Crimea: the End of a Taboo

By Nina Bachkatov

The taboo concerning the fate of Crimea had just started to crumble, when the incident of 15 March involving a Russian fighter plane and an American unmanned drone put the Black Sea region under renewed international scrutiny – a region involving Ukrainian southern ports and the peninsula that Ukrainian forces want to regain. It was the first direct confrontation between two countries, Russia and the U.S., that are not technically at war which each other, but are actively involved on the dividing line about the European continent’s security. This kind of incident was due to happen in a region where Russians and the “allies of Ukraine” are testing the reactivity of each other in international airspace (or waters). In this case, the test concerned so-called “restricted zones”, unilaterally announced by Moscow in the framework of its invasion, extending Russian rights to occupied Ukrainian territories in 2014 and 2022.

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