Crimea is a peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of the newly independent Ukraine, leading to tensions with neighboring Russia.
In 1954, Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a symbolic gesture by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of the independent Ukraine. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is stationed in Sevastopol and the southern tip of the peninsula continues to be a Russian stronghold in the region. Throughout the last decades, tensions between the two neighbors have occasionally flared, but nothing like the escalation and mobilization of troops in March 2014. Since then, at least de facto if not de jure, the territory has been under Russian control. Recent DW stories tagged Crimea are collated here.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko has appointed former Georgian leader Saakashvili as governor of troubled Odessa region near Russian-annexed Crimea. Moscow has slammed the fiercely anti-Russian politician's appointment.
EU leaders are meeting in Riga with six former Soviet states to deepen relations. The eastern partnership conference was set up in 2009 in the aftermath of the Russia-Georgia war to produce a democratic region without explicitly offering the countries EU membership. The conference comes as Russia works to win over the six states for a Moscow led alternative.