Калининградская область (Russian)
|— Oblast —|
|Established||April 7, 1946|
|Government (as of August 2010)|
|- Governor||Nikolay Tsukanov|
|- Legislature||Oblast Duma|
|Area (as of the 2002 Census)|
|- Total||15,100 km2 (5,800 sq mi)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|- Density||62.38/km2 (161.6/sq mi)|
|Time zone(s)||USZ1 (UTC+02:00)|
|License plates||39, 91|
|www.gov39.ru Official website|
The territory of the Kaliningrad Oblast is that of the northern part of historical East Prussia (German: Nord-Ostpreussen), which was an exclave of Germany from World War I until 1945. That year, it was occupied by the Soviet Union, whose armies remained until the war ended. The region was later annexed to the Soviet Union under border changes promulgated in the Potsdam Agreement, when it was attached to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Most of its indigenous German population were killed or fled westward to what would become West Germany during the last months of the war. The rest were expelled between 1944 and 1950. Russian settlers were moved in, and the population has been majority Russian ever since.
The oblast forms the westernmost part of Russia; it has no land connection to the rest of the country. Since its creation after World War II, it has been a Russian exclave, first of the Russian SFSR and then of the Russian Federation. The fall of the Soviet Union left it isolated from the rest of Russia. It is surrounded by Poland on the south, Lithuania on the east and north, and the Baltic Sea on the west. Visa-free travel to the main part of Russia is only possible by sea or air. This political isolation became more pronounced when Lithuania and Poland both became members of the European Union and NATO as well as entering the Schengen Zone, which means that the oblast is now surrounded by territories affiliated with these institutions.
The oblast's largest city and administrative center is Kaliningrad (formerly Königsberg), which has historical significance as both a major city of the historical state of Prussia and the capital of the former German province of East Prussia. After World War II, East Prussia was divided between the USSR and Poland, and Königsberg was renamed after the Soviet Head of State Mikhail Kalinin.
Currently, Kaliningrad Oblast is one of Russia's best performing regional economies, bolstered by a low manufacturing tax rate as set by its "Special Economic Zone" [SEZ] status, which was issued by Moscow. As of 2006, one in three televisions in Russia are made in Kaliningrad. The territory's population is one of the few in Russia that is expected to show strong growth during the early 21st century.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Politics
- 3 History
- 4 Military
- 5 Administrative divisions
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Economy
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Kaliningrad Oblast is an exclave of Russia surrounded by Poland, Lithuania, and the Baltic Sea. Its largest river is the Pregolya (Russian: Прего́ля; German: Pregel; Lithuanian: Prieglius). It starts as a confluence of the Instruch and the Angrapa and drains into the Baltic Sea through Vistula Lagoon. Its length under the name of Pregolya is 123 km (76 mi), 292 km (181 mi), including the Angrapa.
Notable geographical features include:
Major cities and towns:
|Russian||German †||Lithuanian †||Polish †|
† Pre-1946 (the German-language names were also used in English in this period)
The current governor (since 2010) of Kaliningrad Oblast is Nikolay Tsukanov, who succeeded Georgy Boos. The election for the fifth term of the Kaliningrad Oblast Duma was held on 13 March 2011.
The site now occupied by Kaliningrad was previously the site of the East Prussian city of Königsberg. Founded in 1255 by the Teutonic Knights on the site of the Old Prussian settlement of Twangste (Tuwangste, Tvankste), the city was named in honor of the Bohemian King Ottokar II. Through the periods of Germanization and colonization over the following centuries, German culture became dominant, with sizable Polish and Lithuanian minorities. During World War II, the city of Königsberg was largely destroyed.
