol and Chatyr-Dag, pictured in 1810

In 1784 modern Ukrainian[citation needed] Simferopol was founded after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is in Greek, Συμφερόπολις (Simferopolis)[citation needed] and literally means "the city of usefulness." The tradition of Greek place names in newly acquired southern territories began with the Greek Plan of Russian Empress Catherine the Great.[7] In 1802, Simferopol became the administrative centre of the Taurida Governorate. During the Crimean War of 1854–1856, the Russian Imperial Army reserves and a hospital were stationed in the city. After the war, more than 30,000 Russian soldiers were buried in the city's vicinity.

20th-century wars

In the 20th century, Simferopol was once again affected by wars and conflicts in the region. At the end of the Russian Civil War, the headquarters of General Pyotr Wrangel, leader of the anti-Bolshevik White Army, were located there. On 13 November 1920, the Red Army captured the city and on 18 October 1921, Simferopol became the capital of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

OT-34, monument of World War II

During World War II, Simferopol was occupied by Nazi Germany from 1 November 1941 to 13 April 1944. Retreating NKVD police shot a number of prisoners on 31 October 1941 in the NKVD building and the city's prison.[8] Germans perpetrated one of the largest war-time massacres in Simferopol, killing in total over 22,000 locals—mostly Jews, Russians, Krymchaks, and Romani.[9] On one occasion, starting 9 December 1941, the Einsatzkommando 11b, which was under the command of Werner Braune, whose main unit and superior were Einsatzgruppe D and Otto Ohlendorf, respectively, command killed an estimated 14,300 Simferopol residents, mostly Jewish.[10]

In April 1944 the Red Army liberated Simferopol. On 18 May 1944 the Crimean Tatar population of the city, along with the whole Crimean Tatar nation of Crimea, was forcibly deported to Central Asia as collective punishment for the perceived collaboration of Tatars with Nazi Germany.[11]


On 26 April 1954, Simferopol, together with the rest of the Crimean Oblast, was transferred from the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev.

An asteroid, discovered in 1970 by Soviet astronomer Tamara Mikhailovna Smirnova, is named after the city (2141 Simferopol).[12]

Following a referendum on 20 January 1991, the Crimean Oblast was upgraded to an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic on 12 February 1991 by the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR.[13] Simferopol became the capital of the Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Simferopol became the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within newly independent Ukraine. Today, the city has a population of 340,600 (2006) most of whom are ethnic Russians, with the rest being Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar minorities.

After the Crimean Tatars were allowed to return from exile in the 1990s, several new Crimean Tatar suburbs were constructed, as many more Tatars returned to the city compared to number exiled in 1944. Land ownership between the current residents and returning Crimean Tatars is a major area of conflict today with the Tatars requesting the return of lands seized after their deportation.[14]

Russian annexation

After Russia occupied and formally annexed Crimea on 18 March 2014, Simferopol was named the capital of a new federal subject of the Russian Federation encompassing the majority of the peninsula by decree of Russian president Vladimir Putin, with the exception of Sevastopol, which became a federal сity.[15]

Prior to the seizure of the city by Russia, a mass protest was organised by the city's Crimean Tatars in support of Crimea remaining as part of Ukraine.[16]

Geography and climate

The Simferopol Reservoir provides clean drinking water to the city.


Simferopol is located in the south-central Crimean Peninsula. The city lies on the Salhir River near the artificial Simferopol Reservoir, which provides the city with clean drinking water. The Simferopol Reservoir's earth dam is the biggest in Europe.


The city experiences a humid subtropical climate (Köppen: Cfa),[17] near the boundary of the humid continental climate (Köppen: Dfa).[17] The average temperature in January is 0.4 °C (32.7 °F) and 23 °C (73 °F) in July. The average rainfall is 501 millimetres (19.7 in) per year, and there is a total of 2,529 hours of sunshine per year.

