Took part in the Russo-Japanese war, 1905. Naval attache in Germany, 1910-1914, Italy, 1915-1917. After the October Revolution joined the Bolsheviks 1917.
Due to a lack of naval officers in the Red camp, appointed Commander of the Red Navy, 1919. Later on diplomatic service at the Genoa and Lausanne conferences as the Soviet representative. Again naval attache in Britain, 1924, France, 1925.
Soviet naval expert at the Geneva disarmament commission, 1927.