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LOCAL HISTORY
History of the Kuril Islands discovery
Up to the beginning of the XVII century Kuril Islands and a part of Hokkaido were the territory of the Ainu.

In Japan, in 1635 samurai of Matsumae principality (now Hokkaido), Hiroyoshi Murakami conducted research of Ezo Island, and for the first time mapped Kunashir, Iturup and other northern areas. In 1644 the geographic map was shown to Tokugawa government, and it was called the Map of Shoho period. It was the oldest map in the world, on which the group of islands Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashir and Iturup were clearly plotted. The Ainu, who lived on these islands, rendered tribute and conducted trade with Matsumae principality.

During XV-XVI centuries the Russians created the centralized state around Moscow and started to expand their territory. Russian Cossacks began to digest new territories, moving to the east. Thereby, in 1640 Russian Cossacks, who were from I.Y. Moskvitin’s group under command by Nekhoroshko Kolobov, went out to the Okhotsk Sea nearby the mouth of the Amur River to northwest of Sakhalin.

In 1643, Dutch navigator Martin Gerits de Vries on the ship "Castricum" reached the southeastern coast of Hokkaido, rounded the island, and went through the Strait in the Okhotsk Sea. Expedition of M.G. de Vries discovered and mapped Iturup, Urup and Kunashir, but Kuril Islands were not assigned to the Netherlands.

In 1697−1699 V. Atlasov was the first man, who observed the Northern Kuril Islands from the southern extremity of Kamchatka.

In 1711, the expedition of Daniel Anciferov and Ivan Kozyrevsky landed on Shumshu island, and in 1713 their second expedition reached Paramushir. When Ivan Kozyrevsky had received information from the Ainu about the location of 14 islands, stretching to Matsumae island, he drew "The draft of the sea islands". In 1721
I.M. Evreinov and F.F. Luzhin, who were graduated from St. Petersburg Academy of Geodesy and Cartography, toured to Kuril Islands, then I.M. Evreinov personally presented to Peter I with a report of the voyage and the map.

In 1739, Russian ships of the second Kamchatka expedition under command by M.P. Spanberg and V. Walton had been at the most Southern Kuril Islands, including the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge.

June 18, 1739 Russian ships dropped anchor in the Tashirohama bay on the northeast coast of Honshu. It was here the first meeting between Russian sailors and the Japanese on their land.

In 1766, Cossack lieutenant Ivan Chernyi with a group of brave seafarers had been on Kuril Islands. He made a detailed geographical description of Iturup and other Kuril Islands. When I. Chernyi had visited Iturup, he brought 83 Ainu in Russian citizenship. Collected rich ethnographic collection by Ivan Chernyi was presented to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In 1777, the expedition of I.M. Antipin and D.M. Shabalin went out on Kuril Islands. They gained the affection of the Ainu. During 1778−1779, I.M. Antipin and D. Shabalin brought more than 1,500 Ainu from Iturup and Kunashir in Russian citizenship.

In spring and summer 1779, expedition of D. Shabalin and I. Antipin arrived to the shores of Hokkaido, where was opened trade with the Japanese, and were conducted negotiations for further trade relations.

In 1754, Matsumae principality began direct operation of Kunashir, where was created trade post. In 1786, Tokunai Mogami, the officer of the central government, conducted research of Iturup and Urup.

In 1776−1779, English navigator James Cook, trying to find a northern passage to the Atlantic Ocean, proceeded along the coast of Alaska and Aleutian Islands, and tried to confirm the rights of the British Crown in some places, which were previously discovered by Russian sailors: renamed the bays, the rivers and the mountains, planted the English flag and buried the coins with the image of the king.

France also tried to settle on Kuril Islands. So, in 1785, two frigates "Bussol" and "Astrolabe" under command by captain Jean-Francois de Gallo, Comte de La Perouse were equipped according to decree of Louis XVI. The main goals of the expedition were exploration of the Pacific Ocean and possible territorial acquisitions. In June — early July 1787, the French ships went to Tatar Strait to the north. At the entrance to a narrow strait (Nevelski Strait later) La Perouse turned to the south, having decided that Sakhalin was connected to the mainland by an isthmus. August 11, he crossed the strait between Sakhalin and Ezo, which was named after him, and then — along the northern coast of Ezo. August 18−20, La Perouse proceeded to the north-east past the islands of States (Iturup), Company (Urup) and Four Brothers. August 29, he crossed Boussole Strait (named after his ship) between the islands of Four Brothers and Simushir. The latter was named Marikan, and south-western cape on the island — Rollin Cape (named after the ship’s surgeon). Next, the path lay in the open ocean, along the ridge of Kuril Islands. French expedition proved that Aniva bay and cape Aniva were the southern shore of Sakhalin, and they were not part of Ezo, but did not make novel in the exploration of Kuril Islands.

In 1794, the expedition of William Robert Broughton on the corvette "Providence" was sent by British Admiralty. The expedition had to research the shores of China and Japan. To some extent, Broughton repeated La Perouse’s way, but he was getting to Kuril Islands otherwise: he went out Honshu from the east, and crossed along the southern and western coast of Ezo (Hokkaido). October 8, "Providence" came in the island, which was defined by sailors as Spanberg Island (Shikotan), and soon Anthony peak (on Kunashir) appeared to the north-east. Broughton supposed wrongly that the land was extension of Ezo. When he had rounded the island of States from the south, the ship went past the land of Company on the west side of the Kuril ridge. The first of these islands Broughton identified with the island of Hope, and the second — with Urup. October 14, English captain discovered Makanruru Island, which was named Kruglyi (later Broughton Island). October 16, the ship went into the strait between Simushir and Ketoi. On the northeast coast of the island sailors discovered the entrance to the bay (later Broughton harbour). The boat with officer and some sailors was sent to the coast to investigate the bay, which in the long view could be used for creating British trading post and searching of Russian settlement. The settlement was abandoned by the Russians, but there were found crosses with Russian emblem in the different places.
Because of fogs and strong winds the "Providence" turned to the south. October 18, doubled Kruglyi Island from the east, the sailors saw the island with two low mountains, which was called Hummok Island (Holmik). Two days after Broughton found out two islands (North and South Chirpoi). In connection with the winter came, the captain decided to turn to the south. After passing Boussole Strait, the ship ran into strip of fogs and rains, and had to give up the original intent to explore Kuril Islands from the east side

