Diomede Islands (dĪˈəmēd) [key], pair of rocky islands in Bering Strait between Alaska and Siberia. The larger island, Big Diomede, is Russian, while the smaller is part of Alaska. At 2 mi (3 km) apart, the Diomedes represent the closest approach of U.S. and Russian land masses. The first European explorer to the islands was the Danish Vitus Bering in 1728.
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