Fifteen years since the Friendship Flight
Fifteen years ago, the border between Alaska and Russia opened with the first "Friendship Flight" on Alaska Airlines across the Bering Strait. The flight in June of 1998 marked the start of the thaw between our two countries, and symbolized the decisive end of the Cold War.
One of the most interesting illustrations of Alaska’s close proximity to and relationship with Russia is found on Little Diomede and Big Diomede islands. The two islands sit just 2.4 miles apart in the Bering Strait between Alaska and Russia, and yet Little Diomede is part of Alaska while Big Diomede is Russian territory. Big Diomede sits across the International Date Line from its smaller sister and 23 hours ahead.
More on Russian heritage in Alaska
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