Since 1798 the Japanese government had taken series of measures to strengthen the Japanese influence on the Southern Kuril Islands. In 1799, Shigetoshi Kondo and Yamada Rihei brought under control Kunashir, and imposed taxes and duties upon the Ainu. In 1800, the Japanese began colonization of Iturup, and prohibited the residents of Kunashir, Akkeshi and Nemuro to trade with the colonists of Urup. In 1801, Toyama Genzuro and Miyama Uheida visited Urup, and fixed up a post with the inscription: "The Island, subordinating to a great Japan while there are the sky and the earth".
Such practice and strict control for the activities of Russian settlement led to a gradual relaxation of Russian influence on the Southern Kuril Islands.

July 8, 1799 Russian-American Company was established by decree of Paul I, which had the right to carry on business and extraction of minerals on Kuril Islands.
The attempt to conduct trade negotiations with the Japanese was made in 1805, when valid state councillor Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov arrived at Nagasaki — the only port in Japan, where foreign ships could call — in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary. However, his audience with the governor was failed. Rezanov was denied to take the government charter and gifts. The Japanese delivered acts prohibited to conduct trade relations with Russia.

Inspite of the prohibition of the Japanese authorities, I.F. Krusenstern decided to pass along the western coast of Japan to make a detailed description of this area. He mapped west and north-west coast of the Japanese islands, discovered and mapped a lot of capes and bays. I.F. Krusenstern devoted a lot of time to the research and description of the coast of Sakhalin. The difficult ice conditions did not allow to continue the voyage to the north and to complete the description of Sakhalin. I.F. Krusenstern decided to change route and to go back to this area later, when the ice will be thawed. He navigated the ship to Kuril Islands, where four small rocky islands, hardly overflow water, were discovered. I.F. Krusenstern named these islands as Stone Traps, and mapped it. But I.F. Krusenstern exactly mapped north part of Kuril Islands to Rasshua island inclusive.

June 24, 1806 Russian brig "Juno" under the command by I.A. Khvostov and cutter "Avos" under the command by G.I. Davydov ran for Sakhalin. October 6, 1806, when had made a landing on the coast of Aniva Bay, Russian sailors ruined Japanese shops and factories, burned all structures and supplies of building wood. In May 1807, "Juno" and "Avos" appeared inshore of Iturup. There was attacked by Shyan (now Kurilsk) — the largest settlement of the Japanese in Iturup. The shops of Japanese merchants and manufacturers were ransacked, and the settlement was burned. When had visited Urup, June 10, both ships entered in Aniva Bay, where the Japanese structures were burned.

In 1811, the captain of warship "Diana" Vasily Mikhailovich Golovnin went to explore the Kuril Islands. He was the first, who determined the correct names of Kuril Islands. He discovered new islands. He determined that the Kuril Ridge consists of twenty-six islands. The expedition of V.M. Golovnin also found out climate patterns of Kuril Islands, shoreline features, the depth of the inshore waters and the ocean features in the district of the islands. New names of the opened straits were plotted on the map: Sredniy Strait, Rikord Strait, Diana Strait, Catherine Strait and Golovnin Strait. In July 1811, V.M. Golovnin was captured on Kunashir, and was held prisoner by the Japanese about 2 years. This event went down in history as "The incident of Golovnin".

In 1854, in order to establish trade and diplomatic relations with Japan, the government of Nicholay I sent vice-admiral E.V. Putyatin. His mission had to distinguish Russian and Japanese domains. Russia demanded to recognize its rights on Sakhalin and Kuril islands. At the beginning of 1855, E.V. Putyatin signed the first Russian-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Shimoda — the Shimoda treaty, in accordance with which Sakhalin was declared as undivided territory between Russia and Japan, the south islands of the Kuril Ridge — Shikotan, Kunashir, Iturup and some smaller islands were retroceded to Japan, and three Japanese ports were opened for the Russian ships: Shimoda, Hakodate and Nagasaki. In 1858, in the capital of Japan was opened permanent Russian diplomatic mission, and three Japanese ports were yet opened for the Russian ships.

April 25, 1875 the Treaty of Trade and Navigation was signed between the Russian Empire and Japan — the Petersburg treaty, under which Russia transferred to Japan the Kuril Ridge in exchange for waiver of the South Sakhalin. An additional article to this treaty had been established that the "inborn" inhabitants of Kuril Islands, if they wanted to remain nationals of the Russian government, had to leave their residence and move over to Russian territory within three years.

As a result of the Russian-Japanese War of 1904−1905 on the Portsmouthian Peace Treaty of 1905 Japan received the South Sakhalin. Japan practically reserved all Kuril Islands.
History of the Kuril Islands discovery

Up to the beginning of the XVII century Kuril Islands and a part of Hokkaido were the territory of the Ainu.

In Japan, in 1635 samurai of Matsumae principality (now Hokkaido), Hiroyoshi Murakami conducted research of Ezo Island, and for the first time mapped Kunashir, Iturup and other northern areas. In 1644 the geographic map was shown to Tokugawa government, and it was called the Map of Shoho period. It was the oldest map in the world, on which the group of islands Habomai, Shikotan, Kunashir and Iturup were clearly plotted. The Ainu, who lived on these islands, rendered tribute and conducted trade with Matsumae principality.

