Talk:Kaliningrad Oblast

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Old talk[edit]

As the talk page was longer than 30 kilobytes (thus longer than preferable) and recently there has been no active discussions, I archived the old talk page. Kaiser 747 09:55, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

By the way, when I was archivating the talk page a few days ago I have noticed that there were several unanswered questions regarding the Kleinlitauen. I am interested in East Prussia (and in general in German communities that exist or existed outside the borders of modern Germany) and have read much about the history and demography of the area, hence I will answer those questions and add some references to the article.

Firstly, it was asked when did Lithuanians came to this area. The answer to this question is not that simple. The area had been inhabitted by Western Balts and Eastern Balts by the time of Teutonic arrival. The Western Baltic tribes in the area eventually consolidated into the Baltic Prussian nation, (which assimilated into Germans by late medieval), while the Eastern Baltic tribes consolidated into a part of the Lithuanian nation. The major lands of Eastern Balts were Nadruva (Nadrava, Nadrowia), Skalva (Scalew, Scalowia, Schalven, Schalauen) and Pilsotas (terra Pilsaten; the first two were in the eastern part of modern Kaliningrad Oblast, while Pilsotas was in what was later known as Memelland). Hennenberger, Hartknoch and other scholars used to believe that Nadruva and Skalva were inhabitted by Lithuanians (sources: Caspar Hennenberger, Erklärung der Preussischen grösseren Landtaffel, Königsberg, 1575. Chr. Hartknoch, Alt- und Neues Preussische Historien, Frankfurt, 1684). Some other reasearchers (for example, Mortensen, Toeppen (source: M. Toeppen, Historische-comparative Geographie von Preußen, Gotha, 1958, p. 34.) believes that these lands were closer to the Baltic Prussians than Lithuanians, and that these territories lituanized later, after the demise of Prussian nation. Both views are supported until these days, however now the belief that Nadruva and Skalva were culturally and ethnically inbetween Lithuanains and Prussians is most probable.

This has been well researched by the German historians and ethnographers. The exact territories inhabitted by Prussians and proto-Lithuanians at the prehistoric times can be traced based on placenames and hydronims (example – the common endings of German town names “kehmen”, “kallen” and “uppen” indicates the previous Lithuanian presence, as they are derrived from Lithuanian language words meaning courtyard, hill and river; while endings “keim”, “garben” and “appen” indicates Prussian presence, as they are derived from Old Prussian language words meaning the same). Major research in this area was done by Bezzenberger, who estimated that approximate boundary between the two groups to run along Kirschnakeim, Ripkeim, Kuthkeim, Starkeim, Koskeim, Silzkeim, Windkeim, Salpkeim, Redigkeimen and Labkeim (source: A. Bezzenberger, Die litauisch-preubische Grenze.- Altpreußische Monatsschrift, XIX–XX, 1882–1883 ), thus more than half of modern Kaliningrad Oblast was inhabitted by proto-Lithuanians, and less the remaining part mostly by Prussians by the time the Teutonic Order came to the area. This assumption over the area was and is as well supported by other researchers – among ones more known, Lohmeyer and Trautmann (sources: K. Lohmeyer, Geschichte von Ost- und Westpreußen, Gotha, 1908; R. Trautmann, Die Altpreußischen Sprachdenkmaler,Göttingen, 1909.). Of course, only the western and southern boundaries are explained here – eastern and northern boundaries naturally went along the German-Lithuanian (and since the partitions of Poland – German-Russian) border, beyond which Lithuania-proper started.

As well, researches about the extent of Lithuanian-speaking population can be done based on the extent of the area where the Lithuanian language was used in churches, and, for the modern times, censuses.

The term Lithuania Minor (as Kleinlittaw) itself was first used to describe the Lithuanian inhabitted area in a written source in Prussian Chronicle by Simon Grunau that was written from 1517 to 1526. Later other chronicle writers started to use this term as well (example – L. David), and the first maps with the territory marked as Lithuania Minor were published in the 18th century (example – map by Guessefeld dating from 1795).

As for Lithuanian actual control of the area, indeed eastern parts of modern Kaliningrad Oblast were once controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but that was centuries ago – the territories were lost to the Teutonic Order State by king Mindaugas in year 1253. The term Lithuania Minor was therefore used because of the ethnicity of local population not because the area was once ruled by Lithuania.

Over the time, the extent of Lithuania Minor did decrease, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries, when improving transportation and urbanization led many Germans to move into the cities in lands inhabitted by Lithuanians, many Lithuanians moved out, there were assimilation processes going on as there was no national revival and German language of course provided more oppurtunities in East Prussia. By the time of World War 1, Lithuanians still made a majority in Memelland (of 50.8% in whole region (Germans made up 43.8%) according to the census of 1923). But elsewhere Lithuanian language majority areas were primarilly concentrated no more than 30-40 kilometers south of the Memel river (Neman, Nemunas); around Tilsit, Ragnit and other nearby towns, and in all places this majority was relatively fragile.

