Up until a week ago, very few Americans under the age 70 were familiar with Crimea. That’s because the last time anything of significance happened there was the Crimean Yalta conference in 1945.

In the past 14 days, Crimea has been mentioned more than 20,000 times across North American and UK TV & radio, with more than 5,000 mentions times in the past 24 hours. To put the surge of coverage in perspective, there had been less than 50 broadcast mentions of Crimea in the prior week.

Ukraine has also been mentioned more than 10,000 times in the past 24 hours.

Interestingly enough, Ukraine became part of the Soviet Union after the Yalta conference and Crimea’s port of Sevastopol became home to the Black Sea Fleet. In 1991, Ukraine became an independent state, free of Soviet and Russian rule.

And in recent years, Crimea has operated as an autonomous parliamentary republic within Ukraine. The country is governed by the Constitution of Crimea in accordance with the laws of Ukraine.

Tensions with Russian began again in 2008, when the Ukraine – then under the pro-Western President Viktor Yuschenko – demanded that Moscow not use the Black Sea Fleet during its conflict with Georgia.

Both countries agreed to allow Russia’s fleet to stay until 2017, which has continued to be a negotiation point for cheaper gas prices in return for the home of one of Russia’s largest Naval Bases.

Today, Crimea rests in the sights of both Russia and a pro-western government being established in a post-revolutionary Ukraine. Russian military forces have begun to move-in on the autonomous Crimean region within Ukraine. However, even Crimean leaders believe Moscow had planned this event in advance… possibly to secure their naval base and a valuable port controlling the Black Sea for years to come.

Reporting on the rapidly unfolding crisis by western TV and radio reporters thus far has lacked reference to the Yalta conference. That’s surprising because it was that very conference that both settled and started the current issue that has catapulted Crimea into the news.