During XV-XVI centuries the Russians created the centralized state around Moscow and started to expand their territory. Russian Cossacks began to digest new territories, moving to the east. Thereby, in 1640 Russian Cossacks, who were from I.Y. Moskvitin's group under command by Nekhoroshko Kolobov, went out to the Okhotsk Sea nearby the mouth of the Amur River to northwest of Sakhalin.

In 1643, Dutch navigator Martin Gerits de Vries on the ship "Castricum" reached the southeastern coast of Hokkaido, rounded the island, and went through the Strait in the Okhotsk Sea. Expedition of M.G. de Vries discovered and mapped Iturup, Urup and Kunashir, but Kuril Islands were not assigned to the Netherlands.

In 1697−1699 V. Atlasov was the first man, who observed the Northern Kuril Islands from the southern extremity of Kamchatka.

In 1711, the expedition of Daniel Anciferov and Ivan Kozyrevsky landed on Shumshu island, and in 1713 their second expedition reached Paramushir. When Ivan Kozyrevsky had received information from the Ainu about the location of 14 islands, stretching to Matsumae island, he drew "The draft of the sea islands". In 1721
I.M. Evreinov and F.F. Luzhin, who were graduated from St. Petersburg Academy of Geodesy and Cartography, toured to Kuril Islands, then I.M. Evreinov personally presented to Peter I with a report of the voyage and the map.

In 1739, Russian ships of the second Kamchatka expedition under command by M.P. Spanberg and V. Walton had been at the most Southern Kuril Islands, including the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge.

June 18, 1739 Russian ships dropped anchor in the Tashirohama bay on the northeast coast of Honshu. It was here the first meeting between Russian sailors and the Japanese on their land.

In 1766, Cossack lieutenant Ivan Chernyi with a group of brave seafarers had been on Kuril Islands. He made a detailed geographical description of Iturup and other Kuril Islands. When I. Chernyi had visited Iturup, he brought 83 Ainu in Russian citizenship. Collected rich ethnographic collection by Ivan Chernyi was presented to the Russian Academy of Sciences.

In 1777, the expedition of I.M. Antipin and D.M. Shabalin went out on Kuril Islands. They gained the affection of the Ainu. During 1778−1779, I.M. Antipin and D. Shabalin brought more than 1,500 Ainu from Iturup and Kunashir in Russian citizenship.

In spring and summer 1779, expedition of D. Shabalin and I. Antipin arrived to the shores of Hokkaido, where was opened trade with the Japanese, and were conducted negotiations for further trade relations.

In 1754, Matsumae principality began direct operation of Kunashir, where was created trade post. In 1786, Tokunai Mogami, the officer of the central government, conducted research of Iturup and Urup.

In 1776−1779, English navigator James Cook, trying to find a northern passage to the Atlantic Ocean, proceeded along the coast of Alaska and Aleutian Islands, and tried to confirm the rights of the British Crown in some places, which were previously discovered by Russian sailors: renamed the bays, the rivers and the mountains, planted the English flag and buried the coins with the image of the king.

France also tried to settle on Kuril Islands. So, in 1785, two frigates "Bussol" and "Astrolabe" under command by captain Jean-Francois de Gallo, Comte de La Perouse were equipped according to decree of Louis XVI. The main goals of the expedition were exploration of the Pacific Ocean and possible territorial acquisitions. In June — early July 1787, the French ships went to Tatar Strait to the north. At the entrance to a narrow strait (Nevelski Strait later) La Perouse turned to the south, having decided that Sakhalin was connected to the mainland by an isthmus. August 11, he crossed the strait between Sakhalin and Ezo, which was named after him, and then — along the northern coast of Ezo. August 18−20, La Perouse proceeded to the north-east past the islands of States (Iturup), Company (Urup) and Four Brothers. August 29, he crossed Boussole Strait (named after his ship) between the islands of Four Brothers and Simushir. The latter was named Marikan, and south-western cape on the island — Rollin Cape (named after the ship's surgeon). Next, the path lay in the open ocean, along the ridge of Kuril Islands. French expedition proved that Aniva bay and cape Aniva were the southern shore of Sakhalin, and they were not part of Ezo, but did not make novel in the exploration of Kuril Islands.

In 1794, the expedition of William Robert Broughton on the corvette "Providence" was sent by British Admiralty. The expedition had to research the shores of China and Japan. To some extent, Broughton repeated La Perouse's way, but he was getting to Kuril Islands otherwise: he went out Honshu from the east, and crossed along the southern and western coast of Ezo (Hokkaido). October 8, "Providence" came in the island, which was defined by sailors as Spanberg Island (Shikotan), and soon Anthony peak (on Kunashir) appeared to the north-east. Broughton supposed wrongly that the land was extension of Ezo. When he had rounded the island of States from the south, the ship went past the land of Company on the west side of the Kuril ridge. The first of these islands Broughton identified with the island of Hope, and the second — with Urup. October 14, English captain discovered Makanruru Island, which was named Kruglyi (later Broughton Island). October 16, the ship went into the strait between Simushir and Ketoi. On the northeast coast of the island sailors discovered the entrance to the bay (later Broughton harbour). The boat with officer and some sailors was sent to the coast to investigate the bay, which in the long view could be used for creating British trading post and searching of Russian settlement. The settlement was abandoned by the Russians, but there were found crosses with Russian emblem in the different places.
Because of fogs and strong winds the "Providence" turned to the south. October 18, doubled Kruglyi Island from the east, the sailors saw the island with two low mountains, which was called Hummok Island (Holmik). Two days after Broughton found out two islands (North and South Chirpoi). In connection with the winter came, the captain decided to turn to the south. After passing Boussole Strait, the ship ran into strip of fogs and rains, and had to give up the original intent to explore Kuril Islands from the east side

Since 1798 the Japanese government had taken series of measures to strengthen the Japanese influence on the Southern Kuril Islands. In 1799, Shigetoshi Kondo and Yamada Rihei brought under control Kunashir, and imposed taxes and duties upon the Ainu. In 1800, the Japanese began colonization of Iturup, and prohibited the residents of Kunashir, Akkeshi and Nemuro to trade with the colonists of Urup. In 1801, Toyama Genzuro and Miyama Uheida visited Urup, and fixed up a post with the inscription: "The Island, subordinating to a great Japan while there are the sky and the earth".
Such practice and strict control for the activities of Russian settlement led to a gradual relaxation of Russian influence on the Southern Kuril Islands.

