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Sebastopol Besieged

The legacy of the Crimean War still resonates in Ukraine, as Hugh Small explains.

The Crimea, Russia and competing empires, 1854The Crimean War (1854-56) was a disappointment to the British because peace broke out just when, with their French, Turkish and Italian allies, they seemed to be gaining the upper hand over Russia. For more than a century afterwards, English-language histories of the war tended to play down this disappointment by writing off the war as unnecessary. Only since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 have historians reappraised the conflict and shown how much was at stake in the most destructive war of the 19th century: it equalled the American Civil War in casualties and left a legacy that still divides Ukraine and the Caucasus.

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