Crimea is a peninsula located on the northern coast of the Black Sea. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of the newly independent Ukraine, leading to tensions with neighboring Russia.
In 1954, Crimea was transferred to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic as a symbolic gesture by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Crimea became part of the independent Ukraine. Russia's Black Sea Fleet is stationed in Sevastopol and the southern tip of the peninsula continues to be a Russian stronghold in the region. Throughout the last decades tensions between the two neighbors have occasionally flared, but nothing like the escalation and mobilization of troops in March 2014.
More than half a year has passed since Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The West still regards it as a breach of international law but de facto, Crimea belongs to Russia. However, there is still dissent - mainly from the Muslim minority, or Crimean Tartars, who now feel the Kremlin pressure almost every day as Mareike Aden found out when she went there.
Oleg Sentsov had planned to start shooting his second feature film last summer. But then came Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the up-and-coming filmmaker was active in the opposition to it. In May 2014, he was arrested by the Russian secret service and charged with plotting terrorist acts.