Another question is did the Lithuanians of Lithuania Minor actually considered themselves as a nation. Indeed, during the cultural revival the Lithuanian identity was promoted (example: the works of Donelaitis (published later as a single novel ‘’Metai’’, which was as well translated into German later)) supported the identity of Lithuanian peasants by promoting the idea that Lithuanian language and culture and the peasant way of life is not any worse than that of the German landlords. They used word “lietuvininkas” to describe themselves which was at the time synonymous to “lietuvis” used by the Lithuanians in Lithuania proper (in first chronicles derivations from both words appears as descriptions Lithuanians). The 1918 Act of Tilsit signed by some most prominent figures of the area asked that Lithuania Minor would be united with Lithuania-proper and during the early 20th century this was the goal of many Lithuanians from the area. However, it is also worth of noting that when the Memelland was incorporated to Lithuania in 1923 and a census was carried, some of the local Lithuanians (I don’t have the particular information now, therefore I cannot say the exact percentage, but maybe it would be possible to check) signed their ethnicity as “Klaipedians” rather than Lithuanians. This means that some people of Lithuania Minor considered themselves to be different from Lithuanians despite of speaking the same language – after all, they had different religion, and as for example Serb-Croat-Bosniak relations proves, religion indeed is sometimes the major criteria for defining nation, and the economical difference between the relatively backwards Lithuania-proper and richer economically (and as well culturally) Memelland as well played a role here. Although Lithuanians of Kleinlitauen were always considered to be part of the same nation by the German ethnographers already mentioned in this article, I have no sources for now on when exactly the ideas for unification with Lithuania-proper spread across the Kleinlitauen - I assume it might have been in 19th century, when national revival happened in Lithuania-proper as well. But here I cannot assure it by 100%.

I hope this helps. Kaiser 747 10:57, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

In the elections in Memelland from 1925 to 1938, over 75% voted for German parties, including Lithuanians who obviously disliked the Lithuanian rule. --Matthead 02:13, 4 June 2006 (UTC)
Not quite right. I will reply at your talk page as this issue does not concern Kaliningrad Oblast. Kaiser 747 07:06, 5 June 2006 (UTC)


See Talk:Kaliningrad

Size (landmass)[edit]

The article is not clear on the size of the landmass of the oblast. This ought to be stated either near the very top of the article, or else at the very least under the 'Geography' heading. - Mauco 12:34, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Added. Thanks for spotting this.—Ëzhiki (ërinacëus amurënsis) • (yo?); 14:23, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Minority schools[edit]

In my view, the passage "During the time of the Soviet Union, usage of the Russian language was heavily promoted. There were no schools that taught in German, Lithuanian, or other languages, and few cultural activities for minorities." is illogical, because it is clear from the article that native Germans and Lithuanians left in 1945. So, there was no reason to promote the Russian language - everybdy already spoke Russian. There were no minorities that could possibly be taught in German or Lithuanian.

Interestingly, according to "Demographics" "Almost none of the pre-World War 2 Lithuanian population (Lietuvininks) or German population remains in the Kaliningrad Oblast.". In my view, someone here wants to "have his cake and eat it.". He should say either these people remained, or they did not. I think they did not, judging from the rest of the article. I am leaving the rest of that paragraph more or less at it was, although as far as growing interest for Lithuanian culture and language is concerned, it is completely unsourced. User_talk:Pan_Gerwazy--pgp 21:52, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

I cannot believe that 100% of the Germanic population left in 1945, although very likely those that didn't leave became Russified very quickly to avoid discrimination ( and the Communist party would deny they existed in any case ). In addition more Germanic refugees might have arrived in Karlingrad for one reason or another soon after the war. The Russian persecution of ethnic minorities, particularly distrusted ones, is well documented.

The 'growing interest for Lithuanian culture and language is concerned' might be POV of the author or self interest of the inhabitants : the gap in living standards between Lithunian and kalingrad is large and getting larger. David J. James


Some of the links were clearly POV. Two of them were unaccessible. Those two and another one, a treatise from 1992 purporting to prove that Kaliningrad was, is and will ever be Lithuanian, were deleted before. The Pravda article was old and gave no information - except the fact that some Russians in defence against the ludicrous claim above are now pointing out that if Lithuania claims it was never part of the Soviet Union, it should give up the parts that it was given during those years. Well, since the Lithuanian link was gone, no reason to keep that one. An interesting thought of course, but it really belongs in the article (and in the Memelland article), as this article is too Lithuanian-sided as it stands.

The Master's thesis by Sergey Naumkin: I read it and I wonder where this author got his history lessons. He thinks Vyborg was annexed by Russia when Finland became a part of the Russian empire. In fact it is just the other way around: before 1809, Vyborg was Russian, and only then was it added to Finland. With that caveat, let us leave it here: interesting as far as the economic issue is concerned.--[User_talk:Pan_Gerwazy | Pan Gerwazy] 23:15, 28 June 2006 (UTC).

