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RUSSIAN EMBASSY WEEKLY #147

 
PRESIDENT

The Supreme Commander-in-Chief has reviewed the Main Naval Parade in St Petersburg on Russia Navy Day.

In all, sailors from the Baltic, Northern, Pacific, Black Sea Fleets and the Caspian Flotilla took part in the Main Naval Parade, in addition to more than 40 aircraft and helicopters of maritime aviation, more than 4,000 service members, and 46 ships, boats and submarines.
The President personally congratulated each crew on Russia Navy Day.
* * *
Speech at the Main Naval Parade
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrades sailors andcaptains, midshipmen and officers, admirals and generals,
Dear veterans,
Citizens of Russia,
I would like to congratulate you on Navy Day, a day commemorating Russia’s heroic Navy and its unfading glory.
For more than three centuries, the Navy has been guarding the sovereignty of Russia and firmly standing up for its interests.

Today we salute the guardians of maritime frontiers of the Fatherland, the brave heroes at sea – all those whose lives are forever tied to surface and submarine forces, maritime aviation, as well as fearless marines and all those who serve in coastal defence forces, who ensure the combat readiness of our Navy’s units, and, of course, all those who design and build new marine facilities.
Military ships sailing under the legendary St Andrew’s flag and all the Navy’s personnel accomplish the most difficult of objectives with honour. The unique sea-faring soul of each sailor and officer is reflected in their impeccable service to our people and the Fatherland.
We are proud of the outstanding military victories of our great compatriots and their accomplishments, which include the discovery of Antarctica by Russian sailors. This year we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of this globally important event.
Today we pay respect and give recognition to heroes of the Great Patriotic War, to all the generations of fleet commanders and sailors, shipbuilders and pioneers. Thanks to their steadfastness, talent and devotion to the Fatherland, Russia has forever achieved the glory of being a great maritime power. And this historical continuity is indissoluble.
The Russian Navy is made up of ships equipped with high-precision weapons, strategic submarine cruisers and multi-purpose submarines, the newest airplanes and other aircraft, and with unique types of arms and specialized equipment.

The technological level of our Navy’s equipment is constantly growing. This year it will take on forty new vessels and ships of different classes, and just a few days ago, Russia’s three leading shipyards laid the keels of another six open sea vessels.
The Navy’s unique advantages and an increase in its military capabilities will be achieved through the broad implementation of state-of-the-art digital technologies and hypersonic attack systems, the likes of which know no analogues in the world, in addition to unmanned submersible vehicles, all owing to very efficiently utilized defence resources.
And, of course, it is the people who have been the main force of the nation’s Navy.
Not all are cut out for serving in the Navy. One chooses this line of work, answering the call of the heart and with the understanding that such a choice requires courage, discipline, an iron will and the ability to live and work within a close-knit team, and maintain loyalty to traditions, the laws of the Navy’s indestructible brotherhood, which serves to unite sailors from the Baltic, Northern, Pacific, Black Sea fleets and the Caspian Flotilla.
Today, in a unified formation, we are witnessing together both ships from the past and our newest vessels, including our most modern ships, all under the control of brilliant crews for whom loyalty to duty, adherence to maritime foundations and treasuring the memory of their ancestors are sacred vows, just like their love for the sea, their families and for their Fatherland.

I know this for certain: these sailors’ successors – their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, descendants of victorious sailors will never let the Fatherland down, and will be loyal to the covenants of the decorated Pavel Nakhimov, a great Russian admiral, that a sailor must think, first and foremost, about the glory of Russia and the national fleet.
Congratulations. Long live the Navy! Hooray!
 

Telephone conversation with US President Donald Trump

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of the United States of America Donald Trump. 
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump thoroughly discussed issues of strategic stability and arms control, considering the special responsibility of Russia and the United States for maintaining international peace and security. In this context, they reaffirmed the need for bilateral consultations on these issues, including the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. They also noted the great importance of Russia’s initiative to hold a summit of the permanent members of the UN Security Council on a wide range of international security problems.
The situation with the Iranian nuclear programme was touched on. Both sides emphasised the need for a collective effort to maintain regional stability and the global nuclear non-proliferation regime.
The two leaders expressed mutual interest in the development of Russian-American trade and economic cooperation, and praised joint efforts to contain the coronavirus spread.
The leaders of Russia and the United States exchanged best wishes on the 45th anniversary of the joint Soyuz-Apollo space flight.
Both sides agreed to continue contacts at various levels.
The conversation was constructive and substantive.

