Sakhalin (Russian: Сахалин, pronounced [səxɐˈlʲin]),
previously also known as
Karafuto (Japanese: 樺太), is a large
Russian island in the North Pacific Ocean, lying between 45°50' and
54°24' N. It is Russia's largest island, and is administered as
Sakhalin Oblast. Sakhalin, which is about one third the size
of Honshu, is just off the east coast of Russia, and just north of
Japan. The population was 497,973 as of the 2010 census, made up of
Russians and a smaller Korean community. The indigenous
peoples of the island are the Ainu, Oroks and Nivkhs.
Sakhalin was claimed by both
Japan over the course of the
19th and 20th centuries. These disputes sometimes involved military
conflict and divisions of the island between the two powers. Russia
has held all of the island since seizing the Japanese portion in the
final days of
World War II
World War II in 1945;
Japan no longer claims any of
Sakhalin, although it does still claim the nearby South Kuril Islands.
Most Ainu on
Sakhalin moved to Hokkaido, only 43 kilometres
(27 mi) to the south, when the Japanese were displaced from the
island in 1949.
2.1 Early history
2.2 European and Japanese exploration
2.3 Russo-Japanese rivalry
2.6 Second World War
2.7 Recent history
6 Flora and fauna
7.4 Fixed links
9 International partnerships
10 See also
12 Further reading
13 External links
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The island is known in Russian as Сахалин (Sakhalin). In
Chinese, it is known as Kuye (simplified Chinese: 库页; traditional
Chinese: 庫頁; pinyin: Kùyè). In Japanese, it is known as Karafuto
(樺太) or, borrowing the Russian appellation, as Saharin
(サハリン). The spelling Saghalien may be found in historical
texts. Choka (or Tchoka) is another name found in the early literature
and seems to have been the name used by the islanders themselves, but
it is not clear whether these were the Gilyak or the Ainu.
The European names derive from misinterpretation of a Manchu name
ᡥᠠᡩᠠ sahaliyan ula angga hada ("peak/craggy rock at the mouth
of the Amur River"). Sahaliyan, the word that has been borrowed in the
form of "Sakhalin", means "black" in Manchu, ula means "river" and
sahaliyan ula (ᠰᠠᡥᠠᠯᡳᠶᠠᠨ
ᡠᠯᠠ , "Black River") is the proper Manchu name of the Amur
River. Its Japanese name,
Karafuto (樺太), supposedly comes from
Ainu kamuy kar put ya mosir
(カムイ・カラ・プト・ヤ・モシリ, shortened to Karput
カラ・プト), which means "the island a god has created at the
estuary (of the Amur River)". The name was used by
the Japanese during their possession of its southern part
De Vries (1643) maps Sakhalin's eastern promontories, but is not aware
that he is visiting an island (map from 1682).
Sakhalin was inhabited in the
Neolithic Stone Age. Flint implements
such as those found in
Siberia have been found at Dui and
great numbers, as well as polished stone hatchets similar to European
examples, primitive pottery with decorations like those of the
Olonets, and stone weights used with fishing nets. A later population
familiar with bronze left traces in earthen walls and kitchen-middens
on Aniva Bay.
Among the indigenous people of
Sakhalin are the Ainu in the southern
half, the Oroks in the central region, and the Nivkhs in the north.
Chinese chronicled the
Hezhe tribes,
which had a way of life based on fishing.
Mongol Empire made some efforts to subjugate the native people of
Sakhalin starting in about 1264 CE. According to Yuanshi, the official
history of the Yuan dynasty, the
Mongols militarily subdued the Guwei
(骨嵬, Gǔwéi), and by 1308, all inhabitants of
submitted to the Yuan. The Nivkhs and the Oroks were subjugated
earlier, whereas the
Ainu people submitted to the Mongols
later. Following their subjugation, Gǔwéi elders
made tributary visits to Yuan posts located at Wuleihe, Nanghar, and
Boluohe until the end of the Mongol
Yuan dynasty in China (1368). In
Ming dynasty (1368–1644), the tributary relationship was
re-established. By the middle of the 15th century, following the
introduction of Chinese political and commercial institutions in the
Amur region, the
Sakhalin Ainu were making frequent tributary visits
to Chinese-controlled outposts. Chinese of the
Ming dynasty knew
the island as Kuyi (苦夷 Kǔyí) or Kuwu (Chinese: 苦兀; pinyin:
Kǔwù), and later as Kuye (Chinese: 庫頁; pinyin: Kùyè), as it is
known today. There is some evidence that the Ming eunuch Admiral
Sakhalin in 1413 during one of his expeditions to the
lower Amur, and granted Ming titles to a local chieftain. Under the
Ming dynasty, commerce in Northeast Asia and
Sakhalin was placed under
the "system for subjugated peoples", or ximin tizhi. This suggests
that the island was at least nominally under the administration of the
Nurgan Regional Military Commission, which was established by Yishiha
near today's village of Tyr on the Siberian mainland in 1411, and
continued operating until the mid-1430s. A Ming boundary stone
still exists on the island.
