Island, extreme eastern Russia. Together with the Kuril Islands, it forms an administrative region of Russia. It is 589 mi (948 km) long and a maximum of 100 mi (160 km) wide; it covers 29,500 sq mi (76,400 sq km). Sakhalin was first settled by Russians in 1853, and it came under Russian control in 1875 when Japan ceded it in exchange for the Kuril Islands. Japan held the southern part from 1905 to 1945, then ceded it and the Kurils to the U.S.S.R. The economy is dominated by fishing, lumbering, coal mining, and the extraction of oil and natural gas in the north.
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