Kade kneels next to a stream formed by the San Francisco Glacier, about two hours outside Santiago, Chile.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Russian Port

These are some excerpts from some e-mails I had with a friend in Asheville, NC in the Fall of 2009.  It was a couple of years after Kade's and my trip to Russia, and a year or so after the Russia-Georgia War of 2008.  I was scouring Russian news sites, reading a few books and looking at photos of Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian cities on one of my favorite websites, www.skyscrapercity.com.  Now, some five years later, it's quite interesting that our topic is the hot news of today.

Russia is contemplating building a new deep port for its Navy along the Eastern Black Sea coast, in the city of Novorossiysk, but apparently the economic slow-down has put this on the backburner.  Interesting that this east coast city along the Black Sea, which is where the Olympics will be in Sochi, abuts Georgia, and may explain why Russia is very cozy with the regions that want to separate from Georgia.  This would extend Russia's Black Sea coastline and provide more security.  I have read, though, that the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol could remain there if Russia and Ukraine can agree on new leases.  This is all a point of contention between the two countries. 

I researched Novorossiysk and it actually used to belong to the Greeks and the Turks before Russia took it over after the Rus-Turk War in the early 1800's.  Just down the coast from Novorossiysk is Sochi, where the winter Olympics will be.  and, moving further south along the coast is the territory of Abkhazia (from the photo I sent you a few days ago).  Abkhazia had been loosely independent from Georgia after the breakup of the USSR and was recently taken over by Russia during the 2008 war.   
Nikita Khrushchev, who was from the Ukraine, "gave" the Crimea to the Ukrainian republic during the USSR days.  Russians don't like this now, obviously.  The eastern side of Ukraine is especially important to Russia and tends to favor Russia politically.  The west is more pro-western.   Russians still make up a big number of Ukrainians, especially on the eastern side and in the navy regions.  Some have suggested that Russia may do to the Ukraine what it's done to Georgia...try to capture strategic regions.  It's been done before.  On that map, Russia has already "seized" (in our perspective anyway, part of that coastline of Georgia).  The Crimea is that "island" that hangs down into the Black Sea.

And an article about Russia's possible move out the Ukraine - Russia fleet 'may leave Ukraine'

Novorossiysk, Russia - for more images, click here.

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