European and Japanese exploration
Sakhalin on maps varied throughout the 18th century. This
map from a 1773 atlas, based on the earlier work by d'Anville, who in
his turn made use of the information collected by Jesuits in 1709,
asserts the existence of Sakhalin—but only assigns to it the
northern half of the island and its northeastern coast (with Cape
Patience, discovered by de Vries in 1643). Cape Aniva, also discovered
by de Vries, and
Cape Crillon (Black Cape) are, however, thought to be
part of the mainland
According to Wei Yuan's work Military history of the Qing dynasty
(Chinese: 聖武記; pinyin: Shèngwǔ Jì), the Later Jin sent 400
Sakhalin in 1616 in response to Japanese activity in the
area, but later withdrew, judging there to be no major threat to their
control of the island.
In an early colonization attempt, a Japanese settlement was
established at Ootomari on Sakhalin's southern end in 1679.
Cartographers of the
Matsumae clan created a map of the island and
called it "Kita-Ezo" (Northern Ezo,
Ezo being the old name for the
islands north of Honshu). The 1689
Nerchinsk Treaty between
China, which defined the
Stanovoy Mountains as their mutual border,
made no explicit mention of the island; however, the Qing dynasty
(1644–1912) did consider the island to be part of its territory, and
enacted policies of a pattern similar to the previous Ming dynasty,
Sakhalin further into the "system for subjugated peoples".
Local people were forced to pay tribute at Qing posts, and Qing
officials sometimes granted titles to local elders, entrusting them
with the task of "keeping the peace". By the mid-18th century, Qing
officials had registered 56 surname groups; of these, Qing sources
note that six clans and 148 households were those of Ainu and Nivkh
who came under the Qing administrative umbrella. However, since the
Chinese government did not have a military presence on the island,
Japanese attempts at colonization continued.
The first European known to visit
Sakhalin was Martin Gerritz de
Vries, who mapped
Cape Patience and Cape Aniva on the island's east
coast in 1643. The Dutch captain, however, was unaware that it was an
island, and 17th century maps usually showed these points (and often
Hokkaido as well) as being part of the mainland.
As part of a nationwide Sino-French cartographic program, the Jesuits
Jean-Baptiste Régis, Pierre Jartoux, and Xavier Ehrenbert Fridelli
joined a Chinese team visiting the lower Amur (known to them under its
Manchu name, Saghalien Ula, i.e. the "Black River"), in 1709, and
learned of the existence of the nearby offshore island from the Ke
tcheng natives of the lower Amur. The Jesuits were told that the
islanders were believed to be good at reindeer husbandry. They
reported that the mainlanders used a variety of names to refer to the
island, but Saghalien anga bata (i.e. "the Island [at] the mouth of
the Black River") was the most common, while the name "Huye"
(presumably, "Kuye", 庫頁), which they had heard in Beijing, was
completely unknown to the locals.
La Perouse charted most of the southwestern coast of
"Tchoka", as he heard natives call it) in 1787
The Jesuits did not have a chance to visit the island personally, and
the geographical information provided by the Ke tcheng people and
Manchus who had been to the island was insufficient to allow them to
identify it as the land visited by de Vries in 1643. As a result, many
17th century maps showed a rather strangely shaped Sakhalin, which
included only the northern half of the island (with Cape Patience),
while Cape Aniva, discovered by de Vries, and the "Black Cape" (Cape
Crillon) were thought to be part of the mainland.
It was not until the 1787 expedition of Jean-François de La Pérouse
that the island began to resemble something of its true shape on
European maps. Though unable to pass through its northern "bottleneck"
due to contrary winds, La Perouse charted most of the Strait of
Tartary, and islanders he encountered near today's Strait of Nevelskoy
told him that the island was called "Tchoka" (or at least that is how
he recorded the name in French), and it was used on some maps
The Russian explorer
Adam Johann von Krusenstern
Adam Johann von Krusenstern visited
1805, but regarded it as a peninsula.
