Published on 28 June 2014, by M. Tomazy.
Medical literature and heritage are among my interests. While I was reading, I found some surgical writings on the Crimean War (1853-1856). The war fought by an alliance between Britain, France, Turkey (Ottoman empire) and Sardinia against Russia.
|MacLeod's Surgery notes on the Crimean War, 1862|
Current Western-Russian escalation is repeating the same geography, with different reasons. The Crimean War (1853-1856) was, apparently, due to religious reasons, whereas the actual reason was "France, Russia and Britain were all competing for influence in the Middle East, particularly with Turkey. Religious differences were certainly a catalyst in the Crimean War. Control of access to religious sites in the Holy Land had been a cause of tension between Catholic France and Orthodox Russia for a number of years and in 1853, the conflict came to a head with rioting in Bethlehem, which was then part of the Ottoman empire ruled by Turkey. A number of Orthodox monks were killed during fighting with French monks. Tsar Nicholas I blamed the Turks for these deaths."
Until months ago, Crimea peninsula was part of Ukraine, one of the former USSR's major republics. However, Russia has finally regained control after pro-Western 'Ukrainian nationalists' --in fact, they have right-wing fascistic ideology against Russian-speakers in the eastern and southern territories-- overthrew the pro-Russian government. Thereafter, 'Cold War' has been erupted again between Russia and the Western bloc; competing for influence in Ukraine.
Returning to the War of Crimea (1853-1856): "the spark was a religious dispute over who should be the guardian of the Ottoman Empire’s Christian minority, especially in the Holy Land: Orthodox Russia or Catholic France. Napoleon III sent his best ship, Charlemagne, to the Black Sea to defend France’s claim. That, together with aggressive diplomatic and financial inducements, sharpened the minds of Ottoman leaders, who declared in favour of France. Russia responded by invading the Ottoman-controlled territories of Moldavia and Wallachia (roughly, parts of modern day Moldova and Romania) and sinking the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Sinope in 1853."
"In a statement on February 18,  the Russian Foreign Ministry said the escalation was a "direct result of connivance by Western politicians and European structures who since the beginning of the crisis have shut their eyes on the aggressive actions of radical forces. It called on the Ukrainian opposition to "refrain from threats and ultimatums and establish a substantive dialogue with the authorities with the aim of extricating the country from deep crisis."
It also said the opposition was no longer in control of the protest movement. The Russian Foreign Ministry statement came amid renewed clashes between riot police and antigovernment protesters in Kyiv"