To understand why Russia wants Crimea one has only to look at a map and discover that Crimea provides Russia with its only warm sea access.
Tennyson’s poem, the title of this post, was written about, you guessed it, the reckless, futile, and military strategy-wise stupid charge of a British light brigade in Balaclava, Ukraine, during the Crimean War (1854-1856). Of the 637 cavalry that took part, 247 were killed or wounded. The war between Russia and Turkey was joined by Britain and France because Britain and France wanted the Russian navy to stay out of the Black Sea and the Dardanelles – the straight from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean, and from there to the Atlantic Ocean and the rest of the planet.
It has been said that the generals who ordered the charge of the light brigade never saw the battlefield.
So why does Russia still crave Crimea in 2014? Because Russia still wants warm sea access to the rest of the planet. As part of the reason, the fact that most of the people in Crimea are Russian is in second place.
This is too easy.