July 8, 1799 Russian-American Company was established by decree of Paul I, which had the right to carry on business and extraction of minerals on Kuril Islands.
The attempt to conduct trade negotiations with the Japanese was made in 1805, when valid state councillor Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov arrived at Nagasaki — the only port in Japan, where foreign ships could call — in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary. However, his audience with the governor was failed. Rezanov was denied to take the government charter and gifts. The Japanese delivered acts prohibited to conduct trade relations with Russia.

Inspite of the prohibition of the Japanese authorities, I.F. Krusenstern decided to pass along the western coast of Japan to make a detailed description of this area. He mapped west and north-west coast of the Japanese islands, discovered and mapped a lot of capes and bays. I.F. Krusenstern devoted a lot of time to the research and description of the coast of Sakhalin. The difficult ice conditions did not allow to continue the voyage to the north and to complete the description of Sakhalin. I.F. Krusenstern decided to change route and to go back to this area later, when the ice will be thawed. He navigated the ship to Kuril Islands, where four small rocky islands, hardly overflow water, were discovered. I.F. Krusenstern named these islands as Stone Traps, and mapped it. But I.F. Krusenstern exactly mapped north part of Kuril Islands to Rasshua island inclusive.

June 24, 1806 Russian brig "Juno" under the command by I.A. Khvostov and cutter "Avos" under the command by G.I. Davydov ran for Sakhalin. October 6, 1806, when had made a landing on the coast of Aniva Bay, Russian sailors ruined Japanese shops and factories, burned all structures and supplies of building wood. In May 1807, "Juno" and "Avos" appeared inshore of Iturup. There was attacked by Shyan (now Kurilsk) — the largest settlement of the Japanese in Iturup. The shops of Japanese merchants and manufacturers were ransacked, and the settlement was burned. When had visited Urup, June 10, both ships entered in Aniva Bay, where the Japanese structures were burned.

In 1811, the captain of warship "Diana" Vasily Mikhailovich Golovnin went to explore the Kuril Islands. He was the first, who determined the correct names of Kuril Islands. He discovered new islands. He determined that the Kuril Ridge consists of twenty-six islands. The expedition of V.M. Golovnin also found out climate patterns of Kuril Islands, shoreline features, the depth of the inshore waters and the ocean features in the district of the islands. New names of the opened straits were plotted on the map: Sredniy Strait, Rikord Strait, Diana Strait, Catherine Strait and Golovnin Strait. In July 1811, V.M. Golovnin was captured on Kunashir, and was held prisoner by the Japanese about 2 years. This event went down in history as "The incident of Golovnin".

In 1854, in order to establish trade and diplomatic relations with Japan, the government of Nicholay I sent vice-admiral E.V. Putyatin. His mission had to distinguish Russian and Japanese domains. Russia demanded to recognize its rights on Sakhalin and Kuril islands. At the beginning of 1855, E.V. Putyatin signed the first Russian-Japanese Treaty of Peace and Friendship in Shimoda — the Shimoda treaty, in accordance with which Sakhalin was declared as undivided territory between Russia and Japan, the south islands of the Kuril Ridge — Shikotan, Kunashir, Iturup and some smaller islands were retroceded to Japan, and three Japanese ports were opened for the Russian ships: Shimoda, Hakodate and Nagasaki. In 1858, in the capital of Japan was opened permanent Russian diplomatic mission, and three Japanese ports were yet opened for the Russian ships.

April 25, 1875 the Treaty of Trade and Navigation was signed between the Russian Empire and Japan — the Petersburg treaty, under which Russia transferred to Japan the Kuril Ridge in exchange for waiver of the South Sakhalin. An additional article to this treaty had been established that the "inborn" inhabitants of Kuril Islands, if they wanted to remain nationals of the Russian government, had to leave their residence and move over to Russian territory within three years.

As a result of the Russian-Japanese War of 1904−1905 on the Portsmouthian Peace Treaty of 1905 Japan received the South Sakhalin. Japan practically reserved all Kuril Islands.
Modern History
1945

The defeat of Germany and its allies after, Japan was one on one with a coalition of states with the most powerful war economy potential in the world.

In July 1945, Japan hurled out the allies' request (the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain and China) of the unconditional surrender, which led to an escalation of military operations, because it was impossible to count on a quick victory in the circumstances.

August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and August 9, the Red Army began military operations against Kwantung Army of Japan, concentrated in Manchuria. At the same time the Soviet command conducted offensive and landing operations in the South Sakhalin and Kuril islands.

Major-general A.R. Gnechko was appointed by the commander of the Kuril landing operation, captain D.G. Ponomarev was assigned by the deputy commander-in-chief and the commander of the landing. The commander of the 101st rifle division major-general P.I. Dyakov was appointed by leader of the landing.

August 18, the vanguard of the landing with powerful artillery assistance of coastal and naval guns fire shore, overcoming desperate resistance of the enemy, successfully landed in north-eastern coast of Shumshu island. Fierce battles went within five days on the island. Only after exhausting all resources, August 23, garrisons of Shumshu and Paramushir capitulated. More than 12 thousand of Japanese soldiers and officers were taken prisoner.

By late August, the forces of Kamchatka defense area and Petropavlovsk sea bases occupied the whole northern ridge of islands, including Urup. September 1, landing party landed on Kunashir and Shikotan, and September 3 — on the islands of the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge. Japanese garrisons of these islands offered no resistance.
Soviet troops, crushed Japanese troops in the course of the Far East campaign, had speeded up the end of World War II. September 2, 1945 Japan signed the act of unconditional surrender.

