Kuril islands are in the center of territorial dispute between Russia and Japan.
Currently Kuril islands are governed by Russian Federation and the local authorities of Sakhalin Oblast are actively curating different projects whose purpose is to strengthen Russia’s position in this dispute.
The last interesting initiative is visiting and giving names to all little islets of the archipelago. Since this project is public, a number of Russian bloggers and photographers joined the cruise to make reports about the mission (accompanying them with beautiful pictures).
Below are two such posts translated from Russian. The first one is about the project itself and the second post is the detailed photo report.
Project “Russian islands” (Kuril islands)
[ translated from http://kukuksumushu.livejournal.com/113360.html ]
There are many white spots on the map of the world, unexplored and unknown places. There are nameless rivers, bays, lakes and even islands.
The arc of Kuril islands separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean. They comprise the most eastern borders of Russia. Oddly enough some of the islets from this archipelago still don’t have any name.
Most recently it became clear that Japan won’t get the Kuril Islands. Not a single stone or sand grain of it. The government of Sakhalin initiated the project of naming the yet nameless Kuril Islands. They will be named after famous travelers, discoverers and scientists.
I - with a group of other bloggers, journalists and local historians – was invited to visit the southern Kurils to see this unique land and its unparalleled volcanoes, flora and fauna.
How the Gnechko Island Was Named
[ translated from http://kukmor.livejournal.com/879344.html ]
We’ve been here and we did it.
And now let me tell you how it was.
When our ship “Igor Farkhutdinov” approached the target island by a distance of about 500 meters, two inflatable boats were put on water.
But at first the team of rescuers had to determine whether the conditions for landing were appropriate.
Only after that the two groups on boats followed – members of the geographical society and the representatives of media and regional administration.
After the thorough instruction we sailed out.
Whose name was given to the island, you might ask?
Here it is: Alexei Romanovich Gnechko – Soviet lieutenant general.
During the WWII he fought at the Far East. He has made huge contribution to the preparations for the Kuril landing operation and actively participated in it: the troops under his commandment took the island Shumshu. For this success he was awarded the highest military award in the USSR – Hero of the Soviet Union
The ship was slowly disappearing in the fog.
After some time there was only fog, water, and two boats. We sailed just by compass. On our way back – from the ship they were periodically buzzing.. just in case.
And here is our island…
We landed on the island meeting there the first group.
They have already managed to install the flags of Russia and Sakhalin.
And now some beautiful pictures from the freshly named Gnechko island…
Comments of Russian netizens
ksyu_shechka: Wonderful trip!!!!Шикарное путешествие!!!!
kukmor (replying to the above): That’s how it is in Russia!Это Россия!