Alarmed by the visits of European powers,
Japan proclaimed its
sovereignty over the whole island in 1807. Most Japanese sources claim
Mamiya Rinzō as the true discoverer of the Strait of Tartary, in
Anton Chekhov museum in Alexandrovsk-Sakhalinsky, Russia. It is the
house where he stayed in
Sakhalin during 1890
On the basis of its belief that it was an extension of Hokkaido, both
geographically and culturally,
Japan again proclaimed sovereignty over
the whole island (as well as the
Kuril Islands chain) in 1845, in the
face of competing claims from Russia. In 1849, however, the Russian
Gennady Nevelskoy recorded the existence and navigability of
the strait later given his name, and – in defiance of the Qing and
Japanese claims – Russian settlers began establishing coal mines,
administration facilities, schools, and churches on the island.
Japan signed the Treaty of Shimoda, which declared
that nationals of both countries could inhabit the island:
the north, and Japanese in the south, without a clearly defined
Russia also agreed to dismantle its military base at
Ootomari. Following the Opium War,
Russia forced China to sign the
Treaty of Aigun
Treaty of Aigun (1858) and the
Convention of Peking
Convention of Peking (1860), under
which China lost to
Russia all claims to territories north of
Heilongjiang (Amur) and east of Ussuri, including Sakhalin.
In 1857 the
Russians established a penal colony. In
Anton Chekhov visited the penal colony on
Sakhalin and published a memoir of his journey.
Japan proclaimed its sovereignty over
Sakhalin (which they called
Karafuto) yet again in 1865, and the government built a stele
announcing the claim at the northern extremity of the island. The
island remained under shared sovereignty until the signing of the 1875
Treaty of Saint Petersburg, in which
Japan surrendered its claims in
Russia in exchange for the Kuril Islands.
Settler's way of life. Near church at holiday. 1903
Between 1848 and 1902, American whaleships hunted whales off
Sakhalin. They cruised for bowhead and gray whales to the north
and right whales to the east and south. On 7 June 1855, the ship
Jefferson (396 tons), of New London, was wrecked on Cape Levenshtern,
on the northeastern side of the island, during a fog. All hands were
saved as well as 300 barrels of whale oil.
Sakhalin Island with
Karafuto Prefecture highlighted
See also: Invasion of Sakhalin,
Sakhalin Oblast, and Karafuto
Japanese forces invaded and occupied
Sakhalin in the closing stages of
the Russo-Japanese War. In accordance with the
Treaty of Portsmouth
Treaty of Portsmouth of
1905, the southern part of the island below the 50th parallel north
reverted to Japan, while
Russia retained the northern three-fifths. In
1920, during the Siberian Intervention,
Japan again occupied the
northern part of the island, returning it to the Soviet Union in 1925.
Sakhalin was administered by
(Karafuto-chō (樺太庁)), with the capital at
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk). A large number of migrants were brought in from
The northern, Russian, half of the island formed
Sakhalin Oblast, with
the capital at Aleksandrovsk-Sakhalinsky.
Second World War
See also: Invasion of South Sakhalin
In August 1945, after repudiating the Soviet–Japanese Neutrality
Pact, the Soviet Union invaded southern Sakhalin. The Soviet attack
started on August 11, 1945, a few days before the surrender of Japan.
The Soviet 56th Rifle Corps, part of the 16th Army, consisting of the
79th Rifle Division, the 2nd Rifle Brigade, the 5th Rifle Brigade and
the 214 Armored Brigade, attacked the Japanese 88th Infantry
Division. Although the Soviet Red Army outnumbered the Japanese by
three to one, they advanced only slowly due to strong Japanese
resistance. It was not until the 113th Rifle Brigade and the 365th
Independent Naval Infantry Rifle Battalion from Sovetskaya Gavan
landed on Tōro, a seashore village of western
Karafuto on August 16
that the Soviets broke the Japanese defense line. Japanese resistance
grew weaker after this landing. Actual fighting continued until August
21. From August 22 to August 23, most remaining Japanese units agreed
to a ceasefire. The Soviets completed the conquest of
August 25, 1945 by occupying the capital of Toyohara.
Of the approximately 400,000 people – mostly Japanese and Korean –
who lived on South
Sakhalin in 1944, about 100,000 were evacuated to
Japan during the last days of the war. The remaining 300,000 stayed
behind, some for several more years. While the vast majority of
Sakhalin Japanese and
Koreans were gradually repatriated between 1946
and 1950, tens of thousands of
Koreans (and a number of their
Japanese spouses) remained in the Soviet Union.
Central part of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. 2009
No final peace treaty has been signed and the status of four
neighboring islands remains disputed.
