Discrepancies in the Resolution to close the case

Author Galina Sazonova

Resolution to close the case – one of the most cited documents of the Criminal Case.

This is the document that explains the cause of the death of the group with an "overwhelming force, which the hikers were unable to overcome".

This is the document that allows all opponents of the criminal versions to use the phrase “no traces of outsiders” as an argument.

I suspect that it was this document that formed the basis of the “controlled environment” theory by Alexey Rakitin, in which he makes Georgiy Krivonischenko as one of the “main characters”, suggesting that one of his clothes was specifically contaminated with radiation (the famous “Krivonishchenko pants”) .

It is this document that discredits earlier (often less well known to not so advanced researchers) documents and statements.

And in this regard, this document deserves a very careful attention to itself, attempts to analyze almost every phrase, comparison with other sources. Moreover, there are 3 variants of this document and they all differ from each other.

Starting to work with this document and its variants, first of all I wondered:

  • what information are investigator Ivanov's conclusions based on?
  • if there are discrepancies - does it discredit the other documents, or does it show Ivanov's negligence?
  • how many “mistakes, omits or mismatches” with other documents are we talking about?
  • if there is an attempt to hide something or divert the attention - is it possible to try to account for these moments?

Because it is this document that puts an end to the investigation into the cause of the death of the group, and it was this document that was given to the relatives, not the rest of the documents of the criminal case.

Here I will try only to identify the moments in this document that are unclear to me, to show the discrepancy with other sources and address the questions that arise personally for me. Agree or disagree with these questions, to try to find answers can every reader on their own.



  • I decided to merge all 3 versions of the Resolution in one text, so that the logic of the document change could be seen better. Such fragments will be highlighted in red. If this phrase is absent in the final version, it will be crossed out. In brackets I will indicated in which of the draft versions it was present initially.
  • With an asterisk (*) I will highlight the exact phrase or semantic fragment to which my comment will apply.



May 28, 1959
city of Sverdlovsk


Prosecutor criminologist of the Sverdlovsk Regional Prosecutor's Office Jr. Justice Counselor Ivanov, having examined the criminal case instituted on the occasion of the death of 9 hikers in the Ivdel district of the Sverdlovsk region,


  • On what basis is the case closed by the prosecutor of the Sverdlovsk regional prosecutor's office, if it was initiated by the prosecutor of the town of Ivdel Tempalov? There is no ruling on transfer of a criminal case from one prosecutor's office to another
  • If there was a transfer, why is Ivanov conducting observational proceedings in a case that he is leading?


January 23, 1959 a group of amateur hikers in the amount of 10 people went on a ski trip along the route: city of Sverdlovsk - city of Ivdel - 2nd Northern district - Mt. Otorten - Oyko-Chakur mountain - North Toschemka river - Vizhay settlement - city of Ivdel - city of Sverdlovsk.

The group consisted of: Igor Dyatlov - a student of the Ural Polytechnic Institute, leader of the expedition; Dubinina L.A., Kolmogorova Z.A., Kolevatov A.S., Yudin Y.E., Doroshenko Y.N. - UPI students; Zolotaryov A.A.* - Instructor of the Kourovka Tour Base, Slobodin R.V., Krivonischenko Y.G., Thibeaux-Brignolle N.V. - engineers of enterprises in Sverdlovsk and Chelyabinsk.

Zolotaryov initials are wrong. In all 3 versions of the resolution.

This is also the case in another document - the protocol of forensic medical examination. Both documents are procedural. There is a question about the identification of Zolotaryov.

However, in non-procedural documents (like the receipt of Semyon’s mother receiving his belongings), the name of Zolotaryov is stated quite correctly. So Ivanov knew what his name really was.

It can be added here that Zolotaryov's initials are wrong in the well-known protocols of the city committee and the regional committee of the CPSU, on the plate on the monument.


All the participants of the expedition had good hiking training and could participate in a trek of III category of difficulty*. The group was supplied with the necessary equipment and food, the trade union committee of the Ural Polytechnic Institute financed the expedition.

There is no data on the hiking training of the participants, even in such documents as the project of the expedition and the report of the Moscow experts. Especially the question of preparation was supposed to concern all the same Semyon Zolotaryov. Semyon Zolotaryov was approved twice - first in Sogrin group, and then in Dyatlov group. However, it later turned out that none of the commission members (including Maslennikov) had ever seen him personally. There are no documents stating Zolotaryov's qualification either.


