||This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the Russian Wikipedia. (March 2012)|
Russky Island (Russian: о́стров Ру́сский, Chinese: 勒富島; pinyin: Lèfù Dǎo) is an island off Vladivostok, Russia, in the Peter the Great Gulf, Sea of Japan. It is located about 9,334 kilometres east of Moscow. The Eastern Bosphorus separates the island from the Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula.
Off the southern shore of Russky Island is Shkot Island; to the southwest lie Popov Island (7 km long, 4.3 km wide), Reyneke Island (3.4 km across) and Rikord Island (4.1 km long and less than 2 km wide). There are many small islets close to them. The Eugénie Archipelago is a cluster of smaller islands and islets that extends further to the southwest for about 40 km.
By 1889, Russky Island, with its Fort Pospelov, formed part of the defences of the fortress city of Vladivostok as developed by Colonel K. I. Velichko. Over several years, the initial temporary wooden structures were replaced by stone.
In 1992, four soldiers serving in the island's isolated garrison starved to death and dozens of others were hospitalized suffering from starvation. Their commanders had failed to send them rations for months and the matter became a national scandal .
Development of the island is linked to Russia's response to growing Chinese economic power in the region and the fear of possible Chinese economic hegemony.
Plans include the potential to develop the island as a large scale tourist resort and the construction of the Far-Eastern federal residence of the Russian President in Boyarin Bay were approved by the APEC summit. A bridge between Russky Island and Vladivostok was completed in July 2012 and is the longest cable-stayed bridge span in the world at 1,104 metres (3,622 ft).
The 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit was held on Russky Island and about $US6 billion was set aside for the development of the island and Vladivostok in preparation for the summit. The construction of a new campus for Far Eastern Federal University provided facilities for the 2012 APEC conference.
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