Climate data for Simferopol (1991–2020, extremes 1886–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.8
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 4.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 0.4
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) −2.9
Record low °C (°F) −26.0
Average precipitation mm (inches) 42
Average extreme snow depth cm (inches) 1
Average rainy days 12 11 11 11 10 11 8 7 10 11 13 14 129
Average snowy days 11 11 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 9 44
Average relative humidity (%) 85 81 75 68 69 67 63 61 68 76 82 85 73
Mean monthly sunshine hours 80.7 109.9 160.2 227.6 299.2 321.3 358.5 332.6 259.1 190.2 115.2 74.1 2,528.6
Source 1: Pogoda.ru.net[18]
Source 2: NOAA[19]

Politics and administrative divisions

Simferopol's city centre
The Crimean Trolleybus runs from Simferopol to Yalta.

As the capital of Crimea, Simferopol houses its political structure including the Supreme Council of Crimea and the Council of Ministers. Simferopol is also the administrative centre of the Simferopolskyi District (raion), but is directly subordinate to the Crimean authorities rather than to the district authorities housed in the city itself.

The city of Simferopol is administratively divided into three urban districts (Zaliznychnyi, Kyivskyi and Tsentralnyi), four urban-type settlements[citation needed] (Ahrarne, Aeroflotskyi, Hresivskyi, Komsomolske) and the village of Bitumne.[20]

Viktor Ageev became city mayor on 11 November 2010 and was then elected chairman of the Simferopol City Council on 29 September 2014.[21]

Igor Lukashyov was installed as the head of Simferopol City administration (i.e. local executive) after Russia annexed the region in 2014. He served in this position until his dismissal on 9 November 2018.[22]


Simferopol has a major railway station, which serves millions of tourists each year. In December 2014 Ukraine cut the railway line to Crimea at the border with mainland Ukraine (Kherson Oblast). Currently, the station serves only a commuter (regional) passenger train and the Moscow – Simferopol train every day.

The city is also connected via the Simferopol International Airport, which was constructed in 1936.[23] Zavodskoye Airport is situated southwest of Simferopol.

The city has several main bus stations, with routes towards many cities, including Sevastopol, Kerch, Yalta, and Yevpatoriya. The Crimean Trolleybus connects Simferopol to the city of Yalta on Crimean Black Sea coast. The line is the longest trolleybus line in the world with a total length of 86 kilometres (53 mi)[24] (since 2014 again 96 kilometres (60 mi)).

The streets of Simferopol have a rare house numbering – the odd numbers are on the right side of the road, looking in the direction in which the numbers increase.


Historical population
Source: Census data

At the last census in 2014, the population of Simferopol was 332,317, the highest of any city in the Republic of Crimea and second only to Sevastopol within the Crimean peninsula.


When it existed, Crimea Air had its head office on the grounds of Simferopol Airport.[25] A new 19-gate terminal for the airport finished construction in 2018. The terminal was designed in the shape of a wave by Samoo Architects & Engineers, after their successful bid as part of an international competition.[26]


Simferopol is home to a number of industrial plants, including the following:

  • Fiolent (two locations), producer of power tools and other electrical systems
  • Simferopol chemical industry plants
  • PO Foton
  • SEM SElktroMash SELMZ
  • Plastotekhnika and else plastics related
  • Santekhprom SSTP
  • PEK PromElektroKontakt and PromSchitKontakt, ChPO Sfera IzmertelnPribor, SELTZ ElectroTechnical Plant
  • Pnevmatika, other pneumatics tires etc. related industry
  • Monolit SMZKon, TsSI Tavrida SKMKZ, Slava Truda SCMNG, SiMZ Motor Plants
  • Chornomornaftogaz
  • Digital Valley (Tsifrovaya Dolina): silicon industry, computers, wafers and microelectronics, it, other related. It will located (most likely) near the airport for convenience.


The largest collection of higher education institutions in Crimea is located in Simferopol. Among them is the largest university in Simferopol and Crimea, the Taurida V.Vernadsky National University, which was founded in 1917.[27] Crimea State Medical University named after S. I. Georgievsky, also located in Simferopol, is one of the most prominent medical schools of Ukraine. The Crimean Medical University is situated on the plot, where in 1855 a nursery garden was planted by the founder of the Nikita Botanical Gardens Ch.Ch.Steven (1781–1863). In 1863–66 a school for girls was built here and in 1931 a medical institute was opened. On the same plot P.Krzhizhanovsky built a three-storey hostel for medical students after the design in 1934. The building with clear geometric masses was completed in 1938. A new federal university campus was opened 4 August 2014.


