We mapped all the US cities paired with a Russian city, and to our surprise, the map looks like Putin's profile.
Actually, that's not true. It was just a teaser to get you to come and take a look at the map.
It is interesting to look at these pairings, many of them set up in the 1980s and 1990s. In many cases, the cities in the US and Russia will have a geographical similarity (e.g. San Diego and Vladivostok as coastal cities, or Des Moines and Stravropol as agricultural centers).
A few places paired up with their namesakes: St. Petersburg FL and St. Petersburg, and Dixon IL, and Dikson. And a few Russian cities (Vladimir, Vladivostok) have more than one partner. But we did not find the opposite to be true.
But there are plenty of cases where the pairing seems unlikely and inexplicable, as in Beaverton, OR and Birobidzhan; or Salt Lake City and Izhevsk, or Menomonie and Konakovo...
We know that behind most pairings is a fascinating founding story, of someone who visited the counterpart city, made an enduring connection, and decided to codify it. We'd love to hear those founding stories. If you know one, and can put it into 100 words or less, we will add it to the map.
And, of course, if you know of any sister cities we have missed, send us an email and we'll get it onto the map.
Russian Life is a 29-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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