The Baltic and the Ukraine - Some interesting parallels

Unrest in the Crimea and greater Ukraine?

HM ships and RAF Typhoons patrolling the Baltic states?

Trade sanctions against Russia?

There are some interesting parallels between the situation today and the events of 160 years ago as described in this 10-year-old article:

History Today: Crimea in Finland
Matthew Kirk 8 Aug 2004 said:
Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Finland, Matthew Kirk, describes the impact of the Crimean War on that country and how it is being commemorated.
A couple of years ago, before we came to live in Finland, a friend said ‘of course you’ll be there for all the Crimean War anniversaries’. A little surprised, I gently pointed out that Finland was well over a thousand miles north of the Crimea. ‘I know’ he said, witheringly, ‘but it was in what is now Finland that the Crimean War was won’.
In fact, in the nineteenth century, it was not called the Crimean War. It was called the Russian War. It was fought on two main fronts – the one we all remember in the Crimea, and the one we don’t in the Baltic. And yet, the campaign in the Baltic was notable both for the way it was fought and for its impact on the war with Russia...
Incidentally, British forces were back in the Baltic again to support the White Russians against the Bolsheviks during the British Campaign in the Baltic (1918–19), the Latvians against the Bolsheviks during their War of Independence (1918-20), the Estonians against the Bolsheviks during their War of Independence (1918-20) and the Lithuanians against the Bolsheviks during their Wars of Independence (1918-1920).

The Royal Navy bore the brunt of these campaigns by denying the Bolsheviks the ability to move by sea, bombarding them on land in support of Estonian and Latvian troops and providing supplies. In the course of events, the naval squadron lost the light cruiser HMS Cassandra (mined), the destroyers HMS Verulam (mined) and HMS Vittoria (torpedoed by Bolshevik submarine Pantera), the submarine L55 (surface action against Bolshevik destroyers), the sloops HMS Gentian and HMS Myrtle (both mined) and the Coastal Motor Boats CMB-24, CMB-62 and CMB-79 (surface action against Bolshevik Fleet) and CMB-67 (stranded).

The 107 RN dead plus five RAF dead from the carrier HMS Vindictive, whose aircraft (ex-HMS Argus) made numerous attacks on the Bolshevik naval base at Kronstadt, are commemorated on a memorial plaque in Portsmouth Cathedral with corresponding memorials in Tallinn and Riga.

A ditched Grain Griffin being recovered on board HMS Vindictive after
returning from a raid on Kronstadt in Baltic Sea 13 August 1919


After the First World War, entitlement to the British War Medal was extended to cover the period 1919–20 for service in mine-clearing at sea and other operations in North and South Russia, the eastern Baltic, Siberia, the Black Sea and the Caspian.

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