RUSSIA: Sudden Interest

Sakhalin Island, half Russian and half Japanese, is poised like a blockbuster at the head of the Japanese archipelago. Last week the bleak, sparsely peopled island was the subject of a sudden blaze of Soviet publicity. Without exception, every Moscow morning newspaper published a two-column letter from the workers of Russian Sakhalin, thanking Premier Joseph Stalin for their liberation from the "horrors" of Japanese occupation 20 years ago. They promised: "We shall not relax our efforts one minute ... to bolster our defenses." The letter was also read in full by the Moscow radio.


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