Count Ivan Fedoseevich Botsis ([/wiki/Greek_language] Greek: Ιωάννης Μπότσης, [/wiki/Russian_language]Russian: Иван Федосеевич Боцис, died 18 May 1714) was a Russian admiral and one of the founders of the [/wiki/Imperial_Russian_Navy]Imperial Russian Navy under [/wiki/Peter_the_Great]Peter the Great.
Botsis was a [/wiki/Greek_people]Greek from [/wiki/Dalmatia]Dalmatia, and served in the [/wiki/Republic_of_Venice]Venetian [/wiki/Galley]galley fleet for 17 years. He was hired for Russian service by [/wiki/Pyotr_Andreyevich_Tolstoy]Pyotr Andreyevich Tolstoy in 1702. At the time, Russia was engaged in the [/wiki/Great_Northern_War]Great Northern War and the [/wiki/Tsar]Tsar tried to westernize Russia and establish a modern navy. Many foreigners were therefore invited to Russia and employed in high positions as experts. After his arrival in Russia in 1703, Botsis was appointed as [/wiki/Schout-bij-nacht]shautbenaht (a [/wiki/Dutch_language]Dutch title equivalent to [/wiki/Counter_Admiral]Counter Admiral) and head of the [/wiki/Galley]galley squadrons of the newly established [/wiki/Baltic_Fleet]Baltic Fleet, based at [/wiki/Saint_Petersburg]Saint Petersburg and the fortress of [/wiki/Kronstadt]Kronstadt.
From this position, Botsis oversaw the construction of the Baltic galley fleet. In 1704-1705, he helped General [/wiki/Robert_Bruce_(1668-1720)]Robert Bruce (ru), the commander of St. Petersburg, to repulse the attacks of a Swedish army under General [/w/index.php?title=Georg_Johan_Maidel&action=edit&redlink=1]Maidel (sv). In 1708 the fleet under Botsis successfully attacked the [/wiki/Finland]Finnish coast, capturing the town of [/wiki/Porvoo]Borgå, raiding the surrounding villages and burning 15 Swedish merchant ships. In 1710, he commanded a fleet of 270 vessels, and managed to break through the ice-covered sea to bring supplies and reinforcements to the forces [/wiki/Siege_of_Vyborg_(1710)]besieging the city of Vyborg.
In 1712, a 14,000 strong Swedish army under General [/wiki/Georg_Henrik_Lybecker]Georg Henrik Lybecker was threatening St. Petersburg. On the night of August 10, Botsis with two dozen ships broke through the Swedish blockade, raided the Swedish coastal positions, and captured 6 warships.
In 1713 he commanded the rear guard of the fleet that carried the army of Prince [/wiki/Mikhail_Golitsyn]Mikhail Golitsyn to Finland, and participated in the bombardment of [/wiki/Helsinki]Helsinki. His naval abilities and his character were highly esteemed by Peter: together with Vice Admiral [/wiki/Cornelius_Cruys]Cornelius Cruys, Botsis was proxy father to the Tsar in his wedding to the Empress [/wiki/Catherine_I_of_Russia]Catherine on 9 February 1712, and when Botsis died, the Tsar took his sword as a souvenir and gave pensions to his family.