Arriving safely to the place of the beginning of the trek - the 2nd Northern Ivdels district on 28.I.59 the group started the hike. One hiker - Yudin Y.S. returned home from the site of the 2nd Northern, as he could not continue the trek due to illness.

From diary entries, sketches of the route and developed photographic films of the hikers it is determined that on 28 May 1959 the group went upstream Lozva river, 30.I.59 the group continued its movement, 31.I.59 the hikers reached Auspiya river and tried to go over the pass to the valley of Lozva river, but because of the low temperature and strong wind they had to go back down and stopped for overnight. On I.II.59 as planned in the project (draft 1). hikers built a storage in the upper reaches of Auspiya river in which they left supplies of food and all unnecessary equipment* And at 15-00 started climbing to the pass (draft 1)

  1. In the plan for the expedition (and this phrase disappears from the final version of the decree) there is not a single word about the cache site. It is impossible to argue that making a storage was "planned".
  2. the storage is mentioned several times in the group diaries. But at the same time ...

From Zina diary for 30.I. "Today, maybe, we will build a storage."

From group diary for 31.I. "I can't even start thinking of setting up a storage"

The diaries are not giving us a definite information about where and whether they built a storage.

It can be assumed that the investigation saw the storage marked on the sketches the group made and probably found among the items in the tent - this explains how easily and quickly it was found on March 2. But at the same time, on February 25, in the canister dropped by Slobtsov group, a clear instruction was given to “search for a storage site”. So how did the search party knew about the storage if the tent itself was found on February 26th?


On 31.I.59 going back in the valley of Auspiya river and knowing about the difficult conditions of the relief of the height "1079", where the ascent was supposed to be, Dyatlov, as the leader of the group, made a gross mistake* allowing the group to begin the ascent on 1.II.59, only at 15-00. (not present in draft 1, present in draft 2)

The start of the ascent - see "photo examination"


Later, on the ski trail, which was preserved at the time of the search, it was possible to establish that the hikers, moving to the valley of the fourth tributary of the Lozva River, were 500-600 m to the left and instead of the pass formed by the peaks "1079" and "880" they went up on the eastern slope of height "1079".

This was Dyatlov's second mistake.*

There is no data confirming that the ski trail belongs to the group. Moreover, according to the recollections of Slobtsov (the person who found this ski trail), they could not even determine the direction of movement along it (up or down), since there were no traces of poles.

Even assuming that this ski trail belonged to Dyatlov group

  • the trail was left 31 Jan 1959 before making the first attempt to go over the pass. It doesn't reflect the movement of the group on 1 Feb 1959 and shows just the right direction to the pass.
  • this ski trail ended before the pass and the slope; Slobtsov group went further in azimuth, and not on the ski trail itself.
  • no ski tracks were detected on the ridge. And accordingly, talking about group movements can only be theoretically. Thus, there is no data for an orientation error; this can only be an assumption.


Using light day time to rise to the top of the "1079", in conditions of strong wind that is usual in this area, and a low temperature of the order of 25-30°C*, Dyatlov group found themselves at unprofitable conditions for spending the night and decided to pitch the tent on a slope of height "1079" so that in the morning of the next day, without losing altitude, go to the Mt Otorten, to which the distance in straight line remained about 10 km.

Even during searches, requests were made for weather conditions on the night of February 1st to 2nd.

Answers to queries about the weather (reflected Maslennikov notebook)

  1. (Burmantovo meteorological station)

    15 (hour) overcast north 5-8
    18 clouds north 1-10
    19 clouds north 3-11
    21 clouds north 1-13
    23 clouds west 1-5
    0 clouds north-west 3-15
    3 clear west 3-21
  2. Weather February 1 in Ivdel was a temperature of 17 northwest wind 14 m second

  3. Weather near the airfield on February 1, temperature 8-9°C, wind 10-14 m/s gusty

  4. According to an extract from the journal of meteorological observations in Burmantovo (should have been provided to the investigation), the temperature on February 1 was -4 -10°C.

Thus, Ivanov’s statement about a very low temperature down to -30°C degrees is not justified by anything, but only explains well "why everyone froze".


In one of the cameras the last frame shows the moment of excavation of snow for the installation of the tent. Considering that this frame was shot with an exposure of I/25 seconds, with a diaphragm of 5.6 at a film sensitivity of 65 Un. GOST, and taking into account the density of the frame, we can assume that the hikers started the installation of the tent around 5 pm* 1.II.59. A similar picture was taken with another camera.

