Soviet Antarctic Expedition

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The Soviet Antarctic Expedition (SAE or SovAE) (Russian : Советская антарктическая экспедиция, САЭ, Sovetskaya antarkticheskaya ekspeditsiya) was part of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute of the Soviet Committee on Antarctic Research of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.


The Soviet Union's Ministry of Sea Transport was responsible for the administration, logistics and supply of the expeditions.

The first Soviet contact with Antarctica was in January 1947 when the Slava whaling flotilla began whaling in Antarctic waters.


The first Soviet Antarctic station, Mirny , was established near the coast on February 13, 1956. This was added to in December 1957 by another station, Vostok built inland near the south geomagnetic pole.

Year-round stations

Summer stations

10 Years of Soviet Research in Antarctica, 1966 USSR stamp block 1966 CPA 3318-3320 triangle.png
10 Years of Soviet Research in Antarctica, 1966 USSR stamp block

IGY stations

List of stations in use during the International Geophysical Year.


The Soviet Union engaged in expeditions to Antarctica from 1955 to its dissolution. After this, the Soviet Antarctic stations were taken over by Russia.

See also

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<i>Vostok</i> (sloop-of-war)

Vostok was a 28-gun sloop-of-war of the Imperial Russian Navy, the lead ship of the First Russian Antarctic Expedition in 1819–1821, during which Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev circumnavigated the globe, discovered the continent of Antarctica and twice circumnavigated it, and discovered a number of islands and archipelagos in the Southern Ocean and the Pacific.

<i>Mirny</i> (sloop-of-war)

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First Russian Antarctic Expedition 1819–1821 expedition to explore the Southern Ocean and Antarctica

The First Russian Antarctic Expedition took place in 1819–1821 under the direction of Fabian Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev. The expedition aimed to reach the Southern Ocean in order to prove or disprove the existence of a suspected seventh continent, Antarctica. The sloop Vostok was under the command of Bellingshausen, while Lazarev commanded the sloop Mirny. Overall, the crew consisted of 190 people.

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Whaling in the Soviet Union and Russia

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