Georgy Ushakov

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Georgy Ushakov

Georgy Alexeyevich Ushakov (Russian: Георгий Алексеевич Ушаков) (January 17(30), 1901 - December 3, 1963) was a Soviet explorer of the Arctic, Doctor of Geographic Sciences (1950).

In 1926, Ushakov founded the first Soviet settlement on the Wrangel Island (today called Ushakovsky) and was its head for three years. In 1930-1932, Ushakov headed the Severnaya Zemlya expedition and established a polar station called Остров Домашний (Domashniy Island).

He and geologist Nikolay Urvantsev were the first ones to explore Severnaya Zemlya and established that it was an archipelago. In 1932-1936, Georgy Ushakov was employed at the Chief Directorate of the Northern Sea Route (Главное Управление Северного Морского Пути).

In 1929 and 1930 the icebreaker Sedov carried groups of scientists to Franz Josef Land and also to Severnaya Zemlya, the last major piece of unsurveyed territory in the Soviet Arctic. This archipelago was completely mapped under Ushakov between 1930 and 1932. This voyage allowed to obliterate enormous "white spaces" on the Arctic map.

In 1935, Ushakov led the first Soviet high-latitude expedition on an icebreaker Sadko. The cruises of the Sadko went farther north than most; in 1935 and 1936 the last unexplored areas in the northern Kara Sea were examined and the little Ushakov Island was discovered. In 1937 the ship was caught in the ice with two others and forced to winter in the Laptev Sea, adding valuable winter observations to the usual summer ones.

Ushakov then worked at the Chief Directorate of Hydrometeorological Service of the USSR (1936-1940) and Soviet Academy of Sciences (1940-1958).

Ushakov was awarded the Order of Lenin, two other orders, and a number of medals. Mountains in the Antarctica, a spit and a cape on Wrangel Island, as well as a river on October Revolution Island bear Ushakov's name. But perhaps the greatest honor was that Ushakov Island, which was the last piece of undiscovered territory in the Russian Arctic, was named after him.

Ushakov died in Moscow, but was buried on Domashniy Island in Severnaya Zemlya.

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