I' ve got your point on Vyborg history. Thesis revised. Can not put it into e-library, as resource is dead, therefore changed a link.(Sergey Naumkin), 30.01.2007

What do you mean by POV'd?
Link representing local toponyms in German and Lithuanian is historically worth, anyway if someone would be interested, he'd find it anyway, for example on page.
Altough Lietivininks were gone, there was notable immigration from Lithuania (and other Sovet Republics), because of mass deportations, so notable minoireeis formed again, especialy in Sovetsk and Neman. Kaliningrad Oblast was a best place to hide, and some of those immigrants left here. So it does not correlate with lietuvininks.
Link about legal status of oblast POV'ed? When American lawyer explains the situation? There are no claims of Lithuanian government to this place. Anyway, gone means gone.
Museum link, well I have to agree - it's not at the right place.
Russian link - might be as a responce to "Lithuanina claims", that never were told, anyway it's place should be somewhere at discussions page.
Naumkin - is absolute nonsence, altough smoewhy left in place.--Lokyz 23:56, 28 June 2006 (UTC)
And again, you are trying to have your cake and eat it: if the Lithuanians went to Kaliningrad Oblast to HIDE, how could they have shown up in the statistics - and how could they have asked for schools for their children? Most Georgians in Moscow will never ask for Georgian schools for their children. The percentages quoted here (1.9 and 0.8) are probably higher than the percentages in Soviet Union times, so my question now becomes: since in Moscow the percentage of a number of ethnic minorities is higher than that, are you going to claim now that there should be special schools there teaching Tatar, Chechen and Irish Gaelic? (leaving out Ukrainian, because I know there is at least one private Ukrainian school in Moscow)
The link about the legal status was POV in 1992 (primarily because it denies the new unified Germany the right to concede the territory to Russia), and if it was not, it definitely is now. "Gone means gone" is nonsense, because Lithuania never had it. Except a small part of it, and only ethnically (not going into the argument as to whether Lithuanians ever had a majority in Lithuania Minor).
I agree that the Naummkin thesis contains errors. I pointed out an enormous one. But it does not raise a lot of legal points - so basically on that level it is not as economic with the truth as the American lawyer's text.--Pan Gerwazy 08:46, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Well in hiding they never hid theyr nationality:) It's just in USSR there was quite a mess, and Kaliningrad oblast was a place where imigrated lots of people from lots of locations and with quite differnet past - you probaly know term fishe hides in the dark water. FYI that teritory was often called sixteenth republic. And another one thing - Stalin died 1953, after that repressions stopped. That was the time, when people began to ask for national schools. 1953-1991 quite a long period without possibility to learn in mothers language, don't you think?
Not only do I now have to believe that it was relatively easy to stay in Kaliningrad after 1946, and that it was easy to go and settle there afterwards (Still remember my mother saying "going to the moon will be easier than going to Kaliningrad" - it was a forbidden area, Sperrgebiet!) but I must also believe that after 1953 people who had come from Lithuania and pretended to be Russian, could now suddenly claim that they were Lithuanian and claim schools for their children. No, I do not believe that Stalin would have allowed anybody who may become a liability into such a sensitive area. So, was it really so easy in Soviet times to change your nationality? I am sure that many of these now 18,000 Lithuanians in the oblast do not speak Lithuanian at home: because they only kept this Lithuanian nationality as a sort of insurance, because their spouse speaks Russian ... You do not answer the argument about Tatars and Chechens in Moscow. Do not tell me Lithuanians in Kaliningrad are a special case because a part of Lithuania used to be Lithuanian-speaking. Since most of the Lithuanians do not live in Kleinlitauen, it is like Dutch and Flemish immigrants in Paris asking for Dutch schools because most of the département du Nord was Dutch-speaking until 1930. But the problem can be solved easily. Quote a non-Lithuanian source about Lithuanians asking for schools in their language between 1953 and 1991. Quote a non-Lithuanian source about people in the oblast being really more interested in the old Lithuanian culture of the place (like more newspapers in the Lithuanian language being sold now - people going to museums to see Lithauanian artifacts ... no, not increased sales of Lithuanian dictionaries and grammar books - because those have been increasing for every foreign language everywhere in Russia). The reason why I say non-Lithuanian: to come back to Paris, I know that many Flemish and Dutch nationalists claim that there is now in France "renewed interest in the Dutch language and culture". Believe me, it is not true.--Pan Gerwazy 14:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
You may believe whatewer you want. Another one thing, that noone asked for the schools - just, well, at this part of the world during USSR times there was utterly stupid to ask certian questions. Trust me on this. As for nationality changes - change to Russian was not just allowed, it was encouraged by any means. One big internationl family, prefearable all speaking Russian.
As for tatars in Moscow I don't have any slightest idea.
As for special. I did not tell lithuanians are special. The same right to have schools in theyr own language were diened Ukrainians, Belarussians and many other minorities. So nothing special. It was common practice. If you do not like mention of Lithuanians, change it to minorities, it would be more precise. Just don't deny it as a whole.
What do you mean by sensitive area? Didn't understand that. When it was sensitive? As Stalin ruled half of a Europe or now and was thinkin rto offere itt o LSSR for reasns to keep it, just it proved to be unnecessary. Or now, when there is 25 more time armed forces than i Lithuania, and it feels very insecure?
About a spouse, well. it's your belief, based on no facts (gimme at least one example that you know about?). Now it might be insurance, 20 years ago it was not. But now noone bans language or schools, and then they were just untinkable. As for Kleinlitauen - we do ot speak about it. Forget it. It is history. Ceaded. Just let us remember, don't bash lietuvininks out of history as a "nationalistic hysteria".--Lokyz 21:17, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
As for "Gone means gone" - it was said about that link, that you removed:)) If in your opinion it is nonsence, you migt put it back:)
Sorry for this misunderstanding. I really believed that you meant "Kaliningrad is gone now".--Pan Gerwazy 14:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I believe, you have predetermined POV:)--Lokyz 21:17, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Strange, American POV? Are you the one that hates "pendosy"? Another thing: that text it is put in Lithuanian site does not mean that it is official Lithuanian position. It's a awyer POV, not national. There is no talk about Lituanian majority:) Somewhat you're fighting a war against shadows.
Sorry, do not understand pendosy. What language is it from? And this viewpoint says basically give it to the Lithuaninas, let the Germans come back (to invest) and throw the damn commie Russkis out. Americans like simple solutions.--Pan Gerwazy 14:25, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Well, then leave both - or remove both. I do not understand your point - you say, that both are biased and flawed, and remove one and leave another.--Lokyz 09:14, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
While POV is strictly to be avoided in the article itself, there might be lower standards in links, where biased views IMHO are totally acceptable and offer a diverse plus of information. Have a look at Royal Dutch Shell, I know what to expect from their official website, I can imagine what to expect from Christian Aid Report "Shell In The Niger Delta". POV vs. POV is the basis of our political culture, hindering access to POV is not. ----Gf1961 11:18, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Then American lawyer link sould be reintroduced also, don't you think?--Lokyz 12:16, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
I wouldn't object. Could be declared as one-sided view, however. --Gf1961 12:42, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
The German thesis is not POV, I think, but it contains serious historical errors. People who come here to know more about the history of Kaliningrad and get confused by all this Lithuanian stuff (which is fact dominating the article now), will go to the links and may get the wrong idea. The American lawyer - well lawyers will say and write anything they get paid for. And it is old, defends a view point that is completely obsolete, Lokyz more or less conceded that. My advice: people who live in glass houses (Memelland, and perhaps even Vilnius) should not throw stones. If THAT link of his goes back in, then there should be a chapter here about how Germany rightfully conceded Kaliningrad to Russia and that if there is a juridicial vacuum here, it concerns Memelland.--Pan Gerwazy 14:31, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Huh? Sounds like threat:) Just one question? wqho is throwing stones to what direction? Is an article about historical names of cities stone throwing? Without any mention, about any means to "fight for it", "get it back". What IS stone throwing, is claim that those people who lived there did not exist, and do not have right to have graves. And only one thing proposed - is shut up, or be annexed and/or teritorialy disintgrated.
As for Lithuaian POV domination, well, maye you should split this article into Kalingrad oblast and history of East Prussia, and all POV'ed problems will be solved at once. But i do have little hope, that it would ever happen. Because a lot of people already think these are "iskonno ruskie zemli uzhe mnogije tysiacheletija". So history is constantly being rewritten.--Lokyz 21:17, 29 June 2006 (UTC)
Split up? I am sorry, but there is already an article on Lithuania Minor, on East Prussia (with history!), on Prussian People, on Lietuvininks, on Origins of Prussia, ... all places where you can put your stuff. (And "South of the border" you have Masuria, Warmia, Masurian Lakes, Warmian-Masurian Voivodship ...) What else can be done to make sure that this article here is primarily about the Russian place? As for tysiacheletija, sorry, but I know that stupidity is universal. But people can learn. Russians coming to this page won't learn anything, however.--Pan Gerwazy 11:15, 30 June 2006 (UTC)
My stuff? I didn't put stuff here, and I do not think I want to remove anything.
As for pirmaly on Russian space - i'd suggest againt to split article int two different parts - Kaliningrad oblast history (because it is higly controversial) and Kaliningrad oblast as an adminsitrative part of Russian federation - this one would have no mentions of lietuvninks or "lithuanian agressive politics and attempts to grab Klainingrad form Russia".
History section is important not only because of extinct lietuvininks, but especialy because mass murderings of germans during WWII, that Russia does not want to admit to happen. --Lokyz 12:10, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Merge pre-1945 history to East Prussia, and leave note?[edit]

