Boris Vilkitsky

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Boris Andreyevich Vilkitsky

Boris Andreyevich Vilkitsky (Russian: Борис Андреевич Вилькицкий) (22 March (3 April N.S.) 1885 – 6 March 1961) was a Russian hydrographer and surveyor. He was the son of Andrey Ippolitovich Vilkitsky.

Vilkitsky graduated from the Naval Academy in Saint Petersburg in 1908. He participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–1905. In 1913—1915 he led the Arctic hydrographic expedition on the ships "Taimyr" and "Vaigach" with the purpose of further exploration of the Northern Sea Route.

In 1913, Vilkitsky's expedition discovered Severnaya Zemlya, perhaps one of the most important Russian discoveries in the Arctic at the time. Other discoveries were an island that now bears his name (Vilkitsky Island), as well as the islands of Maly Taymyr and neighboring Starokadomsky. In 1914—1915, Vilkitsky's expedition made the first through voyage from Vladivostok to Arkhangelsk, discovered Novopashenniy Island (now Zhokhov Island), and described the southern coastline of Severnaya Zemlya. He was awarded the prestigious Constantine Medal by the Russian Geographical Society for his endeavours. [1]

In 1918, Vilkitsky was appointed head of the first Soviet hydrographic expedition, which never took place due to its seizure by the interventionists in Arkhangelsk. In 1920, Vilkitsky emigrated to Britain. In 1923 and 1924, Vilkitsky led commercial expeditions in the Kara Sea at the invitation of the Soviet foreign trade organizations.

Later in his life, Vilkitsky was employed as a hydrographer in the Belgian Congo. Boris Vilkitsky died in Brussels in 1961.


Russian 2013 stamp dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Severnaya Zemlya

Many geographical features in Russia bear Vilkitsky's name:


  1. Josephson, Paul. The Conquest of the Russian Arctic. p. 30. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Map Trot, Russia