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Mysterious island - Matua

According to the number of hidden secrets, Matua is quite worthy of the pen of Jules Verne. Today, Russia is building a military base here - has this land been studied enough?

Today, Matua Island is the least explored island of the Kuril ridge - it has never undergone comprehensive research work. Nevertheless, 80 years ago it was the most developed point in terms of infrastructure, thousands of kilometers around. The Japanese military base located on the island, which consisted of a full-fledged airfield, village, defensive infrastructure and a whole system of ground and underground communications - the quantity and quality of buildings on the island is amazing. And this is on that island, on which the climate is not what to build - it really does not allow being.

Mysterious island - Matua
Until the beginning of the 20th century there existed a permanent settlement of the Ainu. During the Second World War on the island was located military units of Japan. Powerful fortifications, underground bunkers with concrete walls of one meter, large-caliber guns and a mass of equipment. And a military airfield with three runways, which were heated by thermal springs. It should be noted that there are no closed bays on Matua. Therefore, if we consider the island on maps or aerospace photography, it may seem that there is no good shelter for a ship near the island. But in practice, it has a convenient and relatively safe place - it is a strait in the southwestern part of the island, covered from the west by a small island of Iwaki (Toporkovy). It was here in wartime was a Japanese raid, located berths.

In August 1945, with the start of the Kurile landing operation, bloody battles were fought over the much less fortified islands - Paramushir and Shumshu. Matua was commissioned without a fight. The same things that happened with Matua further - happened in Soviet times, little is known. Civilians did not get here and were not allowed, but keep their secrets. Apparently, on the island there was a military unit serving radars. Broken installations and dumps of electronic equipment 60-70-ies are scattered throughout the island. Approximately before 2001 year on Matua the border post was saved. Then it burned down, and the employees who lost their homes were evacuated to the big land. Now there is nobody on the island.

What the Japanese did here during the Second World War - this is probably the main mystery. Among the possible versions - and the secret transshipment base of the submarine fleet, and a deeply conspiratorial fortress-scientific laboratory, and fortified point - the repository for the values ​​of the empire. In the Russian captivity only the construction workers and auxiliary personnel got to where the pilots, sailors and artillerymen disappeared from the island. In this case, even if you do not try too hard, it is easy to find many structures on the island, the purpose of which is not easy to explain. What, for example, could the load carry concrete bunkers with meter walls, thick steel doors and the same shutters? Barracks, command post, warehouse, bomb shelter? But why then so many windows with a complex system of steel shutters and constipation, why a sophisticated network of air ducts? Maybe the lab? On the island more than once found some sophisticated instruments with sensors, manometers, centrifuges ... What did the German submarines bring or bring here? On Matua still barrels are lying around from the fuel with the marking of the Third Reich.

According to Evgeny Vereshchagi, the head of the regular Kamchatka-Kuril expedition, the island was obviously preserved by the Japanese garrison before surrender to the Soviet troops. All the most valuable, probably, was burned, blown up or drowned in the ocean. But, perhaps, something remained inside the island - on the island found underground communications, not just cut down in the basalt, but also finished with wood.

Japan does not provide any explanatory information in response to numerous requests from Russian researchers. But a small chance to comprehend the incomprehensible island of Matua is still there - in May a large-scale joint expedition of the Russian Ministry of Defense and the Russian Geographical Society started on it, which is not comparable with the scale of all previous expeditions.

According to the head of the expedition, Vice-Admiral Andrei Ryabukhin, deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet (quoted in Ogonek magazine), the task is "to study the infrastructure that existed on the island, the possibilities of its application and use in today's conditions." The second is the engineering reconnaissance of the terrain, radiochemical Intelligence, bacteriological, precise and clear definition of the problems that are present, the presence of threats that may arise when there is, including the troops on an ongoing basis. e - study of the landscape, well, plus those reconnaissance measures that the Ministry of Defense has determined. "

In just a month of work on Matua (the expedition left Vladivostok 7 in May and arrived on the island 14 in May), the participants of the expedition did a gigantic job. Thus, a survey of the coastal and plains of the island of Matua has been completed. Total investigated 97 infrastructure facilities of the island. These are bunkers located in the coastal and flat parts, observation posts, range-keeping posts, artillery and machine-gun dots. In particular, if we talk about dots, then by now 50 of 86 artillery and machine guns has been inspected.

The search explorations of the Ainu bay on the island of Matua have been completed. During the Second World War, there was an 127 millimetric battery of universal guns at six positions, nine machine-gun and artillery dots that operated as part of the Japanese garrison's battalion defense post. As a result of the detailed survey, detailed schemes of underground and ground fortifications, as well as of the defense area as a whole, are compiled. According to the participants of the military-historical expedition, according to these data it is possible to uncover the plan of the Japanese garrison command for conducting defensive operations. Military-historical staff of the expedition also analyzed the status of pumping, diesel, drilling stations, storage tanks for water and fuel. Each object has been described, the plan of a binding to the terrain is made. Some structures, possibly in the future will be used, taking into account the modernization and modern technologies. The first such facility, which will soon enter service, will be the concrete runway of the Japanese airfield.