 

Condolences to President of India Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi

 

Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation with President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky at the initiative of the Ukrainian side


There was a thorough discussion of various aspects of settling the intra-Ukrainian crisis and the need for boosting the efficiency of negotiating efforts as part of the Minsk Contact Group. The parties praised additional ceasefire measures that have been in effect from July 27 and that were approved at the Group’s meeting on July 22. The presidents underscored the importance of unconditional compliance by all parties of the conflict with these agreements.
The Russian side underscored the need to prioritise the implementation of the decisions made by the Normandy format leaders, including those that followed the December 2019 summit in Paris.
Vladimir Putin pointed out that the Verkhovna Rada’s July 15 resolution on 2020 local elections contradicts the Minsk agreements and threatens settlement prospects. He also expressed grave concern in view of recent remarks by Ukraine’s top officials on the unacceptability of some of the provisions in the Package of Measures and the need to reconsider them. The President of Russia specially noted that the position Vladimir Zelensky reiterated during their telephone conversation, namely that there can be no alternatives to the Minsk agreements, must find its affirmation in practical actions taken by authorities in Kiev.
The Presidents also exchanged opinions on the situation caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
 

VISIT RUSSIA
 

Visit Veliky Novgorod – the birthplace of Russia


On July 26, we celebrate the day of birch-bark in Novgorod region - the day when the 1st birch-bark was found. It was on this day in 1951 on Nevervsky dig during the archeological expedition of Novgorod led by professor Akhitsovskiy.
Meet the earliest known children's drawings in existence. Onfim was a boy who lived in Novgorod in the 13th century (1240–60). He left his notes and homework exercises scratched in soft birch bark (beresta), which was preserved in the clay soil of Novgorod. He was six or seven at the time.



 

FOREIGN MINISTRY

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's remarks and answers to media questions at a joint news conference following talks with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, Moscow, July 21, 2020

 
Ladies and gentlemen,
Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif and I have held talks. We appreciate the fact that this is his second visit to Moscow this month amid the known problems that the coronavirus infection is creating for diplomacy.
Prior to our talks, the minister conveyed a message from President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, to President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. The message was transmitted during a telephone conversation, and then we held talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry's Mansion.
We noted with satisfaction the rich bilateral political dialogue, including at the highest level. As you are aware, the two presidents had a telephone conversation on July 16.
Direct interdepartmental ties are expanding progressively, including contact between our respective healthcare ministries, which have been exchanging experience on countering the spread of COVID-19. We also share an understanding with our Iranian friends that overcoming the virus will be easier and more effective if we join our efforts.

We noted successes in promoting cooperation in trade and investment, which were made possible by the consistent implementation of the agreements reached by our respective leaders. We pointed out the unacceptability and the illegitimate nature of the unilateral restrictive measures that are designed to block Iran’s foreign economic relations. We confirmed our plans for the further implementation of promising bilateral projects in energy, transport and agriculture. We praised the activities of the Intergovernmental Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. Given the coronavirus infection, we will try to hold the next meeting in Russia in the autumn.
We welcomed the interest of the regions in Russia and Iran to expand cooperation, which we will continue to encourage.
We coordinated our approaches towards key global and regional issues. We have overlapping or very similar positions. We discussed in detail various aspects of efforts under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). On July 14, this important agreement was five years old. Indeed, the agreement has contributed to ensuring global stability and security. We are united in our understanding that we need to make every effort to preserve it. We are convinced that only equal and constructive interaction between the participants and within the IAEA will help preserve the compromise agreements enshrined in UN Security Council Resolution 2231.
We exchanged views on the state of affairs in Syria, including the outcome of the trilateral video conference of the heads of state, the guarantors of the Astana process - Russia, Iran and Turkey - organised at the initiative of Iran on July 1. We agreed to further coordinate our actions in order to achieve lasting peace and improve the humanitarian situation in this long-suffering country.
We also exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan and related developments as they relate to the crisis in Yemen and the Middle East settlement, and overcoming the problems associated with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
We believe the talks were quite satisfactory. We agreed to maintain close contact on all these matters.
 

Russia-US talks on space security, arms control to start on Monday

Deputy Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Nonproliferation and Arms Control Department Vladimir Leontiev will head the Russian delegation at the coming Russian-US expert-level talks on strategic stability in Vienna, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Saturday.