This article is absolutely dominated by discussion of pre-1945 history (perhaps 2/3 of the content), and the bits about the place today (people, economy, politics, disputes, climate, etc, etc) are tiny, and need to be expanded. Should I add tags? Jd2718 19:42, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

I would say merge the majority of pre-1945 history into East Prussia (if it isn't there already) and remove it from here. This article should focus on the Russian administrative unit, not on earlier history. Olessi 17:38, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Second that. I wouldn't remove all of pre-1945 history, though. I brief summary (one or two paragraphs) and a link to the main article should, however, suffice. Other than that, support.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); 18:48, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed. --Der Eberswalder 01:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC)


The map was to small und not good visible on Laptops. I replaced it and had to change the text, first word must be followed by ]] and last word must start with [[ (because the template wants it so). As long as there is no good other map I think this is the best solution. --Der Eberswalder 01:17, 21 January 2007 (UTC) You can try this map (Sergey Naumkin, 30.01.2007)


This territory was once known as Prussia before taken by the Soviet Union and there are virtually no germans there after they were expelled. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Prussia was not freed as a sattelite country because there were no Germans in their ancestrial land to claim it to be freed. Many German People wish to go back to Prussia and there are several groups wanting hostile takover of the area which includes: neo-nazis, Russian Seperatist, Muslim Extremeist, Ancestral Prussians, and other supporters, the move is backed by the west. The Russian government has considered changing the name of the city Kaliningrad back to Kronigsberg. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Theerasofwar (talkcontribs) 10:56, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Neo-nazis and Muslim Extremists !! backed by the west !! Never heard anything more absurd.(HerkusMonte (talk) 15:33, 28 February 2008 (UTC))