Japan renounced its claims of
sovereignty over southern
Sakhalin and the
Kuril Islands in the Treaty
of San Francisco (1951), but maintains that the four offshore islands
Hokkaido currently administered by
Russia were not subject to this
Japan has granted mutual exchange visas for Japanese
and Ainu families divided by the change in status. Recently, economic
and political cooperation has gradually improved between the two
nations despite disagreements.
On 1 September 1983, the Korean Air Flight 007, a South Korean
civilian airliner, flew over
Sakhalin and was shot down by the Soviet
Union, just west of
Sakhalin Island, near the smaller Moneron Island;
the Soviet Union claimed it was a spy plane. All 269 passengers and
crew died, including a U.S. Congressman, Larry McDonald.
On 27 May 1995, the 7.0 Mw Neftegorsk earthquake shook the former
Russian settlement of Neftegorsk with a maximum Mercalli intensity of
IX (Violent). Total damage was $64.1–300 million, with 1,989 deaths
and 750 injured. The settlement was not rebuilt.
Cape Tihii, Sakhalin
Sakhalin is separated from the mainland by the narrow and shallow
Strait of Tartary, which often freezes in winter in its narrower part,
and from Hokkaido,
Japan by the Soya Strait or La Pérouse Strait.
Sakhalin is the largest island in Russia, being 948 km
(589 mi) long, and 25 to 170 km (16 to 106 mi) wide,
with an area of 72,492 km2 (27,989 sq mi).
Its orography and geological structure are imperfectly known. One
theory is that
Sakhalin arose from the
Sakhalin Island Arc. Nearly
Sakhalin is mountainous. Two parallel ranges of
mountains traverse it from north to south, reaching 600–1,500 m
(2,000–4,900 ft). The Western
Sakhalin Mountains peak in Mount
Ichara, 1,481 m (4,859 ft), while the Eastern Sakhalin
Mountains's highest peak, Mount Lopatin 1,609 m (5,279 ft),
is also the island's highest mountain. Tym-Poronaiskaya Valley
separates the two ranges. Susuanaisky and Tonino-Anivsky ranges
traverse the island in the south, while the swampy Northern-Sakhalin
plain occupies most of its north.
The Susunai Ridge
Crystalline rocks crop out at several capes;
containing an abundant and specific fauna of gigantic ammonites, occur
at Dui on the west coast; and
Tertiary conglomerates, sandstones,
marls, and clays, folded by subsequent upheavals, are found in many
parts of the island. The clays, which contain layers of good coal and
abundant fossilized vegetation, show that during the Miocene period,
Sakhalin formed part of a continent which comprised north Asia,
Alaska, and Japan, and enjoyed a comparatively warm climate. The
Pliocene deposits contain a mollusc fauna more Arctic than that which
exists at the present time, indicating that the connection between the
Pacific and Arctic Oceans was probably broader than it is now.
Main rivers: The Tym, 330 km (205 mi) long and navigable by
rafts and light boats for 80 km (50 mi), flows north and
northeast with numerous rapids and shallows, and enters the Sea of
Poronai River flows south-southeast to the Gulf of
Patience or Shichiro Bay, on the southeastern coast. Three other small
streams enter the wide semicircular
Gulf of Aniva
Gulf of Aniva or Higashifushimi
Bay at the southern extremity of the island.
The northernmost point of
Cape of Elisabeth on the Schmidt
Cape Crillon is the southernmost point of the island.
Sakhalin has two smaller islands associated with it, Moneron Island
and Ush Island. Moneron, the only land mass in the Tatar strait,
7.2 km (4.5 mi) long and 5.6 km (3.5 mi) wide, is
about 24 nautical miles (44 km) west from the nearest coast of
Sakhalin and 41 nmi (76 km) from the port city of Nevelsk.
Ush Island is an island off of the northern coast of Sakhalin.
Nivkh children in
Sakhalin around 1903
At the beginning of the 20th century, some 32,000
Russians (of whom
over 22,000 were convicts) inhabited
Sakhalin along with several
thousand native inhabitants. In 2010, the island's population was
recorded at 497,973, 83% of whom were ethnic Russians, followed by
Koreans (5.5%). Smaller minorities were Ukrainians,
Yakuts and Evenks. The native inhabitants consist of some
2,000 Nivkhs and 750 Oroks. The Nivkhs in the north support themselves
by fishing and hunting. In 2008 there were 6,416 births and 7,572
The administrative center of the oblast, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, a city of
about 175,000, has a large Korean minority, typically referred to as
Sakhalin Koreans, who were forcibly brought by the Japanese during
World War II
World War II to work in the coal mines. Most of the population lives
in the southern half of the island, centered mainly around
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and two ports,
Kholmsk and Korsakov (population
about 40,000 each).