"The Russian delegation will be led by Deputy Director of the Nonproliferation and Arms Control Department Vladimir Leontiev," Ryabkov said when asked by TASS.
The timeframe of a new round of Russian-US talks on strategic stability will be negotiated directly with US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister.
"The timeframe of a meeting with Billingslea will be agreed separately - not at the expert-level consultations, but in direct [talks] with him," the deputy foreign minister said.
Three expert groups of Russia and the United States will hold talks in Vienna on July 27-30. The sessions are expected to focus on doctrines and potentials, transparency and verification along with space security. Ryabkov told TASS earlier that the timeframe of a new round of talks with Billingslea largely depends on the outcome of a meeting of the working groups.
 

Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova to a media question on US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's statement on US-Chinese relations

 
Question: Can you comment on the recent statement by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the US-Chinese relations?
Maria Zakharova: We noted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on US-Chinese relations made on July 23 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library.
We were surprised by the defiant tone of Mr Pompeo's statements, which predictably contained crude references to China, its social and political system and its leaders. Unfortunately, these things are common in US foreign policy diplomacy these days.
The tension in relations with Beijing being provoked by Washington, in addition to harming the United States and China, is also seriously complicating international affairs. These two countries are permanent members of the UN Security Council and play an important role in global affairs. Together with the other Security Council members, they bear a special responsibility for maintaining global stability.
We regard Pompeo’s statement on the possibility of dragging Moscow into the US anti-Chinese campaign as yet another naive attempt to complicate the Russian-Chinese partnership, and drive a wedge into the friendly ties between Russia and China. We intend to further strengthen our cooperation with China because we regard this cooperation as the most important factor in stabilising the situation around the world.
 

Comment by the Information and Press Department regarding statements by US and British officials about the testing of a Russian satellite
 

We have taken note of statement made by US and British officials, including US Special Presidential Envoy for Arms Control Marshall Billingslea, head of US Space Command Jay Raymond, US Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-proliferation Christopher Ford and Director of the Space Directorate at the UK Ministry of Defence Harvey Smyth), in connection with the testing of a Russian satellite, which allegedly has “the characteristics of a weapon,” on July 15, 2020.
We regard this as part of Washington’s anti-Russia information campaign to discredit Russia’s activities in the space area and our peace initiatives for preventing an arms race in outer space. The US and British representatives have again tried to distort facts so as to distract public attention from the existing threats in outer space, to justify their actions to deploy weapons in outer space and to get additional funding for these purposes. Not surprisingly, they keep silent about their own military activities in outer space, including the use of the so-called inspector and maintenance satellites as anti-satellite weapons.

It is also noteworthy that these statements have been made ahead of the Russian-US meeting of space security experts, scheduled to take place in Vienna on July 27. The goal of these statements is not clear to us. We would like to hope that they were not intended to influence the modality and outcome of this meeting, as well as to hinder the development of a bilateral dialogue on space issues and strategic stability, which is so important for the international community.
The testing conducted by the Russian Defence Ministry on July 15 has not endangered any other space object and, most importantly, has not infringed on any norms and principles of international law. According to our Defence Ministry, the inspector satellite was launched to inspect a Russian satellite at close range, using special equipment for this purpose. This mission has collected valuable information about the technical maintenance status of the inspected spacecraft and transmitted it to the ground-based command system.

We reaffirm Russia’s commitment to its obligations regarding the peaceful exploration and use of outer space by all states without discrimination. Of crucial importance in this connection are our initiatives, which incidentally the overwhelming majority of UN member states support, aimed at preventing the militarisation of outer space. The idea is to draft a multilateral binding agreement that will prevent an arms race in outer space based on a Russian-Chinese draft agreement on the prevention of the deployment of weapons in outer space, and the use or threat of force against space objects, as well as the globalisation of the political commitment on the no first placement of weapons in outer space.
We call on our American and British colleagues to act professionally instead of planting false information, to start negotiations and join meaningful and practical collective efforts. We reaffirm our readiness to discuss all issues related to activities in outer space with representatives from the concerned agencies and establishments.

