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The placeEdit

Kaliningrad Oblast is a federal subject of Russia that is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. As an oblast, its constitutional status is equal to each of the other 84 federal subjects.

Kaliningrad Oblast (Russian: Калинингра́дская о́бласть, Kaliningradskaya oblast) is a federal subject of Russia that is located on the coast of the Baltic Sea. As an oblast, its constitutional status is equal to each of the other 84 federal subjects. Its administrative center is the city of Kaliningrad, formerly known as Königsberg. It is the only Baltic port in the Russian Federation that remains ice-free in winter. According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 941,873. 

The oblast is an exclave so visa-free travel to the main part of Russia is only possible by sea or air. The territory was formerly part of East Prussia.


With the defeat of Nazi Germany in 1945 after the Second World War, the territory was annexed by the Soviet Union. Following the post-war migration and expulsion of the German-speaking population, the territory was populated with citizens from the Soviet Union. Today, virtually no ethnic Germans remain.

The city was rebuilt during the Cold War. The territory became strategically important as the headquarters of the Soviet Baltic Fleet. Consequently, the city was closed to foreign visitors.

In 1957, an agreement was signed and later came into force which delimited the border between Poland and the Soviet Union. 

The region was added as an exclave to the Russian SFSR; since 1946 it has been known as the Kaliningrad Oblast. According to some historians, Stalin created it as an oblast separate from the LSSR because it further separated the Baltic states from the West. The names of the cities, towns, rivers and other geographical features were changed to Russian names.

It is claimed  that the Soviet government offered the territory to the Lithuanian SSR during the 1950s because a substantial portion of the oblast consists of Lithuania Minor. The area was administered by the planning committee of the LSSR, although it had its own Communist Party committee. However, the leadership of the Lithuanian SSR (especially Antanas Sniečkus) refused to take the territory. In 2010, the German magazine Der Spiegel published a report claiming that Kaliningrad had been offered to Germany in 1990 (against payment), but this was denied by Mikhail Gorbachev.  Some modern nationalistic Lithuanian authors claim that the reason for the refusal was the Lithuanians' concern that there might be as many Russians as Lithuanians within an expanded Lithuanian SSR.

Early in the 21st century, the hitherto flagging economy of Kaliningrad Oblast became one of the best performing economies in Russia. This was helped by a low manufacturing tax rate related to its "Special Economic Zone" (SEZ) status. As of 2006, one in three televisions manufactured in Russia came from Kaliningrad. The territory's population was one of the few in Russia that was expected to show strong growth. 

Also seeEdit


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