The 400,000 Japanese inhabitants of
Sakhalin (including all indigenous
Ainu) were deported following the invasion of the southern portion of
the island by the Soviet Union in 1945 at the end of World War II.
Sea of Okhotsk
Sea of Okhotsk ensures
Sakhalin has a cold and humid climate,
ranging from humid continental (Köppen Dfb) in the south to subarctic
(Dfc) in the centre and north. The maritime influence makes summers
much cooler than in similar-latitude inland cities such as
Irkutsk, but makes the winters much more snowy and a few degrees
warmer than in interior East Asian cities at the same latitude.
Summers are foggy with little sunshine[not in citation given].
Precipitation is heavy, owing to the strong onshore winds in summer
and the high frequency of North Pacific storms affecting the island in
the autumn. It ranges from around 500 millimetres (20 in) on the
northwest coast to over 1,200 millimetres (47 in) in southern
mountainous regions. In contrast to interior east Asia with its
pronounced summer maximum, onshore winds ensure
year-round precipitation with a peak in the autumn.
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Weather Underground
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Flora and fauna
Gray whale near Sakhalin
Anaphalis margaritacea with peacock butterfly
The whole of the island is covered with dense forests, mostly
coniferous. The Yezo (or Yeddo) spruce (Picea jezoensis), the Sakhalin
fir (Abies sachalinensis) and the
Dahurian larch (Larix gmelinii) are
the chief trees; on the upper parts of the mountains are the Siberian
dwarf pine (Pinus pumila) and the Kurile bamboo (Sasa kurilensis).
Birches, both Siberian silver birch (Betula platyphylla) and Erman's
birch (B. ermanii), poplar, elm, bird cherry (Prunus padus), Japanese
yew (Taxus cuspidata), and several willows are mixed with the
conifers; while farther south the maple, rowan and oak, as also the
Japanese Panax ricinifolium, the
Amur cork tree
Amur cork tree (Phellodendron
amurense), the Spindle (Euonymus macropterus) and the vine (Vitis
thunbergii) make their appearance. The underwoods abound in
berry-bearing plants (e.g. cloudberry, cranberry, crowberry, red
whortleberry), red-berried elder (Sambucus racemosa), wild raspberry,
Bears, foxes, otters, and sables are numerous, as are reindeer in the
north, and musk deer, hares, squirrels, rats, and mice everywhere. The
bird population is mostly the common east Siberian, but there are some
endemic or near-endemic breeding species, notably the endangered
Nordmann's greenshank (Tringa guttifer) and the
Sakhalin leaf warbler
(Phylloscopus borealoides). The rivers swarm with fish, especially
species of salmon (Oncorhynchus). Numerous whales visit the sea coast,
including the critically endangered Western Pacific gray whale, for
which the coast of
Sakhalin is the only known feeding ground. Other
endangered whale species known to occur in this area are the North
Pacific right whale, the bowhead whale, and the beluga whale.
D51 steam locomotive
D51 steam locomotive outside the
Sakhalin Shipping Company
Transport, especially by sea, is an important segment of the economy.
Nearly all the cargo arriving for
Sakhalin (and the Kuril Islands) is
delivered by cargo boats, or by ferries, in railway wagons, through
the SSC train ferry from the mainland port of Vanino to Kholmsk. The
ports of Korsakov and
Kholmsk are the largest and handle all kinds of
goods, while coal and timber shipments often go through other ports.
In 1999, a ferry service was opened between the ports of Korsakov and
Wakkanai, Japan, and operated through the autumn of 2015, when service
For the 2016 summer season, this route will be served by a highspeed
catamaran ferry from Singapore named Penguin 33. The ferry is owned by
Penguin International Limited and operated by
Sakhalin's main shipping company is
Sakhalin Shipping Company,
Kholmsk on the island's west coast.
A passenger train in Nogliki
About 30 percent of all inland transport volume is carried by the
island's railways, most of which are organized as the
(Сахалинская железная дорога), which is one
of the 17 territorial divisions of the Russian Railways.
Sakhalin Railway network extends from
Nogliki in the north to
Korsakov in the south. Sakhalin's railway has a connection with the
Russia via a ferry operating between Vanino and Kholmsk.
As of 2004[update], the railways are only now being converted from the
Japanese 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) gauge to the Russian
1,520 mm (4 ft 11 27⁄32 in) gauge.
The original Japanese D51 steam locomotives were used by the Soviet
Railways until 1979.
