Crimea is currently controlled by the Russian army, which in a stealth operation involving more than 6000 marines took control of all major strategic installations in the peninsula over the past few days. Ukrainian troops and police were ordered not to resist. The region enjoys the status of an autono-mous republic in Ukraine, with its own elected assembly and a high degree of autonomy. It has been part of Ukraine since 1954 when Nikita Khrushchev transferred authority over the region to Kiev. The naval base of Sevastopol, home to the Russia’s Black Sea fleet, is located in Crimea and is of major strategic importance to Russia as it allows the Russian Navy to access Mediterranean waters. It is also important in terms of heritage and culture and is home to icons revered in Russian military history.
Winds of change
The immediate danger now facing Ukraine is that Russia may deploy further troops to other regions of UkraineJames Wilson