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Five years after Russia annexed Crimea, there is no reason to believe the peninsula’s status will change anytime soon. Today, it is easier to imagine the reunification of North and South Korea — something unthinkable a few years ago — than Crimea returning to Ukrainian control. Although the U.S. State Department still refers to the situation in the Peninsula as an “attempted annexation,” the attempt has succeeded. And the West can do nothing about it.

Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 prompted international sanctions and Western attempts to isolate the Kremlin. And relations between Russia and the West remain at their lowest level since the end of the Cold War. But the West’s response has had no effect whatsoever on Russia’s position.

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