Published: 8 Jan 2015 | By Graham Donnelly

Crimea’s Tatars

Article

Crimea: a peninsula in the Black sea, made famous in Western Europe, not for its glorious climate, or spectacular coastline, resort towns and ancient wonders, but rather burned into Western European collective memory as the site of one of Europe’s tragically routine episodes of internecine bloodletting – the Crimean War of the 1850s.

The parallels between the Crimean War of 1853-56 and the events of today go beyond mere geography. In 1853, the Crimean War shattered the post-Napoleonic order – a period of historic calm within the continent,and became the first inter-state war fought on European soil since the pan-European allied defeat of Napoleon. In annexing Crimea in 2014, another historic epoch of European inter-state calm, stretching back to another pan-European allied victory, came to an abrupt end as the ‘green men’ of Crimea delivered the peninsula to Moscow.

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