After this time, no records and no photos were found.

Note: it is precisely this 5 pm that the countdown of when they left the site of the last stop is based: "Dyatlov, as the head of the group, made a gross mistake*, expressed in the fact that the group began the ascent of I.II.59 only in 15-00"

Apparently Ivanov is referring to these photos:

  1. These photos belong to the category of "loose photos", the source is not known. They are NOT part of the criminal case (and they must be, if they were examined), the frames are NOT from any of Dyatlov group members films.

    In the materials of the criminal case, there is NO document of the examination for establishing the time when the pictures were taken, as well as there are no documents reflecting the state of the cameras.

    Thus, this statement of Ivanov is not at all confirmed by any of the materials of the criminal case.

  2. According to his characteristics, “shutter speed, aperture, ISO) in the script it is impossible to draw a conclusion about the shooting time, since the illumination is affected not only by the time of day, but also by cloudiness, poor visibility due to snow and so on.


According to the protocol of the route committee, the group leader, Igor Dyatlov, 12.II.59, was to telegraphically inform the sports club of the UPI and the Committee of Physical Education (comrade Ufimtsev) on arrival of the group in the village of Vizhay.

Since the deadline of 12.II.59 passed, and no information was received from the group, the hikers who knew Dyatlov closely demanded a search to start, and on 20.II.59 the Institute's leadership on the Dyatlov route sent a search team, and then several more groups. Subsequently, soldiers and officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, planes and helicopters of civil and military aviation joined the search operation.

On February 26, 1959, on the eastern slope of the peak "1079" the group's tent was found with all the equipment and food in it. The tent and all that was in it were well preserved.

Inspection of the tent showed that it was set correctly and provided accommodation for the hikers. In the tent there were 2 blankets, backpacks, storm jackets and trousers. The rest of the blankets were crumpled and frozen. On the blanket were found several loin pieces.*

Assessment of the state of the tent causes a huge amount of controversy, because prior to inspection by the authorities, it was partially examined by the search party. Some of the items were taken from there by them and, possibly, returned the next day. It is also not known exactly when the investigators found out (or did they) about the fact that rescuers handles items form inside the tent.


Location and availability of items in the tent (almost all shoes, all outer clothing, personal belongings and diaries) indicated that the tent was abandoned suddenly by all hikers at the same time, and, as it was established in the subsequent forensic expertise*, the lee side of the tent, where hikers usually laid their heads*, it was cut from the inside in two places providing a free exit of the person through these cuts.

  1. Ivanov gives 2 characteristics of the tent sides – A) "lee side" B) "where hikers laid their heads".

    In accordance with these characteristics, we are talking about the western slant, facing the rise, not descent. And from this it follows that the group through the sections “ensuring the free exit of a person” should have come up, not down the descent.

    According to the scheme of the tent attached to the act of forensic examination - the cuts are depicted on the opposite slant - the eastern, not the one about which Ivanov writes.

  2. Ivanov claims: as established in the subsequent forensic examination*, … turned out to be cut from inside in two places Ivanov assigns expertise of the tent on 16 Mar 1959.

    The tent comes to the lab 01 Apr 1959.

    Examination begins 03 Apr 1959 and finished 16 Apr 1959.

    However, on March 27, Moscow masters of sports (Bardin, Shuleshko) send their reports to the Central Committee of the CPSU and it already says that "experts have established that the tent is torn from the inside".

    What expertise do the masters refer to if the tent is not even delivered to the laboratory by this point?

    Does this mean that there were several examinations, or does this mean that the decision to "torn from the inside" was made initially, this was reported to the Central Committee, and the examination of April 16 only confirms this?

Report of the masters of sports in the Central Committee of the CPSU


Below the tent, for up to 500 meters* in the snow, traces of people walking from the tent to the valley and into the forest have been preserved. The traces were well preserved and there were 8-9 pairs.

The statement about the length of the area of traces of 500m is not only not confirmed, but contradicts with other case files documents.

  • radiograms refer to a length of 1 km
  • Chernyshov testimony: the footprints continue below the stone ridge (more than 500m)
  • Atmanaki testimony: 700-800m
  • even Ivanov himself writes below, “Closer to the border of the forest, the footprints were covered with snow and disappeared.”, which corresponds to 1 km according to the schemes in the Case files.


