Crimea: the sugar in the “sandwich” of things

  Beginning in mid-June, the Crimea peninsula was turbulent again.
  First, a strong cyclone hovered over the Crimea Peninsula. The huge amount of rain it brought caused flooding in the eastern part of Crimea. On June 17, Kerch was the first to declare a state of emergency.
  In addition to the local floods, there was also a hot discussion on social media. When Crimean “chief” Sergey Aksenov took a motorboat to patrol the Kerch disaster area, there were three “mysterious swimmers” swimming vigorously in the water trying to catch up with the small boat. .
  Some people say that they are the chief’s bodyguards, and the chief said that they were emergency personnel who accompanied the inspections. However, the emergency department told the media that those people were “ordinary people who wanted to swim” — “They did something strange in an emergency. I decided that the ship that followed the leader couldn’t be smarter.”
  On June 18, Yalta, a tourist resort in the east, also declared a state of emergency-the accumulated rainfall in the area reached 135 mm, more than 100 streets were cut off, and mud and sand poured into the city. Yanina Pavlenko, the mayor of Yalta, said: “This is unprecedented in 100 years.”
  The disaster in the east did not stop, but the sound of artillery came from the west.
  On June 23, the British Royal Navy destroyer “Defender” sailed into the sea off Crimea, only 3 kilometers from Cape Fiolent, which is Russia’s most important naval base in the Black Sea. Russia dispatched naval and air forces to warn, and symbolically fired in the direction of the British navy. This is also the first time Russia has opened fire on NATO warships since the end of the Cold War.
  British Prime Minister Boris responded that the Royal Navy “holds the beliefs and values ​​of the United Kingdom”, that is, democracy, equality, human rights, the rule of law, and freedom of navigation; British Secretary of the Environment Eustis put it more bluntly: Britain has never Neither has recognized Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Stuffed sandwich

  The last time Crimea became the focus of international media was probably in 2014.
  At that time, the “Autonomous Republic of Crimea”, which was still part of Ukraine, decided to “leave Ukraine and join the Russian Federation” through a local referendum. At that time, the fuse of the referendum was that Ukraine’s “pro-Russian” President Yanukovych announced the suspension of the signing of political and free trade agreements with the European Union. Protests on a large scale.
  The protests eventually forced Yanukovych to escape from Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, but the “Ukraine crisis” did not end there.
  In addition to Crimea’s referendum on joining Russia, the two administrative regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine also broke out in the “Donbass” that “pro-Russian” forces seek independence and continue to this day. war”.
  If Ukraine is the sandwich of the East and West pie, the Crimea Peninsula is the sugar in the sandwich. “Whoever owns Crimea can control the Black Sea.” The strategic value of the peninsula is coveted by all parties. For the 2014 referendum, most Western countries and the international community did not recognize it and called it the “Crimean crisis”; Russia considered it a “peaceful return”, but what is the so-called “return”? This involves the intricate history of Crimea.
  If we go back to the 8th century BC, we will find that it was the ancient Greeks who established colonies on the Crimea Peninsula, and they left a lot of remains of Greek architecture and lifestyle. After the rise of ancient Rome to replace the prosperous age of ancient Greece, the rule of the ancient Greeks on the Crimea peninsula came to an end, and thereafter many different peoples took over here.
  After the rise of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, the Chincha Khanate, one of its four khanates, took control of the Crimea Peninsula. Its earliest administrator was Tamerlane, one of the grandsons of Genghis Khan. The descendants of Bald Tamerlane established the “Khany of Crimea” after the power of the Qincha Khanate declined. The main ethnic group of the Crimean Khanate is the Crimean Tatars.
Crimean War

  The history of the Crimean Khanate lasted for more than 300 years. Although most of the time it surrendered to the Ottoman Turkish Empire, it still maintained a certain degree of independence. Breadwinner. It was not until the 18th century that the Crimean Khanate was conquered by the rising Russian Empire.
  Russia’s heart and soul finally made Crimeana a province in 1784, taking charge of this important part of the east and west world, and established a naval base in the deep-water ice-free port of Sevastopol, allowing Russia to directly target Ottoman across the sea. Istanbul, the capital of the empire. So far, Sevastopol and the “Black Sea Fleet” are still the key to Russia’s westward offensive and defensive strategy.

Crimea referendum in 2014

  The Tsar is coming, but the war does not end.
  In the mid-19th century, taking advantage of the internal disputes in the Ottoman Turk Empire, Tsarist Russia launched an offensive. In order to avoid Russia’s long drive into Europe, Britain and France formed an alliance with the Ottoman Empire and launched a fierce counterattack on the Crimea Peninsula.
  The “Crimean War” that took place from 1853 to 1856 was the world’s first “modernized battle”, using new warfare technologies such as steamships, new firearms, telegraphs, and field hospitals. The famous British nurse Nightingale improved the field hospital in this battle, greatly increasing the survival rate of the wounded.
  Russia finally defeated the attack of the coalition forces. In March 1855, Tsar Nicholas I died of depression, and the coalition forces also captured Sevastopol in September. Alexander II, who succeeded the Tsar, was unable to fight again, and signed the Treaty of Paris the following year, which preserved Russia’s sovereignty over the Crimea Peninsula.

The Siege of Sevastopol in the Crimean War in the mid-19th century
Seeds of controversy

  However, Crimea, located in the most southwestern corner of Russia, has never escaped the war. During World War I and World War II, Crimea was occupied by the German army and returned to Russia after the war. In 1945, Yalta, the city on the east of the peninsula, entered the world stage: the “Yalta Conference” where the leaders of the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union gathered together can be said to be the beginning of the formation of a new world pattern “after the war”.
  But for Crimea, the new world is not a symbol of peace.
  Because as early as 1944, the Crimean Tatars who had lived on the peninsula for many years were accused by Stalin of colluding with the Nazis and were exiled to Central Asia and Siberia. Then in 1954, the Soviet Union made a major decision to plant the seeds of controversy for today’s Crimea-under Khrushchev’s leadership, the Soviet Union decided to place Crimea under Ukrainian jurisdiction.
  This “great gift” on the Black Sea was not a big problem under the Soviet structure at the time, because no one expected the disintegration of the Soviet Union 37 years later.
  After the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, disputes over the sovereignty of the Crimea Peninsula surfaced. At that time, the composition of the residents of the peninsula was dominated by Russians, but the peninsula was still classified as Ukrainian territory; the dissatisfaction among the residents of the peninsula intensified and they declared independence through the parliament in 1992. In the end, Russia intervened in mediation to allow Ukraine to retain sovereignty of the peninsula, but at the same time established an “Autonomous Republic of Crimea” on the Crimea peninsula to appease the emotions of the residents of the peninsula.
  Although the political situation on the peninsula seems to have stabilized, Crimea is still oscillating back and forth with the “westward or eastward” and “pro-European or pro-Russian” disputes within Ukraine, and finally the 2013-2014 crisis broke out. .
  The history of the Crimean Peninsula, which stretches for thousands of years, records the footprints of many ethnic groups here. The complicated and rich past has also made it impossible to see through the results of the referendum in 2014 whether it was “return to Russia” or “to be annexed by Russia” at a glance. The controversy on the peninsula will continue, and the sound of guns on the Black Sea will probably continue.