A piece of Russia

What is the story with the small portion of Russia that is located between Lithuania and Poland? Why did it remain part of Russia while the states surrounding it became sovereign states?

That’s Kaliningrad oblast. It’s the bit of East Prussia that Russia held on to and that didn’t go to Poland or Lithuania after the war. It surrounded the old city of Konigsberg, which was basically flattened during the war, and which the Russians rebuilt and renamed Kaliningrad.

After the break-up of the Soviet Union, how was Russia still able to retain this real-estate?

Here’s Wikipedia on the subject. Worse than I thought. Königsberg was the capital of East Prussia:

Interesting, Thanks! I assume that to travel to that area, one must adhere to same procedures as if one were traveling to mainland Russia. Which, of course, is a paperwork nightmare.

Let us not forget Euler and the Konigsberg Bridge Problem. Can’t remember what the hell it had to do with Calculus, though. :slight_smile:

Not much, to my knowledge, but it is pretty important in the development of graph theory.

Pretty sure it was Dr. Duplissey, “Anyone can integrate. A blind mongoloid can integrate.” Cal III? I cussed him up and down in an engineering course, and became aware I was speaking to his Wife. She agreed with me. Teaching her higher mathematics made her weep. :slight_smile:

The only part of the former Soviet Union that was contiguous to Kaliningrad was Lithuania, which had only been annexed into the USSR in 1940. It was made part of the Russian SFSR. Had Kaliningrad been transferred to the Lithuanian SSR, it would have ended up as Lithuanian territory after independence

This would have been analogous to the transfer of the Crimean territory from the Russian SFSR to the Ukranian SSR in 1954. As a result of that transfer, Crimea is now part of independent Ukraine. I suspect (with no evidence to back it up) that the Moscow government didn’t necessarily want to leave such a strategic territory in the hands of a Republic that it had just annexed in 1940.

Now that you speak of it, the visa matter is indeed a cause for continous debate between Russia and the Europan Union. The countries surrounding Kaliningrad are all members of the EU, so a citizen of Kaliningrad who wants to travel to mainland Russia by car, bus or train needs to transit the EU. He or she will need the appropriate visa, and generally, EU countries require some paperwork from Russian nationals to be issued visa. Moscow demanded the EU granted its nationals in Kaliningrad esceptions, which the EU denied because it feared misuse that could result in an increase in illegal immigration.

They managed to reach a compromise with some special rules that made it easier for Russians to get transit visa for travel to and from Kalinigrad.