‘Isle be back!’ Siberian mayor seeks return of ‘Holy island’ from USA
RT: March 26, 2014
The mayor of Yakutsk claims he has a proof a small island off the coast of Alaska had been given to the Russian Orthodox Church and it still has the rights to the territory.
Mayor Aysen Nikolayev and other officials from Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District have petitioned President Vladimir Putin, the heads of both chambers of the Russian Parliament, and the Russian Foreign Minister requesting the return of Spruce Island to the church.
Researchers from Yakutsk went to the Alaskan capital Juneau to study the archive belonging to the Russian bibliographer Mikhail Vinokurov who emigrated to the USA in 1917 after the Bolshevik revolution. They discovered a certificate issued by Russian government commissioner Captain Second Rank Aleksey Peshchurov, detailing the transfer of Russian territories in Alaska to the United States. According to this document, Spruce Island has been granted to the Russian Orthodox Church ‘for eternity’.
In 1867 the Russian Empire sold Alaska and the surrounding islands to the United States for $7.2 million in gold that the Tsar needed for financing the reforms caused by the abolition of serfdom. The 46-square-kilometer Spruce Island is a part of the Kodiak Archipelago, South of Alaska. Currently about 250 people live on the island.
(Read the full story at RT)