Rudolf Samoylovich

Rudolf (Ruvim) Lazarevich Samoylovich (Russian: Рудольф Лазаревич Самойлович) (13 September (O.S. 1 September), 1881 in Azov – 4 March 1939, in Saint Petersburg) was a Soviet polar explorer, professor (1928), and doctor of geographic sciences (1934).

Rudolf Samoylovich
Rudolf Samoylovich on a 2000 Russian stamp

In 1904, Rudolf Samoylovich graduated from the Mining Academy in Freiberg, Germany. In 1912, he participated in Vladimir Rusanov's geological expedition to Spitsbergen. Rudolf Samoylovich was one of the initiators and the first director of the Northern Research and Trade Expedition (Северная научно-промысловая экспедиция) (1920–1925). In 1925, this research center was reorganized into the Institute of Northern Studies (Институт по изучению Севера), headed by Rudolf Samoylovich in 1925–1930. In 1932–1938, he was deputy director of the All-Union Arctic Institute (Всесоюзный арктический институт). Rudolf Samoylovich was also the founder and first chairman of the Polar Countries' Department at Leningrad State University (1934–1937). Rudolf Samoylovich was the head of the rescue party on the Krasin icebreaker (1928). Also, he participated in the Graf Zeppelin expedition (1931) and headed expeditions on icebreakers Vladimir Rusanov (1932), Georgy Sedov (1934), and Sadko (1936 and 1937–1938). In 1938 Rudolf Samoylovich was arrested and then executed, most likely some time in 1940. In 1988 he was posthumously rehabilitated.

A strait and a glacier top on Franz Josef Land, a bay on Novaya Zemlya, an island in Severnaya Zemlya, a peninsula and a nunatak in the Antarctica bear Rudolf Samoylovich's name as does a liquid natural gas tanker built in 2018. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and Order of the Red Banner of Labour.


This article includes content derived from the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1969–1978, which is partially in the public domain.

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