Friday, June 10, 2016

The View From My Window #22: Seeing Russia From My Window

When Laura and I lived in Kharkiv, Ukraine before the Russian invasion, we lived in the closest major city (Kharkiv has about 1.5 million people) to the Russian border. We joked before a Russian invasion was a realistic possibility that Kharkiv might be the first city they would take but having such a large population turned out to be a benefit as controlling a city that size would have required more military resource than Russia was willing to use. 

Now that Laura and I are spending the summer in Washington DC, it turns out we are closer to Russia than we ever were in Kharkiv. I know Sarah Palin famously joked about seeing Russia from her doorstep but I can literally see it from my window was we live right across from the Embassy of the Russian Federation. That's the embassy compound behind the tan walls. 

The compound, which includes an apartment building, school, and sports areas, was constructed in the late 70's and early 80's. It is built on a hill called Mount Alto and no one is easily jumping the fence and making it onto the grounds as there are several levels you need to climb to actually get to the building levels.

The famous Russian spy Robert Hanssen alerted the Soviets that the Americans were building a tunnel under the compound to better spy on the complex.

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