People walked by fresh graffiti depicting Vladimir Putin in Simferopol on Aug. 17, 2015 in Simferopol, Crimea. (Photo by Alexander Aksakov/Getty Images)

Discussions over Crimea between the White House and Russia within the past few days have sparked questions about where the territory is, why it matters and, perhaps most importantly, if Russia will return the region to Ukraine. In a press conference Tuesday, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said President Donald Trump expects the Kremlin to eradicate its “violence in Ukraine and return Crimea.”

The Russians, however, do not have the same plan in mind. The following morning, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a news briefing Crimea was part of the Russian Federation and Russia would not return the land to Ukraine. As a retaliation, Trump took to Twitter to bash the Obama Administration about the conflict.

Given Crimea’s complicated, winding history with Russia and the rest of the world, here are four imperative facts to know about the centuries-old territory:

1. Crimea was annexed from Ukraine by Russia in 2014. The peninsula acted as a semiautonomous territory of Ukraine with its own parliament prior to Russia’s annexation. After a referendum vote polling 97 percent of Crimean residents wishing to join Russia, President Vladimir Putin said the substantial figure showed Crimea was an “inalienable" portion of Russia. A formal decree was ordered March 18, 2014, which allowed Russia to claim its ownership of the territory.

2. Ukraine sees the act as defilement of international law. Although those in Russia saw victory, Ukrainian officials were fuming. Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the annexation was "a robbery on an international scale.”

“One country has come and temporarily stolen part of the territory of an independent country. It will be difficult to find a quick resolution to this problem, but Russia is now isolated by the whole international community,” Yatsenyuk said.

3. Crimea initially became a part of the Russian Empire in 1783, but was eventually conveyed to Ukraine in 1954 following a great series of leaderships.

The territory was a part of Russia prior to its ownership in Ukraine in the latter half of the 20th century. In 1954, Russia’s Premier Nikita Khrushchev gifted the then-called Crimea Oblast to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic. Despite decades of association with Ukraine, a number of residents of the territory and Russian officials believe it belongs to Russia.

“A year ago today, Russia and the Russian people demonstrated an amazing focus and amazing patriotism by helping the people of Crimea and Sevastopol to return to their home shores,” Putin said in front of a cheering crowd on the first anniversary of the annexation in 2015.

4. The region has around 2 million people where 58 percent identify as ethnic Russian, 24 percent Ukrainian, 12 percent Tartars and 6 percent other. Although the territory was gifted to Ukraine in the 1950’s, the ethnicity of the region remains largely Russian. A majority of the population speaks Russian as the main language at around 97 percent.