The Russian Empire in Crimea. "Project South"
The Russian Empire was built on the way to the South. There were plenty of reasons – the historic, the economic and the political ones. Russia needed a Mediterranean Sea access. Apart from that, it was an attempt to restore the civilizational connection with the Byzantine Empire from where Russia had inherited its institutional framework – the religion, the state structure. The Ottoman Empire was the main obstacle in the way of the realization of this project. The wars with the Ottoman Empire had stretched for two centuries and aimed to establish the control over the Black Sea (Turkish) Straits – the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus. Crimea and Sevastopol became the main sites in this conflict. However, the place that was supposed to serve as the center of attack against the Ottoman Empire was destined to flourish into one of the hearths and homes of the Russian civilization known as “the Crimean Riviera”. As for the “Project South”, it is only at the start of the 21st century that Russia has been able to come close to bringing it to life having suffered a number of overwhelming defeats in the 19th-20th centuries. In the course of our trip, we will visit the landmarks that had played the crucial part in this story.
Day 1 – Sevastopol. A vanguard of the Russian Empire, the city built for the purposes of launching an assault against the Ottoman Empire. It was also the Crimean (Eastern) war and the WWII battle forefront.
Day 2 – Balaclava (the birthplace of the military legends – “red thin line”, the “raglan”, “the charge of the light brigade”) and Fedyukhiny Vysoty (a military reconstruction park).