General Question

2TFX's avatar

Why is Russia interested in Crimea?

Asked by 2TFX (421 points ) March 19th, 2014

Russia seems willing to risk a lot for this peninsula, What is the real value for Putin to have this territory?

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21 Answers

KNOWITALL's avatar

The naval base. Russia’s greatest weakness seems to be the lack of a port, and this is the only warm water port they have.

Darth_Algar's avatar

That (naval port) and the fact that Crimea (and indeed the Ukraine) have been under Russian dominion and influence for a long time. (Around a thousand years if you count from the time of the Kievan Rus, from which the modern Russian cultural and ethnic identity sprang from).

KNOWITALL's avatar

Also, that area used to be the aristocrats land with palatial mansions and stuff, probably a matter of pride as well.

1TubeGuru's avatar

Sevastopol in the Crimea is the location of the Russian Navy’s black sea fleet.The recently ousted Ukrainian leader made a natural gas deal with Russia to allow the Russians to stay at the port until 2042. but now that he is gone Putin is in panic mode. the Ukrainians want Russia out by 2017.

pleiades's avatar

It’s hard to see without zooming in but with Crimea as a Naval port. Russia could easily access through…

1. Eastern Europe
2. Turkey
3. Passage pass through Istanbul which leads to…
4. Syria
5. Greece
6. Lebanon
7. Israel
8. North Africa

Which ultimately also provides a shipping cargo route easily into the Middle East

Geographically it’s a huge advantage.

Have a look for yourself

Darth_Algar's avatar

In short: it’s historically, culturally and strategically significant.

Cruiser's avatar

@1TubeGuru You are correct and they made an even more significant deal in that Ukraine is essentially broke and made a sweetheart deal with Russia to get natural gas at a deeply discounted price that would save them 2 Bil/yr. The new Ukrainian President was shocked to discover just how in the hole Ukraine is and I am sure rethinking his opposition to Russian influence. But a new pipeline coming on line in 2015 that circumvents Ukraine make make this all a moot exercise.

flo's avatar

The answer is given already but does it say Crimea inthis link?
How about @pleiades ‘s link?

stanleybmanly's avatar

The Crimean situation was not only predictable, but should have been expected. It really should be compulsory for our legislators and diplomats to have a working knowledge of the world’s history and why things are as they are. A quick search would reveal that a full 700 years before the United States swindled Mexico out of Texas and California, the Crimea and Ukraine were integral territories of Russia, and remained so until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Let’s consider the following scenario: Suppose the United States in the 80’s had based its Atlantic fleet in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Ricans decide that they want independence, and abandon affiliation with the United States. The former territory then announces that it intends to ally itself with Russia, Cuba and the Warsaw pact. What do you suppose the U.S. reaction might be?

flo's avatar

How about this? Am I blind?

flo's avatar

This link. I don’t know what happening. It keeps changing as soon as it is posted here. Very strange.

janbb's avatar

@flo That link keeps bringing me to a map of San Francisco. I hope Putin isn’t trying to annex that!

fundevogel's avatar

Putin is a douchenozzle.*

*Not modbait, it wouldn’t be the first time douchenozzlery in high places had international consequences.

flo's avatar

@janbb thank you I thought it is the computer I’m using or something.

flo's avatar

I get London England @janbb, you get California, it’s getting funnier.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@flo Yep. It’s SF Oakland and the bay

flo's avatar

Is anyone using Gmail? It is acting funny too. 1)Username stays after signing out, 2) Click compose and there is error message in the body. Remove it, and it will come back.

flo's avatar

By the way why can’t reporters just do their job and report what happened? They give people ideas. “Putin might go even further into Ukraine…”

Cruiser's avatar

@stanleybmanly Puerto Rico was strategically important when ballistic missiles only went so far…now we have nuclear powered subs, long distance missiles and planes and land based missiles are merely symbolic. 700 years ago Nat. gas and oil was not even an issue but today so much of Russia’s economy, ours and most of Europe is dependent and directly what happens in Russia….it now comes down to who can survive without each other. I think we have have the upper hand but it will come at a cost…higher fuel cost and quite possibly lives.

CWOTUS's avatar

Primarily the naval base, of course, but it’s more than that. Russia wants buffer territory to its west. The steppes that lead to Moscow are wide, generally unbroken plains until the German forests and the Alps. From a historical point of view, again, looking back hundreds of years, invaders into Russia (the Swedes of hundreds of years ago, Napoleon and then Hitler, to name the primary ones) have only been kept from Moscow – when they have been – by the distance they have to travel, and the Russian winters after they’ve been softened on the march (or mechanized drive) through the steppes. Russia does not want to have potentially unfriendly neighbors on the western border – especially if they then have unhampered access across a short distance to the capital city. If the western neighbors aren’t part of the Russian / Soviet empire, they need to be accessible to the Russian military for defense of the motherland.

This was probably the driving force for the Soviet empire to expand as it did following WWII. It wasn’t that the Russians needed satellite states and vassals so much as they needed territory between them and the next invader from Europe.

rojo's avatar

It is kind of like the priest and the alter boy scenario. Or the pimp with a heart of gold thing.

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