The Sakhalin Oblast (Russian: Сахали́нская о́бласть) is a regional subdivision of Russia. It comprises the island of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands.
The region has an area of 87,100 km² and a population of 546,695 (2002 All-Russian Population Census). Its administrative center and largest city is Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk with a population of around 170,000.
Besides from people from other parts of the former Soviet Union, Sakhalin is home to Nivkh and Ainu, with the latter having lost their language in Sakhalin recently.
Until its loss in World War II, Japan controlled the southern part of Sakhalin Island (or Karafuto Island, Krafto in Ainu), this and some surrounding islands formed the Prefecture of Karafuto. The capital of Karafuto was Toyohara, now the capital of Sakhalin (called Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk). The prefecture was Ainu-speaking instead of Japanese.
- Official website http://www.adm.sakhalin.ru/ (in Russian)