Vilkitskii, Boris Andreevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vil’kitskii, Boris Andreevich


Born Mar. 22 (Apr. 3), 1885, in Pulkovo; died Mar. 6, 1961, in Brussels. Russian hydrographer and geodesist; son of A. I. Vil’kitskii. Graduated from the Naval Academy in St. Petersburg in 1908. Participated in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05.

From 1913 to 1915, Vil’kitskii headed a hydrographic expedition to the Arctic Ocean aboard the ships Taimyr and Vaigach; its purpose was to master the Northern Sea Route. During the voyage of 1913, the expedition discovered Severnaia Zemlia, an island that was named after Vil’kitskii, and Malyi Taimyr and Starokadomskii islands. During 1914-15 the expedition made the first continuous voyage from Vladivostok to Arkhangel’sk, discovering Novopashennyi Is-land (now Zhokhov Island) and making a survey of the southern coast of Severnaia Zemlia. In 1918, Vil’kitskii was appointed head of the first Soviet hydrographic expedition, but he and all his ships were captured in Arkhangel’sk by the interventionists. In 1920 he emigrated to England. In 1923 and 1924, at the invitation of Soviet foreign-trade organizations, he headed Kara barter expeditions. Subsequently he worked as a hydrographer for many years in the former Belgian Congo. The straits between Severnaia Zemlia and the Taimyr Peninsula are named for him.


Evgenov, N. I., and V. N. Kupetskii. “Russkii poliarnyi issledovatel’ B. A. Vil’kitskii.” Letopis’ Severa. 1964, vol. 4.


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