Besides the main network run by the Russian Railways, until December
2006 the local oil company (Sakhalinmorneftegaz) operated a corporate
narrow-gauge 750 mm (2 ft 5 1⁄2 in) line
extending for 228 kilometers (142 mi) from
Nogliki further north
to Okha (Узкоколейная железная дорога Оха
— Ноглики). During the last years of its service, it
gradually deteriorated; the service was terminated in December 2006,
and the line was dismantled in 2007–2008.
Sakhalin is connected by regular flights to Moscow, Khabarovsk,
Vladivostok and other cities of Russia.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport has
regularly scheduled international flights to Hakodate, Japan, and
Seoul and Busan, South Korea. There are also charter flights to the
Japanese cities of Tokyo, Niigata, and
Sapporo and to the Chinese
cities of Shanghai,
Dalian and Harbin. The island was formerly served
Alaska Airlines from Anchorage, Petropavlovsk, and Magadan.
The idea of building a fixed link between
Sakhalin and the Russian
mainland was first put forwarded in the 1930s. In the 1940s, an
abortive attempt was made to link the island via a 10-kilometre-long
(6 mi) undersea tunnel. The workers supposedly made it almost
to the half-way point before the project was
abandoned under Premier Nikita Khrushchev. In 2000, the Russian
government revived the idea, adding a suggestion that a 40-km-long
bridge could be constructed between
Sakhalin and the Japanese island
of Hokkaidō, providing
Japan with a direct connection to the Eurasian
railway network. It was claimed that construction work could begin as
early as 2001. The idea was received skeptically by the Japanese
government and appears to have been shelved, probably permanently,
after the cost was estimated at as much as $50 billion.
In November 2008, Russian president
Dmitry Medvedev announced
government support for the construction of the
Sakhalin Tunnel, along
with the required regauging of the island's railways to Russian
standard gauge, at an estimated cost of 300–330 billion roubles.
In July 2013,
Russian Far East
Russian Far East development minister Viktor Ishayev
proposed a railroad bridge to link
Sakhalin with the Russian mainland.
He also again suggested a bridge between
Sakhalin and Hokkaidō, which
could potentially create a continuous rail corridor between Europe and
At the ceremony marking the opening of a liquefied natural gas
production plant built as part of the Sakhalin-2 project.
Sakhalin is a classic "primary sector of the economy" relying on oil
and gas exports, coal mining, forestry, and fishing. Limited
quantities of rye, wheat, oats, barley and vegetables are grown,
although the growing season averages less than 100 days.
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and economic
Sakhalin has experienced an oil boom with extensive
petroleum exploration and mining by most large oil multinational
corporations. The oil and natural gas reserves contain an estimated 14
billion barrels (2.2 km3) of oil and 2,700 km3 (96 trillion
cubic feet) of gas and are being developed under production-sharing
agreement contracts involving international oil companies like
ExxonMobil and Shell.
In 1996, two large consortia signed contracts to explore for oil and
gas off the northeast coast of the island,
Sakhalin-I and Sakhalin-II.
The two consortia were estimated to spend a combined US$21 billion on
the two projects which almost doubled to $37 billion as of September
2006, triggering Russian governmental opposition. The cost will
include an estimated US$1 billion to upgrade the island's
infrastructure: roads, bridges, waste management sites, airports,
railways, communications systems, and ports. In addition,
Sakhalin-III-through-VI are in various early stages of development.
Sakhalin I project, managed by
Exxon Neftegas Limited (ENL),
completed a production-sharing agreement (PSA) between the
consortium, the Russian Federation, and the
Russia is in the process of building a 220 km (140 mi)
pipeline across the Tatar Strait from
Sakhalin Island to De-Kastri
terminal on the Russian mainland. From De-Kastri, the resource will be
loaded onto tankers for transport to East Asian markets, namely Japan,
South Korea and China.
The second consortium,
Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd
Sakhalin Energy), is managing the
Sakhalin II project. It completed
the first production-sharing agreement (PSA) with the Russian
Sakhalin Energy will build two 800-km pipelines running
from the northeast of the island to Prigorodnoye (Prigorodnoe) in
Aniva Bay at the southern end. The consortium will also build, at
Prigorodnoye, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant to be built
in Russia. The oil and gas are also bound for East Asian markets.
Sakhalin II has come under fire from environmental groups, namely
Sakhalin Environment Watch, for dumping dredging material in Aniva
Bay. These groups were also worried about the offshore pipelines
interfering with the migration of whales off the island. The
consortium has (as of January 2006) rerouted the pipeline to avoid the
whale migration. After a doubling in the projected cost, the Russian
government threatened to halt the project for environmental
reasons. There have been suggestions that the Russian government
is using the environmental issues as a pretext for obtaining a greater
share of revenues from the project and/or forcing involvement by the
state-controlled Gazprom. The cost overruns (at least partly due to
Shell's response to environmental concerns), are reducing the share of
profits flowing to the Russian treasury.
