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Nearly 200 Years of Antarctic Explorations under Russian Flag

24 november 2018

In 2020 the Russian Federation is going to celebrate the 200-year anniversary of the Antarctica discovery.

In January 2018 the flags of Russian cities and regions were put up at the Antarctica to honor the homeland of the Russian seafarers and explorers who in 1820 sailed to discover this southernmost polar continent on a round-the-world voyage led by F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev aboard the sloops-of-war Vostok and Mirny.

The flag of Krylov State Research Centre was put up in January 2018 near the Progress station on the date of Antarctica discovery.

Flying the flags of Russian cities and regions is seen as an important event in highlighting the bicentenary of the great geographical discovery — finding of the last unknown continent. It also recognizes all the valuable contributions made by the USSR and Russian explorers to the discovery and exploration of this continent. It also emphasises the on-going research efforts of Russia in this geographical region.

Back in 1820 the true value of this outstanding discovery had not been fully appreciated by the contemporaries. The priority and exceptional contribution of the Russian navigators in finding the southernmost continent was recognized much later, in 1886.

Nikita Kuprikov, Director of NGO Scientific Information Centre Polar Initiative, Candidate of Technical Sciences, Assistant Professor of Moscow Aviation Institute and participant of 63 Russian Antarctic expeditions said that flying flags of the Russian cities and regions native to seafarers and explorers that took part in the research expedition 1820 led by F. Bellingshausen and M. Lazarev, as well as flags of educational institutions and non-profit organizations involved in the polar research demonstrated that our contemporaries and Russian younger generation remember the seafarers — discoverers of Antarctica, who nearly 200 years ago had found the sixth continent.

The multi-year story of Antarctic expeditions is closely linked to the history of this country. Unique studies of the USSR and Russian researchers helped to turn the southernmost polar region into a quite well understood and reachable part of our planet, which in its turn fosters the role of the Russian Federation in the Antarctica.

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Next: Pavel Filippov at the helm of Krylov State Research Centre