History of Brandenburg and Prussia
|Margraviate of Brandenburg
|Duchy of Prussia
|Royal (Polish) Prussia
|Kingdom in Prussia
|Kingdom of Prussia
|Free State of Prussia
1920–1939 / 1945–present
1947–1952 / 1990–present
The territory of what is now Kaliningrad Oblast was inhabited during the Middle Ages by tribes of Old Prussians in the western part, and Lithuanians in the eastern part, divided by the Pregolya and Alna Rivers. The Teutonic Knights conquered the region and established a monastic state. On the foundations of a destroyed Prussian settlement known as Tvanksta, the Order founded the major city of Königsberg (modern Kaliningrad). Germans and Poles resettled the territory and assimilated the indigenous Old Prussians. The Lithuanian-inhabited areas became known as Lithuania Minor. In 1525, Grand Master Albert of Brandenburg secularized the Prussian branch of the Teutonic Order and established himself as the sovereign of the Duchy of Prussia, a Polish fief, later inherited by the Margravate of Brandenburg. During the Seven Years' War it was occupied by the Russian Empire. The region was reorganized into the Province of East Prussia within the Kingdom of Prussia in 1773.
East Prussia was an important center of German culture. Many important figures, such as Immanuel Kant and E. T. A. Hoffmann, came from this region. The cities of Kaliningrad Oblast, despite being heavily damaged during World War II and thereafter, still contain some typical German architecture, in styles such as the Jugendstil, showcasing the rich German history and cultural importance of the area. The Lithuanian-speaking community in East Prussia declined due to organic Germanization and cultural assimilation. By the early 20th century Lithuanians made up a majority only in rural parts of the far northeast corner of East Prussia (Memelland and Lithuania Minor). The rest of the area, with the exception of the Slavic Masurians in southeast Prussia, was overwhelmingly German-speaking. However, in 1918 Prussians who spoke German joined Lithuanian-speaking Prussians and claimed that all of East Prussia should join with Lithuania because the majority of the area's inhabitants were of Lithuanian-Prussian ethnic descent. In November 1918, they signed a declaration of independence from Germany and unification with Lithuania.
The Memel Territory (Klaipėda region), formerly part of northeastern East Prussia, was annexed by Lithuania in 1923. In 1938, Nazi Germany radically altered about a third of the place names of this area, replacing names of Old Prussian or Lithuanian origin with newly invented German names. Slavic and Jewish populations under Nazi Germany were classified as subhuman and were the target of a campaign of genocide by the German state, with the eventual goal of their extermination.
At the end of World War II in 1945, the city became part of the Soviet Union pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement (as part of the Russian SFSR) as agreed upon by the Allies at the Potsdam Conference:
VI. CITY OF KÖNIGSBERG AND THE ADJACENT AREA
The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government that pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement the section of the western frontier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which is adjacent to the Baltic Sea should pass from a point on the eastern shore of the Bay of Danzig to the east, north of Braunsberg and Goldap, to the meeting point of the frontiers of Lithuania, the Polish Republic and East Prussia.
The Conference has agreed in principle to the proposal of the Soviet Government concerning the ultimate transfer to the Soviet Union of the city of Koenigsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above, subject to expert examination of the actual frontier.
Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946 after the death of Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Mikhail Kalinin, one of the original Bolsheviks. The survivors of the German population were expelled, and the city was repopulated with Soviet citizens. The German language was replaced with the Russian language. The city was rebuilt, and, as the westernmost territory of the USSR, the Kaliningrad Oblast became a strategically important area during the Cold War. The Soviet Baltic Fleet was headquartered in the city during the 1950s. Because of its strategic importance, Kaliningrad was closed to foreign visitors.
The Kaliningrad Oblast is an exclave, geographically separated from the rest of Russia. This isolation was enhanced by the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 when Lithuania became an independent country and even more when both Poland and Lithuania became members of NATO and subsequently the European Union in 2004. All military and civilian land links between the region and the rest of Russia have to pass through members of NATO and the EU. Special travel arrangements for the territory's inhabitants have been made through the Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD).
In July 2005, the 750-year jubilee of the city was widely celebrated.
In July 2007, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov declared that if US-controlled missile defense systems were deployed in Poland, then nuclear weapons might be deployed in Kaliningrad. On November 5, 2008, Russian leader Dmitry Medvedev said that installing missiles in Kaliningrad was almost a certainty. These plans were suspended, however, in January 2009.
