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History of Crimea

Crimea is one of the earliest cradles of human civilization, claiming a rich history which dates all the way back to 35,000 B.C. Ancient trade roads connecting Northern Europe and the Mediterranean Sea went along the Danube and Dnepr rivers at the doorstep of Crimea.

The first city to appear on historical maps of Crimea is Feodosie (Theodosie) founded 2,500 years ago by the nation of Elins.

Greeks settled in Crimea in the 6th century B.C. and founded a couple of cities, one being Chersones. There are notes about Crimea in Greek folklore and in Homer's Odyssea.

Crimea was under the domination of the Roman Empire by 100 B.C., and then it became a part of the Byzantine Empire in the 4th century. In 1223, Crimea was attacked and conquered by the Mongolian army of Ghengis Khan.

Genoans and Venetian traders came to Crimea in 1260 to settle the area and do business alongside one of the most important trade routes connecting Europe with Asia. That may have been one of the first steps of globalization. The legendary Marco Polo lived in Crimea for a while at that time.

The Tatar state called Crimean Chanat was established in 1443, after the end of the Mongolian influence.

Crimea was annexed by Russia under Catherine the Great in 1783.

1853 Crimean War

The Crimean War began in 1853. It was the biggest among all Russian - Turkish wars, and almost developed into a "global" European war. The war began as a dispute over the protection of holy places in Palestine between the Orthodox Church supported by Russia and the Catholics supported by France, Great Britain and Sardinia.

Russia could not match the modern weapons of Western Europe at that time, and gradually found the war encroaching more and more into their own territory. After western European forces seized Sevastopol in September 1855, an exhausted Russia asked for peace. The Parisian peace treaty signed on March 30, 1856 ended Russian military influence in the Black Sea and the Christian part of Turkey came under the supervision of Europe's super powers.

Crimean Autonomy in the Soviet Republic was established in 1921. In 1941 - 1944, Crimea was occupied by Nazi Germany. In 1944, Crimean Tatars were sent to Siberia under charges of Nazi collaboration. Charges that weren't always supported with evidence much less a trial. In 1954, Crimea was annexed by the Soviet Republic of the Ukraine by Kruschev, who himself was of Ukrainian origin. Crimea became a part of independent Ukraine in 1990.

Today, Crimea is a peaceful part of the world, thankfully not impacted by the issues in the Middle East & elsewhere.