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Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk ( ) is a city on Sakhalin Islandmarker, Russiamarker, administrative center of Sakhalin Oblast (which includes the whole island and the Kurilsmarker). The city was formerly called Vladimirovka between 1882-1905, then Toyohara ( ) between 1905-1946. Population: 175,085 (2002 Census); 187,000 (2000 est.).


Early days of Vladimirovka

The city began as a small Russian settlement called Vladimirovka, founded by convicts in 1882.The Treaty of Portsmouth in 1905, which brought an end to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905, awarded the southern half of Sakhalin Island to Japan. Vladimirovka was renamed to Toyohara (meaning "Valley of the fecundity"), and was the prefect capital of Japanese Karafuto.

After the end of World War II, the Japanese portion of Sakhalin island was occupied by Sovietmarker troops. Ownership of the city transferred back to Russia (then the RSFSR) and it was renamed Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, meaning Southern Sakhalin City in Russian.

Economy and infrastructure

Due to significant investment from oil companies like ExxonMobil and Shell, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk has experienced substantial economic growth. Although this growth has primarily occurred in the northern part of the island, both companies maintain headquarters and residential complexes in the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk itself. The demand for natural resources by the Japanesemarker, Chinesemarker, and South Koreansmarker has ensured continued prosperity in the foreseeable future for the entire island.

There has been significant criticism, including from PolPred Kamil Iskhakov, that Sakhalin is not caring for its citizens. Despite sizable gas deposits and incoming investments from gas companies, the regional administration does not yet have plans for the installation of gas services on the island. The oblast also continues to have the highest rate of juvenile crime in all of Russia, and more than 40% of its businesses are unprofitable.
Yuzhno Sakhalinsk museum in Japanese days
Yuzhno Sakhalinsk museum today (2008)
Out of very few remaining Japanese buildings in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, one now functions as the local museum.


It is served by Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airportmarker. The city is also the hub for the island's narrow gauge railway network, built under the Japanese administration in the early 20th century.


Institutes of higher education in the city include Sakhalin State University and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk institute of economics, law and informatics. Also there are some branches of other high schools:
  • Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk institute (branch) of Russian State trade-economics university
  • Branch of Far East State university of railways
  • Branch of Modern Academy of the humanities
  • Branch of The Pacific State ecomnomics university
  • Branch of Russian economics academy named after G.V. Plekhanov
  • Branch of Far East law institute

Geography and climate

The city is located on the Susuya River (also called the Black River), at . It is the largest city on the island of Sakhalinmarker, and the only city with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The straight-line distance to Moscowmarker is 10,417 km.

Due to restrictions, foreigners wishing to leave Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk in order to travel to any other part of the Sakhalin Oblast and its internal and territorial waters are required to seek permission from the Federal Security Service (FSB) and the Border Guard. Scuba diving and recreating on the seacoast is permitted only in places defined by the Border Guard.

The climate is humid continental (Köppen Dfb) with mild summers and very cold winters. The annual precipitation is much higher than in interior Russia and summers are distinctly cooler than in Khabarovskmarker or Irkutskmarker. There is frequently fog during this season, which serves to reduce the amount of sunshine.


Most residents are ethnic Russians, but there also exists a sizable population of Koreans. Of the 43,000 Sakhalin Koreans, half are estimated to live in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, comprising roughly 12% of the city's population. Also smaller numbers of indigenous minorities, such as Ainu, Nivkhs, and Oroks can be found.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk is twinned with:

External links


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