Nevelskoi, Gennadii Ivanovich

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nevel’skoi, Gennadii Ivanovich


Born Nov. 23 (Dec. 5), 1813, in Drakino, Kostroma Oblast; died Apr. 17 (29), 1876, in St. Petersburg. Russian explorer of the Far East; admiral (1874). Son of a naval officer.

Nevel’skoi graduated from the Naval Cadet Corps in 1832 and from officers’ classes in 1836. In 1848–49, as commanding officer of the transport ship Baikal, he voyaged from Kronstadt to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii and explored and compiled a description of the northern portion of Sakhalin Island, Sakhalin Gulf, and the mouth of the Amur River; he proved that Sakhalin was an island rather than a peninsula and determined the navigability of the Amur for oceangoing vessels. In 1850–55 he led the Amur expedition, which surveyed the lower reaches of the Amur River, Sakhalin Island, and the Tatar Strait. In the summer of 1850 he raised the Russian flag over Nikolaevsk, which he founded as an outpost (now the city of Nikolaevsk-na-Amure); in 1853 he raised the flag in Imperatora Nikolaia Gulf (now Sovetskaia Gavan’) and in the southern part of Sakhalin. A strait (the narrowest part of the Tatar Strait), a gulf, a mountain, and a city on Sakhalin were named after Nevel’skoi. Monuments in his honor have been erected in Vladivostok, Nikolaevsk-na-Amure, Khabarovsk, and Soligalich.

Nevel’skoi’s activities met opposition from the administration in St. Petersburg. In 1856, Nevel’skoi was relieved of his duties and recalled to St. Petersburg, where he was appointed a member of the Scientific Department of the Naval Technical Committee.


Podvigi russkikh morskikh ofitserov na krainem vostoke Rossii, 1849–55. Khabarovsk, 1969.


Alekseev, A. I. Spodvizhniki G. I. Nevel’skogo. Iuzhno-Sakhalinsk, 1967.
Alekseev, A. I. Delo vsei zhizni. Khabarovsk, 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.