“The Gift of Crimea”

Recent events in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula prompted several North American news organizations (USA Today; National Public Radio; Slate.com; ipolitics.ca) to quote from Seventeen Moments (www.soviethistory.macalester.edu), the award-winning website that Lewis Siegelbaum co-authored and co-manages with James von Geldern of Macalester College. The news organizations were quoting from an essay on the website, “The Gift of Crimea,” that Lewis Siegelbaum wrote nearly a decade ago. The essay explains the transference of Crimea from the Russian Federated Soviet Socialist Republic to its Ukrainian “sister” republic in 1954 as a “gift” arranged by Nikita Khrushchev to honor Ukraine on the tercentenary of its unification with Muscovy.


Just as Khrushchev could not have imagined how consequential this transference of territory would become in the aftermath of the break-up of the Soviet Union,  neither Siegelbaum nor von Geldern expected that the essay and accompanying documents would be sought by news agencies seeking background on the current crisis in that part of the world.


For the essay, go to: http://soviethistory.macalester.edu/index.php?page=subject&SubjectID=1954crimea&Year=1954

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