Search for German Soldiers Killed in the Gulf of Finland:

A group of German volunteers and Russian military personnel will search for remains of German soldiers on Gogland and Bolshoi Tyuters islands in the Gulf of Finland. The soldiers have remained unburied there since they were killed in WWII.

In 2015, the German war graves commission requested the Russian Defense Ministry’s permission to locate and bury these soldiers in a German cemetery near Saint Petersburg.

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A German soldier prepares to throw a grenade in Russia

“This morning, Gogland expedition, comprising two teams, both international and of the Russian Geographical Society (RGS), left for islands in the Gulf of Finland,” stated Dmitry Bulgakov, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister.

Besides searching for German war dead, the RGS team’s mission will include clearing another 14 islands in the Gulf of Finland of war wreckage.

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German gun batteries on Bolshoy Tyuters island

“The RGS Expedition Center, supported by the Russian Defense Ministry, will send an ‘environmental task force’ to clean up the rubbish and scrap metal that has been lying there for decades,” Bulgakov told journalists.

The Gogland expedition is the fourth trip to the islands the Russian government has sanctioned. It will include 100 Russian personnel as well as Russian military equipment.

The islands in the Gulf of Finland saw heavy fighting during WWII between Germany, their Finnish allies and the Soviet Union.

The islands are still cluttered with the debris and munitions of war. On a previous expedition in 2015, Russian personnel defused more than 1,500 explosives on Bolshoy Tyuters island alone. Bolshoy Tyuters was occupied by the Germans until 1944.  It is known as the “mined island” because its minefields have been left nearly undisturbed since WWII.

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