After gunmen seized a number of government office buildings in Ukraine’s Crimea region on Thursday, all eyes have turned on the pro-Russian peninsula.
But why does Russia care about the cash-stricken peninsula?
Crimea is an autonomous republic in the south of Ukraine, around 500 miles from the capital Kiev. It’s in this peninsula where Russia holds dominant influence. Crimea was one of the last strongholds of support for ousted president Viktor Yanukovych and the Crimean Peninsula is still home to Russia’s Black Sea fleet. The region also boasts a majority Russian population since World War II, following years of Tsarist and Stalinist policies that marginalized the region’s ethnic Tatr population.
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