Ancestral Prussians are 90 years old and in nursing homes in the Black Forest buddy! If any thing they bring you euros for your economy so they can look at the nice Stalin blocks you put up in place of the wonderful old building that got bombed out. Put down the Russian hyper-nationalism pipe. Even the real threat you speak of to mother Russia, the Russian separatists are maybe a few hundred people. and of course Muslim extremists are all over that part of Europe! ha. ha. good one.

as for the name change that is a legit part of the article to add! Is it the only city in Russia that still has a soviet era name? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:51, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Legal Status[edit]

It looks like the legal status of the territory is not very firm. A paragraph should state what the situation is. Two good sources [1], [2]--Stor stark7 Speak 23:32, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

"it has no land connection to the rest of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991."

the sentence seems to imply that it had a land connection before, which is obviously not true. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

As long as Lithuania was part of the Soviet Union, the road to Kaliningrad Oblast did not go through foreign territory. Now that Lithuania is independent, there is no land connection which does not go through 'someone else's' territory. It has become a Russian exclave. The only way to travel between Kaliningrad and Russia without going through a foreign territory is by air or sea. It is highly unlikely that this is ever going to change. Neither Poland nor Lithuania would want a territory with 1 million Russian speaking and cyrillic writing people - and the Russians there would not be inclined to change to Polish or Lithuanian, and how they'd be better off away from Russia is not at all clear. (talk) 04:49, 12 December 2013 (UTC)
The point being made is that Kaliningrad has always since WW2 been a Russian Exclave - you always had to go through Lithuania and either Latvia or Belarius to get to Russia proper. The difference post and pre 1991 is the existence of the Soviet Union.Andrewgprout (talk) 05:24, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Kaliningrad Oblast Railway Connections 1946 - 1991[edit]

There were several railway lines passing through Lithuanian SSR to Belorussian SSS and Latvian SSR. During the days of Soviet Union it did much matter if that town was on the Lithuanian side or in Kaliningrad side of the internal Soviet Republics or Oblast borders. Of which I would like to have more information, is how this "Corridor Traffic" to and from Kaliningrad Oblast through EU and NATO member independent Lithuania is arranged with some kind of common agreement or just by an agreement between Russian Federation and Republic of Lithuania. This is going to introduce much trouble, if EU is not granted with equal terms to use the area of Kaliningrad Oblast with its internal railway connections to and from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Mainly the question is of the use of Korsze (Poland) - Pagegiai (Lithuania) railway line through Kaliningrad Oblast territory. Former DRB main line Korschen - Gerdauen - Insterburg - Tilsit - Pagegiai. The Russians lifted after 1945 most of the former DRB branch lines on their side of the new border. Only the Samland lines were retained and the former Heiligenbeil (Mamonovo) - Braunsberg (Braniewo) and Preussische Eylau (Bagrationovks) - Glommen (Glomno) cross border sections of the former DRB main lines. All other cross border lines were lifted and the rails used elsewhere in Soviet Union. There was in July 2008 only one passenger train between Poland and Kaliningrad Oblast running from / to Gdynia to Kaliningrad over Braniewo - Mamonovo section of former DRB Berlin - Königsberg main line. But at the same time the Russian trains (departure from Kaliningrad at 09.49, 11.47, 14.06, 16,27, and 22.09) were running through Lithuanian territory to various places in Russia and Ukraine. The return workings arrived to Kaliningrad at 08.54, 10.29, 12.06, 18.07, and 20.34 according to offical Russian timetable. All run through Vilnius. The Lithuanians in Vilnius have a pleasure to look the Russian Kaliningrad through trains at Vilnius main railway station at 00.49 - 01.09, 01.44 - 02.03, 02.54 - 03.14, 04.20 - 04.37, 10.14 - 10.31, 12.43 - 13.00, 15.31 - 15.49, 17.29 - 17.47, 19.42 - 20.00, 22.21 - 22.39. This in addition to Lithuania - Belarus - Russia trains (departure to Minsk at 06.37 and 14.16 arrival from Minsk 11.10 and 18.46). To Moscow at 17.00 and arrive from Moscow at 07.48. Departure to St.Perersburg at 18.12 and arrival from St.Petersburg at 08.29. This seems to be even more than in Warsaw Central Station. And not even single direct train connection between Kaliningrad and Warsaw. In summer 1939 Königsberg Hbf was a busy station with its international direct train connections to Belgium, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Free Town Danzig and through passenger cars to other destinations such as Breslau and Praha and Wien. Much have changed since the Russians entered in the scene of former Königsberg, No west but east, this principe followed. The isolationism of the Russian way in traffic conditions. The Hong Kong of Europe? Russian dream from time before Vladimir Putin, unless Kaliningrad can offer even more international fast express train services than German Königsberg in summer 1939 and these elsewhere in Europe than to Russia.

Needs a better map[edit]

The current map is not useful for people visiting the page who want to know where this territory is located. It needs a "zoomed" Central European map. Airborne84 (talk) 21:54, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Foundation date[edit]

The date of joining RSFSR (i.e. 04 April 1946) doesn't mean that Kaliningrad oblast has been established. The date should be based on that name "Kaliningrad" has been adopted. (talk) 13:52, 27 April 2011 (UTC)

That's exactly what it means. Please read the source being cited. The date in the infobox is the date the oblast was established, not renamed. Some oblasts changed their names more than once; it doesn't mean each time they are renamed they are established anew. I have reverted your change once again. Please bring this up here if you still disagree.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 14:19 (UTC)
See also the Charter of Kaliningrad Oblast, Article 3.1, which says, verbatim:

Калининградская область образована Указами Президиума Верховного Совета СССР от 7 апреля 1946 года "Об образовании Кенигсбергской области в составе РСФСР" и 4 июля 1946 года "О переименовании города Кенигсберга в город Калининград и Кенигсбергской области в Калининградскую область"...

