They have a clatter of other names:
- in the West corner Big Diomede, о́стров Ратма́нова Ratmanov Island, Nunarbuk or Imaqłiq
- in the East corner Little Diomede, о́стров Крузенште́рн Krusenstern Island or Iŋaliq
On 2nd April 1986, a free spirit called John Weymouth turned up on Little Diomede and decided to walk across the ice to visit Russia. He was arrested, shipped to Magadan, questioned for 2 weeks, dismissed as "no threat to the People's Paradise" and helicoptered back to Little Diomede. It cut both ways though: on 23rd April 1989, when the Cold War was turning luke-warm, a Soviet delegation trudged across the ice from Big Diomede to negotiate a more benign regime for the local civilians w.r.t. fishing and visiting. Two young Moscow journalists, Anatoly Tkachenko and Alexander Genkin, had finagled their way into the entourage with the express purpose of defecting to the West. At the edge of the mill of dignitaries they spoke to a National Guardsman and were "look up there!" spirited away to a safe house on Little Diomede and later to Anchorage, Alaska. The Soviets, possibly in a vodka-induced haze after an 8 hour 'session', were persuaded that they had miscounted the size of their party. This was all made a little easier by the escapades of Lynne Cox a long distance open water swimmer - sort of a wet Scott Jurek - who on 7th August 1987 [28 years ago today!] swam the 4km strait between the two islands. POTUS Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier [or more formally Генеральный секретарь ЦК КПСС General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union] Михаи́л Серге́евич Горбачёв Mikhail Gorbachev issued approving press statements. You have to hand it to such people, I couldn't even move my arms in water at 5oC.