Staunton, March 19 – A Polish journalist pointed out the obvious, that after Vladimir Putin closed Russia’s borders, residents of the Russian exclave in Kaliningrad faced difficulties in getting supplies because many of them have gotten used to going over the borders to Poland and Lithuania to purchase them (https://wyborcza.pl/7,75399,25796237,koronawirus-odcina-obwod-kaliningradzki.htm).
Several readers of his article in Warsaw’s Gazeta Wyborcza commented that this might be a good time for Poland to absorb Kaliningrad, observations that have triggered near hysterical reactions in the Russian capital as well as efforts to redirect Poland’s attentions to what some in Moscow believe is the coming collapse of Ukraine.
Igor Korotchenko, a specialist in the defense ministry’s social council, dismissed such Polish interest saying that “it would be simpler for the Poles to occupy the moon than to take Kaliningrad oblast.” Others saw the hand of NATO, and still others, including deputies and senators warned that if Poland tried, it would cease to exist (in24.org/world/39010politobzor.net/212760-nado-prisoedinyat-kaliningrad-polyaki-o-zakrytii-granic-es-iz-za-virusa.html
kp.ru/daily/27107.7/4181429/ vz.ru/politics/2020/3/20/1029879.html and politobzor.net/212846-negativnyy-scenariy-rossiya-i-polsha-dolzhny-podgotovitsya-k-raspadu-ukrainy.html).
Such comments, triggered not by another government’s declaration but by a newspaper reader in a neighboring country, show the contempt such Russians have for the countries in between and their belief that borders can and perhaps should be redrawn as long as those changes can be presented as benefitting Russia.