The date an oblast is renamed is not the same as the date it is established.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 14:24 (UTC)
I didn't say anything about "establshed". To join USSR only means the place is the part of country, it doesn't mean that the place is already Kaliningrad oblast. (talk) 14:28, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Huh? It says "Калининградская область образована", which means "Kaliningrad Oblast was established". On the other hand, it says nothing about "joining the USSR" (and neither does the source currently being cited in the article), which is the argument you keep pushing.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 14:32 (UTC)
Please read the statement that you always mention. Translate into an English by using Google: Kaliningrad region established by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on April 7, 1946 "On the formation of Koenigsberg region in the RSFSR" and 4 July 1946 "On renaming the city of Königsberg in Kaliningrad region and the Koenigsberg to Kaliningrad Region so obviously at that time the place was still being called as Koenigsberg. (talk) 14:37, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
Yes, it was called that from April to July, but it already existed in April! It was the same bloody oblast still. Just like Tver Oblast was not established in 1990; it was established in 1935 and renamed in 1990. Same here. Anyhoo, I have solicited comments at WT:RUSSIA#Kaliningrad Oblast.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 14:45 (UTC)
The name of Kalinin was used and adopted in order to remember Mikhail Kalinin after his death. On 07 April 1946, he was still alive and that place had not been renamed. (talk) 14:50, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
100% correct, but what does that have to do with the date on which the oblast was established? The oblast was renamed after Kalinin in July, but the oblast itself already existed, since April!—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 15:02 (UTC)
I already changed and added additional information in the infobox. Both dates are written down. The date of 04 July 1946 must be included as well in order to avoid confusion. (talk) 15:10, 27 April 2011 (UTC)
That parameter is not designed to hold two dates of different nature, so I removed it. I have, however, added support for previous names to the federal subject's infobox and specified the rename date under the new parameter called "prev_name1". Hope this closes the incident to everyone's satisfaction.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 15:42 (UTC)

More sources[edit]

Decree of April 7, 1946

Образовать Кенигсбергскую область на территории города Кенигсберга и прилегающих к нему районов с центром в городе Кенигсберге. (Establish Kyonigsberg Oblast on the territory of the city of Kyonigsberg and the adjacent areas with the center in the city of Kyonigsberg)

Включить Кенигсбергскую область в состав Российской Советской Федеративной Социалистической Республики. (Include Kyonigsberg Oblast into the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic)

Decree of July 4, 1946

Переименовать город Кенигсберг в город Калининград и Кенигсбергскую область в Калининградскую область. (Rename the city of Kyonigsberg as Kaliningrad and Kyonigsberg Oblast as Kaliningrad Oblast)

These are the complete texts of the decrees.—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 27, 2011; 15:07 (UTC)

Is the economy good or bad?[edit]

currently the article says "it is one of Russia's best performing regional economies" and "the economic situation has been badly affected by the geographic isolation"; not necessarily contradictory, but it's unclear what conclusion the reader should draw. Is the economy good or bad, and compared to what, other regions, or to what it "should" be? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:47, 6 June 2011 (UTC)

Travel to the main part of Russia is only possible by sea or air.[edit]

Are Poland and Lithuania blockading land-transport to and from the oblast? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:30, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

removed. k kisses 16:55, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the EU countries have border control and passport control. Only qualified persons and vehicles may pass; all others must go by air or sea. (talk) 03:41, 14 June 2013 (UTC)

"Ice-free" — Not![edit]

I have removed the following statement:

East Prussia had long been coveted by the Russians because the Russian nation had never had an ice-free port, and occupation of East Prussia would provide this.

According to the U.S. record of the Potsdam Conference, the Soviets justified their demand for Königsberg by saying they required an "ice-free" port on the Baltic. 1 This hoary old excuse was disproved long ago, but lives on among people who know nothing of the region because it was quoted in official documents at the time.

George F. Kennan, then deputy chief of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Moscow, in his Memoirs later observed that the Soviets already controlled three nearby ports on the Baltic. He noted that Königsberg lay at the end of an artificial canal leading to the Kurisches Haff — a canal that was ice-bound for several months each winter. "Thus it was true neither that Russia lacked ice-free ports on the Baltic nor that Königsberg would have filled such a need had it existed," Kennan wrote. "Yet Stalin’s statements on this subject went unchallenged, so far as I can ascertain, at all the wartime conferences." 2

Kennan added in his Memoirs that postwar editions of the Soviet Encyclopedia described Königsberg (renamed Kaliningrad in 1946) as "ice-free," and said humorously, "If anyone thought, after 1945, that he saw ice in the canal at Königsberg, he didn’t." 3


1. Charles L. Mee, Jr., Meeting at Potsdam, New York, 1975, p. 157. George F. Kennan, Memoirs 1925-1950, Boston, 1967, pp. 263-64.
2. Kennan, p. 264.
3. Ibid.