In 2000, the oil and gas industry accounted for 57.5% of Sakhalin's
industrial output. By 2006, it is expected to account for 80% of the
island's industrial output. Sakhalin's economy is growing rapidly
thanks to its oil and gas industry. By 2005, the island had become the
largest recipient of foreign investment in Russia, followed by Moscow.
Unemployment in 2002 was only two percent
As of 18 April 2007,
Gazprom has taken a 50 percent plus one share
Sakhalin II by purchasing 50 percent of Shell, Mitsui and
Gig Harbor, Washington, United States
Jeju Province, South Korea
List of islands of Russia
Winter storms of 2009–10 in East Asia
Ryugase Group – a geological formation on the island
^ a b "Islands by Land Area". Island Directory. United Nations
Environment Program. February 18, 1998. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
Russian Federal State Statistics Service (2011).
"Всероссийская перепись населения 2010
года. Том 1" [2010 All-Russian Population Census,
vol. 1]. Всероссийская перепись
населения 2010 года (2010 All-
Census) (in Russian). Federal State Statistics Service. Retrieved June
Sakhalin Regional Museum: The Indigenous Peoples". Sakh.com.
Archived from the original on March 17, 2009. Retrieved June 16,
^ Reid, Anna (2003). The Shaman's Coat: A Native History of Siberia.
New York: Walker & Company. pp. 148–150.
^ Gall, Timothy L. (1998). Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and
Daily Life. Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research Inc. pp. 2–3.
^ a b Walker, Brett L. (2006). The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and
Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800. Berkeley, Calif.:
University of California Press. p. 133. ISBN 0-520-24834-1.
Retrieved June 16, 2010.
^ a b Tsai, Shih-Shan Henry (2002) . Perpetual Happiness: The
Ming Emperor Yongle. Seattle, Wash: University of Washington Press.
pp. 158–161. ISBN 0-295-98124-5. Retrieved June 16,
2010. Link is to partial text.
^ Time Table of
^ Walker, Brett L. (February 21, 2006). The Conquest of Ainu Lands.
pp. 134–135. ISBN 978-0-520-24834-2. Retrieved June 16,
^ Du Halde, Jean-Baptiste (1736). Description géographique,
historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'empire de la
Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise, enrichie des cartes générales et
particulieres de ces pays, de la carte générale et des cartes
particulieres du Thibet, & de la Corée; & ornée d'un grand
nombre de figures & de vignettes gravées en tailledouce. 1. La
Haye: H. Scheurleer. p. xxxviii. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
^ Du Halde, Jean-Baptiste (1736). Description géographique,
historique, chronologique, politique, et physique de l'empire de la
Chine et de la Tartarie chinoise, enrichie des cartes générales et
particulieres de ces pays, de la carte générale et des cartes
particulieres du Thibet, & de la Corée; & ornée d'un grand
nombre de figures & de vignettes gravées en tailledouce. 4. La
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The people whose name the Jesuits recorded as Ke tcheng ta tse
Hezhen Tatars") lived, according to the Jesuits, on the Amur below
the mouth of the Dondon River, and were related to the Yupi ta tse
("Fishskin Tatars") living on the
Ussuri and the Amur upstream from
the mouth of the Dondon. The two groups might thus be ancestral of the
Ulch and Nanai people known to latter ethnologists; or, the "Ke
tcheng" might in fact be Nivkhs.
^ La Pérouse, Jean François de Galaup, comte de (1831). de Lesseps,
Jean Baptiste, ed. Voyage de Lapérouse, rédigé d'après ses
manuscrits, suivi d'un appendice renfermant tout ce que l'on a
découvert depuis le naufrage, et enrichi de notes par m. de Lesseps.
^ Mary and Susan, of Stonington, Aug. 10–31, 1848, Nicholson Whaling
Collection; Charles W. Morgan, of New Bedford, Aug. 30-Sep. 5, 1902,
G. W. Blunt White Library (GBWL).
^ Eliza Adams, of Fairhaven, Aug. 4–6, 1848, Old Dartmouth
Historical Society; Erie, of Fairhaven, July 26 – Aug. 29, 1852,
NWC; Sea Breeze, of New Bedford, July 8–10, 1874, GBWL.
^ William Wirt, of New Bedford, June 13, 1855, Nicholson Whaling
^ The Friend (Vol. IV, No. 9, Sep. 29, 1855, pp. 68 & 72,
^ Starbuck, Alexander (1878). History of the American
from Its Earliest Inception to the year 1876. Castle.
