At present, Crimea is an autonomous republic and part of Ukraine:
“The constitution of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea…is the basic law of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a republic within southern Ukraine. The constitution establishes the republic’s status and authority within Ukraine. It grants Crimea the right to draft a budget and manage its own property.”
January 20, 1991. Through a referendum, Crimea regained its status as an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. At this time, Ukraine had not declared its independence, which came on August 24, 1991. Hence, between January and August of 1991, Crimea was part of the Ukrainian SSR, which was a republic within the Soviet Union.
February 1992. The Crimean parliament transformed Crimea into “Republic of Crimea” and the Ukrainian government offered them more self-government.
May 5, 1992. Crimean parliament declared Crimea independent, which was yet to be approved by a referendum to be held August 2, 1992. Parliament passed the first Crimean constitution the same day.
May 6, 1992. Crimean parliament inserted a new sentence into this constitution that declared that Crimea was part of Ukraine.
May 13, 1992. The Verkhovna Rada (the Ukrainian parliament) annulled Crimea’s independence declaration and gave its Crimean counterpart one week to do the same.
June 1992. Ukraine and Crimean parties reached a compromise and Crimea was given the status of “Autonomous Republic”.
May 1994. The Crimean parliament voted to restore the May 1992 Constitution.
September 1994. President of Crimea Yuriy Meshkov and parliament decided to write a new Constitution.
March 17, 1995. The Verkhovna Rada (Supreme Council of Ukraine) abolished the May 1992 Constitution (and the post of President of Crimea).
June-September 1995. Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma governed Crimea under a direct presidential administration decree.
October 1995. The Crimean parliament adopted a new Constitution which was not recognized by the national (Ukrainian) authorities until April 1996 when significant amendments where suggested.
October 21, 1998. A fifth draft law of the October 1995 constitution was ratified on 21 October 1998 at the second session of the Crimean Verkhovna Rada (parliament).
December 23, 1998. The Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine confirmed this constitution on 23 December 1998. (Article 135 of the Ukrainian Constitution provides that the Crimean Constitution must be approved by the Ukrainian parliament.)
March 6, 2014. Crimean parliament votes to join the Russian Federation. On the same day, it votes to hold a referendum on March 16 on this decision.
There are other developments and they will continue, but I’ll stop here.11:08 am on March 7, 2014 Email Michael S. Rozeff