SIMFEROPOL, December 24. /TASS/. Crimea will officially celebrate the Day of Reunification with Russia on March 16, when the republic held a landmark referendum to secede from Ukraine.
The Crimean parliament also approved on Wednesday three other official holidays in the republic — the Day of State Flag (January 19), the Day of the Republic of Crimea (January 20) and the Day of Constitution of the Republic of Crimea (April 11).
The Black Sea peninsula became part of the Russian Empire when it won independence from Turkey following the Russian-Turkish War of 1768-1774. Under a manifesto issued by Russian Empress Catherine the Great in 1783, Crimea became part of Russia’s Taurida Governorate.
The first major celebrations marking Crimea’s accession came when Russian naval commander and admiral Fyodor Ushakov crushed a Turkish fleet in 1791 and signed the Treaty of Jassy, confirming Russia's dominance in the Black Sea.
However, in 1954, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev transferred Crimea to Ukraine's jurisdiction as a gift, in violation of constitutional norms. Crimea remained part of Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Crimea, where most residents are Russians, refused to recognize the legitimacy of authorities brought to power amid riots during a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. In mid-March, Crimea rejoined Russia following a referendum.