An administrative division of the Russian Federation. It was taken by the Soviet army toward the end of the Second World War and given to the Soviet Union at the Allied meeting in 1945 at Potsdam. It had been a part of East Prussia.
The largest city is Kaliningrad, a port and industrial city. In 1946 it was named after the old Bolshevik and Stalinist M.I. Kalinin. Its former name was Königsberg. It had been the capital of East Prussia and for many centuries a German city. In 2003, only 0.2 percent of its people were ethnic Germans.
Kaliningrad offered the Soviet Union an an ice-free port. Ships, machinery, chemicals and paper are manufactured, and lumber milled. During the Cold War the Soviet Union sealed off Kaliningrad because of the military installations it built there. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western Europeans have become aware of enormous environmental destruction at Kalinigrad and dangers to water quality in the Baltic Sea. The European Union has been donating funds for cleaning up the area.
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