As Vladimir Putin rebuilds the Soviet Union under the name of The Russian Empire, the world waits for someone to blink in the Crimea.
Let’s talk about the Crimea, shall we?
Well, we’re going to anyway!
The Crimean Peninsula is the little pink handy down part at the top of the Black Sea. It is connected to The Ukraine via a land bridge and almost shakes hands with Russia at the Sea of Azov.
It, like the rest of the world has a long, long, history of invasion, battle, back and forth, conquest, and from time to time, freedom.
Not so much in the freedoms category!
Known for its history…
…waters, and beaches…
…and strategic location (see map UP there), it has changed hands many many times over the centuries.
The earliest locals historians can find with any authenticity, were the Cimmerians, they were booted by a band of Hooligans know as the Scythians (Greeks) sometime in the 7th Century BC.
In the 5th Century BC, more Greeks arrived and settled on the beautiful beaches, making it more Greek than ever. Oom Pah!
A couple of hundred years before the birth of Jesus, the Romans took the Crimea along with the rest of the known world. They were pretty pushy!
After Rome fell apart, during the Middle Ages, the Crimea was overrun by bands of Goths, Huns, Bulgars, Khazars, Kipchaks, Mongols, and of course, the Tatars.
The Tatar Horde rounded UP over 20,000 residents and sold them into slavery over the years, causing real estate values to plummet, folks to refugee to other parts of Eastern Europe, and a general malaise to occur.
The Tatars were rather doucey, and generally tacky.
Around 1441, The Turks took over. Precursors to the bandits and murderers accompanying Ataturk in the 20th, this bunch took over, tearing UP everything, raping, killing pillaging, being a good old fashioned buzz-kill, and creating the Crimean Khanate.
Jumping ahead a few years, and sparing you a little time…I know I’m wordy, but so is history…Russia conquered The Crimea in 1783, some 20 years before we made the Louisiana Purchase.
The palace of the Crimean Khanate became one of Catherine the Great’s palaces.
The Czars, all of them after her, had a place on the Black Sea. And why not? The rest of Russia is a frozen wasteland most of the year, and a gal’s gotta get some sun once in a while!
Stalin, Khrushchev, and the rest of the Commies all spent time there. It belonged to them!
The Crimean Peninsula belonged to Russia for 200 years until the fall of the USSR back in the 90’s, and somehow, it wound UP as part of The Ukraine!!
Really folks, after all that time, it’s a Russian as Borscht!
Of course the world’s UPset, rattling sabers, and calling Mr. Putin nasty names (myself included…and I do think most of his behavior recently is assholish), but in reality, when it comes to Crimea, it’s Russian. Just read UP on the Crimean War.
So, in a couple of weeks, months, years, when “the people” get to “vote” on whether they want to stay with Ukraine or wind UP as Russian, don’t be surprised if you see Putin on the beach, in a speedo!
And, when he takes over, don’t Crimea River.