1946−2000

In the spring of 1946, on the basis of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR regulation of February 2, 1946, it was decided to create three administrative districts on Kuril Islands. After that, the group of servicemen (officers) of the Red Army, quartered at that time on Kunashir, Shikotan and the islands of the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge, was sent to the Southern Kuril Islands. This group had to form the local authorities, to draw up a budget with the introduction of tax and labor legislation of the USSR, to set Soviet value on products and goods, to organize trade.
April 11, 1946 the Japanese administration was firstly eliminated on the Southern Kuril Islands, instead of it, the Soviet civil administration was entered with the district center in Furukamappu (now Yuzhno-Kurilsk). The district was firstly named Kunasirskiy (named after Kunasir), later it was named as Kunashirskiy. June 5, 1946 according to the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR "Administrative and territorial division of the South Sakhalin Region" was formed the Yuzhno-Kurilsk municipality as a part of the Khabarovsk territory. January 2, 1947 the Sakhalin Region was founded, and the Yuzhno-Kurilsk municipality was included in it.

October 20, 1947 on the basis of decree of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, five rural councils and one settlement council were formed on the islands of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk municipality. They were formed on the basis of those settlements, where the Japanese citizens lived. All of the former Japanese settlements were renamed. Thus, there were formed:

— Sernovodsk Rural Council on Kunashir with the center in Sernovodsk (former Tofitsu). Seventeen Japanese settlements were in this formation;
— Golovninskiy Rural Council with the center in Golovnino (former Tomari). It consisted of twelve settlements in the south of Kunashir;
— Tyatinsky Rural Council with the center in Tyatino. It consisted of twenty-two settlements;
— Zelenovskiy Rural Council with the center in Zelenovsk (former Aidomori). Five islands of the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge were united in this Rural Council;
— Malokurilskiy Rural Council with the center in Malokurilskoe on Shikotan. Sixteen settlements, scattered along the perimeter of Shikotan, were included in this Rural Council;
— Yuzhno-Kurilskiy settlement council with the center in Yuzhno-Kurilsk.

Population. By the time, Kuril Islands passed into the Soviet Union possession in 1945, the exact number of the resident population was unknown. The population began to form again. According to the decision of the Soviet Government all Japanese population had been repatriated from Kuril Islands to Japan in the summer of 1947. New settlers began to arrive on Kuril Islands — servicemen and seasonal workers from different regions of the Soviet Union, generally from Siberia and the Far East. Large inrush of population was from the Ukraine.

In the first period of settlement the population size fluctuated noticebly.
Modern History

1945


The defeat of Germany and its allies after, Japan was one on one with a coalition of states with the most powerful war economy potential in the world.

In July 1945, Japan hurled out the allies' request (the Soviet Union, the United States, Great Britain and China) of the unconditional surrender, which led to an escalation of military operations, because it was impossible to count on a quick victory in the circumstances.

August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, and August 9, the Red Army began military operations against Kwantung Army of Japan, concentrated in Manchuria. At the same time the Soviet command conducted offensive and landing operations in the South Sakhalin and Kuril islands.

Major-general A.R. Gnechko was appointed by the commander of the Kuril landing operation, captain D.G. Ponomarev was assigned by the deputy commander-in-chief and the commander of the landing. The commander of the 101st rifle division major-general P.I. Dyakov was appointed by leader of the landing.

August 18, the vanguard of the landing with powerful artillery assistance of coastal and naval guns fire shore, overcoming desperate resistance of the enemy, successfully landed in north-eastern coast of Shumshu island. Fierce battles went within five days on the island. Only after exhausting all resources, August 23, garrisons of Shumshu and Paramushir capitulated. More than 12 thousand of Japanese soldiers and officers were taken prisoner.

By late August, the forces of Kamchatka defense area and Petropavlovsk sea bases occupied the whole northern ridge of islands, including Urup. September 1, landing party landed on Kunashir and Shikotan, and September 3 — on the islands of the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge. Japanese garrisons of these islands offered no resistance.
Soviet troops, crushed Japanese troops in the course of the Far East campaign, had speeded up the end of World War II. September 2, 1945 Japan signed the act of unconditional surrender.

1946−2000

In the spring of 1946, on the basis of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR regulation of February 2, 1946, it was decided to create three administrative districts on Kuril Islands. After that, the group of servicemen (officers) of the Red Army, quartered at that time on Kunashir, Shikotan and the islands of the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge, was sent to the Southern Kuril Islands. This group had to form the local authorities, to draw up a budget with the introduction of tax and labor legislation of the USSR, to set Soviet value on products and goods, to organize trade.
April 11, 1946 the Japanese administration was firstly eliminated on the Southern Kuril Islands, instead of it, the Soviet civil administration was entered with the district center in Furukamappu (now Yuzhno-Kurilsk). The district was firstly named Kunasirskiy (named after Kunasir), later it was named as Kunashirskiy. June 5, 1946 according to the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR "Administrative and territorial division of the South Sakhalin Region" was formed the Yuzhno-Kurilsk municipality as a part of the Khabarovsk territory. January 2, 1947 the Sakhalin Region was founded, and the Yuzhno-Kurilsk municipality was included in it.

