Pro-Russian demonstrators block the entrance to the Ukranian Navy headquarters in Sevastopol on March 7, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE)
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Ukraine's Crimean peninsula is at the center of the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War.Russia's Black Sea naval base at Sevastopol was founded soon afterward.Crimea became part of Russia within the Soviet Union until 1954, when it was handed to Ukraine, also a Soviet Republic, by Stalin's successor Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian.Ukraine's fleet, carved out of the same Soviet fleet as Russia's, is also based there.Ukraine's 2001 census showed around 58 percent were ethnic Russian, 24 percent ethnic Ukrainian and 12 percent Tatars, who support the new pro-Western government in Kiev.Ukraine has two grain terminals in Crimea – in Kerch and in Sevastopol.
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