The territory of Crimea, previously controlled by the Crimean Khanate, was annexed by the Russian Empire on 19 April [O.S. 8 April] 1783. The period before the annexation was marked by Russian interference in Crimean affairs, a series of revolts by Crimean Tatars, and Ottoman ambivalence. The annexation began many years of Russian rule in Crimea, which ended with the transfer of the territory to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954. Russia annexed Crimea for a second time in March 2014. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annexation_of_Crimea_by_the_Russian_Empire
Crimean war (Russia fighting Turkey, Britain, France and Sardinia in 1853-56) sights were listed as tour attractions in the tour prospectus. Twain notes the destruction wrought, especially at Sevastopol. Twain writes in a letter to Alta California that the war was fought over the right to build a new dome over Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre.