city, Sakhalin oblast (province), far-eastern Russia, on the western coast of Sakhalin Island. It was founded in 1881 as a centre for penal settlements. In 1890 the writer Anton Chekhov lived there while gathering material about convict life for his book Ostrov Sakhalin ("Sakhalin Island"). It became a city in 1926 and from 1932 to 1947 was the centre of an oblast. Pop. (2002) 16,231.
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