Mikhail Lomonosov will help us to begin the story about this event:
“The damp path of the fleet there whitens,
And oceans hasten to make way,
The Russian Christopher Columbus
To unknown peoples hastens swiftly…”
The poet calls Vitus Bering Russian Columbus. Three weeks before his death, Peter the Great charged Bering with task of finding out what is located between Asia and America. The secret instruction said that Bering was to build a ship, sail along the coast, find a strait or neck of land and use it to travel along the American coast to the south. The expedition accomplished this mission, yet the scientists have found out recently that the role of pathfinder did not belong to Bering, as Semyon Dezhnev discovered this strait 80 years before. Thus it is Dezhnev who deserves the title of Russian Columbus. Like Columbus, he did not give his name to the discovery.