The feisty, libertarian-leaning Ekho Moskvy commentator Yulia Latynina draws attention, once again, to Putin’s March 18 speech; to the Duma and the Senate. Putin explained how in his eyes, Nikita Khruschev’s transferring Crimea from Russia to Ukraine was “unconstitutional” – under the 1936 Soviet constitution presumably – and simply wrong. But Putin also had this to say about larger swathes of Ukraine than just Crimea:
After the revolution, the Bolsheviks, for a number of reasons – may God judge them – added large sections of the historical South of Russia to the Republic of Ukraine. This was done with no consideration for the ethnic make-up of the population, and today these areas form the southeast of Ukraine.
What matters is who said it and when and why, not whether this is historically accurate. Recall that Putin has a mandate from the Senate (Federation Council) to use military force in all of Ukraine, not specifically Crimea.