Diomede Islands: Russia and the US separate 4 kilometers

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Diomede IslandsThis is where Russia and the US meet within 4 kilometers of each other.

One of the most important and at the same time least known national borders in the world runs between the two Diomede Islands: Russia on one side and the United States on the other.

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The two mini-islands in the Bering Strait are only four kilometers apart, Ratmanow Island is the easternmost point of Russia, and Little Diomede Island is the westernmost point of the US state of Alaska.

The two mini-islands in the Bering Strait are only four kilometers apart, Ratmanow Island is the easternmost point of Russia, and Little Diomede Island is the westernmost point of the US state of Alaska.

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In a nod to the Iron Curtain in Europe during the Cold War, which divided the Soviet Union on one side and the West on the other, Soviet President Gorbachev's official spokesman referred to the Alaskan-Russian border as the

In a nod to the Iron Curtain in Europe during the Cold War, which divided the Soviet Union on one side and the West on the other, Soviet President Gorbachev’s official spokesman referred to the Alaskan-Russian border as the “Iron Curtain.” of ice”. in 1988.

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In 1867, Russia sold its overseas colony of Alaska, along with Little Diomede Island, to the Americans for a ridiculous $7.6 million.

In 1867, Russia sold its overseas colony of Alaska, along with Little Diomede Island, to the Americans for a ridiculous $7.6 million.

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that’s what it’s all about

  • Russia and the United States share the Diomedes Islands in the Bering Strait.

  • Although the islands are only four kilometers apart, they are in completely different time zones.

  • In 1867, Russia sold Alaska to the United States for a bargain price.

The great powers Russia and the United States have been considered enemies since the end of World War II. While the Cold War nearly escalated during the Cuban Missile Crisis, relations between the two nuclear powers briefly relaxed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. At least since the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, there has been an ice age again between Moscow and Washington. One look at the world map leads Europeans to assume at first glance that the two countries are thousands of kilometers apart. At the closest point, they are only four kilometers away. This is shown in a view of the Diomedes Islands, which are located in the Bering Strait.

While Monday is 12:00 pm on the largest island, which belongs to Russia, Sunday is 3:00 pm on the smallest US island. Despite the short distance of only four kilometers, the islands are in completely different time zones. Ratmanov Island is the easternmost point of Russia, and Little Diomede Island is the westernmost point of the state. Alaska.

Probably the worst deal ever

In 1867, Russia sold its overseas colony of Alaska, some 1.6 million square kilometers of difficult-to-maintain land, along with the tiny island of Diomedes to the Americans for a pittance: before that, a lot of money had been made in Alaska. hunting sea otters for years. When Alaska was sold, there were hardly any animals left to hunt. In addition, the natives, the Tlingit, increasingly resisted Russian colonial power.

The United States bought the former tsarist Alaska for $7.2 million, about $130 million today. The deal is often called “Seward’s Folly,” Seward’s Foolishness, because: A few years later, a huge gold deposit was discovered in northwestern Yukon, which then sparked the “Klondike Gold Rush.” In 1968, a huge oil deposit was found in Prudhoe Bay, from which the state still benefits today.

The ice curtain between two worlds

Alluding to the Iron Curtain in Europe during the Cold War, which divided the Soviet Union on one side and the West on the other, the official spokesman for then-Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev referred to the Alaska-Russia border in 1988 as the “Ice Landscape”. Curtain”. At that time, due to the political situation, the residents of the islands, who often had families on both sides, could not freely travel back and forth. A year earlier, in 1987, American Lynne Cox had swum across the bottleneck between the smaller and larger Diomedes Island to give “a sign of peace.” Both heads of state at the time, US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet President Gorbachev, congratulated the swimmer on her achievement.

and also today Months after the Russian attack on Ukraine, the geographic proximity of the two opponents seems all the more frightening given the political tensions between the West and Russia.

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