But during late 2011, a long range Voronezh-DM radar Voronezh radar was commissioned to monitor missile launches within about 6,000 km. It is situated in the settlement of Pionersky (formerly German Neukuhren) in Kaliningrad Oblast.
During World War II, Soviet troops reached the border of East Prussia on August 29, 1944. In January 1945, Soviet forces overran all of East Prussia except the area around Königsberg. Many Germans fled West at this time. During the last days of the war, over two million Germans were evacuated by sea. The remaining German population was deported after the war, and the area was repopulated primarily by Russians and, to a lesser extent, by Ukrainians and Belarusians.
VI. CITY OF KÖNIGSBERG AND THE ADJACENT AREA
The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government that pending final resolution of territorial issues at the peace settlement, the section of the western frontier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics adjacent to the Baltic Sea should pass from a point on the eastern shore of the Bay of Gdańsk to the East, North of Braunsberg and Goldap, to the meeting point of the frontiers of Lithuania, the Polish Republic and East Prussia.
The Conference had generally agreed with the proposal of the Soviet Government concerning the ultimate transfer to the Soviet Union of the city of Königsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above, subject to expert examination of the actual frontier.
According to some accounts from the 1950s and 1960s, the Soviet government had planned to make the rest of the area a part of the Lithuanian SSR immediately after World War II. 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, mainly because of its devastation during the war. Some modern nationalistic Lithuanian authors say that the reason for the refusal was the Lithuanians' concern that there might be as many Russians as Lithuanians within the Lithuanian SSR. Instead the region was added as an exclave to the Russian SFSR, and since 1946 it has been known as Kaliningrad Oblast. According to some historians, Joseph Stalin created it as an oblast separate from the LSSR because it further separated the Baltic states from the West. Names of the cities, towns, rivers, and other geographical features were changed to newly created Russian names.
Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the independence of the Baltic states, Kaliningrad Oblast has been separated from the rest of Russia by other countries instead of by other Soviet republics. After 1991, some ethnic Germans began to return to the area, such as Volga Germans from other parts of Russia and Kazakhstan, especially after Germany raised the requirements for people from the former Soviet Union to be accepted as ethnic Germans and have a "right of return." The territory's economic situation was badly affected by its geographic isolation and the significant reduction in the size of the Russian military garrison, which had previously been one of the major employers and helped the local economy. The situation was further complicated when neighboring nations imposed strict border controls when they joined the European Union. Russian proposals for visa-free travel between the EU and Kaliningrad have so far been rejected by the EU. Travel arrangements, based on the Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) have been made.
Recently, the situation has begun to change, albeit slowly. Both Germany and Lithuania have renewed contact with Kaliningrad Oblast, through town twinning and other projects. This has helped to promote interest in the history and culture of the East Prussian and Lietuvininkai communities.
For some years after the fall of the Soviet Union, Kaliningrad Oblast was one of the most militarized areas of the Russian Federation, and the density of military installations was the highest in Europe, as much of the Soviet equipment pulled out of Eastern Europe was left there. As of 2009, there were 11,600 Russian ground troops based in the oblast, plus additional naval and air force personnel. Thus military troops amount to less than 2% of the oblast's population. Kaliningrad is the headquarters of the Russian Baltic Fleet together with Chernyakhovsk (air base), Donskoye (air base), and Kaliningrad Chkalovsk (naval air base).
The Washington Times claimed on January 3, 2001, citing anonymous intelligence reports, that Russia had transferred tactical nuclear weapons into a military base in Kaliningrad for the first time since the end of the Cold War. Russian top-level military leaders denied those claims. A Pentagon spokesperson said that such deployment would violate the Russian pledge to remove nuclear weapons from the Baltics. Russia and the United States announced in 1991 and 1992 a non-binding agreement to reduce arsenals of tactical nuclear weapons. On the eve of the reunification of Germany, Helmut Kohl promised Mikhail Gorbachev that NATO's military infrastructures would not move eastward into the territory of East Germany, a fact since confirmed by the former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Jack Matlock. Later, Russia was privately assured that Eastern European states would not seek membership of NATO. Today, while NATO has not established any military infrastructure in Eastern Germany as yet, both Central European and Baltic countries have become NATO members.
