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Amid the ongoing tense standoff between US and Russia over Ukraine, Alaska has emerged as the latest flashpoint. Billboards reading ‘Alaska is Ours’ has been spotted in Russia’s Krasnoyarsk city and the sign has gone viral on social media. The sign was spotted a day after Putin’s ally, Vyacheslav Volodin, threatened to ‘take back’ Alaska in response to US sanctions. The spokesperson for a Krasnoyarsk company named ‘Alaska’ which manufactures trailers claimed the responsibility for the billboards. Russian State Duma member Oleg Matveychev also called on the Kremlin to reclaim Alaska. “Decency is not a weakness, we always have something a response. Let America always remember that there is part of its territory, Alaska. When they start trying to dispose of our resources abroad, before doing so, let them think that we also have something to claim back,” said Volodin. “When they attempt to appropriate our assets abroad, they should be aware that we also have something to claim back,” Volodin added in remarks. Volodin also referenced a suggestion made by State Duma Vice Speaker Pyotr Tolstoy that a referendum could be held in Alaska on the matter. Warning that it would be absurd to try to punish a country with the largest nuclear potential, Medvedev also slammed the US for attempting to spread chaos and destruction across the world for the sake of ‘true democracy.’
“US and EU solution to war in Ukraine is creating more war, pile in the weapons, splurge on militarism, threaten to engage in all-out economic and financial war against Russia, nowhere have sanctions ever succeeded in ending a military assault, but what they have done is cause economic devastation. This can only fuel the fire that has already been ignited. Russia threatens to recapturing Alaska and seize its lost territory, means after Ukraine, US and Russia to clash over Alaska?“
The US purchased the territory of Alaska from the Russian government in 1867, of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 square km) of land at the northwestern tip of the North American continent, comprising the current U.S. state of Alaska. At the time, the US signed a cheque for $7.2 million to pay for Alaska, along with a Treaty of Cession that confirmed the territory’s acquisition. Alaska now commemorates Alaska Day every year on October 18, marking the day that the territory was transferred from Russia to the US. Alaska was admitted to the Union in 1959. The purchase of Alaska in 1867 marked the end of Russian efforts to expand trade and settlements to the Pacific coast of North America and became an important step in the United States’ rise as a great power in the Asia-Pacific region. Beginning in 1725, when Russian Czar Peter the Great dispatched Vitus Bering to explore the Alaskan coast, Russia had a keen interest in this region, which was rich in natural resources and lightly inhabited. As the United States expanded westward in the early 1800s, Americans soon found themselves in competition with Russian explorers and traders. St. Petersburg, however, lacked the financial resources to support major settlements or a military presence along the Pacific coast of North America and permanent Russian settlers in Alaska never numbered more than four hundred. Defeat in the Crimean War further reduced Russian interest in this region. Russia had offered to sell its North American territory to the United States on several occasions, but the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861 led to the postponement of discussions. In December 1866, a year after the war’s conclusion, Baron Eduard de Stoeckl, Russian minister to the United States, was instructed by Emperor Alexander II to open negotiations for its sale. The cost and logistical difficulties of supplying the territory had made it an economic liability to the Russians, who were additionally struggling with debt accrued during the disastrous Crimean War(1853–56). Russia offered to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859, believing the United States would off-set the designs of Russia’s greatest rival in the Pacific, Great Britain. Though Russian interactions with the native Aleut people had been largely peaceful, the Tlingit tribes were more restive, leading to sporadic episodes of violence and the interruption of provisions. Political forces in Russia increasingly looked instead toward Asian expansion and—in light of the American philosophy of Manifest Destiny and increased competition from the British Hudson’s Bay Company, which leased a southern portion of the territory—viewed the eventual control of the territory by the United States as inevitable and perhaps beneficial. For three decades after its purchase, the United States paid little attention to Alaska, which was governed under military, naval, or Treasury rule or, at times, no visible rule at all. Seeking a way to impose U.S. mining laws, the United States constituted a civil government in 1884. Skeptics had dubbed the purchase of Alaska Seward’s Folly. Still, the former Secretary of State was vindicated when a major gold deposit was discovered in the Yukon in 1896, and Alaska became the gateway to the Klondike gold fields. The strategic importance of Alaska was finally recognized in World War II. Alaska became a state on January 3, 1959.
The Russian warning follows a series of tough statements from Putin and his officials that pointed at the Russian nuclear arsenals to warn the West against interfering with Moscow’s action in Ukraine. Medvedev, who served as Russia’s president in 2008-2012 when Putin shifted into the prime minister’s post due to term limits, was widely seen by the West as more liberal compared with his mentor. In recent months, however, he has made remarks that have sounded much tougher than those issued by the most hawkish Kremlin officials. In another blustery warning to the U.S., Vyacheslav Volodin, a longtime Putin aide who serves as the speaker of the lower house of parliament, warned that Washington should remember that Alaska was part of Russia when it freezes Russian assets. During a State Duma session, Volodin said, ‘Let America always remember: there’s a piece of territory, Alaska’When they try to manage our resources abroad, let them think before they act that we, too, have something to take back’, as per the report. Moreover, the deputy speaker of the State Duma, Pyotr Tolstoy also suggested a ‘referendum’ should be held for Alaskan residents to vote about joining Russia.
Russia colonized Alaska and established several settlements there until the U.S. purchased it from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million. When the US attempts to appropriate Russian assets abroad, they should be aware that Russia also has something to claim back, that sanctions imposed by the United States and other Western nations could lead to a direct armed conflict with Russia which would include a potential attack of Alaska. US-led western countries have criticized Russia and Mr Putin for attacking Ukraine, which has created the worst humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. The war in Ukraine has caused hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to leave their homeland and live as refugees in other countries. Angry at Russia’s move, the West imposed unprecedented sanctions on Moscow, crippling its economy and leading to many big brands pulling out of the country. The US and EU’s idea to punish Russia, a country with the largest nuclear potential is absurd and potentially creates a threat to mankind’s existence. The entire U.S. history since the times of subjugation of the native Indian population represents a series of bloody wars, the U.S. nuclear bombing of Japan during World War II and the war in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other regions of the world. Was anyone held responsible for those crimes? What tribunal condemned the sea of blood spilled by the U.S. there? Was anyone held responsible for those crimes? What tribunal condemned the sea of blood spilled by the U.S. there?
US and EU solution to the war in Ukraine is creating more war, piling in the weapons, splurging on militarism, and threatening to engage in all-out economic and financial war against Russia, nowhere have sanctions ever succeeded in ending a military assault, but what they have done is cause economic devastation. US and EU should be thinking about reparations for the damage that was caused by the sanctions and the war itself. This can only fuel the fire that has already been ignited, now Russia threatens to recapture Alaska and seize its lost territory, which means after Ukraine, the US, and Russia to clash over Alaska?