NATO partly responsible for Ukraine crisis
Published 05/03/2014 | 02:30
* The situation in Ukraine and Crimea is now fraught with danger. If violent conflict occurs the people in both countries could once again suffer catastrophically, having suffered more than any other European country under both Stalin and Hitler.
For most Ukrainians, Crimea is part of Ukraine, but historically Russia has a substantial claim to it, and the Tartar people have always had ambitions for independence, but their population was decimated by Stalin's deportation of vast numbers to central Asia.
Russians now make up 58pc of Crimea, with 24pc Ukrainians and only 12pc Tartars. The Crimean peninsula is of vital strategic importance to Russia, due to its vital access to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.