Inspection of the tracks showed that some of them were almost barefoot (for example, in one cotton sock), others had a typical footprint of felt boots, legs covered in a soft sock, etc. Prints of tracks were located close to each other, converging and again separated one from another. Closer to the border of the forest, the footprints were covered with snow and disappeared.

Neither traces of a struggle nor presence of other people were found in the tent or near it.*

  1. Ivanov completely avoids mentioning the trace of the shoe. The footprint of the shoe contradicts the statement that there are no traces of strangers, since no member of the shoe group was wearing. However, the trace of the boot is clearly mentioned in the protocol of Chernyshov testimony.

    “we counted on the tent down to the valley 6 or 7 pairs of tracks, and 20 m to the left of them went 2 more pair of tracks. Then in 30-40 m these two groups (2 and 7 tracks) came together and do not part. The tracks were very well distinguished. In some footprints could be seen that the person was walking barefoot or in cotton sock, because the toes were imprinted. Further down was visible one track in a boot. Very well etched heel and the heel portion, and the intermediate part is not printed.”

    And sketched in Maslennikov notebook.

  2. Ivanov doesn't say that not only tracks of outsiders were not found, but also the traces of Dyatlov group themselves were not found:

    • the ski trail on the slope was not preserved
    • there are traces around the tent
    • there are traces around the cedar tree

    Thus, it is more correct to say that in many areas, due to weather conditions, traces were not preserved in general. Including the group itself.

    Maslennikov in his diary, despite the "absence of traces," allows for the presence of strangers.


26.II.59 in 1500 meters from the tent, at the forest boundary, the remains of a fire are found, and near it were the bodies of Doroshenko and Krivonischenko, stripped to the underwear. At 300 meters from the makeshift fire, in the direction of the tent, was found the body of Dyatlov, 180 meters away from him - the body of Slobodin, and 150 meters from Slobodin - Kolmogorova body.

According to Ivanov’s calculations, Zina’s body was found 870 meters from the tent, which is contrary to the protocol for inspecting the scene: In the same area, strictly in the south-west direction on the slope of height "1079" at a distance of 500 (changed from "58" or "56" - ed. note) meters from the body (later identified as Igor Alekseevich Dyatlov) was discovered a body of a female. Identified as Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova.

Why is this important?


The last three bodies were located on a straight line from the fire to the tent. Dyatlov lay on his backs, his head in the direction of the tent, his hands clasping the trunk of a small birch. Slobodin and Kolmogorova lay face down, their pose testified that they were crawling to the tent.*

Besides the poses, it would be more revealing if they were trying to go back to the tent if there were any traces left, but non were noticed.

Going back to XI and XIII

XI – Ivanov "reduces" the length of the traces from 800-1000m to 500.

XIII – Ivanov "pushes" Zina away from the tent, from 500m to 850.

Thus, Zina is no longer in the area of the footprints, which would follow from the Case files materials: Zina was found 500 meters from the tent, while the tracks were preserved for 800–1000m.

According to Ivanov the tracks end at a distance of 500 m, Zina lies at a distance of 850m, where there are no footprints.

The problem is that there were no traces of return (!) among the tracks, which should have been, if Zina was going back to the tent from the cedar. This is why Ivanov changes the distance.

If he had followed the information from the Case files, it would have turned out that Zina had died only 500 meters down, and the group had left her body there. In this case, the descent from the tent at 500 m is clearly not enough time to freeze.


May 4, 1959, 75 meters from the campfire, in the direction of the valley of the fourth tributary of Lozva, i.e. perpendicular to the way of the hikers from the tent, under a layer of snow 4-4.5 meters, the bodies of Dubinina, Zolotaryov, Thibeaux-Brignolle and Kolevatov were found. On the bodies, as well as a few meters from them, Krivonischenko and Doroshenko's clothes were found - trousers, sweaters. All clothing has traces of smooth cuts, as already photographed with the bodies of Doroshenko and Krivonischenko.

The dead Thibeaux Brignolle and Zolotaryov were found well-dressed, worse dressed Dubinina - her jacket made of artificial fur and a cap were found on Zolotaryov*, Dubinina's naked leg was wrapped in Krivonischenko's woolen pants.*

Was Semyon wearing Lyuda's clothes?

According to the autopsy report, Zolotaryov is wearing a "brown sport button-down jacket with a button". And a "tarpaulin green fur jacket on sheepskin" is found on Tibo, which, according to the description, resembles Lyuda's jacket, which was not found in March.