  

First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov’s interview with News.ru, July 23, 2020

 
Question: The United Sates is planning to redeploy part of its military contingent from Germany to Poland. Do Russian Federation leaders see Warsaw’s step as anti-Russian, given the provisions of the new National Security Strategy? Will Russia take this into account in its military planning? Will the Russian military groups in Kaliningrad be reinforced? 
Vladimir Titov: Unfortunately, Warsaw is leaving no room for doubt that both its past military-political steps and the most recent ones you mentioned are directed against Russia. Poland’s recently approved national security doctrine has confirmed this once again. In general, one has the impression that the ruling political forces in Poland have turned Russophobia and a perpetual fight against an imaginary Russian threat into very nearly the main component of their foreign policy. 
On the whole, the deployment of US and NATO military forces in the direct vicinity of the Russian border has been increasing steadily, including the new military infrastructure and combat equipment concentrations. As for Russian military planning, I think it is clear to everyone that we have been regularly monitoring all attempts to change the alignment of forces in this region with an eye to a fitting and timely response. 
Question: Recent reports also said that the US nuclear arsenal could be redeployed from Germany to Poland, not just the military contingent. Warsaw, however, rejected these plans. How realistic is this scenario? Do you think that Russia and the United States should discuss this matter at their consultations on strategic stability?
Vladimir Titov: Russia’s consistent position is that the continuing deployment of a large US force in Germany after this country’s reunification in 1990 is a leftover from the Cold War, even more so with respect to US nuclear forces deployed in Germany. But far from reducing its military presence in Europe, Washington continues to hone practical skills of using nuclear weapons during so-called joint nuclear missions involving NATO’s non-nuclear states, something that explicitly violates the basic provisions of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.  
As for a discussion on the potential redeployment of US nuclear forces from Germany to Poland, closer to Russian borders, I would not like to make a public prediction.

This is a very sensitive matter for both Russia and NATO countries that affects the foundations of strategic stability in Europe. Any actions in this area will inevitably have grave consequences for all sides. I am sure that the Polish leadership is conscious of that. In its relations with the North Atlantic Alliance Russia invariably advocates a reduction in military-political tensions in Europe. NATO representatives also point to the importance of restraint, but for this it is necessary, at the very least, to refrain from changing the existing balance. The potential appearance of US nuclear weapons in Poland would directly violate the 1997 Russia-NATO Founding Act.
 

Comment by the Information and Press Department on the 80th anniversary of the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia into the Soviet Union

The ruling circles of the Baltic countries continue their attempts to promote a lopsided interpretation of the events related to the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia into the Soviet Union 80 years ago.
 
The Russian position on this matter is well known. It is based on an objective assessment of historical realities and a careful analysis of those events with reliance on archival documents and facts.
In June 1940, becoming aware of the truly real threat of Nazi Germany using the Baltics as a bridgehead for the invasion of the Soviet Union, Moscow had to deploy more troops in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in addition to the forces stationed there under the 1939 mutual assistance agreements. In itself, this measure, which was taken with approval by the Baltic countries’ authorities, was legitimate and did not amount to the transfer of sovereignty over their territories to the Soviet Union. The subsequent incorporation of the Baltic countries into the Soviet Union was not unilateral either but was carried out by mutual agreement.
The outcome of the July 1940 parliamentary elections in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia was a natural reaction of the overwhelming majority of voters to support their countries’ incorporation into the Soviet Union, which they saw as the only power capable of resisting a Nazi aggression. History has shown that the Soviet Union prevented the implementation of Hitler’s plans to turn the Baltics into a raw materials appendage of the Third Reich as set out in the Generalplan Ost (Master Plan for the East) and other documents of Nazi Germany. Under the plan, which was implemented up until 1944, the Baltic population was to be enslaved, Germanised and partially exterminated. In 1944 ̶ 1945, the Baltic peoples, along with the other nations of Europe, were liberated by Soviet soldiers, quite a few of them Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians, thousands of whom perished in the process of doing this.

The allegation of the “occupation” of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia by the Soviet Union in 1940, which the ruling Baltic elites are actively promoting, contradicts the interpretation of this legal term accepted in that period. The Soviet Union and the Baltic countries were not at war with each other, and the communications addressed to them by Moscow did not include a threat of war.
Regarding the international recognition of the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia into the Soviet Union, the agreements on the post-war structure of Europe reached by the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition in Tehran, Yalta and Potsdam did not question this fact. The matter was laid to rest in 1975 by the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (Helsinki Final Act).

