The war in Crimea can be seen in retrospect as one episode in the long slow triumph of Russia over the declining Ottoman Empire through wars which broke out every generation from 1676 to 1878, and its advance south to the Black Sea and long-desired warm-water ports. The immediate pretext for the war was the Russian invasion in 1853 of the Ottoman provinces of Moldavia and Walachia at the mouth of the Danube (modern Romania) under the claim that orthodox Christians among the population needed their protection. In this claim Russia was following the example of an agreement which the French had extracted from Turkey in February 1852 that administrative responsibility for the Christian places of worship in the Holy Land would henceforth be …
Clark, Robert. "Crimean War". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 December 2007; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=235, accessed 19 April 2015.]