Funerals in March 1959

Yuri Doroshenko, Zina Kolmogorova, Igor Dyatlov and Rustem Slobodin found their last peace in Mikhailovskoe cemetery, and Yuri (Georgiy) Krivonischenko was buried in Ivanovskoe cemetery.

Yakimenko, student in UPI and participant in the Search operation:
"I hung up the announcement of the funerals in the foyer of the main building of the UPI. Half an hour later I was summoned by the Party Committee of the UPI, where the secretary, Kasuhin, reproached me for disturbance and made me remove the flyers. I refused, but someone took them now anyway. the reaction of the secretary of the Party Committee is incomprehensible, evidently he is afraid of something. March 9 - an update: Today will be buried only four people, and Yuri Krivonischenko, for some reason in another, Ivanovskoe cemetery, although his parents did not object to his son being buried with the others. We hung another announcement about the funerals. It was immediately taken down by someone. We are outraged. Decided everyone to go in their faculty and by course walk around each classroom and inform the students about the hour and place of the funerals."

The authorities surrounded the funerals with lots of fog and omissions, which greatly overshadowed the already unpleasant event. At first the CPSU tried to persuade the parents of the dead to bury their children in Ivdel quickly and quietly, and the relatives members of the party were reminded of the "party conscience" and unequivocally threatened with reprimand for their obstinacy to bring their dead to Sverdlovks. When it became clear that all attempts to obtain consent to the funeral in Ivdel did not yield the desired result, the party retreated and allowed funerals in Sverdlovsk. However, the commies did not manage to gain full control on how the funerals would be organized. Two flyers manage to escape the censorship, notifying about the place and time of the civil funeral. Obscuring the funerals detail was done, apparently, in order to limit the number of people who came to attend. Nevertheless, on March 9, 1959, a crowd of thousands gathered. When the procession reached Mikhailovskoe cemetery, the funeral procession was not let in through the main gate, but from the adjacent street, for which it was necessary to disassemble the fence. This is what the boorish attitude of the authorities towards the people came down to.

The fact that the Soviet government has behaved with people so shamelessly and disrespectfully should not come as a surprised. The Soviet Union did not sink ships, aircraft did not fall and rockets did not explode, and only labor achievements heroism were proclaimed. Any talk about catastrophes, social unrest and mass deaths was regarded by the authorities as "ideological diversion" and was stopped as quickly and harshly as possible. The authorities were pathologically afraid of any negative information that could at least indirectly cast a shadow on the Soviet government as the best in the world. Hence the irrational fear of saying or letting the superfluous, which determined the logic of many actions of the Communist Party and Soviet leadership at all levels of the bureaucratic hierarchy in the USSR. The death of Dyatlov group, it seems, in no way could discredit the CPSU and the Soviet government, however, the authorities themselves did not consider it and tried to organize the funeral processions in March 1959 so that they are less talked about in the city. It turned out to be not the smartest move, since there were still a lot of talking about the dead hikers in Sverdlovsk, but besides that, it amounted resentment against the unfair attitude of the authorities to the tragedy.

Despite, or possibly because of the authorities’ strenuous effort to limit interest in the funerals, the number of mourners was enormous. The plan was for the procession to stop for a moment at the university where they had all studied. The police, of course, did not allow this, and the whole crowd was turned away and forced to follow an alternative route. Yuri Kuntsevitch, the head of the Dyatlov Foundation in Yekaterinburg, said: “At that time I lived next to the cemetery, and was 12 years old, so I was really interested. I tried to push through the crowd to see everything, but it was impossible. I was amazed by some of the people in the crowd. They were wearing trilby style felt hats and had jodhpurs or motorcycle riding pants. They were supervising the procession with their faces blank, expressing nothing. I was standing on a pile of earth at the graveside and I was about eight meters from the bodies. Their skin had a somewhat brick color, and I saw some of the students helping to lower the coffins to the graves. It was said they were there despite being forbidden to leave their classes to attend."

Next to the 4 graves of the Dyatlov group at the Mikhailovskoe cemetery, another student of the Sverdlovsk Polytech, named Victor Nikitin, who died of pneumonia, was soon buried. He studied at the first year of the institute, did not take interest in tourism, and most likely did not even know the members of the Dyatlov group. Nikitin was a country boy from a very poor family; his family could not pay for the transportation of the body to his hometown, and the weather was bad. It was decided to buried in Sverdlovsk. To the history of Dyatlov The death of Victor Nikitin is not related to the Dyatlov Pass history. That didn’t prevent the conspiracy to involve his death, as anything else that touches Dyatlov Pass incident. The fact that he was buried next to the 4 graves of Dyatlov group members, and Krivonischenko being buried in another cemetery made him a secret agent. We keep saying that the Krivonischenko’s burial at Ivanovskoe cemetery has nothing to do with his parents, but what is really certain in this case? The fact that such a request is not documented on the net doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t exist. The government’s desire to disperse the interest towards the event may also yield to a consent or even encouragement such move.

March 9, 1959

The film with 35 frames belongs to Valentin Gerasimovich Yakimenko, the 36th photo is from Evgeny Grigorievich Zinoviev. Both are UPI students, members of the search operation. The last 7 photos are given to Dyatlov fondation from Tamara Aleekseevna Zaprudina (Kolmogorova), Zina's sister.

March 10, 1959

Dyatlov and Slobodin are buried in Mikhailovskoe cemetery.


Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion
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