Place:Kerch, Kerch, Krym, Ukraine

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NameKerch
Alt namesCerchiosource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VI, 812
Cercosource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VI, 812
Cherciosource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 473
Cherkiosource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) I, 473
Kertchsource: Dictionary of Ceramics (1989) p 167
Kerčsource: Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961); Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VI, 812; Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1984)
Kerč'source: Rand McNally Atlas (1989) I-87
Korchevsource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VI, 812
Panticapaeumsource: Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer (1961); Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) VI, 812
Pantikapaionsource: GRI Photo Archive, Authority File (1998) p 9896; Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (1979)
TypeCity
Coordinates45.367°N 36.45°E
Located inKerch, Krym, Ukraine
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Kerch (, , Old East Slavic: Кърчевъ, Ancient Greek: Pantikapaion,) is a city of regional significance on the Kerch Peninsula in the east of the Crimea. Population:

Founded 2,600 years ago as an ancient Greek colony, Kerch is considered to be one of the most ancient cities in Crimea. The city experienced rapid growth starting in the 1920s and was the site of a major battle during World War II.

Today, it is one of the largest cities in Crimea and is among the republic's most important industrial, transport and tourist centres.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Ancient times

Archeological digs at Mayak village near the city ascertained that the area had already been inhabited in 17th–15th centuries BC.


Kerch as a city starts its history in 7th century BC, when Greek colonists from Miletus founded a city-state named Panticapaeum on Mount Mithridat near the mouth of the Melek-Chesme river. Panticapaeum subdued nearby cities and by 480 BC became a capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus. Later, during the rule of Mithradates VI Eupator, Panticapaeum for a short period of time became the capital of the much more powerful and extensive Kingdom of Pontus.

The city was located at the intersection of trade routes between the steppe and Europe. This caused it to grow rapidly. The city's main exports were grain and salted fish; wine-making was also common. Panticapaeum minted its own coins. According to extant documents the Melek-Chesme river (small and shallow nowadays) was navigable in Bosporan times, and sea galleys were able to enter the river. A large portion of the city's population was ethnically Scythian, later Sarmatian, as the large royal barrow (Kurgan) at Kul-Oba testifies.

In the 1st century AD Panticapaeum and the Kingdom of Bosporus suffered from Ostrogoth raids; then the city was devastated by the Huns in AD 375.

Myrmekion was founded in the eastern part of the Kerch, 4 km NE of ancient Panticapaeum. The settlement was founded by Ionians in the first half of the 6th c. BC.

Middle Ages

From the 6th century the city was under the control of the Byzantine Empire. By order of Emperor Justinian I, a citadel named Bospor was built there. Bospor was the centre of a bishopric, the diocese of Bosporus and developed under the influence of Greek Christianity. In 576, it withstood a siege by the Göktürks under Bokhan, aided by Anagai, the last khan (ruler) of the Uturgurs (tribe of Huns).


In the 7th century, the Turkic Khazars took control of Bospor, and the city was named Karcha from Turkic "karşı" meaning 'opposite, facing.' The main local government official during Khazar times was the tudun. Christianity was a major religion in Kerch during the period of Khazar rule. Kerch's Church of St. John the Baptist was founded in 717; thus, it is the oldest church in Ukraine. The "Church of the Apostles" existed during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, according to the "Life of the Apostle Andrew" by Epiphanius of Salamis.

Following the fall of Khazaria to Kievan Rus' in the late 10th century, Kerch became the centre of a Khazar successor-state. Its ruler, Georgius Tzul, was deposed by a Byzantine-Rus expedition in 1016.

From the 10th century, the city was a Slavic settlement named Korchev, which belonged to the Tmutarakan principality. Kerch was a center of trade between Russia', Crimea, Caucasus and the Orient.

In the 13th century, the Crimea including Korchev was invaded by Mongols. After Mongols, the city became the Genoese colony of Cerco (Cherkio) in 1318 and served as a sea harbour, where townspeople worked at salt-works and fishery.

In 1475, city was passed to the Ottoman Empire. During the Turkish rule Kerch fell into decay and served as a slave-market. It repeatedly suffered from raids of Zaporizhian Cossacks.


18th – 20th centuries

In response to strengthening of Russian military forces in Azov area, the Turks built a fortress, named Yenikale, near Kerch on the shore of Kerch Strait. The fortress was completed by 1706. In 1771 the Imperial Russian Army invaded Crimea and approached Yenikale. The Turks decided to abandon the fortress, though reinforcements from the Ottoman Empire had arrived a few days earlier. By the Peace Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji in 1774, Kerch and Yenikale were ceded to Russia. As a result, the Turkish heritage has been almost completely wiped out.

In 1790 Russian naval forces under the command of admiral Fyodor Ushakov defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Kerch Strait.

Because of its location, from 1821 Kerch developed into an important trade and fishing port. The state museum of ancient times and a number of educational institutions were opened in the city. The ironwork factory was built in 1846 based on a huge iron ore deposit found on Kerch Peninsula.

During the Crimean War the city was devastated by British forces in 1855.

In the late 19th century, mechanical and cement factories were built, and tinned food and tobacco factories were established. By 1900, Kerch was connected to a railroad system, and the fairway of Kerch Strait was deepened and widened. At this time, the population had reached 33,000.

After suffering a decline during the First World War and the Russian Civil War, the city resumed its growth in the late 1920s, with the expansion of various industries, iron ore and metallurgy in particular, and by 1939 its population had reached 104,500.

Kerch in World War II

On the Eastern Front of World War II from 1941 to 1945, Kerch was the site of heavy fighting between Red Army and Axis forces. After fierce fighting, the city was taken by the Germans in November 1941. On 31 December 1941 the 302nd Mountain Rifle Division recaptured the city following a naval landing operation at Kamysh Burun, to the south of the city, five days earlier. In 1942 the Germans occupied the city again. The Red Army lost over 160,000 men, either killed or taken POW at the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula. On 31 October 1943 another Soviet naval landing operation was launched. Kerch returned to Soviet control on 11 April 1944.

The German invaders killed about 15,000 citizens and deported another 14,000 during their occupation. Evidence of German atrocities in Kerch was presented in the Nuremberg trials. After the war, the city was awarded the title Hero City.

The Adzhimushkay catacombs (mines) in the city's suburbs were the site of guerrilla warfare against the occupation. Thousands of soldiers and refugees found shelter inside, and were involved in counterattacks. Many of them died underground, including those who died of numerous alleged poison gas attacks. Later, a memorial was established on the site.

On 11 November 2007 there was a great storm that passed through the city, causing much damage and an ecological disaster as a few ships, including an oil tanker, were shipwrecked and blocked the Kerch Strait.

2014 Russian annexation

Crimea was annexed by Russia in early 2014 and the peninsula, Ukrainian territory since 1991, is now administered as two Russian federal subjects - the Republic of Crimea and the federal city of Sevastopol. The international community has overwhelmingly condemned the Russian Federation's acts in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 68/262 of 27 March 2014 [1], 71/205 of 19 December 2016 [2] and 72/190 of 19 December 2017 [3] confirmed the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as part of the territory of Ukraine, condemned the occupation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and reaffirmed the non-recognition of the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation. The United Nations also called upon all States, international organizations and specialized agencies not to recognize any alteration of the status of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol and to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status.

Recent events

On 17 October 2018, a student killed 20 people and himself at Kerch Polytechnic College.

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