VIDEO: Founded in 1255 by the German warrior and holy order of the Teutonic Knights it was given the name Königsberg in honour of the Bohemian king Ottokar II. Since then the city has been under different German ruling until 1945 when it was taken by the Soviet Union.
In 1945 most of Germans had fled from the city and the Soviet Union authorities expelled the rest – except for elderly and orphans. In 1946 it was given the name Kaliningrad in honour of the former chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Mikhail Kalinin.
80 % of the city was destroyed by British air raids in 1943 and Soviet artillery shelling in 1945. Parts of the old city you’ll see in this video are reconstructed after the war.
There was a Western outcry as Russia earlier this year declared that the Kaliningrad region since the collapse of the Soviet Union now located as an enclave between Lithuania and Poland would be reinforced with missiles to counter the NATO build up of troops in the area.
But already in 2007 the Russian government said it would do so as a response to the employment of US-controlled missile systems in Poland. The Russian plan, however, was never carried out.
In 2011, though, a long range Russian radar was installed to detect US missiles from Poland. The Russian government has never trusted that the US-controlled missile systems in Europe are meant to prevent missile attacks from Iran into Europe, as explained by US government, but has rather regarded the missiles as a threat to Russia.