On February 25, a press conference was held at the Moscow Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society dedicated to the start of the expedition "Russia-2021". This is an unprecedented journey, in terms of length and tasks, along the borders of our country, organized by the Russian Geographical Society together with the Federation of Sports Tourism of Russia and the Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation. In 283 days, the members of the expedition will cover more than 34 thousand kilometers; the route will pass through the territory of 50 Russian subjects.
The press conference was attended by the First Vice-President of the Russian Geographical Society, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Artur Chilingarov; Chairman of the Federation of Sports Tourism of Russia Sergey Mironov; the head of the expedition, a prominent Russian traveler Konstantin Merzhoev and other public figures. They told the reporters about the purpose and objectives of the expedition project, as well as about each stage of the expedition.
The start of the expedition "Russia-2021" is scheduled for March 3, 2021, at the “Sirius” educational center in Sochi. The participants will travel along the borders of our country in a variety of ways: on foot, on catamarans, by bicycles and cars. Part of the Northern Sea Route will be crossed on an icebreaker.
"This expedition will become something like a round-the-world trip around our country. 11 people will go on it – the members of the Russian Geographical Society, travelers, photographers. And in the regions, they will be joined by local scientists and young people. Therefore, we have planned many activities along the route so that they all get to know more about Russia. There are places you will not get to, except with an expedition. And thanks to its participants, we will be able to see the protected corners of our vast country," said Artur Chilingarov.
During the expedition, scientific observations and research will be carried out jointly with the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The participants will collect geological and ethnographic materials for the museum funds of the Russian Geographical Society. Lectures, sports events, exhibitions and youth forums will be held in the key cities of the expedition route. For example, in Smolensk Oblast, the expedition members will visit the house museum of the Hero of the Soviet Union Mikhail Alekseevich Yegorov, who hoisted the Victory Banner over the Reichstag. And in Arkhangelsk, they will visit the shipyard where they will examine the sail-and-oar karbass – the oldest of the existing types of Pomor ships.
"The expedition is of a scientific and educational nature. For example, the Ministry of Education is planning to conduct open lessons on the history and geography of our country during the expedition. This is an ambitious task, but I am sure that we will succeed," said Sergei Mironov.
In addition, the expeditionary group will test several new tourist routes, including “The Golden Ring of the Bosporan Kingdom”, created at the initiative of the Krasnodar Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society. The participants will get acquainted with the historical and cultural heritage of Crimea, Sevastopol, Krasnodar Territory and Rostov Oblast – there, 2500 years ago, the Bosporan Kingdom was formed, the oldest state on the territory of modern Russia.
The photographs taken during the trip and demonstrating the diversity and beauty of nature will be included in the book "Picturesque Russia"; it is also planned to release a documentary following the results of the expedition.
"We would like the expedition to stir up Russia. So that young people pay attention to what a wonderful country they live in. We often show programs about foreign countries. I have been to almost all of them, on all continents, saw the life ‘from the inside’, but I can say that Russia is one of the most interesting, original, free countries. In the course of the expedition we will meet with children and youth of the regions to tell them about Russia. More than 100 thousand people will be involved in the expedition,” concluded Konstantin Merzhoev.