Tavriia gubernia. An administrative-territorial unit of the Russian Empire set up in 1802. It included the entire Crimean Peninsula, Dnipro- (Oleshky) and Melitopol counties, which had previously belonged to New Russia gubernia, and Tmutorokan county, which was separated from the gubernia in 1820. Its administrative center was Simferopol. In its Crimean counties (Simferopol, Teodosiia, Perekop, Yevpatoriia, and Yalta), which had a population of 740,000 in 1914, Ukrainians were in a minority, but in the steppe counties (Dnipro, Melitopol, and Berdiansk), with a population of 1,760,000, Ukrainians formed a majority. In the 1920s the steppe counties were incorporated into the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, and the Crimea was set up as the Crimean ASSR under the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]