Sevastopol is the largest city in Crimea and a major port on the Black Sea. Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, Sevastopol has been administered as a federal city of the Russian Federation. Nevertheless, Ukraine and a majority of the United Nations member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine. The city has a Russian majority population, with a substantial minority of Ukrainians.
Sevastopol has a population of 509,992 concentrated mostly near the Sevastopol Bay and surrounding areas. The location and navigability of the city's harbors have made Sevastopol a strategically important port and naval base throughout its history. Since the city's founding in 1783 it has been a major base for Russia's Black Sea Fleet, and it was previously a closed city during the Cold War.