Secrets of the island of Matua
Matua Island is located in the middle of the Kuril Ridge and is well away from the populated areas of Sakhalin and Kamchatka. It is characterized by an abnormally cold climate of the Northern Kuriles, with a lot of precipitation, clouds, frequent fogs and strong winds.
During the Second World War, the Japanese turned this piece of land into a large fortress with an airfield and a garrison exceeding 3 thousand people. The Kurile Islands were used as a strategic barrier for the way out of the Sea of Okhotsk into the Pacific Ocean. Here a whole network of various military defensive fortifications was built.
There have never been comprehensive research projects on Matua as access there was almost impossible.
Now such an opportunity has appeared, and the expedition, organized by the Russian Geographical Society, is designed to unravel the secrets of the least explored island of the Kuril Ridge.
Photographs by: Andrei Gorban