The other answers have already listed everything.Crimea was not originally Russian, but the Russians have always sought control of the area.
Who are ‘the Russians’ at all?Originally, the Kievrus existed until they were conquered by the Golden Horde, the successors of Genghis Khan. After that, individual principalities were formed. One was Lithuania with the capital Vilnius. They cooperated with the Poles and became today’s Ukraine. They never, so really never came to Crimea.
Another was Novgorod.This later merged with the Principality of Moscow and became today’s Russia. Since they were there, the tsars have tried to get to the Black Sea, which was finally achieved under Grigory Potyomkin during the 7th Russian Turkish War in 1774. Since then, the Russians have built up their Black Sea fleet there.
After the Battle of Tannenberg (1914), the Germans conquered large parts of Russia.So the Germans even came to Crimea. In the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty, territories of Russia were given to the newly created state of Ukraine, including Crimea.
After the Russian Revolution in the Russian Civil War, the Russians were able to reclaim Crimea.After that, the border looked something like it does today. During World War II, the Germans made every effort to conquer the seaport of Sevastopol. After fierce fighting, the Germans were able to move into the city in 1942, and in 1944 the Russians recaptured the city.
Because the Soviet Union was administered uniformly, Nikita Khrushchev handed over the Crimean peninsula to the Ukrainian Soviet Republic in 1954.After the end of the Soviet Union, there were more important things than to take care of the whereabouts of Crimea, especially since the Russians were allowed to continue to use the port of Sevastopol, which is why there were also large contingents of troops in Crimea, which were not brought up for occupation.
Under international law, neither the handover of Crimea to Ukraine was correct, nor the way in which the Russians reclaimed the peninsula.But given the many blood that has flowed so far for dominance there and, on the other hand, the strategic importance, the Russians will not voluntarily evacuate the peninsula.
Whether there are Ukrainians on the island depends on whether the tartars are considered Ukrainians.After all, they are Mongolians. But because of the time under Stalin, they prefer to belong to Ukraine. Within Ukraine, they are treated like foreigners, just like the Indians in North America. But there are a lot of real Russians living in Crimea. They also helped the referendum to victory. The West does not want a second referendum because, if it were carried out correctly, the Russians would probably get a majority again. In principle, the West is only concerned with oil-producing rights. Where Gazprom is now drilling, Exxon Mobil and Chevron Texaco would like to take action. There are also geostrategic initiatives that the Russians want to push back. Behind them are the same spirits who wanted to conquer Crimea in 1914.