Sca (talk) 21:07, 8 August 2013 (UTC)


Are you trying to say, the port of Kaliningrad is not ice-free? In that case all maritime authorities relevant would still be suffering from Stalinist illusions. Mr Kennan may be considered an expert on Soviet foreign policy, but he's in no position to judge the navigability of the port of Kaliningrad in winter. Mind, we are talking sea ice here, not the garden variety. ÄDA - DÄP VA (talk) 08:40, 9 August 2013 (UTC)
What "authorities"? Kennan was very much an authority on the Eastern Front regions in WWII. He was involved in preparation of State Department briefing documents for the Potsdam Conference.
I can't supply cites at the moment, but in reading about the wartime history of the region I've seen several references to the Germans having used icebreakers in the Königsberg ship canal and in the erstwhile Frisches Haff.
Furthermore, there was in January through March 1945 the famous "passage on the ice" across the frozen Frisches Haff by hundreds of thousands of German refugees, which began after the Red Army reached the south shore of the Haff near Braunsberg (now Braniewo, Poland) on Jan. 26, cutting off escape from East Prussia by land routes. These refugee treks frequently were attacked by Soviet planes which, according to a French witness, "tried to break the ice with strings of bombs, and often succeeded." Nevertheless, many thousands were eventually evacuated from Pillau (now Baltiysk, Russia) by the German Navy (see Evacuation of East Prussia).
Perhaps global warming / climate change has recently made Kaliningrad less frigid in winter than Königsberg historically was, I don't know; but in 1945 Königsberg was not "ice-free."
Sca (talk) 18:11, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
PS: Take a look at this photo of the waterfront in Kaliningrad, taken in January 2011 — note that the river/sea canal is frozen:
Sca (talk) 22:31, 10 August 2013 (UTC)
1) Thanks for nice photo. But she's not going anywhere. She's actually a museum ship moored in the Pregolya , not in the port.
2) That's the garden variety of ice I have been talking about. If they could keep the canal open in the 1944/45 winter, that means navigation is possible even in the worst of circumstances (apparently they close the canal for shipping only in heavy storms - again: the real thing).
3) The ice conditions on the Vistula Lagoon are of no interest to shipping as there is the canal that connects the sea port to the Baltic sea.
4) I remain convinced that the Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie is more competent than Mr Kennan. Just look at the maps.
Over and out ÄDA - DÄP VA (talk) 05:30, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
P.S.: Did I mention the 119 cargo ships visiting Kaliningrad port between 1 December 2012 and 31 March 2013?


I don't see shy being a museum ship moored in the river makes any difference. It's a ship in Kaliningrad, and the water it's lying in is frozen. (The ship canal communicates with the Pregolya / Pregel.)
I understand that the port is kept open in winter by icebreakers.
From German Wiki's entry on the historic Königsberg (Preußen): Die Fahrrinne wurde selbst im strengsten Winter von Eisbrechern ständig offen gehalten.
From German Wiki's entry on the Kaliningrader Seeschifffahrtskanal: In der Regel zwischen Januar und Ende März kann er von einer dünnen Eisschicht bedeckt sein; gegebenenfalls wird er von Eisbrechern frei gehalten.
It may not be "sea ice" — one certainly wouldn't expect to find icebergs there — but it is ice that sometimes has to be cleared by icebreakers.
Regarding the source, I find it implausible that Dr. Kennan — who was fluent in Russian and German and had diplomatic experience in both countries — would be so ill-informed on this point made in his memoirs, which won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in 1968.
— Kennan, George F. (1967), Memoirs: 1925–1950, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, OCLC 484922
Sca (talk) 19:09, 11 August 2013 (UTC)
  • ad 1): Museum ships are stationary. Therefore there is no need to keep a channel open.
  • ad 2): Correct. So what? Any body of water is going to freeze eventually in sub-zero conditions (Celsius!)
  • ad 3) Translation: Even in the strongest of winters a channel was kept open by icebreakers. Keyword: OPEN
  • ad 4) Translation: Between January and the end of March [the canal] might be covered with thin ice, in which case it is kept open by icebreakers. Keyword: OPEN
  • ad 5) the presence of frozen water does not neccessarily mean there is no movement of ships.
  • ad 6) I find it perfectly plausible that a State Department mandarin would defend his position to the last. (BTW Pulitzer don't surf)

To illustrate these points:

  • a) This is what a "warm water/ice-free/non-freezing" port (in this case Kiel) looks like in winter.
  • b) Icebreakers are used even in the largest "warm water" port of Germany once winter cometh.
  • c) Apparently even the US Navy's main submarine base suffers from icing.
  • d) Whereas the access to the Port of Hamburg (110 km (68 mi) - three times that of Kaliningrad) are open to small craft even under the harshest conditions
  • e) Which of course is nothing compared to the accessability of the US east coast's major port
  • f) But the severe conditions in Kaliningrad are much worse

