Sevastopol

Sevastopol
/seuh vas"teuh pohl', sev'euh stoh"peuhl/; Russ. /syi vu staw"peuhl/, n.
a fortified seaport in the S Crimea, in S Ukraine: famous for its heroic resistance during sieges of 349 days in 1854-55, and 245 days in 1941-42. 350,000.
Also, Sebastopol.

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Seaport city (pop., 2001: 342,000) in the Crimea, southern Ukraine.

In 1783 the Russians annexed the Crimea, and, near the ancient Greek colony of Chersonesus, they began construction of a naval base on Sevastopol Bay, an inlet of the Black Sea. It became a commercial port in the early 19th century. It was besieged by Anglo-French forces for 11 months (1854–55) during the Crimean War, an ordeal chronicled by Leo Tolstoy in his Sevastopol Sketches. The devastated town was later rebuilt, and it was the anti-Bolshevik White Army headquarters in the Russian Civil War (1918–20). In World War II it was destroyed after a months-long siege by the Germans, but again it was reconstructed. The chief base of the Russian Black Sea fleet since the early 19th century, it has extensive dockyard facilities and arsenals. The Ukrainian naval forces are also now based in Sevastopol.

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Ukrainian  Sevastopil , also spelled  Sebastopol 
 city and seaport, Crimea, southern Ukraine, in the southwestern Crimean Peninsula on the southern shore of the long, narrow Akhtiarska Bay, which forms a magnificent natural harbour. West of the modern town stood the ancient Greek colony of Chersonesus, founded in 421 BC. Originally a republic, Chersonesus (Heracleotic Chersonese) became, in turn, part of the Kingdom of Pontus, of the Cimmerian Bosporus, of the Roman Empire, and of the Byzantine Empire. In 988 or 989 Prince Vladimir (Vladimir I) of Kiev captured the town and was baptized there; he restored it to Byzantium, but it later passed to the Empire of Trebizond and declined into insignificance. In 1783 the Russians, having annexed the Crimea, began the construction there of a naval base and fortress, named Sevastopol the following year. After the base's completion in 1804, it became the home of the Black Sea Fleet. In 1808 a commercial port was opened. From October 1854 to September 1855, during the Crimean War (1853–56), the Anglo-French armies laid siege to Sevastopol, which had been strongly fortified. After the war the severely damaged town was reconstructed, and its growth was stimulated by the coming of the railway in 1875. The transfer of the commercial harbour to Feodosiya in 1894, however, was a serious setback. Since then, Sevastopol's principal function has been as a major naval base and fortress. In World War II the town again underwent a siege, this time for a month, by the Germans from June to July 1942. The town was reduced to rubble, but, after liberation in May 1944, it was again reconstructed. Among many memorials of the town's stormy history are several monuments devoted to the many defenses of Sevastopol and a vast panorama 377 ft (115 m) long of the Crimean War siege. Pop. (2001) 342,451; (2005 est.) 340,353.

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Universalium. 2010.

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