Russian Australians

Russian Australians

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Russian Australians

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The first Russian citizen known to have become a permanent resident of Australia was John Potocki, who landed in Hobart, Tasmania on 18 February 1804. Potocki, arrested in England, was sentenced to hard labor in Tasmania. According to Potocki's own account, recorded by captain Lazarev in 1820, he served in the Russian Army during the reign of Catherine II. In 1810 Potocki was released by British authorities and settled in Hobart permanently. By 1820 there were four Russian-speaking families of former convicts in Hobart.

Early naval visits

In 1807 the Russian shallop Neva, under the command of Captain Leonty Gagemeyster, visited Port Jackson where it loaded provisions on its way to Russian American colonies. Sometimes this date is considered as a start of relations between Australian colonies and Russia.Mikhail Protopopov Russians in Australia Vestnik January/February 2007

Contacts continued in 1820 when two Russian ships, the Vostok (meaning 'East') and the Mirny (Peaceful), visited Port Jackson under the command of Captains Lazarev and Bellingshausen for provisions and repairs on several occasions during an expedition to explore Antarctica ordered by Tsar Alexander I. Until the middle of the 19th century, only a few dozen Russians, Ukrainians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Finns and other émigrés from the Czarist Russian empire were resident in Australia, which was still a part of the British Empire.

Russian ships...
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