October 20, 1947 on the basis of decree of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR, five rural councils and one settlement council were formed on the islands of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk municipality. They were formed on the basis of those settlements, where the Japanese citizens lived. All of the former Japanese settlements were renamed. Thus, there were formed:

 — Sernovodsk Rural Council on Kunashir with the center in Sernovodsk (former Tofitsu). Seventeen Japanese settlements were in this formation;
 — Golovninskiy Rural Council with the center in Golovnino (former Tomari). It consisted of twelve settlements in the south of Kunashir;
 — Tyatinsky Rural Council with the center in Tyatino. It consisted of twenty-two settlements;
 — Zelenovskiy Rural Council with the center in Zelenovsk (former Aidomori). Five islands of the Small (Lesser) Kuril Ridge were united in this Rural Council;
 — Malokurilskiy Rural Council with the center in Malokurilskoe on Shikotan. Sixteen settlements, scattered along the perimeter of Shikotan, were included in this Rural Council;
 — Yuzhno-Kurilskiy settlement council with the center in Yuzhno-Kurilsk.

Population. By the time, Kuril Islands passed into the Soviet Union possession in 1945, the exact number of the resident population was unknown. The population began to form again. According to the decision of the Soviet Government all Japanese population had been repatriated from Kuril Islands to Japan in the summer of 1947. New settlers began to arrive on Kuril Islands — servicemen and seasonal workers from different regions of the Soviet Union, generally from Siberia and the Far East. Large inrush of population was from the Ukraine.

In the first period of settlement the population size fluctuated noticebly.
Population
By the time, Kuril Islands passed into the Soviet Union possession in 1945, the exact number of the resident population was unknown. The population began to form again. According to the decision of the Soviet Government all Japanese population had been repatriated from Kuril Islands to Japan in the summer of 1947. New settlers began to arrive on Kuril Islands — servicemen and seasonal workers from different regions of the Soviet Union, generally from Siberia and the Far East. Large inrush of population was from the Ukraine.

In the first period of settlement the population size fluctuated noticebly.
The first Soviet population census, conducted on the islands in 1959, had determined the number of residents in 21 737 people.

90% of the resident population of Kunashir was concentrated in the urban-type settlement of the district center Yuzhno-Kurilsk and surrounding villages Otrada, Goryachiy Plyazh, Mendeleevo.

Small settlements were in the south of Treason Bay: Golovnino fishing village and Dubovoe farming village, as well as Mayak village was in the north of Lovtsov peninsula, numbering 43 people.

Beginning in the 1960s, authorities conducted intake of technicians and workers, paid out higher wages and gave privileges as compared with other areas of the former Soviet Union, such as raised pensions and special long holidays. Using these methods, the government purposefully sent to the islands the specialists on processors of seafood.
During the 1979−1989 the population of the south islands rapidly grew. It was tied to free arrival and departure of the workforce. The maximum value of the population on Kuril Islands was noted in 1989, and amounted to 29.5 thousand people. On January 1, 1991, 7.3 thousand people lived on Kunashir; 6.6 thousand people lived on Shikotan.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, seafood processing plants were not enough raw materials, workers were stopped to pay wages, prices increased, the Russian population of the islands met with serious difficulties. A strong earthquake, which occurred in October 1994 in the ocean off Shikotan, and the tsunami destroyed life of the island population. Massive migration outflow of the population began from Kuril Islands.

In the late 1990s in the population dynamics took place qualitative changes: the birth rate had sharply declined, the natural increase reduced, and the mechanical growth became negative, i.e. exit exceeded entry. As a result, population growth virtually deceased. The total number of resident population of the Southern Kuril Islands in 2000 was 6.2 thousand people.
Population

By the time, Kuril Islands passed into the Soviet Union possession in 1945, the exact number of the resident population was unknown. The population began to form again. According to the decision of the Soviet Government all Japanese population had been repatriated from Kuril Islands to Japan in the summer of 1947. New settlers began to arrive on Kuril Islands — servicemen and seasonal workers from different regions of the Soviet Union, generally from Siberia and the Far East. Large inrush of population was from the Ukraine.

In the first period of settlement the population size fluctuated noticebly.
The first Soviet population census, conducted on the islands in 1959, had determined the number of residents in 21 737 people.

90% of the resident population of Kunashir was concentrated in the urban-type settlement of the district center Yuzhno-Kurilsk and surrounding villages Otrada, Goryachiy Plyazh, Mendeleevo.

Small settlements were in the south of Treason Bay: Golovnino fishing village and Dubovoe farming village, as well as Mayak village was in the north of Lovtsov peninsula, numbering 43 people.

Beginning in the 1960s, authorities conducted intake of technicians and workers, paid out higher wages and gave privileges as compared with other areas of the former Soviet Union, such as raised pensions and special long holidays. Using these methods, the government purposefully sent to the islands the specialists on processors of seafood.
During the 1979−1989 the population of the south islands rapidly grew. It was tied to free arrival and departure of the workforce. The maximum value of the population on Kuril Islands was noted in 1989, and amounted to 29.5 thousand people. On January 1, 1991, 7.3 thousand people lived on Kunashir; 6.6 thousand people lived on Shikotan.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, seafood processing plants were not enough raw materials, workers were stopped to pay wages, prices increased, the Russian population of the islands met with serious difficulties. A strong earthquake, which occurred in October 1994 in the ocean off Shikotan, and the tsunami destroyed life of the island population. Massive migration outflow of the population began from Kuril Islands.

In the late 1990s in the population dynamics took place qualitative changes: the birth rate had sharply declined, the natural increase reduced, and the mechanical growth became negative, i.e. exit exceeded entry. As a result, population growth virtually deceased. The total number of resident population of the Southern Kuril Islands in 2000 was 6.2 thousand people.
Economy
Kuril Islands are one of the main fishing grounds. In the late 1950s fish factory "Ostrovnoy" was built, united a group of fish cannery in Malokurilskoe and Krabozavodskoe on Shikotan. The production of canned chum salmon, humpback salmon, herring, cod, flounder, mackerel, laminaria, crabs, calmars, cucumaria, trefang, sea urchins, sea scallop was arranged. The fish factory produced cold-smoked fish, stock fish, salted fish, and salmon caviar.