In addition, a partial reconnaissance of the island was conducted - a study of the south-eastern part of the island was carried out to assess the modern landscape. The origin of lowlands and elevations to 200 meters has been studied. Excavation work was carried out to clean up a series of coastal cliffs up to 30 meters in height, and to set reference sections (drilling holes) to 4 meters in depth to determine the age of the island. The total length of the research route was about 300 kilometers. Discovered ancient lava and weathering crust, the age of which, according to scientists, is not less than a few tens of thousands of years. Also, scientific research teams determined that the island of Matua during its existence was exposed to at least 30 tsunami.

The work of the expedition continues today. In detail, the fortification works are being investigated, and underground communications are being cleared. Already in a short time - after the preparation of the coastal area of ​​the island for the approach of a large landing ship - additional equipment can come to the island. However, the near completion of the expedition should not wait - according to representatives of the Ministry of Defense, work expeditions on the island - not one year.

The official expedition has so far not given answers to mysteries and mysteries. So far, "officially" have not found anything sensational: no underground bunkers, no laboratories, no weapons. Only a couple of pieces of iron, the remains of an airplane and a military ship, there are a lot of experts-geophysicists, speleologists, divers, sappers, chemists-who are also cleaning up underground communications. It seems that the program of the expedition is made, in particular, taking into account the desire recently expressed by Sergei Shoigu: "I would like to see life return to this island." According to experts interviewed by EastRussia, the minister's wish will come true and life on the island will return.

"It makes sense only the naval component of the expedition," said Vladimir Gorlov, an associate professor of the Department of Economic and Social Geography of Russia at the Faculty of Geography of the Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov, "And, first of all, we need to put in order the infrastructure of the island and completely restore it is for the needs of the modern Russian armed forces.In the future this island is represented as a stopping point, but not so much of the fleet as of aviation.As currently the most acute issue in the Kuril Islands is the development of of the aviation message - because now all the aircraft, having reached the mainland from the Kuril Islands, are forced to turn around and fly back almost immediately - for the simple reason that they run out of fuel .The appearance of the aerodrome in Matua seems very promising in connection with the need to strengthen the military position of Russia in the south of the Far East. "

According to the expert, the expedition is also needed for publicly covering the construction of modern military infrastructure. “For the realization of the naval component of the development of the island, it is necessary that it be and to some extent scientific, including itself, for example, the conduct of specialists of such scientific studies as the study of near-island currents and the geology of the island. After the party they might try to uncover the secrets of Matua. - says Vladimir Gorlov. - But it should be understood that the island’s secrets are actually not so many, since a large part of Matua’s secrets, which everyone now knows about, are contrived, while those that they allegedly put before the expedition are simply a cover to avoid political noise ", - said the expert.

At the same time, experts interviewed by EastRussia believe that for military purposes the infrastructure on the island will begin to be used in the very near future.

"Most likely, the results of the naval component of the expedition, to which it will come to the end of the year, will require clarification of some details, but on the basis of them it will be possible to make any final decision on the creation of Matua as a defensive point on Russian frontiers," Leading Researcher at the Center for Japanese Studies Viktor Pavlyatenko

"Let's remember how two years ago the naval base in the Arctic, on the island of Kotelnyy was deployed at lightning speed. The approach of the ships - the development of the airfield - the reception of aircraft - the approach of the ships - the wintering of the garrison - and the process has started, "another EastRussia interlocutor cites. "Regarding Matua, the decision has probably already been made - so in the near future the country will see many impressive reports about the development of military infrastructure on the Far Eastern island."

According to the head of the expedition, Vice-Admiral Andrei Ryabukhin, deputy commander of the Pacific Fleet (cited from Ogonek magazine), the military objectives of the new base on Matua are protection of the passages to the Sea of ​​Okhotsk, which is internal for Russia. "The Sea of ​​Okhotsk has become our internal, the gray zone has disappeared as such, thanks to the efforts of the main navigation and oceanography department of the Ministry of Natural Resources, and all that is internal, it requires special protection, defense, doors must be closed, when the doors are opened, .

Thus, the island of Matua in the near future has every chance to turn from an abandoned, mysterious and sinister island into a powerful military center, a “castle” at the gate to the Sea of ​​Okhotsk. And how can you know what it will be like, this new life of an island fortress, if you do not thoroughly study what was 80 here years ago.

ER Help

As part of the expedition, led by Deputy Commander of the Pacific Fleet Vice Admiral Andrei Ryabukhin, 200 man. In addition to the representatives of the Ministry of Defense, the RGO, various scientific organizations, in particular, servicemen of the Eastern Military District and the Pacific Fleet and representatives of the Military Medical Academy S.M. Kirov. The expedition also involved six ships and vessels of the Pacific Fleet, led by a large landing ship Admiral Nevelskoy.

Recall that the island of Matua is significantly removed from the populated areas of Sakhalin and Kamchatka. He has no connection with the outside world. Yes, in fact, she has no reason for him - the island is uninhabited. Its territory is 11 kilometers long and 6,5 kilometers wide. The height of its highest point, the peak of Sarychev - 1485 meters. The island is characterized by the abnormally cold climate of the Northern Kuriles, with a large amount of precipitation, cloudiness, frequent fogs and strong winds.
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