The Crimean War was fought from 1853 to 1856 between Russian forces and the allied armies of Britain, France, the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), and Sardinia (part of present-day Italy). The Crimean Peninsula, which juts out into the Black Sea and is today part of Ukraine, was the setting for many of the battles. The source of the conflict was Russia’s continued expansion into the Black Sea region—which, if left unchecked, would have resulted in strategic and commercial advantages for Russia. But Russia was unable to muster the strength it needed to combat the powerful alliance formed by the European countries and the Ottoman Empire. The war was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1856), which required Russia to surrender lands it had taken from the Ottoman Empire and abolished Russian navy and military presence in the Black Sea region. It was the first conflict that was covered by newspaper reporters at the front.