The fish cannery was built on Kunashir. Fishing collective farms carried out the main catch of fish. Thus, the collective farm "Rodina" was based in Yuzhno-Kurilsk. Fishermen of the collective farm took fish not only for its coasts, but they also participated in expeditions in Kamchatka, in the north and south Kuril Islands, and in Sea of Japan. Water areas near Golovnino and other villages in Kunashir were the main mining areas of sea pearl-shells. There were also got cockles, shells of whom were used for making buttons and various trinkets. Laminaria was stored up.

Iodine plants worked, having used as feedstock marine algae. There was adjusted production of agar-agar from marine algae on the islands of Zeleniy, Shikotan and Kunashir.

The forests played an important role from land natural resources of Kuril Islands. Timber mill was built on Kunashir. Yuzhno-Kurilsk timber industry enterprise (later forestry) engaged wood procurement.

In the 1950s, agriculture was developed on Kuril Islands. Agriculture was more developed on Kunashir, than on Shikotan. State farm "Dalniy" operated on Kunashir, near Golovnino village. In 1956 the arable area of this state farm was 235 hectares. In 1990 its cultivated area was already 415 hectares.

In order to communicate with the islands, inhabitants are used regular voyages of ships which hail from Sakhalin and shuttle between the islands of Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan, as well as they are used flights, flying from Sakhalin.
The heading works for construction of main roads and works for replace the bridge girders across the river were conducted on the basis of the Federal Program for Social and Economic Development of the Kuril Islands for 1993−1995 and until 2000. There are no highways on the islands (except for a part of Kunashir, where there are about 100 km of unsurfaced roads and roads metalling, including Yuzhno-Kurilsk — Golovnino (62 km)), and such construction works did not start on Shikotan.

Since 1992, border checkpoints were opened in the ports of Malokurilskoe and Yuzhno-Kurilsk. The ports became to service an international freight and passenger transport.

Electricity supply of Kuril Islands is carried out by small diesel, hydro and geothermal power plants. In 1993 the first geothermal power plant with the capacity of 500 kW was put in service on Kunashir. In 1997 the geothermal heat station GTS-700 with the capacity of 17 Gcal/h was put in service, which supplies Goryachiy Plyazh.

After the earthquake of 1994, many seafood processing plants, schools, kindergartens were destroyed either in full or half-ruined. Because of pressure of money, people were given the emergency rooms for living, and destroyed buildings were left in the same state. Seafood processing plants, working with downtime because of difficulties in its funding, turned out on the verge of bankruptcy.

Due to the deteriorating situation, the Japanese government, carrying out emergency humanitarian aid, built ambulatory on Shikotan, and it donated ultrasonic medical equipment on Kunashir, and also gave without compensation medicines and ambulances.

In addition, the Japanese government as emergency humanitarian aid began to supply fuel in wintertime. The elementary school, using the funds of Japan, was built on Shikotan, which was most affected by the earthquake. The wharf, where boats and small crafts are berthed, was built on Kunashir. In 1999, Japan also helped Kunashir, establishing power generators and other equipment on Shikotan and Kunashir.
Economy

Kuril Islands are one of the main fishing grounds. In the late 1950s fish factory "Ostrovnoy" was built, united a group of fish cannery in Malokurilskoe and Krabozavodskoe on Shikotan. The production of canned chum salmon, humpback salmon, herring, cod, flounder, mackerel, laminaria, crabs, calmars, cucumaria, trefang, sea urchins, sea scallop was arranged. The fish factory produced cold-smoked fish, stock fish, salted fish, and salmon caviar.

The fish cannery was built on Kunashir. Fishing collective farms carried out the main catch of fish. Thus, the collective farm "Rodina" was based in Yuzhno-Kurilsk. Fishermen of the collective farm took fish not only for its coasts, but they also participated in expeditions in Kamchatka, in the north and south Kuril Islands, and in Sea of Japan. Water areas near Golovnino and other villages in Kunashir were the main mining areas of sea pearl-shells. There were also got cockles, shells of whom were used for making buttons and various trinkets. Laminaria was stored up.

Iodine plants worked, having used as feedstock marine algae. There was adjusted production of agar-agar from marine algae on the islands of Zeleniy, Shikotan and Kunashir.

The forests played an important role from land natural resources of Kuril Islands. Timber mill was built on Kunashir. Yuzhno-Kurilsk timber industry enterprise (later forestry) engaged wood procurement.

In the 1950s, agriculture was developed on Kuril Islands. Agriculture was more developed on Kunashir, than on Shikotan. State farm "Dalniy" operated on Kunashir, near Golovnino village. In 1956 the arable area of this state farm was 235 hectares. In 1990 its cultivated area was already 415 hectares.

In order to communicate with the islands, inhabitants are used regular voyages of ships which hail from Sakhalin and shuttle between the islands of Iturup, Kunashir and Shikotan, as well as they are used flights, flying from Sakhalin.
The heading works for construction of main roads and works for replace the bridge girders across the river were conducted on the basis of the Federal Program for Social and Economic Development of the Kuril Islands for 1993−1995 and until 2000. There are no highways on the islands (except for a part of Kunashir, where there are about 100 km of unsurfaced roads and roads metalling, including Yuzhno-Kurilsk — Golovnino (62 km)), and such construction works did not start on Shikotan.

Since 1992, border checkpoints were opened in the ports of Malokurilskoe and Yuzhno-Kurilsk. The ports became to service an international freight and passenger transport.

Electricity supply of Kuril Islands is carried out by small diesel, hydro and geothermal power plants. In 1993 the first geothermal power plant with the capacity of 500 kW was put in service on Kunashir. In 1997 the geothermal heat station GTS-700 with the capacity of 17 Gcal/h was put in service, which supplies Goryachiy Plyazh.

After the earthquake of 1994, many seafood processing plants, schools, kindergartens were destroyed either in full or half-ruined. Because of pressure of money, people were given the emergency rooms for living, and destroyed buildings were left in the same state. Seafood processing plants, working with downtime because of difficulties in its funding, turned out on the verge of bankruptcy.

