Russia and Eastern Europe

Russia and the Former Soviet States

Why is there a tiny piece of Russia in the middle of Eastern Europe?

The important seaport of Kaliningrad, wedged between Poland and Lithuania, was annexed by the U.S.S.R. at the end of World War II. Though once the capital of East Prussia and ethnically German, the Soviets quickly evicted the Germans and replaced them with ethnic Russians. In 1991 many of the autonomous republics within the U.S.S.R. gained independence. Though Kaliningrad lies west of these new countries, its inhabitants are ethnically Russian and thus remained part of the Russian state.


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