Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Window on Eurasia: Now Some Russians Want Moscow to Demand Northern California Back

Paul Goble

            Staunton, March 26 – The view of some Russians that Moscow should get Alaska back from the United States has attracted a certain amount of bemused attention both in the Russian Federation and abroad. But the idea has been around so long that most people do not pay it much attention.

            But it is indicative of the nature of the outburst of Russian nationalism in the wake of Putin’s Anschluss of Crimea that some Russians are now beginning to talk about Russia’s supposed right and even obligation to demand “the return” of Northern California as another “shore of Russia,” even though all involved know this is going nowhere (

            The editor of, a portal that has promoted attention to the Russian Far East and highlighted the opportunities and dangers Russia faces there and along the Pacific littoral, notes today that all talk about “the returning Alaska to Russia” began “as a simple means of information war,” but “now people are talking about this as a real [possibility].”

            “Russia needs Alaska,” the editor says, and it also needs “the part of North America settled by Russians,” an area that extends down to the middle of what is today the US state of California. But it is not just Russia which needs these areas, he adds; so too does the indigenous population of this enormous area.

            “What have the Anglo-Saxons done for the native population?” the editor asks rhetorically.  They have “barbarously destroyed” it in order to steal the wealth of these people and enrich themselves. Despite that, the Americans “even today shout about the rights of numerically small indigenous peoples!”

            “Russians today live in Alaska and in California,” he continues. And these are “not emigrants of a new wave but the descendants of their glorious ancestors” who came and developed this coast.  These people are trying to preserve their Orthodox faith and their Russian culture.”

            “They need Russia,” and consequently, “talk about the re-unification of Alaska and also California with Russia is completely justified. Alaska and the Pacific coast of North America are the Shores of Russia.  Is it not time for Moscow, he asks, to firmly insist on its rights there and to demand their return to Russia?

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