As for the cap, which also "turned out to be on Zolotaryov", in volume 2 there is a note written by Ivanov himself, that "the green cap is on Tibo".

As for "Dubinina’s bare leg wrapped in Krivonishchenko’s woolen trousers"

According to the autopsy report: Left leg - part of lower leg and foot wrapped in a gray woolen burnt flap from a jacket with a sleeve

Protocol of inspection of the scene where the bodies were found: "half of the sweater is wrapped around the right leg - a beige color sweater"

Resolution for radiological testing: brown sweater from №4 (№4 – Lyudmila Dubinina, according to the autopsy protocol number, coincidence in the number of decays - 9900)

Thus, the statement about the “"woolen trousers" is not confirmed by any document and even contradicts the resolution on conducting the Resolution for radiological testing, written by Ivanov himself.


Near the bodies, Krivonischenko's knife was found, which cut off the young firs near the fire.

Finding a knife is not documented anywhere and is not reflected in any of the memories of search participants. The same Krivonischenko knife was not presented to relatives and was not returned to them. Unlike all other knives of the group.


A forensic autopsy revealed that Kolevatov’s death was caused by a low temperature (hypothermia); Kolevatov had no injuries.*

Kolevatov has only bruises. (draft 1)

According to the autopsy report Kolevatov has "a wound of undetermined shape behind the right ear in the area of the mastoid process". Moreover, the conclusion of the Vozrozhdenniy about death from hypothermia is not justified, since none of the signs characteristic of hypothermia is indicated in the descriptive part of the protocol. The cause of Kolevatov's death can be considered not determined.

Physical and technical examination has established that Zolotaryov’s clothes, and especially Dubinina’s clothes, are significantly contaminated with radioactive dust.

So the tatters from Krivonishchenko’s trousers that wrapped Dubinina’s leg (examination table №60)* gives 9900 half-lives per minute from 150 sq. cm, the belt from Zolotaryov’s sweater (examination table №2) gives 5600 half-decays, which significantly exceeds the rate of pollution permitted by sanitary regulations. Neither Zolotaryov, nor Dubinina worked with radioactive substances.

If we take into account that the bodies of Zolotaryov and Dubinina were in the water for a long time before the discovery, then it should be considered that their radioactive contamination was significant.*

This fragment is only in draft form and is completely absent in the Resolution of volume 1.

Let's try to figure it out.

Who do the samples belong to? In the "Radiological Analysis Report" it is said.

In the Certificate of Examination all objects of investigation are numbered from №1 to №4.

№1 Kolevatov
№2 Zolotaryov
№3 Thibeaux-Brignolle
№4 Dubinina

As in the autopsy reports.

In each of the autopsy protocols there is evidence of the clothes that were on the bodies.

If you compare these data, then Ivanov is wrong:

  1. He attributes Kolevatov's sweater belt to Zolotaryov.
  2. He confuses what is Lyuda leg wrapped in, claiming that these are Krivonischenko pants.
  3. He attributes contamination clothes to Zolotaryov, although Zolotaryov is "clean"
  4. He doesn't say anything about Kolevatov’s contamination, although 2 elements of his clothes tested radioactive, including the overalls that were removed from Doroshenko.
  5. He incorrectly attributes some kind of jacket to Lyuda, although Lyuda is not found in a jacket. Lyuda's jacket is on Tibo.

You can also pay attention to the phrase from the very Resolution for radiation testing:

"At the disposal of the expert to present all the clothes of Zolotaryov, Dubinina, Kolevatov and Thibeaux-Brignolle, as well as part of their bodies." We are aware of the expertise of only 10 samples.


It is also established that the population of the Mansi people, living in 80-100 km in a few days distance (draft 1) from this place, is Russian friendly, offers hikers accommodation, assistance etc. The place where the group died is considered to be unfit for hunting and reindeer breeding in the winter.

Considering the absence of external injuries to the bodies* or signs of a fight*, the presence of all the valuables of the group, and also taking into account the conclusion of the medical examinations for the causes of the deaths of the hikers, it is concluded that the cause of their demise was overwhelming force, which the hikers were not able to overcome.

Multiple external lesions were found on each body, such as abrasions, wounds, hematomas, burns, etc., as recorded in the autopsy protocols.

The icing on the cake.

In the decision to terminate a criminal case on the fact of death there is not a single word about when did they die.



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