March 3, 2014
In 1783 the Crimea was annexed by Catherine the Great, thereby
satisfying the longstanding quest of the Russian Czars for a warm-water
port. In fact, over the ages Sevastopol emerged as a great naval base at
the strategic tip of the Crimean peninsula, where it became home to the
mighty Black Sea Fleet of the Czars and then the commissars.
For the next 171 years Crimea was an integral part of Russia—a span
that exceeds the 166 years that have elapsed since California was
annexed by a similar thrust of “Manifest Destiny” on this continent,
thereby providing, incidentally, the United States Navy with its own
warm-water port in San Diego. While no foreign forces subsequently
invaded the California coasts, it was most definitely not Ukrainian and
Polish riffles, artillery and blood which famously annihilated The
Charge Of The Light Brigade at the Crimean city of Balaclava in 1854;
they were Russians defending the homeland.
And the portrait of the Russian ”hero” hanging in Putin’s office is
that of Czar Nicholas I—who’s brutal 30-year reign brought the Russian
Empire to its historical zenith, and who was revered in Russian
hagiography as the defender of Crimea, even as he lost the 1850s war to
the Ottomans and Europeans. Besides that, there is no evidence that
Putin does historical apologies, anyway.