On Alaska Day, Russians Still Dream of Getting Alaska Back

On Alaska Day, Russians Still Dream of Getting Alaska Back (Source observer.com) The U.S. purchase of Alaska from Russia in 1867 has been engulfed by conspiracy theories since the days of Soviet history textbooks that blamed Russian czars for every inch of Russian land lost to hostile outsiders. Disregarding the facts, one popular belief is that the Alaska purchase was a top-secret, “under the table” deal between corrupt Russian officials and Washington. By this logic, Alaska was not sold to the U.S. for $7.2 million in gold, but rather given under the terms of a 100-year lease. The theory here is that the American gold never reached the Russian treasury but drowned under mysterious circumstances in the ocean on its way to Russia—and the contract was not in Russian and never included the the word “sale.”

Last year, Russian TV released a documentary entitled “When Will Alaska Become Ours?”—arguing that, because Russia received only a meager portion of the promised $7.2 million for Alaska, the deal must be declared null and void. Pop culture confirms the claim.

The hit song by Russian pop group “Lyube” was entitled “Do Not Fool with Us, America!”—of course, about Alaska. “Do not fool with us, America!” sings the band. “The czars were wrong! Russia and Alaska are two banks of the same river! Give back our dear land, dear Alaska, give it back to us!” In the video, Alaska is taken from the U.S. at gunpoint. The conviction in Russian claims on Alaska starts from childhood. In the Ural city of Chelyabinsk this summer, middle school students enacted a promise to “return” Alaska to Russia one day. At one point, a boy covering his face with Putin’s mask appeared and, skillfully copying the sarcastic tone of the Russian President, asked the samurai, “But who will give them back to you?”—to the laughter and applause of the students. “I will be frank,” little Putin continued, “we do not need other people’s land, we take back what belongs to us. We took back Crimea. Alaska is next.


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