According to the 1999 pilot project of the Council of Europe on state practice regarding state succession and issues of recognition, the majority of states recognised de facto the incorporation of the Baltic States into the Soviet Union, and some of them confirmed this recognition de jure in their official correspondence.
It should be noted that the recognition of the Baltic states’ incorporation in 1940 as illegitimate would have put in question the consequences of this incorporation, for example, the addition to the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic of territories which were not part of pre-war Lithuania and which the modern-day Republic of Lithuania has inherited (Vilnius, the Vilnius Territory and Klaipeda).
It is noteworthy that throughout their history as constituent republics of the Soviet Union, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia had their national governments, were presented in the supreme Soviet state authorities and had all the necessary conditions for the preservation and development of their national languages and culture, and that until the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991, the Baltic countries had been, through the assistance of the central Soviet authorities, among the best economically developed and prosperous regions of the Soviet Union.
Therefore, the “occupation doctrine” of the Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn authorities is a purely political project aimed at advancing all manner of claims to the Russian Federation and at falsifying that period of history.
 

Comment by the Information and Press Department regarding an attack on Russian journalists in the United States

A Channel One television crew has been attacked by police in Portland, United States, today. The law enforcers beat the journalists and destroyed their professional equipment.
 
We regard such deliberately aggressive actions by US law enforcers against journalists as unacceptable. We urge the concerned American agencies to ensure the appropriate treatment of media representatives in accordance with the international obligations the United States has assumed voluntarily in the field of human rights and freedom of the media.

It is not the first example of a disproportionate use of police force against Russian journalists in the United States. In this connection, we have to once again appeal to the international organisations responsible for protecting the rights, freedoms and safety of journalists.

 
 
EMBASSY

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov’s answers to media questions

Question: At night on July 22, in Portland, Oregon, during the coverage of the protests, representatives of the US federal law enforcement agencies attacked Channel One journalists, broke their video camera and cell phone. It happened after they showed a press card to the officers. What was the Embassy response?
Anatoly Antonov: Indeed, the correspondent Yulia Olkhovskaya and the cameraman Vyacheslav Arkhipov were subjected to unacceptable treatment by the local police. Press employees loudly and clearly identified themselves, showed their press cards and did not undertake any attempts to resist.
We promptly contacted the Russians. Their state of health does not cause any concerns, journalists do not need medical assistance. They were advised to keep a safe distance from the opposing sides.

A note of protest was sent to the U.S. Department of State over this outrageous incident. We demanded that a thorough investigation be carried out and we be informed of its results. We recalled that the previous note dated May 31, concerning the police attack on Mikhail Turgiev from RIA Novosti in Minneapolis, still remains unanswered.
Question: How does the professional journalistic community react to what has happened to their Russian colleagues?
Anatoly Antonov: According to human rights activists, the number of incidents with the press has already exceeded 500 cases. This year the United States will clearly take the world leadership on this matter.
I would like to note that our journalists here do not receive solidarity or even moral support from local media.
We will work to ensure that this incident is taken into account by human rights organizations monitoring violations of the rights of media workers in the United States.

 

Ambassador Anatoly Antonov expresses his condolences over death of Dr. Bruce Blair

 
It is with a heavy heart that we have learned that Dr.Bruce Blair (co-founder of the Global Zero international movement, senior research scholar at Princeton University and author of numerous studies on arms control) passed away.
His untimely demise is a grievous loss for international expert community in the sphere of arms control and nonproliferation. Having served during the Cold War in the U.S. Air Force as a Minuteman ICBM launch control officer Dr. Blair had a thorough understanding of nuclear security issues.
Dr.Blair was a recognized expert in the field of Russia-U.S. relations. Our personal contacts were notable for their meaningfulness. Dr. Blair was deeply concerned about the current situation in the bilateral relations. He considered such miserable state of affairs to be unacceptable for the Great Powers.
We express our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Dr.Blair.
 
 
 

HISTORY

The first woman in space
 

On July 25, 1984, Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to walk in spaceSparkles, spending more than three and a half hours in outer space.
Read more in Russiapedia.


279th Anniversary of the Russian Discovery of America


On July 27, 1741, the crew on one of the ships of the Vitus Bering Second Kamchatka expedition spotted coastline at a latitude of 55°20′. Captain Alexei Chirikov wrote in the deck log: “At two o'clock in the afternoon we saw land ahead of us, with high mountains on it.”

