Little Diomede: Life on one side of the Ice Curtain

At their closest points, the US and Russia lie less than three miles apart, with two islands separating Alaska and Siberia in the middle of the Bering Strait.

Military observation posts operate along the upper ridges of the Russian island of Big Diomede. There is a base on the northern side and no civilians.

In contrast, the American island of Little Diomede has no government or military presence.

Directly facing Russia is a village with a population of fewer than 80 people, who live in huts clustered up the steep and rocky hillside.

It is one of the most remote and isolated settlements in the US.

Until the Cold War, families lived on both islands, criss-crossing back and forth.

In 1948, the border was suddenly closed and the relatives separated by what became known as the Ice Curtain. Those living on the Russian island were forcibly resettled onto the Siberian mainland.

Robert Soolook, a tribal leader of Little Diomede, is determined to see the families reunited.

He spoke to BBC News about what life is like on his island.