In the summer and fall of 2009, I was e-mailing a few people back and forth about Russia's Black Sea Fleet in the Crimea. Here are some parts of those e-mails:
|Click here for some before and after photos of Sevastopal over the last century. This city and Crimea region were pivotal in World War II, and interesting and diverse peoples and cultures still thrive there. I believe it's part of the Ukraine, although the Black Sea fleet is Russia's. Nikita Khrushchev, who was Ukrainian, gifted this territory to the Ukrainian republic during the USSR days.|
Click here for few up close photos of Sevastopal, which is where the old Soviet Navy used to maintain a warm water presence. Now Russia's Black Sea Fleet is based there, and leases this port from the Ukraine. The deal expires in 2017, and this could be a point of real tension in the future. It was in Crimea (Yalta) where Stalin met Churchill and FDR- the second meeting of the Big Three.
And a friend's response:
You're good at finding great Russian sites. I wonder what happens after 2017? I guess it depends on Russia /Ukraine relations. But you would think Russia would want to keep a presence.
And here's an article in the Sydney Morning Herald on the importance of the Russian fleet in the crisis today.