Bering, who was on the other boat, reached the American continent. He was the first to meet the local indigenous tribe, the Aleuts. Soon, regular expeditions were sent to Alaska (“whale land” in the local language) and the Aleutian Islands.
Peter the Great, the Russian Emperor, wanted to map his vast lands to the East and, if possible, extend the geographical knowledge about the New World. In 1725 Vitus Bering was selected to chart Siberia’s northern coast and search for a land bridge to America. Having joined the Russian Navy in 1703, he already distinguished himself during Russia’s war with Sweden.
In the course of the first expedition, starting in 1725 in St. Petersburg and reaching Okhotsk after a two-year-long trek through Siberia, Bering discovered a series of islands and gulfs, and mapped almost 2200 miles of the eastern coast of the sea, later to be named after him. He never reached the American coast, a fact which did not bother Bering at the time, since the major objective of the quest – that is detecting that America and Asia had no land bridge – had been completed. The data collected by Bering had later been extensively used by all Western cartographers.
After the first expedition, the government’s appetite for exploration grew, so in 1733, Bering set out for another one, to seek trade routes to Japan. Instead, he discovered Alaska.

For this expedition, he recruited a vast crew of soldiers, boatmen, carpenters, naval officers, and scientists. Upon reaching Okhotsk, Bering’s team spent three years building ships and an entire port city, Petropavlovsk, named after the two newly-built ships, “St. Paul” and “St. Peter”. On July 4, 1741, Bering and his closest associate Chirikov set off for North America. Several days later, as the unusually thick fog had settled on the ocean’s surface, the two ships lost each other. For three days Bering looked for Chirikov, until he finally gave up the search, changing course north-east and entering Alaskan waters. In mid-July, land was sighted on Chirikov’s ship, which must have been the Prince of Wales Island, while Bering, in the meantime, had reached the Kayak Island a day later.
Still at sea, Bering spotted a mountain top, which he called Saint Elias, the first sight of the American land. Bering, however, wasn’t very thrilled at his discovery as he had been very ill.
The ship doctor, Georg William Steller, upon landing on the Kayak Island, had collected samples of herbs to help the crew fight scurvy. The unknown species of wildlife and vegetations made the crew conclude they had reached the North American continent. The shortage of food, however, forced the crew start the return trip the very next day. On the way back, Bering also discovered and mapped a number of islands. During his stop on the Alaskan Peninsula, he first met the Aleuts, one of the Alaskan native tribes.

Though suffering significant losses, Chirikov’s ship did make it to the port of Petropavlovsk, while fierce storms drove Bering’s ship off course, to the Komandorskie Islands, forcing the sailors to spend winter on the isle which now bears Bering’s name. The ship was wrecked while Bering died with many of his crew. As the spring came, the surviving 46 marines built themselves a tight little boat from the wrecked St. Paul to come back to Petropavlovsk, steering the boat with oars, while everyone already thought they were dead.
Chirikov made another attempt to reach America in 1742, but was banned by imperial order. This decision put a temporary stop to expanding the Russian mission in Alaska. All the maps and data gathered about the region were never published and kept secret by the imperial administration, and the names of Bering and Chirikov were unknown to the public. Neither they nor their greatest discoveries had for long been acknowledged by the Russian people.
In the late 18th century the English explorer James Cook fully recognized Bering’s contribution to geography and was the first one to suggest naming the straight between Chukotka and Alaska after the great explorer. In 1874 the Russian-American Company erected a cross on Bering’s grave site on the Komandorskie Islands. In 1991, on the eve of the 250th anniversary of Bering’s and Chirikov’s voyage, a special archaeological squad was organized to preserve the historical and cultural heritage of the Bering Island.
 

HAVE A NIСE WEEK
 

DISCOVER KAMCHATKA

 

"Pipeline to Russia: The Alaska-Siberia Air Route in World War II" – now available online!

This publication by the U.S. National Park Service and Alaska-Siberia Research Center is free for the public. You are welcome to download and share this book with your friends, colleagues and affiliated institutions, and keep this title in your e-library.

The heroism and dedication of the Soviet and American participants of the Alaska–Siberia Airway will not be forgotten. It is our civic duty to express our deep respect to those whose efforts led to the program’s success and, in the process, brought the war to a close. This is our history. Future generations should be brought up with a respectful spirit of patriotism to understand this history of cooperation between our countries. This edition will preserve awareness of that massive effort for all time.

DOWNLOAD THE BOOK 

 
 
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