Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Effort underway to return Spruce Island to Russian Church

Moscow, March 26 (Interfax) - Head of Yakutsk Aisen Nikolayev speaks for giving back to the Russian Church Spruse Island not far from Alaska.

He sent a corresponding address to Russian President Vladimir Putin, heads of both chambers of the Russian Parliament and to the Foreign Ministry, the Izvestia daily writes on Wednesday.

"I stand for restoring historical justice - returning of Spruse Island to its legal owners that is the Russian Orthodox Church," Nikolayev said.

According to him, the Church has undisputable rights on the island in compliance with the agreement on selling territories of Russian America to the USA.

"I have been keen on this story for a long time: Yakutsk scientists studied the documents and organized several expeditions to the USA. We celebrate the 220th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox mission in Northern America in 2014, I mean the Kodiak Mission. When, if not now, should we take up the question of Russian America?" Nikolayev wonders.

The edition notes that documents proving the right of the Church on the small island not far from Alaska were discovered by the Yakutsk scientific expedition in the archives of bibliographer Mikhail Vinokurov, who emigrated from Russia after revolution. The archive is kept in the library of Juneau town, Alaska.

The documents collected by Vinokurov include a certificate dated by 1868. It was signed by commissioner of the Russian government responsible for the transfer of North-American territories to the USA captain of the 2nd rank Alexey Peshchurov. The certificate says that Spruse Island (New Valaam), where St. Herman of Alaska lived, preached and was buried is conveyed to eternal use of the Russian Church. In October 1867, it was Peshchurov who signed the protocol on transferring Alaska and the Aleutian Island to the United States.


  1. Since the Russian Church granted autocephalous status to the Russian Metropolia (now the OCA) the documents are moot. Any claim to ownership would have passed to the OCA.

  2. Who is in possession of it now?

  3. Shades of the Crimea!!!! What's next? All of Alaska returned to Russia?