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Sakhalin Island is an island 1,000 km long by 200 km wide at its largest extent. Located between Hokkaido Island and Russia. In Japanese known as "Karafuto". It is separated from the Asian continent by a narrow strait 6 km wide. Prewar and during the Pacific War part of Japan. During August 1945 occupied by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR, Soviet Union). Since 1991, part of Sakhalin Oblast in Russia.
On August 8 1945, Russia began "Operation August Storm" and entered the war against Japan. On August 11, 1945 Soviet troops crossed the 50th parallel, the frontier between the Soviet Union and Japan and advanced 100km southward on Sakhalin Island. On August 15, 1945 Japan accepted the declaration of Potsdam to end the war. Thousand civilians were killed by Russians, Three Japanese ships transporting refugees from Sakhalin were sunk by Russian Submarines with 1,700 killed. On August 22, 1945 fighting ended with 600,000 Japanese troops, mostly from Sakhalin and Manchuria were interred in labor camps in Siberia where 60,000 never returned.
Sakhalin is one of the territories disputed between Japan and Russia and its belonging has not yet been definitely settled since WWII, along with the Kuril Islands.
Japanese wartime airfield
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