Do you know how far is Alaska from Russia? One of the unique locations within the United States is Alaska. However, it has a stronger geographic connection to neighboring nations like Russia or Canada.
Alaska and Russia are parted by the Bering Strait. It is approximately 55 miles from the narrowest point of the barrier. Big Diomede Island and Little Diomede Island are the two islands in Russia administered by the United States because they extend to the eastern hemisphere. These two islands are in the middle of the Bering Strait.
These two Diomede islands decrease the distance separating Russia and Alaska. The difference between these two Diomede islands is just three miles (4.8 kilometers). Moreover, during the winter times, you can even stroll from these islands.
How Far Is Alaska From Russia
Where is Alaska?
Alaska is a big country. it is located in the far northwest of North America and has an eastern border with Canada. Russia and the Bering Strait are to the west. The Arctic Ocean’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, which are to its north, are mostly frozen throughout the year. Whereas the southwest and south are home to the Pacific Ocean.
No states in the United States physically border Alaska. However, it also has marine and land borders with Russia and Canada, respectively. The Canadian provinces of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory are connected to Alaska’s land border on the east.
The largest cities in Alaska include Juneau and Fairbanks, and Anchorage is the state’s capital.
Where is Russia?
Russia, which occupies one-eight of the planet’s livable land mass, is the largest nation in terms of area. From Eastern Europe to Northeast Asia, it is a transcontinental region.
More than 14 nations border it on the land. The Arctic Ocean is to its north. The Sea of Okhotsk, the Bering Strait, and the Sea of Japan forms maritime borders between the US, Japan, and North and South Korea to the east.
The Arctic sea and its array of seas are to Russia’s north. The Bering Strait, which is to its east, divides continental Russia from North America, namely the state of Alaska.
The major cities in Russia are Kazan, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, and Sochi. Moscow is the country of Russia’s capital.
Distance Between Alaska and Russia
From east to west, Alaska covers a lot of ground, making the distance between Russia and Alaska bigger. However, the closest distance between mainland Alaska and mainland Russia is only 55 miles. The distance is even shorter from Russia’s Big Diomede Island and the U.S.’s Little Diomede Island and is just 2.4 miles.
However, It makes sense to calculate the distance between the towns and communities in Russia and Alaska. This is because people frequently travel between the two cities, making it an appropriate unit of measurement.
Uelen, with a population of 720, is Russia’s most eastern town. Wales, a town in Alaska, is the easternmost community on the state’s mainland and has 145 residents. Wales and Uelen are separated by around 62 miles (99 km).
If one measure from Alaska’s southeastern border near Annette to the southern point on Russia’s west coast, near Botchinsky State Nature, Preserve, the distance is 3,700 miles.
However, the area between Russia and Alaska is covered by two water bodies of the Pacific Ocean, The Bering Sea, and some parts of the Chukchi Sea.
The Pacific Ocean’s northernmost part is the Bering Sea, and it splits into a shallower area both in the north and east. In the south and the west, it has a deep section. Direct access from the Pacific Ocean to the Arctic Ocean is given by the Bering Strait.
Moreover, in the northernmost Russian territory and the Alaska territory lies the Chukchi Sea. The icy water between both Russia and Alaska remains frozen for much of the year. The waterbody between Alaska and Russia is only navigable between July and October.
There are not many landmasses or islands between Alaska and Russia. Only Wrangel Island is the most prominent one in Russia from Alaska. These are the only small islands available near the middle of America.
There are many facts that you should know about the crossing from Russia to Alaska.
1. The Bering Strait Crossing
Vitus Bering, a Danish explorer working for the Russian throne, gives his name to the Bering Strait. According to the hypothesis of human migration, people utilized the Bering Strait as a land bridge to go from Eurasia to North America.
According to the notion, the Bering Strait was dry land during the ice age, which made it possible for ancient creatures and people to physically move to North America.
The Bering Strait bridge can be used to move from Russia to Alaska. This bridge shares some portion of it with the Bering Strait crossing and the rest with the two Diomede Islands on the eastern side. This gives a link between Russia and Alaska.
The connecting points for the two islands from Russia are Chukotka and the Seward Peninsula from Alaska. The Kamchatka peninsula is across the borders of the ocean and is the nearest to the Seward Peninsula. This results in a single bridge of about 40 kilometers (20 miles) from mainland Alaska to these Diomede islands.
In near future, a tunnel will be built from the Islands to the Diomede Islands and Russia. The earth taken out of the tunnels can be used to connect the two Islands.
Visibility between Alaska and Russia: Cultural Exchange Impact
Mike Millerson, a former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and founder of Survive Nature with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, insights into the visibility between Alaska and Russia impact cultural exchange:
“The geographical proximity between Alaska and Russia via the Bering Strait has historically played a fascinating role in cultural exchange and the development of shared traditions.
[For the indigenous communities], this [proximity] enabled interactions and cultural cross-pollination, reflecting in shared traditions such as whaling, fishing, and intricate art forms [well] before global diplomacy began.
This influence has endured over generations despite political tensions. In the modern context, visibility across these regions impacts not just physical, [but] also symbolic interaction.
Cultural exchanges sometimes transcend political boundaries, led by the universal human spirit to endure and thrive in challenging environments.
[This] is reflected in the shared traditions of adaptability and resilience against the harsh arctic conditions, lending to a strong sense of co-dependency and shared experiences between the two areas.
The proximity and visibility also significantly impact economic ties. Despite the harsh conditions, these regions rely on shared resources for survival, fostering co-dependency and mutual exchange.
