By DaveLevy on Feb 20, 2006
In my last article, I wrote that we'd played "Wipeout" with "the countries contiguous with Russia". We had a row about Latvia which was settled by someone at the table next to ours, who confirmed that Latvia does share a border with Russia. Being a pedant, I've looked it up and the obvious countries are "Norway, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and China". (11) This leaves some very interesting geography in Europe, where for some reason I don't know about, the city of Kalingrad and its coastal hinterland are Russian. This makes both Lithuania and Poland, Russia's neighbours.
We agreed that the USA (Alaska) was not a contiguous neighbour and by this argument, neither is Japan. Interestingly, Kazakhstan acts as a buffer between Russia and the ex-soviet republics of Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan, and while the winning player did not name the first three of these states, he did use the last.