Does Russia Want to Take Alaska Back?

( – A Russian decree used to empower the possible return of Russian lands from foreign owners resulted in pro-Ukrainian bloggers claiming that Russia wants Alaska back. The rumor was denied by the Kremlin and resulted in some comedic interactions between media and government officials.

Pro-Ukraine accounts on social media suggested that the decree was an attempt to nullify the 1867 sale of Alaska from Russia to the United States. An English translation of the document, which was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, did not contain any references to Alaska.

Newsweek is reporting that pro-Russian journalists were using the story to suggest Putin wants to expand Russian territory by recovering land it once held.

U.S. State Department spokesman Vedant Patel was asked about the return of the land as if it was legitimate and suggested jokingly that Putin wasn’t going to get Alaska back.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev also cracked a joke on X (Twitter). Medvedev said that Russia has been patiently waiting for the return of the land since it was sold in the 19th century. He added that “war is unavoidable” with a laughing emoji.

The decree signed by Putin assigns funds to locate, protect, and index Russian property abroad. The search includes former territories held by the Soviet Union and Russian Empire.

Putin had previously downplayed the value of Alaska suggesting that folks shouldn’t “get worked up” over it.

Territory has been a chief concern with Russia in its war against Ukraine, having already taken Crimea in a landslide referendum in March 2014. Ukraine’s demand for the return of Crimea as well as the return of the lands held in the Donbas region by the newly formed independent republics of Donetsk and Lugansk has been a central contention in ending the armed conflict between the nations.

Zelensky’s government refuses to begin negotiations to end the war unless the return of the lands is on the table and Putin isn’t willing to give them back, so the war continues.

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