Other names: Russian: Итуру́п; Japanese: 択捉島; Ainu:エﾂﾟヲロプシㇼ
NASA image of Iturup with the volcano Berutarube at the southern end of the island
|Location||Sea of Okhotsk|
|Area||3,139 square kilometres (776,000 acres)|
|Length||200 kilometres (120 mi)|
|Width||27 kilometres (17 mi)|
|Population||7,500 (as of 2003)|
Iturup (Russian: Итуру́п and Oстров Итуру́п, Ostrov Iturup; Ainu: エﾂﾟヲロプシㇼ, Etuworop-sir; Japanese: 択捉島, Etorofu-tō) is one of the Kuril Islands. It was formerly known as Staten Island. It is the largest and northernmost island in the southern Kurils, which are disputed between Japan and Russia.
The island was Japanese territory until the end of the Second World War in 1945, when Soviet forces took possession of all the Kurils and forced out Japanese residents. The island is still claimed by Japan (see Kuril Islands dispute). Japan considers a site on Iturup to be its northernmost point.
Iturup is located near the southern end of the Kuril chain, between Kunashiri (19 km to the SW) and Urup (37 km to the NE). The town of Kurilsk, administrative center of Kurilsky District, is located roughly midway along its western shore.
- Area – 3,139 km²
- Length – 200 km
- Width – 7–27 km
Iturup consists of volcanic massifs and mountain ridges. A series of a dozen volcanoes running NE to SW form the backbone of the island, the highest being Stokap (1,634 m) in the central part of Iturup. The shores of the island are high and abrupt. The vegetation mostly consists of spruce, larch, pine, fir, and mixed deciduous forests with alder, lianas and Kuril bamboo underbrush. The mountains are covered with birch and Siberian Dwarf Pine scrub, herbaceous flowers (including Fragaria iturupensis, the Iturup strawberry) or bare rocks.
Initially inhabited by the Ainu, Iturup was reached in 1661 by the Japanese Shichirobei and his fellows after they had drifted there. The island saw both a Russian settlement (late 18th century) and a Japanese garrison (1800) at the site of the present-day Kurilsk. In 1855 Iturup was ceded to Japan by the Treaty of Shimoda. Its name comes from the Ainu エﾂﾟヲロプ (Etuworop), meaning "Place possessing [many] capes."
In 1945, according to decisions of the Yalta Conference, it was occupied by the Soviet Union after Japan's defeat in World War II. The Japanese inhabitants were expelled to mainland Japan. In 1956 the two countries agreed to restore diplomatic relations, but the peace treaty, as of 2017[update], has not been concluded due to the disputed status of Iturup and some other nearby islands.
A Soviet Anti-Air Defense (PVO) airfield, Burevestnik (English: storm-petrel), is located on the island and since the 1950s has been home for a number of Mikoyan fighter jets. In 1968, Seaboard World Airlines Flight 253A was intercepted over the Kurils and forced to land at Burevestnik with 214 American troops bound for Vietnam. An older airfield, Vetrovoe, exists on the eastern part of the island and may have been used primarily by Japanese forces during World War II.
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- "Etorofu-tō: Russia". Geographical Names. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
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- Dutch exploration Archived 2008-03-25 at the Wayback Machine.
- Korzhinsky, M.A.; S. I. Tkachenko; K. I. Shmulovich; Y. A. Taran; G. S. Steinberg (2004-05-05). "Discovery of a pure rhenium mineral at Kudriavy volcano". Nature. 369 (6475): 51–52. Bibcode:1994Natur.369...51K. doi:10.1038/369051a0.
- Внешняя политика Японии: сентябрь 1939 г.-декабрь 1941 г – 1959, page 246 (in Russian)
- Takahara, "Nemuro raid survivor" 
- "New airport opens on South Kurils' Iturup Island". ITAR TASS. Retrieved 26 October 2014.