The remains of 47 Soviet soldiers and three Japanese soldiers have been found on Shumshu Island, the northernmost point in the Pacific Kuril Islands chain, the Interfax news agency reported.
A group of 11 volunteers from the Sakhalin branch of the non-profit organization, Search Movement of Russia, discovered the remains as part of a dig that began in late June.
“The results of this expedition have been impressive, and we managed to find the remains of 47 Soviet soldiers and sailors who died during the Kuril landing operation in August 1945, as well as three Japanese soldiers,” said Artem Bandura, chairman of the Sakhalin branch of Search Movement of Russia, reported Interfax.
In addition to human remains, volunteers found the personal effects of five Soviet soldiers, which included spoons, flasks, and boot heels that had been initialed. One Japanese soldier’s dog tags were recovered.
The soldiers’ remains were taken to the nearby city of North Kurilsk. The remains of those who have been identified will be handed over to the next of kin, and the remains of the three Japanese soldiers will be sent to Japan.
This is Search Movement of Russia’s fourth expedition to Shumshu. The previous three combined efforts led to the discovery of the remains of 41 Soviet soldiers, as well as 38 Japanese, reported Interfax.
Search Movement of Russia was created in April 2013 to focus on finding the remains of Soviet soldiers missing since World War II.