[ In Ukriane there is a distinct minority of folks who still claimÂ to be RussianÂ despite the independence of Ukraine from Russia in 1991. This article explains it well!Â ]Â
Why Crimea, Soviet 'gift' to Ukraine, remains strongly Russian
The Massachusetts-sized 'country within a country' is 70 percent ethnic Russian and home to Russia's Black Sea Fleet.
By Jeffrey White | Correspondent
The Christian Science Monitor
September 28, 2007 edition
Sevastopol, Ukraine: That Sevastopol is in Ukraine is a mere technicality: This city of 380,000 is part of Crimea, an autonomous republic nearly the size of Massachusetts, with its own parliament, prime minister, and constitution. Its population of 2 million is 70 percent ethnic Russian. "Crimea is a country within a country, and Sevastopol is a Russian city,"
Crimean authorities complain that little goes to benefit regional programs and infrastructure. (Russia annually gives money â€“ $10 million last year â€“ to cities like Sevastopol for social programs.)
There are regular accusations from Kiev of Russian meddling in the Crimea, and both sides continue to face off about the ownership of several strategic lighthouses along the Crimean coast. Ukraine says it will not extend the Black Sea Fleet's lease, scheduled to expire in 2017.
Read the entire article at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0928/p25s01-woeu.htm