Saghalien, or Sakhalin, a long-narrow island off the E. coast of Siberia between lat. 46° and 54° 30' N. and long. 141° 50' and 144° E. It is about 520 miles long from N. to S., the extreme breadth being about 90 miles; area, about 45,000 sq. m. It is separated from the mainland by the Gulf of Tartary, and from the island of Yesso in Japan by the Strait of La Perouse; on the N. is the Sea of Okhotsk. Mountain ranges of 5,000 feet, clad with forests, run from N. to S. The climate is very severe, cold mists occurring frequently even in summer. Russia obtained Saghalien from Japan, in exchange for the Northern Kurile Islands, in 1876. There is a settlement of about 5,000 convicts, who are engaged in working the coal-mines.