Crimea is now an autonomous parliamentary republic, within Ukraine, which is governed by the Constitution of Crimea in accordance with the laws of Ukraine. ...
This problem of a Russian-speaking enclave within Ukraine also existed from 1992 onward, but compromises were hammered out by the people involved. Whether that will still be possible due to the subsequent expansion of NATO and the EU eastward remains to be seen.
On 18 May 1944, the entire population of the Crimean Tatars was forcibly deported in the "Sürgün" (Crimean Tatar for exile) to Central Asia by Joseph Stalin's Soviet government as a form of collective punishment, on the grounds that they had collaborated with the Nazi occupation forces. An estimated 46% of the deportees died from hunger and disease. On 26 June of the same year, the Armenian, Bulgarian, and Greek population was also deported to Central Asia. ...
On 19 February 1954, the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union issued a decree transferring the Crimean Oblast from the RSFSR to the Ukrainian SSR.
This was a symbolic gesture by the Soviets to thank Ukrainian cossacks for allying with Moscow 300 years earlier in 1654 in their war of independence from Poland.
According to 2001 Ukrainian Census, the population of Crimea was 2,033,700. The ethnic makeup was comprised the following self-reported groups: Russians: 58.32%; Ukrainians: 24.32%; Crimean Tatars: 12.1%; Belarusians: 1.44%; Tatars: 0.54%; Armenians: 0.43%; Jews: 0.22%, Greeks: 0.15% and others. ...
Ukrainian is the single official state language countrywide, and is the sole language of government in Ukraine. According to the census mentioned, 77% of Crimean inhabitants named Russian as their native language; 11.4% – Crimean Tatar; and 10.1% – Ukrainian. In Crimea government business is carried out mainly in Russian. Attempts to expand the usage of Ukrainian in education and government affairs have been less successful in Crimea than in other areas of the nation.
The number of Crimean residents who consider Ukraine their motherland increased sharply from 32% to 71.3% from 2008 through 2011; according to a poll by Razumkov Center in March 2011, although this is the lowest number in all Ukraine (93% on average across the country).
Off the top of my head, I would assume that the rise in pro-Ukrainian sentiment in Crimea from 2008 to 2011 was due to a pro-Russian winning the Ukrainian election of 2010.
Surveys of regional identities in Ukraine have shown that around 30% of Crimean residents claim to have retained a self-identified "Soviet identity".
The population of the Crimean Peninsula has been consistently falling at a rate of 0.4% per year. This is particularly apparent in both the Russian and Ukrainian ethnic populations, whose growth rate has been falling at the rate of 0.6% and 0.12% annually respectively. In comparison, the ethnic Crimean Tatar population has been growing at the rate of 0.9% per annum.
The growing trend in the Crimean Tatar population has been explained by the continuing repatriation of Crimean Tatars mainly from Uzbekistan.