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Letter: Crimea Is Part of Russia

To the Editor:

With all the media reports about the awful Russian invasion of Crimea and its hasty vote on Sunday joining Russia, Raymond Malley’s letter in the Sunday Valley News was informative and refreshing. I think it is very important that we understand the situation from a Russian perspective. I want to add a little to what Malley wrote.

Russians took control of Crimea in 1783 to end a long period in which Crimean Tatars were capturing Russians and Ukranians, and selling them as slaves. In 1853-1856, Russians defended the region against invasions by British, French, and Ottoman troops, proudly holding the surrounded fortress of Sevastopol for more than a year. Many fierce battles were fought in Crimea when the Nazis invaded in World War II, and again Russians held onto surrounded Sevastopol for more than six months. It is for many Russians a symbol of Russia bravery.

How did Crimea become Ukranian territory? It was transferred as an autonomous republic to the Ukranian SSR, which was part of the USSR, apparently by decree of Nikita Kruschev. It is hard to understand why. The population was and continues to be more Russian than Ukranian.

Regarding Crimea and Ukraine we should: 1) Accept the inevitable that Crimea is logically part of Russia; and 2) work toward making Ukraine an economically and politically viable state.

Robert Z Norman