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The complex orographic systems of Central and Eastern Siberia were established by such scientists as Alexander Middendorf, Ivan Chersky and Vladimir Obruchev.In the middle of the century, around the time of the Amur Annexation, the Russian government put much effort into exploration and colonisation of the Amur River valley, Primorsky Krai and Sakhalin.
The Russian colonization of the Americas followed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, through the joint efforts of the state and private enterprises such as the Russian-American Company, led by Grigory Shelikhov, Nikolay Rezanov, Alexander Baranov and others.By the early 18th century Russians under Vladimir Atlasov had colonised Kamchatka.Peter the Great, who turned the country into the Russian Empire in 1721, ordered the first instrumental mapping of Russia, and conceived the Great Northern Expedition, which was carried out after the Emperor's death with Vitus Bering as the leader and main organizer.In the times of the Soviet Union and the Russian Empire the country's share in the world's land mass reached 1/6.
Most of these territories were first discovered by Russian explorers (if indigenous peoples of inhabited territories are not counted).
The history of exploration by citizens or subjects of the Russian Federation, the Soviet Union, the Russian Empire, the Tsardom of Russia and other Russian predecessor states forms a significant part of the history of Russia as well as the history of the world.