Mayor Mim McConnell and Sitka Historical Society Director Hal Spackman greeted Russian Deputy Consul General Khalit Aisin at the airport today (10-17-15). Spackman’s grandson Tanner Steinson presented Aisin a wooden platter, “a gift from the children of Alaska.” (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

Though the 68 Russian performers are still in Moscow, awaiting visas, one Russian did step off the plane today (10-17-15). Based in Seattle, Russian Deputy Consul General Khalit Aisin will be in Sitka all this weekend to partake in the Alaska Day festivities.


Aisin was also presented with a picture of the inside of Baranof’s Castle. Sitka brought Zlata Lund and her mother down from Anchorage to serve as Russian translators. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

Sitka Historical Society Director Hal Spackman said he was very pleased Aisin made the journey and that he hopes even more Russian visitors come for the sesquicentennial of the 1867 transfer in 2017. “Sitka has a spiritual connection for not only Alaskans and Sitkans and the first people, but it has a connection to Russia.”

As for those 68 Russian performers? Spackman said that last he heard, the Russian Embassy has not yet released their visas and they are still in Moscow – though hoping to arrive towards the end of October. “The mystery it’s building for the community is quite intriguing,” Spackman said.