В 1719 г. Петр I приказал выяснить, граничит ли Азия с Америкой

Go to Tobolsk, and from Tobolsk, taking guides, go to Kamchatka, then go further and describe the places there: whether America converges with Asia; it must be done very thoroughly, not only in the south and north, but also in the east and west, and you must put everything on the map correctly.

This is the literal text of the instructions given that day to “surveyors and navigators” Ivan Evreinov and Fyodor Luzhin. The surveyors failed the task. Although they earnestly tried: according to the historian Yevgeny Tarle, they went by sea from Okhotsk to Kamchatka and spent the winter there. “In the spring, they went out to sea aboard the ship and, following the Kuril Ridge, reached the fifth or sixth island. During the storm, the vessel lost all its anchors, which forced Evreinov and Luzhin to return to the shores of Kamchatka, and then to Okhotsk.” In 1722, Evreinov delivered the map of the Kuril Islands to Peter I at the most inopportune moment – Peter I was desperately busy with the Persian campaign. The navigator and reformer sovereign found time to sort out the border of Europe and Asia only in January 1725, when he summoned Vitus Bering and instructed him as follows:

1) It is necessary to make one or two boats with decks in Kamchatka or in another place nearby.

2) Use these boats to go along the land that goes to the north and seems (because the end of the land is unknown) to be a part of America.

3) Find out where it connects to America (to Asia), get to any European city, visit the shore yourself, take a genuine paper certifying it, putting it on the map, and return here.

Bering, as you know, solved the problem, which is evidenced by the Bering Strait. However, Peter never learned about it: he died in the same January 1725.