Let's be realistic: just how much time do you give to the Kerch bridge?
The southern shore of Crimea was ruled directly by the Ottomans (not the vassalized Khanate), and most of the diversity was there (with similar policies, so that doesn't change the conclusions, I'm just nitpicking).
The argument from Crimea I hear in the version, "but the Russian minority in Ukraine is not treated properly and wants to Russia." Apparently this is what Ukrainian refugees claim, and Le Monde. I have tried to explain that the bad attitude towards Russians is a result of Russian politics and the war, that no democratic votes confirm support for Russia, and we only have reports that are heavily politically charged, and well, that the situation can be compared to the German minority in Poland, after Hitler unleashed the war. And that as long as the war continues, sympathizing with the minority from the aggressor nation and ignoring the rights of the invaded majority, is immoral. Well, but "they" do not understand what is being said to them....
One thing which I don't understand is why Turkey with all those Erdogan's words about uniting turkish nations is not involving itself more in Crimea and Tatars protection. BTW: I'm not sure if it's true but I've heard from one Turkish guy that there are more Tatars living in Turkey than in Crimea and Russia together. They would be natural candidates for peacekeepers after the war.
"Current Russian propaganda is portraying this transfer as something sinister, erroneous, controversial, or even illegal (as if the decision of the party leaders could ever be illegal in a communist country!). This is a new phenomenon caused by looking for justification of the war - there was no controversy about it as far back as 10 years ago."
There was. According to Plokhy, already in the 90s the Russian parliament declared the transfer of Crimea illegal and claimed Sevastopol for the Russian Federation. Yeltsin also said that "Crimea is Russian" after hearing that it voted, like the rest of Ukraine, for indepence from the USSR. His vice president, Rutskoi, declared in 1992 that the transfer should be reversed. And so on.
They wanted it back for a long time.
"If you feel that Crimean toponomics often sound like they are derived from Greek or Latin (Theodosia, Eupatoria, Taurida) it’s because they are."
One of the reasons why Russia is so obsessed with Crimea appears to be that it provides them with a "connection to the ancient greco-roman civilisation", thus lending some credibility to the "Third Rome" narrative. Obviously another example of megalomania and/or magical thinking, but still worth mentioning.
Ownership of the land is successful ethnic cleansing plus time.
Contrary to what many Ukrainians learn in school Poland didn't annex Western Ukraine in 1920, this is ahistoric as at the time both nations had reasonable claims (even if Poland get much more than it should) - but after most Poles were disappeared from there, no one sane in Poland treats these territories as polish in any sense except historical.
The same goes for Eastern Prussia or Western Pomerania.
Kosovo is historical heartland of Serbia but is today widely accepted as separate from Serbia because Albanians (just for simplicity, I know it's more complicated) settled and lived there long enough time ago that there is no point of reverting it.
Lets not even start considering Native Americans here.
Israel uses settlers in the hope of doing the same. After enough generations of settlers no deal to give some territory back to Palestine will be seen as sane.
There is not enough Crimean Tatars left and they are too dispersed arounf the world to make Crimea a Tatar state.
If putin didn't invade in 2022 he would probably have kept Crimea long enough, to make it impossible to take away - whether it would be 30 years or 75.
That's why I really hope, Ukraine will get back Crimea this time. Because with every decade it will be harder to justify.
I wonder if you could say something about Nagorno-Karabakh. This is not about Ukraine, but it would fit into the broader theme of eastsplaning the post-Soviet space and the comparison with the situation in Ukraine might be interesting. Was Nagorno-Karabakh a case fake separatism, invented by Armenia and Russia to extend their imperialism to parts of Azerbaijan? Were the Russian troops peacekeepers or occupiers? Is it a good solution that Nagorno-Karabakh ceases to exist and the internationally recognised borders are respected?
Just wondering if the recent article by Zaluzhny, which said that the war has reached a "stalemate", hasn't dampened anyone's enthusiasm.