Shall we try to understand what is going on with Ukraine, and in particular with Crimea?

The West must understand that, to Russia, Ukraine can never be just a foreign country. Russian history began in what was called Kievan-Rus. The Russian religion spread from there. Ukraine has been part of Russia for centuries, and their histories were intertwined before then. Some of the most important battles for Russian freedom, starting with the Battle of Poltava in 1709 , were fought on Ukrainian soil. The Black Sea Fleet — Russia’s means of projecting power in the Mediterranean — is based by long-term lease in Sevastopol, in Crimea. Even such famed dissidents as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Joseph Brodsky insisted that Ukraine was an integral part of Russian history and, indeed, of Russia.”

“Crimea’s situation is, as with many things in Ukraine’s political crisis, compounded by a complicated history. For most in America and Western Europe, however, that history is likely obscure — wasn’t there a war or something there? Let’s take a look back.”

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