^ 16th Army, 2nd Far Eastern Front, Soviet Far East Command,
09.08,45[permanent dead link]
^ Forsyth, James (1994) . A History of the Peoples of Siberia:
Russia's North Asian Colony 1581–1990. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge
University Press. p. 354. ISBN 0-521-47771-9.
^ Ginsburgs, George (1983). The Citizenship Law of the USSR. Law in
Eastern Europe No. 25. The Hague: Martinis Nijhoff Publishers.
pp. 320–325. ISBN 90-247-2863-0.
^ Sandford, Daniel, "
Sakhalin memories: Japanese stranded by war in
the USSR", BBC, 3 August 2011.
^ Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan: Foreign Policy > Others
> Japanese Territory > Northern Territories
Russia want to finally end World War II, agree it is
'abnormal' not to – CSMonitor.com
^ Ivanov, Andrey (March 27, 2003). "18 The Far East". In Shahgedanova,
Maria. The Physical Geography of Northern Eurasia. Oxford Regional
Environments. 3. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
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^ a b c Ivlev, A. M. Soils of Sakhalin. New Delhi: Indian National
Scientific Documentation Centre, 1974. Pages 9–28.
^ Tym – an article in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. (In Russian,
^ Сахалин становится островом
Sakhalin is an island of twins?] (in Russian).
Восток Медиа [Vostok Media]. February 13, 2009. Retrieved
June 16, 2010.
Sakhalin Hydrometeorological Service, accessed 19 April 2011
Sakhalin Railways". JSC Russian Railways. 2007. Archived from the
original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
^ Dickinson, Rob. "Steam and the Railways of
International Steam Page. Archived from the original on February 17,
2008. Retrieved June 16, 2010.
^ Bolashenko, Serguei (Болашенко, С.) (July 6, 2006).
Узкоколейная железная дорога Оха —
Nogliki narrow-gauge railway]. САЙТ О
ЖЕЛЕЗНОЙ ДОРОГЕ (in Russian). Archived from the original
on July 15, 2014. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
Moscow Times (July 7, 2008). "Railway a Gauge of Sakhalin's
Future". The RZD-Partner. Archived from the original on September 9,
2012. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
^ Президент России хочет остров
Сахалин соединить с материком [President of
Russia wants to join
Sakhalin Island to the mainland] (in Russian).
PrimaMedia. November 19, 2008. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
^ "Minister Proposes 7km
Sakhalin Island". RIA Novosti. The
Moscow Times. July 19, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
Russia Threatens To Halt Sakhalin-2 Project Unless Shell Cleans
Up". Terra Daily. Agence France-Presse. September 26, 2006. Retrieved
June 17, 2010.
^ Kramer, Andrew E. (September 19, 2006). "
Russia Halts Pipeline,
Citing River Damage". The New York Times. p. C.11. Retrieved June
^ "Cynical in Sakhalin". Financial Times. London. September 26,
^ "A deal is a deal". The Times. London. September 22, 2006. Retrieved
June 17, 2010.
^ "CEO delivers message at Sakhalin's first major energy conference"
Sakhalin Energy. September 27, 2006. Archived from
the original on November 1, 2007. Retrieved June 17, 2010.
Citations for the date: "
Sakhalin II: Laying the Base for Future
Arctic Developments in Russia" (Press release).
September 27, 2006. Archived from the original on December 14, 2011.
Retrieved June 17, 2010. "Media Archives 2006".
Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved June 17,
C. H. Hawes, In the Uttermost East (London, 1903). (P. A. K.; J. T.
A Journey to
Sakhalin (1895), by Anton Chekhov, including:
Saghalien [or Sakhalin] Island (1891–1895)
Sakhalin Unplugged (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 2006) by Ajay Kamalakaran
John J. Stephan, Sakhalin: a History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1971.
Globetrotting for Love and Other Stories from
Sakhalin Island, by Ajay
Kamalakaran (Times Group Books, 2017)
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sakhalin.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Sakhalin.
Sakhalin Island at Encyclopædia Britannica
Map of the
Sakhalin Hydrocarbon Region—at Blackbourn Geoconsulting
TransGlobal Highway—Proposed Sakhalin-Hokkaidō Friendship Tunnel
Steam and the Railways of Sakhalin
Maps of Ezo,
Kuril Islands from 1854
Islands of the Sea of Okhotsk
Malyy Shantar Island
Ptichy Island (Kamchatka Krai)
Ptichy Island (Shantar Islands)