The maritime trade in fish, marine mammals, and other local commodities contributes to the shared cultural practices and traditions [in both territories].
Finally, from the perspective of cultural diplomacy, shared visibility may contribute to soft power dynamics. The need for mutual survival in harsh environmental conditions could foster stronger ties, influencing cultural exchanges and shared traditions.
Despite the political narratives, people in these regions may view each other as natural allies, sharing [similar] experiences and challenges, thus reducing potential conflict and enhancing cultural exchanges.
My concluding notion would be [in concusion] that one cannot simply separate political, economic, sociological, or cultural factors when studying such matters.
Instead, they all intertwine, forming a complex pattern reflective of human resilience, co-dependency, and the shared will to survive and thrive, regardless of the geographical or political boundaries.”
2. Traveling by Air from Alaska to Russia
The distance between the airports of Russia and Alaska is almost 2,949 miles. It can be almost 5.27 hours of the journey, even if the airplane travels at a speed of 560 miles per hour.
If someone travels from Vladivostok in Russia to Provideniya or Vancouver in Canada, they can board a plane from Nome in Alaska. The map of Alaska and Russia has measured 5,277 km from Alaska to Vladivostok.
In addition to that, you can board a flight, which will fly you from Anchorage to Moscow. The flight will be multi-leg, starting from Anchorage to Seattle, before you take a direct flight to Doha, Qatar. From Qatar, you then fly into Moscow. The journey may take you 36 hours to complete.
3. Can You See Russia from Alaska
Russian region from Alaska region can be seen from Big Diomede Island to Little Diomede Island. The mainland of Russia can also be seen clearly from Big Diomede Island on a bright clear day. From the high elevation points of Cape Prince of Wales, located in the westernmost point of Alaska, you can see a glimpse of mainland Siberia.
Russia is technically seen from Alaska. Simply ascend to the Little Diomede island’s highest point, which is around 919 feet, to see Russia from Alaska (280M). You shouldn’t have any trouble seeing as far as 37 miles in good, clear weather (60 km). You can use this to view the Big Diomede Island or the Ratmanov Island as the Russians call it
It will be a distant view from over 50 miles, but it is proof that you can see Russian land from Alaska land. Sarah Palin admitted that Russia is their next-door neighbor, and Russian land can be seen from an island in Alaska southwest of Diomedes.
On Big Diomede island, the only permanent structure is a weather station. On the island, you might also be able to see a crashed Li-2 aircraft.
It’s possible to possibly glimpse into the future by being able to sight the Big Diomede island. This is due to the fact that the dateline separates the two islands. The islands are separated from one another by one day.
How Do Frozen Seas Affect Alaska-Russia Ties?
Axel Hernborg, the CEO of Tripplo, who specializes in understanding the intricate dynamics influenced by the frozen conditions of the Bering and Chukchi Seas, comments on how these seas affect Alaska-Russia ties:
“The frozen conditions of the Bering and Chukchi Seas significantly impact the relationship between Alaska and Russia. The ice-covered seas [serve as] a natural barrier, limiting direct maritime access between the two regions.
Historically, this ice barrier has influenced trade routes and connectivity.
However, the thawing Arctic, driven by climate change, opens new possibilities for shipping and resource exploration, potentially altering the dynamics.
Additionally, the shared Arctic environment fosters common concerns for environmental conservation and sustainable resource management, providing a basis for collaborative efforts between Alaska and Russia in addressing the challenges posed by climate change and the changing Arctic landscape.”
Can Anyone Reach Russia by Swimming or By Driving
One can easily swim from Russia to Alaska. To date, many people have done it.
Lynne Cox is known for being the first person to swim between the USA and the Soviet region. Her act was a gesture to the world for Cold World War-Era peace. She swam across the Big and Little Diomede Islands in 1987.
Lynne Cox reached Russia from Alaska in just two hours in 38-degree water.
Travel from Alaska to Russia is possible, but not via the Bering Strait. The reason for this is that you must enter Russia from any port of entry with immigration after leaving Alaska from any point of exit with immigration. The Bering Strait does not have access to these amenities.
Even though the distance may be considerably more than is physically conceivable, you can travel between Alaska and Russia. This is because both the US and Russian sides have processing obligations for customs and immigration.
Can you Drive from Russia to Alaska?
The answer is simply no. The Bering Strait is a lot shallow more than 50 meters deep. However, it is not shallow enough to tackle in a car or truck. But, long ago, about 10,000 years ago, it was a different story.
After the end of the last Ice Age, the water levels dropped about hundreds of feet as the water froze into the massive ice glaciers. Due to this, the massive seafloor was exposed between modern-day Russia and Alaska.
In recent days, it created a land bridge that scientists believe can migrate humans to America. So, unless you have an off-road vehicle, it is impossible to drive between Alaska and Russia. However, if you want to reach the Asian continent in your car, you can load your car onto a ship and sail across the other side of the city.
There are no official immigration officers in either of the continent’s borders. So, if you walk into the countries, there will be no one to check you in or out of the countries.
To travel more into Russia, you need to get Travel Permission from Chukotka Autonomous Region, far from the eastern part of Russia. After you get permission from this region, you can only travel to Russia and explore the area. You can get your answer only after you reach this part of the world with a valid document.
If you walk to the countries, kayak, or swim across the Bering Strait, you will be arrested on the opposite side and deported from the country you arrived at. These two countries of the north are known to patrol their borders with dogs. So, I guess no one wants to meet these dogs of the north after a 55-mile swim and a long way walk.
However, you can cross the two islands on foot in the winter season. An ice bridge connects the two islands during the winter season, allowing travelers to cross it on foot.