- Project Runeberg -  Through Siberia - the land of the future /
355

(1914) [MARC] Author: Fridtjof Nansen Translator: Arthur G. Chater - Tema: Russia
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RUSSIA IN THE EAST
355
the eastern frontier of the Chinese Empire was not
fixed, but the present Russian Ussuri province was
regarded as within the Chinese sphere. Thereby the
Russian advance in the East was paralyzed for a long
time ; and, important as it might be for Eastern Siberia
to find an outlet to the sea down the mighty Amur,
that way was nevertheless closed. The great distances
and the defective land communications made it impos
sible to send a force strong enough to be a match for the
Chinese, and the Russians had no fleet of transports
sufficient to convey their troops by sea. Their only base
on the Pacific, the naval harbour of Petropavlovsk in
Kamchatka, was closed by ice for a great part of the
year, and had no communications by land.
It is not till the middle of the nineteenth century
that we again find the Russians on the Amiir, once
more by chance and chiefly owing to the energy of a
single man, and, as it seems, even against the wishes of
the leading circles in Petersburg. It was on August 13,
1850, that the young naval officer Nevelskiy, with a few
row-boats and a handful of sailors, reached the mouth
of the Amiir and hoisted the Russian flag on the shore,
at the spot where Nikolåyevsk now stands. With the
powerful support of the able Governor Muraviev the Tsar
was persuaded to approve of the young man’s bold step,
and this gave the impulse to the occupation of the Amiir
countries in the followingyears. Thus even during the
progress of the Crimean War Russia obtained a great
and important extension on the east, and in 1858, by
the treaty of Aigiin with China, Governor Muraviev,
on whom the Tsar afterwards conferred the title of
Count Muraviev Amurskiy, succeeded in getting the
acquisition of these territories recognized in international
law. And by the new treaty concluded by the Russian
Ambassador, Count Ignatiev, at Peking in November

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