Due to the deteriorating situation, the Japanese government, carrying out emergency humanitarian aid, built ambulatory on Shikotan, and it donated ultrasonic medical equipment on Kunashir, and also gave without compensation medicines and ambulances.

In addition, the Japanese government as emergency humanitarian aid began to supply fuel in wintertime. The elementary school, using the funds of Japan, was built on Shikotan, which was most affected by the earthquake. The wharf, where boats and small crafts are berthed, was built on Kunashir. In 1999, Japan also helped Kunashir, establishing power generators and other equipment on Shikotan and Kunashir.
The current situation of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district
In June 2006, the Yuzhno-Kurilsk district was reorganized into municipal unit "The Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district".

The district includes 9 settlements:
 — the urban-type settlement Yuzhno-Kurilsk is the administrative center of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district;
 — the villages: Mendeleevo, Otrada, Lagunnoe, Goryachiy Plyazh, Golovnino, Dubovoe; Krabozavodskoe, Malokurilskoe are on Shikotan.
The total population of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district on January 1, 2010 was 10 290 people. The total number of Yuzhno-Kurilsk was 6617 people. The population of Krabozavodskoe and Malokurilskoe (Shikotan) was about 2100 people.

In 2003, Mendeleev geothermal power plant with the capacity of 1.8 MW was put into operation.

Medium fish processing and fishing enterprises operate In Yuzhno-Kurilsk:
OOO (LLC) PCF (Production Commercial Firm) "Yuzhno-Kurilsk fish factory" and OOO (LLC) "Delta", ZAO (CJSC) "Ostrovnoy" fish factory and ZAO (CJSC) "Krabozavodsk" operate on Shikotan, and as well as several smaller companies: OOO (LLC) "Priliv" and OOO (LLC) "Sandi". In comparison with 2000 the production of canned fish and seafood of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district increased to 17 729 tubes, or 8.1 times.
ZAO (CJSC) "Kuril Mining and Geological Company" performs exploration works for gold within the buffer zone of zapovednik "Kurylskiy" since 1998. (see reference).
ZAO (CJSC) "Trud", engaged in construction of roads and building and construction works, successfully operates in the district.

Flights between Yuzhno-Kurilsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are carried out by the airline "Sakhalinskie aviatrassy". ZAO (CJSC) "MK" "Sakhalin-Kuriles" carries out overseas transportation of passenger and freight on motor ship "Igor Farkhutdinov" between Sakhalin and Yuzhno-Kurilsk. The municipal unitary enterprise "Yuzhno-Kurilsk Docker" carries out roadstead discharge of motor ships, which also provides overseas transportation of passengers and freight between the islands of Kunashir and Shikotan. At the present time, there is being renovated airport "Mendeleevo" on Kunashir.

Thebuilding of the Central District Hospital was renovated. The construction of the wharf is conducted, which will be able to moor large vessels as "Igor Farkhutdinov." Two kindergartens are built: one kindergarten — in Yuzhno-Kurilsk for 110 people, the other — in Malokurilskoe for 60 people.

In general, there are observed the positive changes in recent years. They are: the improvement of settlements, where facades of buildings are repaired, housing and social infrastructure are built.
The current situation of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district

In June 2006, the Yuzhno-Kurilsk district was reorganized into municipal unit "The Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district".

The district includes 9 settlements:
 — the urban-type settlement Yuzhno-Kurilsk is the administrative center of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district;
 — the villages: Mendeleevo, Otrada, Lagunnoe, Goryachiy Plyazh, Golovnino, Dubovoe; Krabozavodskoe, Malokurilskoe are on Shikotan.
The total population of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district on January 1, 2010 was 10 290 people. The total number of Yuzhno-Kurilsk was 6617 people. The population of Krabozavodskoe and Malokurilskoe (Shikotan) was about 2100 people.

In 2003, Mendeleev geothermal power plant with the capacity of 1.8 MW was put into operation.

Medium fish processing and fishing enterprises operate In Yuzhno-Kurilsk:
OOO (LLC) PCF (Production Commercial Firm) "Yuzhno-Kurilsk fish factory" and OOO (LLC) "Delta", ZAO (CJSC) "Ostrovnoy" fish factory and ZAO (CJSC) "Krabozavodsk" operate on Shikotan, and as well as several smaller companies: OOO (LLC) "Priliv" and OOO (LLC) "Sandi". In comparison with 2000 the production of canned fish and seafood of the Yuzhno-Kurilsk urban district increased to 17 729 tubes, or 8.1 times.
ZAO (CJSC) "Kuril Mining and Geological Company" performs exploration works for gold within the buffer zone of zapovednik "Kurylskiy" since 1998. (see reference).
ZAO (CJSC) "Trud", engaged in construction of roads and building and construction works, successfully operates in the district.

Flights between Yuzhno-Kurilsk and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk are carried out by the airline "Sakhalinskie aviatrassy". ZAO (CJSC) "MK" "Sakhalin-Kuriles" carries out overseas transportation of passenger and freight on motor ship "Igor Farkhutdinov" between Sakhalin and Yuzhno-Kurilsk. The municipal unitary enterprise "Yuzhno-Kurilsk Docker" carries out roadstead discharge of motor ships, which also provides overseas transportation of passengers and freight between the islands of Kunashir and Shikotan. At the present time, there is being renovated airport "Mendeleevo" on Kunashir.

Thebuilding of the Central District Hospital was renovated. The construction of the wharf is conducted, which will be able to moor large vessels as "Igor Farkhutdinov." Two kindergartens are built: one kindergarten — in Yuzhno-Kurilsk for 110 people, the other — in Malokurilskoe for 60 people.

In general, there are observed the positive changes in recent years. They are: the improvement of settlements, where facades of buildings are repaired, housing and social infrastructure are built.
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