Russian Islands in the Gulf of Finland. What is the secret of these “slots of land”?

August 22-24, a memorial action was held on the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland Gogland and Big Tyuters, which completed the tenth anniversary, tenth season of field work of the integrated expedition of the Russian Geographical Society.

It must be said that the idea of the scale of the work of this expedition for an unprepared person naturally causes temporary confusion — this effect is usually described by the folk expression “eyes run wide.”

In really — the leitmotif of the memorial events, which were collectively called “Voices of the Lost Ships” there was a perpetuation of the memory of the crews of these very ships — Since 2013, more than 12 thousand deaths have been identified in the Gulf of Finland. dead sailors and submariners. Over these years, the team of the Reconnaissance and Diving Club Konstantin Bogdanovaand  of the Baltic Fleet of the Russian Navy found and recorded 15 transport vessels — participants of the Tallinn breakthrough in 1941 and 18 submarines. And last year, the largest ships of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet were found, which died on August 24, 1942 — patrol ship “Storm” and the base minesweeper  Fugas”, blown up by German mines during the raid operation on Bolshoy Tyuters Island and killing the lives of 104 red sailors.

On August 23, search submariners dived to & nbsp; the sunken ships "Burya" and  Land mine», installing on commemorative plaques with lists of crew names. On the next day, August 24th, exactly 80 years since the  and Fugas, in the very place where their crews rest under the sea waves, from the training ship of the Baltic Fleet"Perekop" lowered wreaths and flowers into the water. The dead sailors were given military honors — fireworks took place. On board the “Perekop” relatives of the dead heroes were present, who until that moment did not know how and where the life of their ancestors ended. On the same        a memorial concert — for the first time in 80 years bells sounded, raised from ships that died during the war. The concert ended with a performance by Alexander F. Sklyar «Va-Bank».

Photo: Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

What is “more important”?

And at the same time, even directly during the course of the memorial concert, the attention of all those present was repeatedly drawn to the fact that the works of search submariners relating to the Great Patriotic War — important, but not the only purpose of the expedition. That over the past ten seasons, botanists, ornithologists, geologists, geographers, geophysicists and archaeologists came to the outer islands and conducted field research, that surveys were carried out not only in fields, but and in archives, where waiting for discoveries, sometimes comparable to those made on the islands.

The human consciousness is arranged in such a way that when “eyes run wide”, it begins to frantically search for something “important”. For the simple reason that without this “main” it is extremely difficult to imagine the big picture — it slips away, breaks up into  bright, impressive, but still separate episodes, loosely connected. became the words of coordinator of the complex expedition of the Russian Geographical Society to the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland Ekaterina Khutorskaya: “For some reason, many people think that the concept of “a window to Europe” refers to & nbsp; St. Petersburg. In fact, this “window” are just the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland, without the mastery of which over any port of the Eastern Baltic, the threat of direct invasion continued to hang. Peter the Great himself understood this very well. His goal in the & nbsp; Northern War of 1700 & ndash; 1721 & nbsp; it was not so much the return to Russia of her  legitimate possessions on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea as these islands. Yes, yes, these “small patches of land”, without which neither further advancement, nor the stability of Russia in the Baltic were simply impossible. And, therefore, Russia, as a truly great European power, could not take place».

This is where the insight happened. It turns out that the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland became a kind of “assembly point” for the Russian Empire. This  brought me to  understand the "main". And at the same time explained why the initiator of the massive “scientific attack” it was the geographical society that made these islands.

Geography, especially the geography of the native country, is sometimes treated as a subject that, of course, must be studied, but apply special forces, maybe  ;not worth it. After all, everyone already knows for sure that, say, the Volga flows into the Caspian Sea. This phrase has become ironic — say, is it necessary to explain the obvious things for the hundredth time.

Photo: Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

Steps to greatness

Need. Because until you realize the true, so to speak, “complex” the meaning of this phrase, you will not understand how Russia turned into the Russian Kingdom. The fact is that this transformation took place only at the moment when Russia received Astrakhan — the very place where the Volga flows into the Caspian Sea. Ownership of the main river, the main transport artery of Eastern Europe from source to mouth became the very foundation on which an unprecedented continental empire grew up, stepping into Siberia in 20 years, and reaching the shores of the Pacific Ocean in 60 years.

Approximately the same step in the ascent to greatness was for Russia the acquisition of the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland by Petrov I during the Northern War. Or rather, not acquisition, but return. It is known that, for example, Sweden's claims to ownership of these islands refer to the Orekhov Peace of 1323 , when the Swedes clung to them with a stranglehold, and Prince Yuri of Moscowrelatively easily gave them away. In  justifying the prince, we note that he, being a purely land person, poorly understood all the benefits of owning the outer islands.

However, the employees of the complex expedition of the Russian Geographical Society noticed that the Swedes did not come to an empty place. Having carefully studied the written sources of the 14th century, they drew attention to the  report of lost merchants who went by sea to  Retusaari (Kronstadt), and got to the island of Seskar, where they "engaged in trade with local Russian residents". Judging by everything, these were representatives of the Finnish Izhora tribe, whose ancestors by that time had already accepted Novgorod citizenship and the Russian language by that time for four hundred years. Which, by the way, is indirectly confirmed by archaeological finds — on the same Gogland, a sacrificial stone with shallow indentations on surface —  — the same artifacts are characteristic of the early medieval population of the Karelian Isthmus…

But what happened, happened. Historically, the Swedes, once clinging to some territory, gave it with great reluctance and lots of blood. The same fate was in store for the outer islands. And after after Russia, having returned them to itself according to the results of the Treaty of Nystadt in 1721 , promptly broke into the club of the "Great Powers" and officially proclaimed itself an empire, the true role of these “small patches of land” became clear to everyone.

Photo: Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

New return

Seven peace treaties and twelve (!) major wars are connected with the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland, which decided the fate of Russia and Europe, and sometimes the whole world. Sometimes they themselves could become a “fuse” conflict — it is known that Carl Gustav Mannerheim, having familiarized himself in the autumn of 1939 with the next proposal of the USSR, which included these territories, with which the young Soviet Russia was forced to leave in 1920, flared up: “Better war than to give the islands to the Russians!” ;

And there was a war called “Finnish” or “Winter”. And then, just a year later — war again, already the Great Patriotic War. And the islands remained Russian. But their true role in that war was then not to pushed — no. It's just that the events are formidable and large-scale — Battle of Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk Bulge — naturally came to the fore. The islands that once made Russia a great European power and empire have been left out of the spotlight.

Actually, all the work of the Complex Expedition of the Russian Geographical Society on the outer islands of the Gulf of Finland is aimed to return them once again. To return the non to composition of Russia, since this was done back in 1945 year. No — bring them into our everyday life. In our mass consciousness.

The fact that  the initiative of the Russian Geographical Society was paid attention to and supported by such structures as the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, that the islands were finally recognized as a national reserve — already many. However, in mathematics there is such a concept — “necessary and sufficient.” So. What has already been done in the course of the work of the Complex Expedition of the Russian Geographical Society — necessary. But is clearly not enough. New research is needed. new expeditions. New results. And most importantly — holding on to these “little patches of land” in the spotlight. And  ideally, make sure that the phrase "Outer Islands become Russia window Europe" have become for us such a banality as “Volga flows into” the Caspian Sea. Preferably — from kindergarten.

Expedition to the Russian Islands in the Gulf of Finland

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

Expedition to the Russian Islands of the Gulf of Finland

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

© Russian Geographical Society/Anna Yurgenson

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