Crimea's situation is, as with many things in Ukraine's political crisis, compounded by a complicated history. Let's take a look back. It's revealing that Crimea is, much like Ukraine, often prefaced with a ''the'' when referred to in English. The once-widespread use of ''the Ukraine'' has often angered Ukrainians, many of whom believe that the implication is that Ukraine is a region, not a country, that could be conquered by greater powers.
That logic could be applied to Crimea: For centuries the Crimean Peninsula, which occupies a strategically important location on the Black Sea (it is the base of Russia's Black Sea Fleet) and has arable land, has been fought over by various outside forces.