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National Geographic to Redraw World Map to Make Crimea Part of Russia

Published: March 20, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • National Geographic cartographers have agreed to temporarily indicate Crimea on maps as Ukrainian territory.
    Photo: Google Maps

Experts at the Washington-based National Geographic Society have announced plans to redraw the world map to show Crimea as part of Russia after the Ukrainian breakaway region's reunification with Moscow is finalized.

The U.S. magazine's editorial, legal and cartographic leadership met Tuesday to discuss how to map Crimea's political status, shortly after Russian President Vladimir Putin and Crimea's leaders signed a treaty on Russia absorbing the Black Sea peninsula.

The historic reunification treaty is expected to be approved by Russia's constitutional court and then ratified by parliament later this week.

Juan Jose Valdes, the organization's geographer, told U.S. News & World Report that National Geographic maps "the world as it is, not as people would like it to be."

"As you can only surmise, sometimes our maps are not received in a positive light by some individuals who want to see the world in a different light," Valdes said.

National Geographic cartographers have agreed to temporarily indicate Crimea on maps as Ukrainian territory with a shading to indicate a special status, similar to how the contested territories of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank are shown.

But following the ratification of the reunification treaty by the Russian parliament the organization plans to include the region as part of Russia, Valdes said.

Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that came to power amid often violent protests last month and sought reunification with Russia instead. The move has sparked the most serious geopolitical showdown between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 29


Park Pobedy will feature the sights and sounds of the world outside of Russia during the Open Art International Festival today. Taste foreign cuisine, learn how to make tea like the Chinese or relax in a hammock during the free event. Although entrance is free, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend.



Saturday, Aug. 30


Break out the tweed and channel your inner Englishman during the English Hunt Picnic this afternoon organized by the Bagmut stables from Krasny Bor in the Leningrad Oblast. Equestrian stunts, English archery and classic hunting fashion will all be available to visitors hoping to live like the characters in “Downton Abbey” if only for a day. Tickets for the event cost 7,900 rubles ($219.40).


Bookworms will have their chance to swap out well-read classics for something new for their bookshelves at Knigovorot, a free book exchange that will be held in the Yusupov Garden on Sadovaya Ulitsa today. Come for the chance to get a new book or take the opportunity to discuss the literary merits of your favorite authors with fellow fans.



Sunday, Aug. 31


The Neva Delta International Blues Festival wraps up this afternoon on Vasilevsky Island with a concert featuring not only some of Russia’s best blues bands but international stars as well. Admission is free for all three days of the festival, which begins on Aug. 29, and the shows starting at 5 p.m. each day.



Monday, Sept. 1


Today marks the beginning of Lermontov-Fest, a fall festival celebrating the life of one of Russia’s most remarkable poets who, in a fate eerily similar to Pushkin’s, was killed in a duel at the age of 26. Organized by the Lermontov Library System, the next several months will see art exhibitions, concerts and public lectures focusing on the Lermontov’s short yet prolific career. Check the Lermontov Library System’s website for more details.



Tuesday, Sept. 2


Join expats and practice your Russian during the Russian Club’s weekly meetings every Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The club is free to participate in although you need to be a registered member of Couchsurfing.



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