Olivier Brunel was a Flemish merchant and explorer, born in Brabant in the 16th century. He was the first to establish trade routes between the Netherlands and Russia. He also explored the northern coast of Russia searching for a route to China and the East Indies.
- 1570s-1580s Olivier Brunel, imprisoned by Russians, thanks to English intrigues, including a Thos Hudson. Sent via Ob R. overland from Muscovy to trade with the Chinese - 1580s Olivier Brunel returns to Netherlands and informs Plancius of NorthEast route to China – “sailed north for the English. Then he vanished. However Brunel had failed, he had not been a failure. It was he who made the White Sea Trading Company of the Dutch a success; he was the first Dutch Arctic navigator. Others were to follow along the path he had blazed.” – Jeanette Mirsky, To the Arctic! The Story of Northern Exploration from Earliest Times, p.37
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