Vasil’ev, Mikhail Nikolaevich
Born 1770; died June 23, 1847. Russian navigator, vice admiral; in 1831 he became chief navy supply officer. In 1819-22 he led a round-the-world expedition on the sloops Otkrytie, which he commanded, and Blagonamerennyi, commanded by G. S. Shishmarev. The chief task of the expedition was to discover a northern sea route from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The expedition, after reaching Brazil, went to Sydney through the Atlantic and Indian oceans and from there to the Bering Strait. For two years the expedition tried to make its way through the ice from the Bering Strait east and west by the Arctic Ocean. Although the expedition did not discover the Northwest Passage, it carried out valuable work, described part of coastal northeast Asia and some of the shores of Alaska, and discovered several islands.