In 2014 following Maidan, the people of Crimea held a referendum where they chose independence from Ukraine and reunification with the Russian Federation. It was the culmination of nearly a quarter century of increasing discontent between the culturally Russian population of Crimea and the increasingly nationalist and extremist elements dominating politics in Ukraine.
But what if Vladimir Putin had never ordered Russia's armed forces to secure Crimea from the radical Maidan coup forces? What if the violent groups such as Right Sector who seized control in Kiev, and who perpetrated the massacre at the Trade Union House in Odessa, had been permitted to spread to Crimea?
Here's one possible scenario:
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