Russia’s Black Sea Fleet
Sevastopol and the Crimean Peninsula have historically been considered critical to the maintenance and security of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. With major infrastructure improvements being made at the port of Novorossiysk to accommodate Russia’s warships, analysts question whether any Russian presence in Crimea will be strategically necessary. For Ukraine, the loss of its ships and ports in Crimea would deal a severe setback to its diminished navy. READ: Russia's prize in Crimea resonates in history
SOURCES: International Institute for Strategic Studies. Gene Thorp/The Washington Post.