Thursday, April 3, 2014

Moscow Times: "After Crimea, Russians Say They Want Alaska Back"

From the Moscow Times:

A Russian Orthodox church in Alaska
A mere four kilometers separate Russia's Big Diomede Island from Alaska's Little Diomede Island in the Bering Strait.

This boundary between two feuding powers — known as the "Ice Curtain" during the Cold War — is likely the only place from which former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin could really see Russia.

But after Russia's annexation of Crimea, which the Kremlin said corrected a "historical mistake," some in Russia would like to see the divide with Alaska eliminated by having Russia stake a new claim on the territory, which Tsar Alexander II sold to the U.S. for $7.2 million in 1867.

Amid growing anti-Americanism in Russia following the imposition of U.S. sanctions, Russian officials and pro-Kremlin journalists and bloggers have fueled talk — generally facetious — of an ambition to retake Alaska.

In an appearance on a BBC talk show last month, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia's permanent representative to the European Union, made perhaps the most direct hint at this goal of any official, suggesting that U.S. Senator John McCain should "watch over Alaska."

Comic takes on Alaska's Russian past have also emerged on Russian social media. Humor websites published a photoshopped picture of penguins from the pro-Kremlin United Russia party holding signs saying, "Crimea is ours," "Alaska is next!" and "Only Putin!" The picture conveniently ignores the fact that there are not actually any penguins in Alaska....MORE
HT to and picture from The Telegraph