Sakhalin oblast (region), Russia (Sahalin)

The capital city of Sakhalin oblast: Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.

Sakhalin region overview

Sakhalin oblast (region) (other spellings Sakhalinskaya, Sahalin, Sahalinskaya) is the only administrative territory of Russia, located on 59 islands (Far East Federal District).

Sakhalin and Kurilskye islands are the constituent of the region. Sakhalin region is situated in eastern coast of Eurasia. Administrative center of the region is Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk city.

Sakhalin region population is 493,000 (2012); land area - 87,101 sq. km.

Sakhalin oblast flag

Sakhalin oblast flag

Sakhalin oblast coat of arms

Sakhalin oblast coat of arms

Sakhalin oblast map, Russia

Sakhalin oblast map of Russia

Sakhalin region history

Sakhalin region during the Russian Empire times

In 1644, the first map of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands was compiled. In 1689, the treaty with Manchurians was signed in Nerchinsk. Russia had to leave the Amur region for almost a century and a half. As a result Sakhalin was beyond Russian influence for a long time.

In around 1750, Manchurian troops land on Sakhalin. The population of the island became dependent on Manchuria. In 1806-1807, the first Russian-Japanese armed conflict took place in the southern Sakhalin and Kuril islands. On October 20, 1806, N.A.Khvostov declared Sakhalin the Russian territory.

In 1808, the Japanese restored ruined settlements in Sakhalin and Iturup. In 1811, the Japanese garrison of the island Kunashir took the Russian navigator V.M.Golovnin prisoner. V.M.Golovnin spent over 2 years in Japanese prison and was set free only after the Russian administration declared that N.A.Khvostov’s attacks were not legal.

In 1850, G.I.Nevelsky raised the Russian flag in the lower Amur and declared it and the Sakhalin island the Russian territory. On February 7, 1855, the first Russian-Japanese treaty was signed in the town of Simoda. Simoda treaty stated that the boundary between Russia and Japan was to be between islands Urup and Iturup. Sakhalin Island remained undivided.

In 1858, the first exiled were brought to Sakhalin. In 1869, Sakhalin was officially declared as an exile and a prison. On May 7, 1875, a Russian-Japanese treaty was signed in Saint-Petersburg. According to it, Japan gave in all its rights on Sakhalin but acquired Kuril Islands instead.

In June-July, 1905, Japanese troops occupied Sakhalin. On September 5, 1905, a peace treaty was signed in Portsmouth (USA). According to it, Russia ceded the southern part of Sakhalin to Japan. In 1906, the Russian government cancelled exile and prison on Sakhalin. In 1907, the Japan government formed a governorship Karafuto on the territory of southern Sakhalin.

Sakhalin region in the USSR

On May 9, 1920, the Soviet power was declared in the northern Sakhalin. On April 22, 1920, a 2,000 Japanese military troop landed in Alexandrovsk and accessed to power in northern Sakhalin. This was followed by arrests and murders of most prestigious adherents of the Soviets.

On January 20, 1925, the “Convention on principal rules of the USSR and Japan interrelations” was signed in Beijing. It returned the northern Sakhalin to the USSR.

On April 13, 1941, the Soviet-Japan pact on neutrality was signed. On February 11, 1945, in Yalta, I.V.Stalin, F.Roosevelt, W.Churchill signed an agreement on conditions of the USSR entering the war with Japan. Among them there was the southern Sakhalin and Kuril Islands return to the USSR.

On August 8, 1945, the USSR declared the war with Japan. In August 11-15, 1945, there were fights for freeing the southern Sakhalin. On February 2, 1946, the land, forests and waters of the southern Sakhalin and Kuril Islands were declared the property of the Soviet state.

At the same time Yuzhno-Sakhalinskaya oblast was formed on the territory of the southern Sakhalin and Kuril Islands. A new region became the part of Khabarovsk krai.

In 1946-1948, the Japanese population of the southern Sakhalin and Kuril Islands was repatriated. On September 8, 1951, a peace treaty with Japan was signed in San-Francisco.

It said that Japan refused all the rights and claims to Kuril Islands and that part of the Sakhalin Island which Japan acquired according to Portsmouth treaty. But it didn’t say anything about whom these territories would belong. The Soviet delegation didn’t sign the treaty.

