The war between Russia and Ukraine started long before February 24, 2022. Russian aggression towards Ukraine has been constant since Vladimir Putin came to power in the late 1990s. However, the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 started the current conflict. The annexation of Crimea is when Russia took control of the Crimean peninsula, which is part of Ukraine. This happened without the permission of the Ukrainian government or the international community. NATO and the rest of the world just watched as Russian forces invaded Crimea, similar to how Nazi Germany annexed Austria and the Rhineland before launching its invasion of Poland and starting World War II. In 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, as predicted by the government.
Putin is to blame for the war in Ukraine. However, the indifference of NATO and other countries around the world towards the illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014 makes them all, to a certain extent, complicit in the war today. Ukraine and its people have stood strong and fought bravely. There is no denying that Russia is losing the battle and that if Ukraine gets the support it needs from NATO, it will be able to push Russia out of its borders.
Ukraine’s government has made it clear that Crimea is a part of the country and that no peace talks until all of its territories are reclaimed. Putin’s issue is that if he permits Crimea to reintegrate into Ukraine, it will result in both his fall and the dissolution of Russia. Putin needs Crimea to stay in power in Russia during the war, but Russia needs Crimea for many other reasons.
Due to Crimea’s strategic location in the Black Sea and historical importance, Russia was interested in acquiring it. It would be a major setback for Russia if it lost Crimea to Ukraine. Ukraine can take control of Crimea, but doing so would be challenging and probably require significant political and military effort.
Crimea proclaimed independence from Turkey after the war but was later incorporated into Russia’s borders for strategic purposes. Since then, it has faced ongoing difficulties under Russian rule.
As the 19th century ended, Russia completed the construction of its railway across Crimea to Sevastopol. This allowed for easier trade with European markets, making Russia a lot of profit as it exported basic goods and imported luxury goods for its elite. At this point, Crimea became the summer residence of the Russian imperial family, where those in power could enjoy the region at their leisure. And even though Russia no longer had a monarchy with a royal family, this era created a deep desire for wealthy Russians to control Crimea.
In the early 20th century, Crimea experienced civil wars and devastation under Nazi Germany during WWII. After the war, it became part of the Soviet Union, and in 1954, its status became a point of contention, with Russia claiming ownership.