Russia utilised the civil unrest around the Ukrainian revolution in 2014 to bypassed the diplomatic process and installed a pro-Russian government. A snap referendum was held, international oversight was refused, and Russia officially declared Crimea part of Russian territory. Russia utilised the instability of the region, breaking international law and hence received wide spread international condemnation and sanctions.
The history of Russia mismanaging Crimea which goes back to World War Two when Russia deported all of the ethnically Crimean Tatar people group to Uzbekistan. This example of ethnic cleansing was Stalin’s heavy handed attempt to deal with civil unrest in the area. It was during this time that Crimea was transferred and came to be known as a territory of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Following Ukraines independence in 1991, Crimea was recognised to have autonomous status as part of Ukraine’s territory.
Instability swelled in the region following anti-Ukrainian demonstrations in 2009. This was amid accusations of the Russian government handing out Russian passports in Crimea, while declaring their intent to use military interventions abroad to protect Russian citizens. Crimea’s population is majority Russian as a result of former Soviet policy, with ethnic Ukrainians and Tatars forming minorities in the region.