On October 19, 1956, Soviet-Japan declaration was signed in Moscow. It said about the end of war between the USSR and Japan. Article #9 of the declaration implied negotiations on peace treaty and included the USSR agreement for passing Japan the islands Khabomai and Shikotan after the agreement was signed.

In 1960, the Soviet government refused to fulfill the obligations of the article #9 in Moscow agreement. The peace agreement between Russia and Japan is still not signed and this territorial issue remains the major problem in relations between Russia and Japan to this day.

On September 1, 1983, Soviet jet fighter shot down a South Korean aircraft over Sakhalin territory, 269 passengers died.

Sakhalin region nature

Sakhalin region nature view

Sakhalin region nature view

Author: Semyonov Alexander

Sakhalin nature view

Sakhalin nature view

Author: Sergey Kotelnikov

Sakhalin province view

Sakhalin province view

Author: Podkovyrov Igor


Sakhalin region features

Sakhalin province is the only region in Russia which is located on islands. It includes the island Sakhalin (76,600 sq.km.) with neighboring small islands Moneron and Tyuleniy as well as Kuril Islands (15,600 sq.km.). The region is washed by the Seas of Okhotsk and Japan and the Pacific Ocean.

The climate is of moderate monsoon type. The average temperature in January is from 6 (in the south) to 24 (in the north) degrees Celsius below zero, the average temperature in August is from 19 (in the south) to 10 (in the north) degrees C above zero.

Unique geographic location of Sakhalin province forms geographic advantage, which favors the development of foreign communications. Big length of Sakhalin region determines the diversity of geographic position, natural conditions, resources and economic opportunities.

Main feature of local nature is high seismic and volcanic activity. It is especially typical for the Kuril Islands where there are 9 active volcanoes and earthquakes happen quite often.

Sakhalin region is divided into 17 districts, 9 towns of regional submission, 10 towns of district submission, 34 town settlements, 66 villages.

Sakhalin region views

Sakhalin region scenery

Sakhalin region scenery

Author: Fedotov A.

Sakhalin Russia lake

Sakhalin Russia lake

Author: Dmitry Peskov

Sakhalin region bear

Sakhalin region bear

Author: Alexander Alyuskin


Sakhalin region natural resources, economics

Sakhalin province is the region in Russia which combines an outstanding raw potential with extreme conditions of its assimilating. The region is not provided with enough population, the infrastructure is not developed, besides, in Sakhalin, it is worse due to the facts that it’s an island and the lack of stable all-year-round connection inside the region itself.

Beside biological resources of the sea in which Sakhalin is the first in Russia, the main resource is hydrocarbon fuel. In the amount of prospected resources of gas condensate the region is the 4th in Russia, in gas - the 7th, in coal - 12th and in oil - 13th.

In timber resources it is the 26th in Russia. But there is absolutely no range of ore mineral raw resources, very little hydro-power resources, non-ore deposits and this fact reduces the whole resourceful potential of the region.

Sakhalin is specialized in fishery and its processing, forest and wood processing, pulp and paper industries. Oil, gas and coal are mined here. Main industries are as follows: food, forest and wood processing, pulp and paper, light, fuel, construction materials. Sakhalin province is the only one in Russia which produces agar.

Sakhalin island is the third-largest producer of fish products in the Russian Far East. Seafood and timber are exported mostly to Japan as well as to other Asia-Pacific countries.

Sakhalin region attractions

Sakhalin region is a strategically important territory of the Russian Federation in Asia and the Pacific Ocean region as it possesses high recreation potential and advantageous geological location.

Sakhalin nature is unique and beautiful. There are mineral springs, volcanoes and waterfalls on the territory of the province. On the Kurils there is the highest waterfall in Russia - “Iljya Muromets” with the height of 141 meters. There are exclusive monuments of archaeology, sites, connected with culture of the natives.

There are spa and thermal springs, curing mud deposits, over 1,000 cultural and historical objects, landscape allows mountain skiing and diving, water sports and sea cruises. But the level of this potential assimilation is not high.

Sakhalin oblast of Russia photos

Sahalin region scenery

Sahalinskaya oblast scenery

Sahalinskaya oblast scenery

Author: Shulyak Alexander

Sahalin cow

Sahalin cow

Author: Joey Tucker


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