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A Kuril Island Named After Sergei Kapitsa
10.09.2012 13:39
A Kuril Island Named After Sergei Kapitsa
Shikotan Island (Source:

A 3-day scientific trip to the islands of the Small Kuril Range culminated in naming one of the islets of Shikotan Island in the South Kurils after Professor Sergei Kapitsa, a son of the Nobel-winning Russian physicist Pyotr Kapitsa and an outstanding scientist and TV broadcasrter himself who passed away in August 2012. 

      The scientists were expected to visit 3 islets but due to bad weather only managed to visit 2, one is 0,286m2, another is 0,0307m2. On both islets the expedition crew left a special capsule with the names of the dedicatees. Two other islets will be called after the World War Two hero, the commander of the 1945 Kuril operation Maj.-Gen. Alexei Gnechko, and after Igor Farkhutdinov, the Sakhalin Governor killed in an aircrash on Kamchatka Peninsula. 

      The soil samples from all three islands will be studied and exhibited in a local history museum in the town of Sakhalinsk. According to the present Sakhalin Governor, Alexander Khoroshavin, the tradition of giving the islands the names of outstanding Russian people or events should be continued. The success of the recent expedition demonstrates the unity of Russia and Sakhalin's being an integral part of the country. 

      Notwithstanding this, the Governor is against renaming of the disputed Kuril Islands in order to give them Russian names. In his opinion, history should be kept as it is. The South Kuril Islands - Shikotan, Iturup, Kunashir, and Khabomai - are claimed to belong to Japan according to the 1855 treaty. Moscow denies the claims, stating that the islands annexed from Japan in the aftermath of the World War Two must remain in the possession of Russian Federation as the "heir" of the Soviet Union. 

Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Sergei Kapitsa Russian science Russian regions Kuril Islands  

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