"For many, it's just business."

The Briton, who was accused of espionage, visited the Dyatlov Pass

August 10, 2021. All right belong to E1.ru. Author Graham Phillips

The British were amazed by the Ural nature
The British were amazed by the Ural nature

Graham Phillips — a British journalist who covered the conflict in Ukraine extensively visited the Dyatlov Pass. Seven years ago, the media reported that the Ukrainian security forces accused the journalist of espionage, detained him, but then released him.

The foreigner came to Yekaterinburg specifically to go on an expedition to the most mysterious place in the region. Graham told the E1.RU correspondent how his trip went, why he had to change plans and what the pass is like today. We publish his story in the first person.

Journalist Graham Phillips spoke about the expedition to the place of the mysterious tragedy

I was invited to the Dyatlov Pass on an official expedition by the Yekaterinburg journalist, whom I have known since the beginning of Donbass in 2014, Andrey Guselnikov. I simply could not refuse such an offer, although to be honest, I was not a great expert on this topic, but in general I am always open to suggestions.

Our expeditionary group consisted of 10 people, among them Yuri Kuntsevich, the head of the Dyatlov Foundation, other members of the foundation, artist Aynya, as well as Andrey with his family.

Before going on the expedition, I watched a lot of videos about the Dyatlov Pass on YouTube and, frankly, the message of many of them - especially recently - annoyed me a little.

"It seems to some that this human tragedy, where 9 people died, is just another hyped up and trending topic."

We set off on the expedition on July 31, with a plan to stay there for 12 days. First, we traveled by train from Yekaterinburg to the city of Ivdel, then by KAMAZ for several hours to the first camp. After that, we walked about 30 kilometers through the forest until we slept at the foot of the mountain that everyone calls today nothing more than the Dyatlov Pass.

Just a few kilometers later, an unexpected incident occurred when Yuri Konstantinovich injured his knee and was forced to return. As a result, after a two-day hike through the forest, we, consisting of 9 people, arrived at the base camp of the Dyatlov Pass. The hike was pleasant and very interesting, although there was quite a lot of marshland, but the scenery was simply breathtaking. I would not call the hike extreme, there were quite a few other tourists, and every couple of kilometers there were small camps with a fireplace, firewood and utensils.

The plan was as follows: to spend five days at the Dyatlov pass. But a day later I decided that this was enough for me, and returned alone by another route through the forest. Fortunately, after about 20 kilometers of a forest hike, a kind man named Vadim not only gave me a ride on his ATV, but even allowed me to drive it. In general, I quickly returned to Yekaterinburg - less than 2 days from the very Dyatlov pass.

What can I say about the Dyatlov pass? I spent a day there and talked to many people.

"There are always a lot of people there, some are taking pictures, some of the enthusiasts are conducting their own investigations."

Actually, this is a Soviet tragedy and the cause of the Russian people. I can express my opinion only as a foreigner.

There are many different theories about what happened. It seems to me that there are several explanations that are more or less plausible. My impression is that most people have already decided which version they believe. There are so many speculations, different testimonies, compromising evidence, big doubts that we will ever see a version that will convince everyone.

This is primarily a human tragedy, 9 innocent people died. I came to the Dyatlov Pass directly from Donbass and, to be honest, I felt some dissonance: there are so many real and recent human tragedies in Donbass that attract much less attention than the events at the Dyatlov Pass 60 years later. I am not judging in any way, just registering a fact.

I will not be writing a story about the trip. I do not want to add hype around this event. I simply have nothing to say about this. But the nature of the Urals really charmed me, and I will definitely write about it! Nature is a thrill, but the pass itself has an ambiguous feeling. This is a place of tragedy, but now it has already become a tourist site, where bloggers hype on YouTube, supposedly here it is "extreme", for many it is all just business.

The Briton hitched his way from the pass to Yekaterinburg
The Briton hitched his way from the pass to Yekaterinburg

I can say for sure that in the end I was just delighted with the Russian nature, and in general I really liked the hikes and adventures. I am very glad that I saw the Dyatlov pass and expressed my respect there.


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