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History of the region


Exploration of the Far Eastern territories begins from the XVII century. Russian explorers went east to “check on new lands”, bring them under the sovereign’s hand and establish trade links.

In 1639 the group of Tomsk Cossacks, headed by Ivan Yuryevich Moskvitin, reached the Okhotsk Sea. At the mouth of the Ulya River the first ostrog (small fort) was founded. The Cossacks investigated the seashores and collected first information about the Amur. In 1643 Yakutsk voevodstvo (local authority of the time) sent a troop of Cossacks, under leadership of Vasiliy Danilovich Poyarkov, to search for unknown Dauriya land (how they called the western Priamurye). so-bidi-font-style:normal'>small fort) was founded. It was a big expedition of 132 people. From the Aldan, the arm of the river Lena, the Cossacks went over to the basin of the River Zeya and to the River Gonama. One part of the troop stayed here for winter, and the other part went forward. In spring of the next year, having gone down to the River Zeya, the troop reached the Amur. Poyarkov put together quite a complete description of the river, economy and way of life of the local peoples. From the lower course of the Amur Poyarkov made for the stormy Okhotsk Sea on boats, reached the mouth of the Ulya River, and from there returned to Yakutsk.

Findings about riches of the Amur aroused interest in it from the side of Siberian Industry. Following Poyarkov, a peasant from Vologda, Yerofey Khabarov, arrived here. His troop out of 100 people reached the Amur in 1650, going the other way: down to the river Lena, then down its arm Olekma, to the headwaters and further on by dry land to the Amur. One part of the troop made a lodgment in the Dauriya community Albazin. From that time new settlements were built around it, businesses developed, and trade emerged. In 1682 Albazin voevodstvo appeared as a part of Russian State. Albazin was abandoned after a long siege, and by the Treaty of Nerchinsk the Russians left the Amur for almost a century and a half.

In the middle of the XIX century Russia made prime importance discoveries in the Far East. The expedition of Gennady Ivanovich Nevelskoy (1849-1855) proved passability of the Amur estuary for sea ships and finally determined that Sakhalin was an island. In 1850 Nevelskoy founded the first military outpost, Nikolayevsky, in the estuary of the Amur.

1854 – 1857 was a time of so called the Amur raftings organized by the Governor General N.N. Muravyov. The reason for raftings was the Crimean War (1853-1856), during which the Anglo-French fleet tried to occupy Petropavlovsk and other Russian settlements located on the seashore of the Pacific Ocean. The way down the Amur River seemed to be the shortest and safe for bringing displaced people and troops to defend the eastern possessions of Russia. The Amur raftings became a real push for economic development of the region. The names of the Russian explorers are not forgotten even after three centuries.

Khabarovsk krai was founded on the 20th of October in 1938 upon dividing the Far-Eastern region, with its center being the city of Khabarovsk.