On November 5, 2008, Russian President Dimitry Medvedev said that Russia would deploy Iskander missiles in the oblast as a response to U.S. plans for basing missile defense missiles in Poland. Equipment to electronically hamper the operation of future U.S. missile facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic would also be deployed, he said.
However, on January 28, 2009, a Russian defense official stated that the deployment of short-range missiles in Kaliningrad Oblast would cease, due to perceived changes in the attitude of the United States government towards the Russian Federation, following the election of United States President Barack Obama. In September 2009, Russia fully scrapped plans to send short-range missiles into the Kaliningrad Oblast in response to President Obama's decision to cancel the missile defense system.
In November 2011, Dmitry Medvedev issued another stern warning that Russia would deploy new missiles aimed at U.S. missile defense sites in Europe if Washington went ahead with the planned shield. Then in 2012, Russia chose Kaliningrad as the second region (after Moscow) to deploy the S-400 (SAM) missile system. Subsequently Russian newspaper Izvestia reported in Dec 2013 that the short range Iskander-M 9K720 operational-tactical missile systems had been commissioned by the Western Military District's missile and artillery forces at about the same time.
Kaliningrad Oblast is the fourth most densely populated federal subject in Russia, with 62.5 persons/km2 (162 persons/sq mi).
Population-wise, the oblast is thoroughly Russian in character; almost none of the pre–World War II Lithuanian population (Lietuvininks), Polish, or German population remain in Kaliningrad Oblast.
According to the 2010 Census, the ethnic composition of the oblast was as follows:
- 772,534 Russians (86.4%)
- 32,771 Ukrainians (3.7%)
- 32,497 Belarusians (3.6%)
- 9,769 Lithuanians (1.1%)
- 9,226 Armenians (1%)
- 7,349 Germans (0.8%)
- 4,534 Tatars (0.5%)
- 3,282 Azeris (0.4%)
- 2,788 Poles (0.3%)
- 2,245 Uzbeks (0.3%)
- 16,857 others (1.9%)
- 48,021 people were registered from administrative databases, and could not declare an ethnicity. It is estimated that the proportion of ethnicities in this group is the same as that of the declared group.
|Russians||473,861 (77.6%)||564,469 (77.1%)||632,717 (78.3%)||683,563 (78.5%)||786,885 (82.4%)||772,534 (86.4%)|
|Ukrainians||35,717 (5.8%)||48 044 (6.6%)||54,656 (6.8%)||62,750 (7.2%)||47,229 (4.9%)||32,771 (3.7%)|
|Belarusians||57,178 (9.4%)||68,808 (9.4%)||72,465 (9.0%)||73,926 (8.5%)||50,748 (5.3%)||32,497 (3.6%)|
|Lithuanians||21,262 (3.5%)||23,376 (3.2%)||19,647 (2.4%)||18,116 (2.1%)||13,937 (1.5%)||9,769 (1.1%)|
Total fertility rate 
According to a 2012 official survey 30.9% of the population of Kaliningrad Oblast adhere to the Russian Orthodox Church, 1% to the Catholic Church, 1% are unaffiliated generic Christians. In addition, 34% of the population declare themselves to be "spiritual but not religious", 22% are atheist, and 11.1% follow other religions or did not give an answer to the question.
Until 1945, the region was overwhelmingly Lutheran, with small pockets of Catholics among the Polish and Lithuanian minority.
Kaliningrad Oblast's economy is positively influenced by several factors, such as ice-free ports, the world's largest amber deposits and proximity to European countries. The region also has a developed tourist infrastructure, unique museums and monuments, and tourist attractions. One of these is the famous Curonian Spit.
To combat the oblast's economic problems such as high unemployment, in 1996 the Russian authorities granted Kaliningrad special economic status and tax advantages intended to attract investors. The oblast's economy has since benefited substantially, and in recent years[when?] experienced a boom. A US$45 million airport terminal has been opened, and the European Commission provides funds for business projects under its special program for the region. The oblast has begun to see increasing trade with the countries of the EU as well as increasing economic growth and rising industrial output.
