Russia’s prize in Crimea resonates in history but has little strategic benefit for navy

By Will Englund, March 13, 2014

MOSCOW — Crimea’s Sevastopol port looms large in Russia’s historical memory, and Russia’s effective takeover of the peninsula packs an emotional wallop here.

The navy has an unusual hold on Russians’ imagination. Theirs was not a country with a sea­faring tradition like Holland’s or Britain’s, yet Peter the Great audaciously willed a Russian navy into existence in the early 1700s, and it has been a focus of veneration ever since.

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