Putin Ally Warns US-Russia Against Military Battle Over Alaska

Vyacheslav Volodin, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin and chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s legislature, issued a stark warning on Wednesday that Russia must reclaim something from the US: the state of Alaska.

“If you [U.S. lawmakers] trying to take our assets abroad, they should be aware that we also have something to reclaim,” Volodin said at a meeting with Russian officials on Wednesday, according to TheAktuelleNews.

Tensions between the US and Russia have been rising for months amid the ongoing war in Ukraine and the unprecedented sanctions Western countries have imposed in response to Putin’s invasion. Russia has gone so far as to threaten direct conflict with the US and NATO, stoking fears that the war could spread beyond Ukraine’s borders. Volodin’s comments suggest he could help Russia target Alaska in retaliation for freezing Russian assets, a move that could spark a feared military confrontation between Russia and the US

Alaska was once part of Russia until the U.S. bought the territory on March 30, 1867 for $7.2 million, according to the Library of Congress. Referring to then-Secretary of State William H. Seward, some criticized the deal, calling it “Seward’s folly” or “Seward’s ice box,” but criticism died down after the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896.

According to the Library of Congress, Alaska did not officially become a state until January 1959, the same year Hawaii gained statehood.

Although Russia’s ownership of Alaska ended more than a century ago, the country and state share close geographic proximity. According to Alaska’s official website, Russia and Alaska are less than three miles apart across Russia’s Big Diomede Island and Alaska’s Little Diomede Island at their narrowest point in the Bering Strait. Mainland Alaska and Russia are 55 miles apart at their closest point between Alaska’s Seward Peninsula and Russia’s Chukotka Peninsula.

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Volodin isn’t the only Russian figure who has spoken out about the prospect of Russia retaking Alaska from the US

Oleg Matveychev, a member of the Duma, told Russian state television earlier this year that Russia should “seek the return of all Russian possessions, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and modern-day Russia confiscated in the United States. etc.”

When asked if this included Alaska, Matveychev replied that it did.

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy responded to Matveychev’s statements at the time tweeted: “Good luck with it! Not if we can say anything about it. We have hundreds of thousands of armed Alaskans and military personnel who will see things differently.”

TheCurrentNews has reached out to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the US Defense Ministry and Volodin through the State Duma for comment.

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