Vladimir Putin is said to be eying up yet more territory as his invasion of Ukraine rumbles on.
Last Wednesday (July 6) Russian politicians loyal to Putin warned that they may seek to reclaim Alaska if Western sanctions continue.
The state was sold to the US in 1867 for the equivalent of $142.2million (£120.2m) in today's money, but now Vyacheslav Volodin – Chairman of the State Duma – has threatened to take it back.
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Speaking at a parliamentary session he said: “Decency is not weakness. We always have something to answer with. Let America always remember, there is part of its territory… Alaska.
“When they start trying to dispose of our resources abroad, let them think before they do so that we also have something to reclaim.”
He also urged members of Russia's lower house to “keep an eye on Alaska”.
Duma deputy speaker Pyotr Tolstoy – a great-great grandson of War And Peace author Leo Tolstoy – even proposed a referendum on Alaska.
Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy hit back at the threats on Twitter, writing: “To the Russian politicians who believe they can take back Alaska: Good luck.”
This came after billboards declaring “Alaska is ours!” appeared in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk, according to local news outlet NGS24.
A local trailer manufacturing company called "Alaska" reportedly commissioned the signs, with an employee saying their director is “very patriotic” and “decided to show that we are for patriotism”.
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In March, Russian State Duma member Oleg Matveychev said on TV that the Kremlin “should be thinking about reparations” following US sanctions.
Asked whether or not that included Alaska, he clarified: "Those [territories] of the Russian empire, the Soviet Union and current Russia, which have been seized in the United States, and so on… As well as the Antarctic.
"We discovered it, so it belongs to us."
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