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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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  • August 17, 1945

    Draft Message from Joseph Stalin to Harry S. Truman

    Stalin requests that the Soviet Union gain possession of the Kurile Islands and the northern half of the island of Hokkaido, Japan.

  • August 19, 1945

    Report by Ivan Yumashev to Aleksandr Vasilevsky

    The plan of operation for a Soviet invasion of the island of Hokkaido and the Kurile Islands.

  • August 20, 1945

    Order by Aleksei Antonov to Aleksandr Vasilevsky

    Orders include preparation for the invasion of the island of Hokkaido and the southern Kurile Islands, but are to "begin... only after special instruction by Stalin."

  • August 20, 1945

    Cable from Aleksandr Vasilevsky to Stalin

    Vasilevsky reports on the progress of the Soviet invasion of Manchuria and the surrender of Japanese forces.

  • August 21, 1945

    Cable from Nikolai Kuznetsov to Aleksandr Vasilevsky

    Information related to a planned invasion of the Japanese island of Hokkaido.

  • August 21, 1945

    Order by Aleksandr Vasilevsky to Aleksandr Novikov

    Orders for preparations for a planned invasion of the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the southern Kurile Islands.

  • August 22, 1945

    Order by Aleksandr Vasilevsky to Nikolai Kuznetsov and Ivan Yumashev

    Orders for preparations for a planned invasion of the Japanese island of Hokkaido and the southern Kurile Islands. Operations are not to begin "until special instructions from the Headquarters."

  • August 23, 1945

    Cable from Aleksandr Vasilevsky [?] to Stalin

    Report on the surrender of Japanese forces on the Kurile Islands.

  • August 23, 1945

    Cable from Vyacheslav Molotov to Soviet Ambassador in the United States

    Drafted response from Stalin to Truman regarding Hokkaido and Kurile Islands.

  • October 08, 1973

    Record of Soviet-Japanese Talks, 8 October 1973

    Brezhnev and Tanaka discuss Soviet-Japan relations since World War II.

  • October 09, 1973

    Record of Soviet-Japanese Talks, 9 October 1973

    Brezhnev and Tanaka discuss the dispute over the Kuril Islands as well as opportunities for Japan-Soviet economic cooperation.

  • June 21, 1992

    Assessment of the General Staff of the Navy on Russo-Japanese relations and the problems of territorial delimitation between Russia and Japan

    This document highlights the Russian military’s concerns about the potential of losing the Southern Kurils to the Japanese. The document stresses that Japan still sees Russia as its most probable enemy in the Far East, and has plans to capture the islands in wartime. Losing these islands would present formidable obstacles to the Soviet Union because the Japanese and their American allies would have direct and unimpeded access to the Sea of Okhotsk, while the Russians would be prevented from conducting air attacks against U.S. aircraft carrier force east of the Tsugaru Strait. The document also provides statistics on Soviet-US submarine collisions and Japanese violations of Soviet/Russian territorial waters.