Kaliningrad – The former Königsberg and the philosopher Kant
The Kaliningrad Region (Russian Oblast, i.e. Kaliningrad District) is a small, western exclave of the Russian Federation, which lies between Poland and Lithuania on the Baltic coast. It covers roughly the northern third of the former East Prussian territory, which belonged to Germany until the Second World War.
The capital is Kaliningrad, the former Königsberg, which was renamed in 1946 after the Soviet politician Michail Kalinin (1875 to 1946), without this having had any reference to the city. This is where the only ice-free port and the headquarters of the Russian Federation’s Baltic Navy are located. Agriculture in the region was ruined during the Soviet era, and Prussian monuments have hardly been preserved. The status of a special economic zone with extensive customs and tax privileges has hardly brought the economy of the Kaliningrad region any success due to the ruling bureaucracy, high crime rate and the frequent corruption, but it has led to a flourishing smuggling with neighboring countries. Since Poland and Lithuania joined the EU, the exclave has been cut off even more from motherland Russia, which has a particularly negative impact on passenger transport and energy supply. The per capita income there is already a third lower than in the rest of Russia.
|Country name||Kaliningrad Oblast (region), part of Russia|
|Form of government||Parliamentary Democracy (Russian Federation)|
|President||Dmitri Anatolyevich Medvedev (election on March 2, 2008, inauguration on May 7, 2008)|
|Head of government||Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (since May 8, 2008, until then he was President)|
|Geographical location||Enclave on the Baltic Sea – between Poland and Lithuania|
|National anthem||the anthem of Russia|
|Ethnicities||approx. 82% Russians, 5% Belarusians, 5% Ukrainians and 2% Lithuanians|
|Religion||approx. 50% Russian Orthodox Christians|
|Capital||Kaliningrad (the former Koenigsberg)|
|Highest elevation||230 m in the Wystiter hill country|
|Longest river||Neman (Memel) with a length of 937 km|
|Largest lake||Wystiter See with an area of 17 km²|
|Boarding school License Plate||RUS|
|Time difference compared to CET||+1 h|
|Boarding school Telephone code||007|
|Mains voltage, mains frequency||220 V, 50 Hz|
|Top Level Domain (TLD)||.ru|
Kaliningrad Oblast: Population and Cities
In the Kaliningrad region (Oblast Kaliningrad), which belongs to Russia, about 942,000 people live on an area of 15,125 km².
The population of the Kaliningrad region consists of around 82% Russians, 5% Belarusians, 5% Ukrainians, 2% Lithuanians, 1% each of Armenians and Russian-Germans, and 0.5% Tatars. About half of the population are immigrants, so they were not born in the Kaliningrad region. The Russian Germans are almost exclusively immigrants from other Russian regions and not from East Prussia. Around 15,000 people are members of the Russian military.
About half of the residents of the Kaliningrad region are Russian Orthodox Christians. There are also Armenian and Ukrainian Orthodox. In addition to numerous non-denominational groups, there are also minorities of members of the Roman Catholic Church (predominantly Lithuanians), Protestants (Germans), and some Buddhists and Muslims (Tatars).
The official language in the Kaliningrad Region is Russian.
Capital, other cities
The capital of the Kaliningrad area is Kaliningrad (formerly Koenigsberg) with around 400,000 residents.
Other larger cities are:
– Sovetsk – the former Tilsit with around 40,000 residents,
– Chernyakhovsk (Insterburg) with around 40,000 residents,
– Baltiysk (Pillau) with around 30,000 residents
– Gussew (Gumbinnen) with around 30,000 residents.