The message reads, in part:
“Two hundred years ago, in January 1820, our outstanding compatriots and pioneer explorers, Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, discovered the sixth previously unknown continent and laid the foundations for scientific research in the southern polar latitudes. Please accept my heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of this outstanding and truly historic event both for our country and for the entire world.
We are rightfully proud of the many generations of our courageous fellow citizens who were immensely loyal to our Motherland and their professional duty, and who dedicated their lives to studying Antarctica and ensuring our state’s strategic interests in this region.
Importantly, you, the participants of the Russian Antarctic expedition, honourably continue the cause of your predecessors, set new ambitious goals, increase Russia’s research presence on the Great White Continent, use state-of-the-art technology to study the geology and climate and save its unique ecosystem, and make a significant contribution to promoting international cooperation and neighbourliness for the good of humankind.”
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Commemorative events dedicated to the 200th anniversary of discovering the ice continent by Russian sailors Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev are being held at the Russian Bellingshausen Station.
In 1820, a Russian expedition led by Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev discovered the southern polar continent as it was circumnavigating the globe on the Vostok and Mirny sloops.
The 65th Russian Antarctic expedition is currently underway. Experts from over 20 scientific and research-and-production organisations are part of it. Five wintering stations operate in Antarctica, the Mirny, Vostok, Novolazarevskaya, Bellingshausen and the Progress, as well as five seasonal field bases including Molodezhnaya, Bunger Oasis, Russkaya, Leningradskaya and Druzhnaya-4. Extensive research in glaciology, paleogeography, geobotany, the biology of marine mammals and birds, geodesy and microbiology is conducted at the Russian operated Bellingshausen station during the season.
The Admiral Vladimirsky and Yantar oceanographic research ships, operated by the Russian Navy, sailed to Antarctica to participate in the celebrations. The expedition members plan to conduct oceanographic and hydrometeorological studies in the seas surrounding Antarctica, which will significantly replenish the climate database. In accordance with Russia’s international obligations to create and update international navigation charts, work will be done in the Bellingshausen Sea which is designed to issue an updated Russian navigational chart.