Zhdanko Mikhail Efimovich 

The famous Russian hydrograph surveyor, Lieutenant-General. Uncle E.A. Zhdanko. 
Born in Pyatigorsk in a noble family. After graduating from the Physics and Mathematics Faculty of Moscow University in 1877, he served in the navy: sailed in the Baltic, made a round-the-world voyage on the Rogue clipper. Deciding to link his life forever with the fleet, Zhdanko in 1884 entered the Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1887 in the first category as a lieutenant. 
At the end of the Academy, for ten years, Zhdanko led various departments in the hydrographic survey of the Baltic and White Seas, Novaya Zemlya, Yugorsky Ball, the Murmansk coast, and conducted magnetic observations along the shores of the Gulf of Finland. 
In 1898 he was transferred to the Far East and was promoted to head of the Eastern Ocean hydrographic expedition as a lieutenant colonel of the KFSh. It can be said that it was here that his talent of the organizer and explorer was fully revealed. By the time he arrived, only the hall was well studied in the area. Peter the Great in the Sea of Japan, and some parts of the Sea of Okhotsk and Bering Seas. 
Under the leadership of Zhdanko, an inventory of the Yellow Sea, the Sakhalin Fairway and the Nevelsky Fairway was carried out, and a number of astronomical sites of the coast were identified. Zhdanko's contribution to geographical science has been repeatedly marked by awards from the IGRO. In 1890 and 1895 he was awarded the silver medals of the Society for the Department of Mathematical and Physical Geography, and in 1900 he received the gold medal of Count F.P. Litke. 
In the years 1904-1905 Zhdanko was in charge of observation posts throughout the southeastern coast of Russia from Nikolaevsk-on-Amur to the border with Korea. His responsibilities also included the management of work on the clearing of the fairways of mines. 
After the end of the Russian-Japanese war in the rank of Major General and then Lieutenant General Zhdanko led large-scale research in the Sea of Japan, the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Bering Sea. 
In February 1913, Zhdanko was enlisted in the hydrographic corps, and from March of this year after the death of A.I. Vilkitsky headed the Main Hydrographic Department and held this position until April 1917. During his time at this post, he made a significant contribution to the study of the seas washing Russia. When it successfully completed the hydrographic expedition of the Arctic Ocean under the command of  B.A. Vilkitsky, who discovered the Northern Earth archipelago (Nicholas II), was the first to use a plane in the history of the North, piloting Ya.I. Nagursky, work began on the study of the northern seas, the Baltic, the Pacific, accelerated the construction of lighthouses. 
Zhdanko accepted the February revolution, according to eyewitnesses, he went to work with a red bow in his buttonhole. However, his service did not last long. Dissatisfied with his exactingness and intolerance to violations of discipline, the members of the executive committee of the emerging Union of Serbian State University employees at a general meeting made a decision to express his distrust and offered to resign. So ended his military service. 
After the October Revolution, Zhdanko took part in the work of the Permanent Polar Commission, the Academy of Sciences Commission for the Study of Natural Productive Forces of Russia, the Commission for the Study and Practical Use of the Russian North, in the equipment for the first Soviet polar expeditions, headed the Open Sea Branch of the Russian Hydrological Institute. He has compiled the magnetic declination maps of a number of seas, computed tables of meridional parts for constructing mercury maps, tables of true azimuths of the Sun to the north of 60º N. At the very end of his life Zhdanko taught at the Maritime Academy and died during a lecture. 
The merits of Zhdanko are marked by the Orders of St. Anna, 1 degree, St. Stanislav, 1 degree, St. Vladimir, 2 degrees. 
He was buried in Petersburg at the Smolensk Orthodox cemetery: a concrete sink with an openwork metal cross. In 2014, the tombstone was restored by G.P. Avetisov. 
Cape in the Gulf of Schubert on the east coast of the southern island of Novaya Zemlya. Named in September 1924 by the expedition of the Institute for the Study of the North under the command of R.L. Samoylovich. 
Mountain in the south of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya.


Return to the main page