Simferopol is home to the football club FC TSK Simferopol which plays in the Crimean Premier League. It was formed as a Russian club in 2014, following the 2014 Crimean Conflict, to replace the Ukrainian club Tavriya Simferopol which had been the first winners of the Ukraine Premier League, and also won the Ukrainian Cup in 2010.

Houses of worship

Notable people

Alisa Melekhina, 2014
Oleg Sentsov, 2018


Yana Klochkova, 2010

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Simferopol is currently twinned with:


  1. ^ See § Etymologies for other names


  1. ^ Для крымских автомобилистов приготовили новые номера. Segodnya (in Russian). 2 April 2014. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  2. ^ Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2014). "Таблица 1.3. Численность населения Крымского федерального округа, городских округов, муниципальных районов, городских и сельских поселений" [Table 1.3. Population of Crimean Federal District, Its Urban Okrugs, Municipal Districts, Urban and Rural Settlements]. Федеральное статистическое наблюдение «Перепись населения в Крымском федеральном округе». ("Population Census in Crimean Federal District" Federal Statistical Examination) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved 4 January 2016.
  3. ^ "Map from 1918 showing the name "Symferopil"". uinp.gov.ua. Retrieved 13 October 2023.
  4. ^ "Simferopol" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 25 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 122;see para 2. Afterwards the Tatar settlement of Ak-mechet.....
  5. ^ "Simferopol". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
  6. ^ "Simferopol". Vacation in Crimea (in Russian). Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  7. ^ "Russian cities with Greek names". Sevastopolskaya gazeta (in Russian). 20 July 2006. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  8. ^ Kirimal, Edige. "Complete Destruction of National Groups as Groups". International Committee for Crimea. Retrieved 13 May 2008.
  9. ^ "Simferopol". simferopol.ws (in Russian). Retrieved 13 May 2008.
  10. ^ Das Personenlexikon zum Dritten Reich. Wer war was vor und nach 1945. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Zweite aktualisierte Auflage, Frankfurt am Main 2005, page 72
  11. ^ Mark A. Green. "Crimean Tatars and Russification". Wilson Center.
  12. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (5th ed.). New York City: Springer Verlag. p. 174. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
  13. ^ "Day in history – 20 January". RIA Novosti (in Russian). 8 January 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 6 August 2007.
  14. ^ "Tatars push to regain their historic lands in Crimea". Today's Zaman. 31 March 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  15. ^ "Russian President Vladimir Putin signs laws completing annexation of Crimea". Deutsche Welle. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Russia puts military on high alert as Crimea protests leave one man dead". the Guardian. 26 February 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2023.
  17. ^ a b Kottek, M.; J. Grieser; C. Beck; B. Rudolf; F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated" (PDF). Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. Bibcode:2006MetZe..15..259K. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Climate Averages for Simferopol" (in Russian). Weather and Climate (Погода и климат). Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  19. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991–2020: Simferopol". National Centers for Environmental Information. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  20. ^ "City of Simferopol Autonomous Republic of Crimea". Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (in Ukrainian). Archived from the original on 20 February 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  21. ^ "Биография". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  22. ^ Russia-Installed Head Of Crimea's Capital Removed
  23. ^ "Welcome to the International Airport "Simferopol"". Simferopol International Airport. Archived from the original on 5 May 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  24. ^ "The longest trolleybus line in the world!". blacksea-crimea.com. Archived from the original on 3 January 2014. Retrieved 14 May 2008.
  25. ^ "World Airline Directory." Flight International. 27 March – 2 April 2001. 57.
  26. ^ "Новый терминал аэропорта Симферополь". Гид Крыма (in Russian). Retrieved 22 March 2023.
  27. ^ "Main page". Vernadskiy Tavricheskiy National University. Retrieved 30 July 2008.
  28. ^ "Twinning". City of Heidelberg. Archived from the original on 10 June 2011. Retrieved 12 November 2009.

External links