A region and peninsula of southern Ukraine on the Black Sea and Sea of Azov. In ancient times it was colonized by Greeks and Romans and later overrun by Ostrogoths, Huns, and Mongols. Conquered by the Ottoman Turks in 1475, the area was annexed by Russia in 1783. The peninsula was the scene of the Crimean War (1853-1856), in which a coalition of English, French, and Turkish troops defeated the Russians, although Crimea itself did not change hands. It became an autonomous Russian republic in 1921 and a Ukrainian oblast in 1954.