Simferopol [key], city (1989 pop. 344,000), capital of Crimea, on the Salgir River and on the Sevastopol-Kharkiv rail line. From 1954 part of Ukraine (then the Ukrainian SSR), the city passed to Russian control in 2014 after the occupation and annexation of Crimea. Simferopol is a land and water transport hub and a commercial center in the heart of a truck-farming and fruit-growing region. Industries include food processing, wine making, fruit canning, and the manufacture of machinery, machine tools, power station equipment, and consumer goods. Tourism is also economically important.
Simferopol occupies the site of an ancient Scythian capital founded (3d cent. b.c.) by King Skilur as the fortress of Neapolis. Called Ak-Mechet under Tatar rule (15th–18th cent.), it was renamed Simferopol after its annexation to Russia in 1784. The city became the capital of the Crimean Tatar nationalist government in 1918 and of Gen. P. N. Wrangel's White government in 1920. It was the capital of the Crimean Autonomous SSR from 1921 until 1945. The old section of Simferopol has retained its Turkic appearance.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2023, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: CIS and Baltic Political Geography