By Oleg Klimov
Sakhalin and the Kurils - terra incognita of a brutal Russian Empire
“Here is where the homeland’s morning begins,” advertisement billboards claim romantically, representing the power vertical from the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea. The many centuries spent and methods used to colonise the islands have, however, made neither Sakhalin nor the Kuril Islands “our Australia”, though in both cases the land was first colonised by convicts at the same time. Why has the hard-labour-based Australia grown into an industrialized country, whereas Sakhalin and the Kurils remain “Calamity Islands”?
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