If there is one world news story currently circulating, it’s the turmoil in Crimea. But only hearing snippets can make it difficult to piece a whole story together.

So what is Crimea?

Crimea is a peninsula off the south border of Ukraine. Although it is pro-Russian, it is still a part of Ukraine. It is separated from Ukraine not only physically but culturally. It has been part of Ukraine since Nikita Khrushchev established it as such in 1954.

Why does Russia want Crimea?

Crimea is actually more Russian than Ukrainian (up to 60% of Crimea’s population is Russian), and Putin believes this is justification. It would prove to be an asset for Russia, and it’s one some think they should have had long before. Many see annexing Crimea as almost a right for Russia.

What is the most recent news?

On Sunday, Crimea voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. There was an apparent 97% approval of this, though apparently there is a reason why – there was no option on this ballot to stay part of Ukraine. The choice was either to join now or separate from Ukraine and probably join Russia later.

As of March 19, Russia has announced they are annexing Crimea. They have military control of the peninsula and hold to the election that was held as further justification.

What will the future hold?

The United States has put strict sanctions on many Russian officials, but many are waiting to see if other actions will be taken. It will also be interesting to watch and see how Ukraine responds to the circumstances.

Where can I go to find out more?

Here are few link with comprehensive information:

BBC News

ABC News

The Independent