Summary: It is an easy mistake to make for anyone not familiar with maritime transport that 'ice-free' means 'no ice at all'. In fact, the term applies to the approaches of a port in question. (There is usually no sea ice off Baltiysk.) This allows ships to get to the port (not neccessarily IN the port) without assistance. The problem at Kaliningrad is not ice, but wind. The predominant wind direction in the region is west to southwest. This means that the other ports mentioned (Klaipeda, Liepaja, and Ventspils) have landward winds. This is not a bad thing if you want to get into port with a sailing boat - but in case of an emergency it spells doom to a striken vessel which may possibly shatter on the coast. It also means that drift ice accumulates on the shore, making access to the port difficult. BTW: (In December 1943, when Stalin made his first demand, neither of the other ports where in Soviet hands.) Under these circumstances Stalin's demand for Kaliningrad makes perfect sense as any other port (e.g. Gdansk or Szczecin) would be within Poland's reach and Greifswald or Rostock would be under the control of the Allies for some time until a peace treaty would have been negotiated. Kennan's memoirs in this point give more insights into the origins of the Cold War than the end of World War II. ÄDA - DÄP VA (talk) 17:40, 13 August 2013 (UTC)

You win, I guess. Ich bin überrascht. Sca (talk) 15:31, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
Well, if you learned something new, you should consider yourself a winner ;-) ÄDA - DÄP VA (talk) 16:48, 15 August 2013 (UTC)
I meant, überrascht that Kennan would have made such a mistake, particularly since his Memoirs presumably were vetted by a professional editor, if not by the State Department itself. Sca (talk) 20:34, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

The lead paragraph currently states It is the only Baltic port in the Russian Federation that remains ice-free in winter. But there are no Russian Baltic ports that are not in the oblast. So what does 'it' actually refer to here - just the port of Kalingrad (or Baltiysk) rather than the entire oblast? We should try to clarify. jxm (talk) 18:41, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Saint Petersburg? Andrewgprout (talk) 19:31, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

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Currently, the economy of Kaliningrad Oblast is one of the best performing economies in Russia.

– Rewritten to remove "currently," and to cast in past tense. Unless someone's updating daily, current and currently should not be used in encyclopedia articles because such references could become outdated at any time. For similar reasons, past-tense verbs should be used, as most articles will outlive the present-tense status of breaking news. Sca (talk) 15:47, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Proper vs Main[edit]

Is the rest of Russia "Russia proper" or "the main part of Russia"? According to Wiktionary, a definition of "proper" is "In the strict sense; within the strict definition or core (of a specified place, taxonomic order, idea, etc) (usually postpositive, i.e. follows the noun it modifies)". It gives the following example: "Siberia, though it stands outside the territorial confines of Russia proper, constitutes an essentially component part […]". My vote is for "proper". Laurel Lodged (talk) 13:26, 7 April 2016 (UTC)

I have followed this debate and I believe 'proper' in this case has a different meaning from its more common usage that implies 'correct' or 'better'. The difference is subtle and may not be picked up by many dictionary definitions. As a native English speaker I see nothing in the term 'Russia proper' in this sentence that implies the an inferior status of the Oblast and even though 'Russia main' also does not imply an inferior status I think 'Russia proper' reads better.Roger 8 Roger (talk) 09:23, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

I have no opinion on this, nor am I a native speaker, but out of curiosity, would referring to the continental United States as "the United States proper" in the Alaska article also be appropriate? Would it sound natural? How does that compare to the Kaliningrad Oblast—"Russia main/proper" situation?—Ëzhiki (Igels Hérissonovich Ïzhakoff-Amursky) • (yo?); April 8, 2016; 13:35 (UTC)

A good point and for no, in discussing Alaska reference to the United States proper would not sound right. I have now asked myself the same question regarding other parts of the world. France-Reunion; Spain-Ceuta: New Zealand-Chatham Islands, Canada-Newfoundland. In each case the answer seems to differ about whether using 'proper' sounds right or not. There does seem to be a link between the perception of how close the exclave is to the main body of the country, and that perception will differ between different people. The history of the growth of the USA means there is a far less well defined area that could be called 'the real' USA than, say, France-Reunion. In the Russian context it is hard to overlook the fact that the Oblast was German speaking East Prussia for centuries until 1945. Its artificial inclusion into Russia by annexation cannot be overlooked, and that may be why using 'Russia proper' in that context sounds better for me. The distinction is less clear for Russia-Crimea.Roger 8 Roger (talk) 14:18, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

That Alleged Offer[edit]

On a number of websites one can find statements to the effect that Russia offered to return the area to Germany. Are there any sources for this other than newspapers and magazines? After all, the latter love a good story even if it's not true. Norvo (talk) 00:29, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

I do not have the source material you ask for but I do remember there was talk of creating German speaking enclaves within the USSR during the late 1980's and possibly to return East Prussia. From memory these talks involved Gorbachov and Kohl. Gorbachov wanted to get German money to help the then dismal Soviet economy so any return would be by way of selling the land to Germany.I also recall it was reported that the Germans were worried at any reported hint that Germany was returning to a policy of eastward expansion. That might be why the idea never took off - too close to the end of the war. Perhaps it will come back again in the near future when the war generation has gone. Source material would be useful. Roger 8 Roger (talk) 07:47, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. Norvo (talk) 23:34, 2 September 2016 (UTC)

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Legal status[edit]

I removed the fourth paragraph in the lead, suggesting that the legal status of Kaliningrad is unclear. This is contradicted by the articles on the treaty it referenced. Germany gave up claims to East Prussia (according to Wikipedia; I didn't read the treaty). The deleted paragraph's placement in the lead gave undue weight to a single journal article; any restoration should be farther in. Vox Sciurorum (talk) 23:36, 26 September 2017 (UTC)