Military Figure. Admiral Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev is remembered as a Russian Imperial Navy commander and an explorer. He graduated from the Russian Naval Academy in 1803 and volunteered for further training with the British Navy. After five years, he returned to Russia and took part in a battle against the Anglo-Swedish fleet in the Baltic. He received his notoriety for his three voyages around the world: The first was in 1813 when he commanded the “Suvorov,” and discovering a group of coral islands in the South Pacific that are now called the Suvorov atoll. In 1819 he made a two-year expedition to the Antarctic. He is credited with discovering the Antarctic. On January 27, 1820, the Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev, discovered an ice shelf at Princess Martha Coast, which later became known as the Fimbul Ice Shelf. One of the first Soviet Antarctic stations was named for him, as were a chain of Antarctic mountains. From 1822 to 1825 he was commander of the frigate “Kreyser,” sailing to North America. He was promoted to admiral in 1843 and commander of the Black Sea Fleet. Making maps on all his voyages, he published an account of his last voyage in 1832. He was an honorary member of the Russian Geographical Society and of Kazan University. He died in Vienna, while he was undergoing medical treatment. He was responsible for the development of a naval base at Sebastopol in Crimea. In July of 1994, with a formal dedication, a bronze bust of him on a granite base was placed in a city park in Sebastopol. In 2004, a memorial plaque was installed in Vladimir on the wall of his childhood home. Today, his grave stone still remains in disrepair after shell damage from World War II.
Bio by: Linda Davis