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As the Russia-Ukraine conflict rages on, the spotlight is on Kaliningrad, Russia’s westernmost region.

  • Russia has warned Lithuania of serious consequences after it banned the rail transfer of some goods to the Russian territory of Kaliningrad.
  • Last week, the Lithuanian authorities announced they would ban goods subject to EU sanctions from passing through their territory to Russia.
  • As Russia’s westernmost federal entity, the Kaliningrad Oblast occupies 15,000 sq km and houses under 1 million people.
  • Russia is divided into 85 such oblasts, or states.
  • It is situated almost 300-km away from mainland Russia, and shares no borders with it.
  • Home to the deployment of Moscow’s Iskander missiles and the Russian Baltic Fleet, Kaliningrad has been called the Kremlin’s “unsinkable aircraft carrier”.
  • The end of the Second World War marked an important milestone in Kaliningrad’s history.
  • The Potsdam Agreement was signed by America, Britain and the former Soviet Union in 1945 in which Kaliningrad, then known as Königsberg, was ceded to Russia.
  • This was done as the Soviet Union, under Stalin, had already taken control of the East Prussian territory due to its strategic geographic location.