In 1920, Vladimir Lenin announced a decree “On the Use of Crimea for the Medical Treatment of the Working People” which endorsed Crimea’s development into a recreation territory for hard-working Soviet proletarians. Since that time, Crimea has seen it’s fair share of turmoil during the WWII, the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and the more recent annexation by the Russian Federation, but for many former Soviets, it’s also served as the setting for careless summer adventures and nostalgic memories.
The resort status of Crimea came into the mainstream when the Livadia estate became a summer residence of the Russian royal family in the 1860s. The Lividia Palace would later gain notoriety as the summer retreat of the last Russian tsar, Nicholas II.
After Lenin’s 1920 decree, Numerous workers’ sanatoria (resorts) were constructed around Crimea.
In 1944, Crimea was recaptured by troops of the Red Army during the Crimean Offensive. Upon liberation, Stalin deported many of the ethnic populations from the peninsula, including large numbers of Greeks, Tatars, Bulgarians and Armenians, making Crimea a very Russian place.
In 1945, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin met in Crimea for one of the most monumental meetings in modern history.
In 1954, the Crimean region was gifted to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic by the Soviet authorities as mostly a symbolic gesture. Oops.
In the second half of the 1950s, development of Crimea’s resort industry grew quickly, with luxury vacation resorts, state dachas and cottages sprouting across Crimea. Crimea’s development was aided by the fact that there were few other places where Soviet citizens could visit for a seaside holiday, as foreign travel was largely forbidden for common citizens of the USSR.
The Soviet elite also came to Yalta; Josef Stalin, Nikita Khruschev, Leonid Brezhnev are just a few of the Soviet elite who vacationed in Crimea.
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