Russian lawmaker demands US return Alaska, California’s Fort Ross as part of reparations

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A Russian politician and so-called “spin doctor” for the Kremlin argued on Sunday that once Russia wins its ongoing conflict with Ukraine, the United States should be made to pay reparations for its interference and to relinquish alleged “Russian properties” that it’d “seized” in times past.

The remarks by Oleg Anatol’evich Matveychev, a university professor and member of the State Duma (Russia’s parliament), were made on the Russian talk show “Sunday Evening With Vladimir Soloviev,” according to The Daily Beast.

“Here’s what will be on the table after our victory. … After Ukraine’s demilitarization is completed … we should be thinking about reparations from the damage that was caused by the sanctions and the war itself, because that too costs money and we should get it back,” he said.

“The return of all Russian properties, those of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and current Russia, which has been seized in the United States, and so on,” Matveychev added.

In response, talk show host Vladimir Soloviev asked, “Are you including Alaska and Fort Ross?”

To be clear, the Russians sold Alaska to the U.S. in 1867, meaning it wasn’t “seized.”

Meanwhile, while originally established by the Russians along the coast north of San Francisco during colonial times, Fort Ross was eventually sold in 1841 to John Sutter, an “American emigrant to California,” with “an unsecured note of $30,000 that he never paid,” according to the History Channel.

Many years later, it found its way into the hands of the California Department of Parks and Recreation and became a National Historic Landmark.

Responding to Soloviev’s inquiry, Matveychev said he does in fact want both Alaska and Fort Ross — in addition to much, much, much more.

“That was my next point. As well as the Antarctic. … We discovered it, so it belongs to us. … Also, the return of all medals that have been unlawfully taken from our sportsmen during all Olympic games, as well as the extradition of [Grigory] Rodchenkov, along with the extradition of multiple other criminals we’ll want,” he said.

“I think we should start voicing all of that, so they understand what will be on the table. You didn’t want to talk to us about something small, like Ukraine’s neutrality? Here’s what you get. And that’s not even all of it.”

To be clear, Antarctica is technically not owned by any single country:

Earlier in the segment Matveychev has also called for the dissolution of NATO and the extradition of alleged “war criminals,” including current Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“We’re going to raise the stakes [after winning]. … For example, the lifting of all sanctions. …  The dissolution of NATO, because the presence of NATO in some countries is getting in our way,” he’d said.

“Extradition of all war criminals … like [Anton] Herashchenko [former deputy minister at the Ukrainian Ministry of Internal Affairs], Zelensky, [former President of Ukraine Petro] Poroshenko. Extradition of various oligarchs, like [Mikhail] Khodorkovsky.”

To be clear, the majority of the world believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is the real war criminal (*Language warning):

At one point in the discussion Sunday on Russian TV, Soliviev asked Matveychev whether his demands include “a tactical nuclear strike.”

“Does your list include a tactical nuclear strike, or are we going straight for the strategic one?” he questioned.

It’s not clear what he meant by that. Did he mean using the threat of a nuclear strike to force concessions? Or did he mean literally firing off a nuke?

Regardless, Matveychev replied, “What for? We can take them down without it.”

The Daily Beast notes that he’s certainly not the only prominent Russian figure who’s been espousing extreme, radical ideas.

“In recent days, Russian state television regressed from Orwellian lies to Kafkaesque nightmares, as pundits started to promote the idea of executing Ukrainians resisting Putin’s war of aggression by hanging. They noted that the so-called ‘constitution’ of the rogue ‘republics’ created in Ukraine by Russian forces conveniently allows for the death penalty,” according to the outlet.

“Last Thursday on The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, after listening to other pundits and experts endorse the idea of executing Ukrainian citizens by hanging, doctor of political sciences Elena G. Ponomareva argued: ”Never let morality prevent you from undertaking correct actions. I understand the importance of a humanitarian component… but morality shouldn’t get in the way.'”

Vivek Saxena


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