Car and truck assembly (GM, BMW, Kia, Yuejin), and production of auto parts are major industries in Kaliningrad Oblast. There are shipbuilding facilities in Kaliningrad and Sovetsk. Food processing is a mature industry in the region. OKB Fakel, a world leader in the field of Hall thruster development, as well as a leading Russian developer and manufacturer of electric propulsion systems, is based in Neman. The company employs 960 people.
There are small oil reservoirs beneath the Baltic Sea not far from Kaliningrad's shore. Small-scale offshore exploration started in 2004 and some Baltic countries (Poland and Lithuania), as well as local NGOs, voiced concerns regarding possible environmental impact.
Average yearly power consumption in the Kaliningrad Oblast was 3.5 terawatt-hours in 2004 with local power generation providing just 0.235 terawatt-hours. The balance of energy needs was imported from neighboring countries. A new Kaliningrad power station was built in 2005, covering 50% of the oblast's energy needs. A second power station was scheduled to enter service in 2010, making the oblast independent from electricity imports.
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- Kaliningrad Oblast Election, 2011
- Baltic Republican Party
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- Regulation (EU) No 1342/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 December 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 as regards the inclusion of the Kaliningrad oblast and certain Polish administrative districts in the eligible border area
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- Областная Дума Калининградской области. Закон №30 от 18 января 1996 г. «О вступлении в действие Устава (Основного Закона) Калининградской области», в ред. Закона №219 от 25 апреля 2013 г. «О внесении изменений в Устав (Основной Закон) Калининградской области и отдельные законодательные акты Калининградской области». Вступил в силу по истечении десяти дней со дня официального публикования, за исключением пункта 5 статьи 15 и подпункта "б" статьи 22 в части подписания постановлений областной Думы председателем областной Думы, которые введены в действие одновременно со вступлением в силу Федерального закона от 06.10.1999 №184-ФЗ "Об общих принципах организации законодательных (представительных) и исполнительных органов государственной власти субъектов Российской Федерации". Опубликован: "Янтарный край", №20, 26 января 1996 г. (Oblast Duma of Kaliningrad Oblast. Law #30 of January 18, 1996 On the Charter (Basic Law) of Kaliningrad Oblast Taking Effect, as amended by the Law #219 of April 25, 2013 On Amending the Charter (Basic Law) of Kaliningrad Oblast and Various Legislative Acts of Kaliningrad Oblast. Effective as of the date ten days after the official publication date, with the exception of item 5 of Article 15 and the portion of subitem "b" of Article 22 dealing with the signing of the resolutions of the Oblast Duma by the Chair of the Oblast Duma, which take effect simultaneously with the Federal Law #184-FZ of October 6, 1999 "On the General Principles of the Organization of the Legislative (Representative) and Executive Organs of the State Power in the Federal Subjects of the Russian Federation".).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kaliningrad Oblast.|
- Official website of Kaliningrad Oblast (Russian)
- A. Liucija Arbusauskaité "The Soviet Policy Towards the "Kaliningrad Germans" 1945-1951" chapter in "Themenheft: Eingliederung und Ausgrenzung. Beiträge aus der Historischen Migrationsforschung. Hrsg.: Jochen Oltmer Osnabrück: IMIS, 1999. ISSN 0949-4723
- Master's thesis by Sergey Naumkin on the possibility of Kaliningrad integrating with the EU as a special economic zone
- Life in Kaliningrad Oblast (Russian)
- Spuren der Vergangenheit / Следы Пρошлого (Traces of the past) This site by W.A. Milowskij, a Kaliningrad resident, contains hundreds of interesting photos, often with text explanations, of architectural and infrastructural artifacts of the territory's long German past. (German) (Russian)
- City and Reagen News
Category:History of Prussia Category:Exclaves Category:Enclaves Category:Russian-speaking countries and territories Category:Germany–Soviet Union relations Category:States and territories established in 1946