Vladimir Korotaev was working with the Mansi and hurricane theories. Thirty-seven years after the incident, he mentioned in a speech that the Mansi were under the heavy suspicion, but they pointed to the wind as a possible cause of the deaths of the Dyatlov group, saying that the wind can be so strong it carries people away. At that point the bodies had yet to be examined, and Korotaev gives the following reason for releasing the Mansi:
"When the tent was brought to my office for investigation, a woman entered the room and, when she saw the tent, she said she had worked for 30 years as a seamstress in Ivdellag (prison); and she took one look at the fabric of the tent and told me the tent was cut from the inside, not the outside. For me, this was significant, and I ordered the tent to be sent for a forensic examination."
The examination proved that the tent was cut from inside; this was the formal reason for clearing the Mansi of suspicion. There were other reasons for doing so:
Soon after releasing the Mansi, Korotaev refused to continue investigation according to instructions, and he was removed from the position of lead investigator which he occupied for 20 days. One of the party cherubs, reporting on the progress of the investigation directly to Khrushchev, was the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Party Committee, Andrei Pavlovich Kirilenko. In the future - a member of the Politburo and secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, head of the Military Industrial Commission, in the 50 years Kirilenko led the Dnipropetrovsk and Sverdlovsk regions of the USSR - the main forge of the Cold War. After the discovery of the last 4 bodies in the ravine in the first days of May, Kirilenko summoned Korotaev to the investigator's office and unequivocally explained:
"Khrushchev is notified that the students froze to death and the case must be closed."
At the time Korotaev was helping Tempalov, the prosecutor in the criminal case. After this visit, Korotaev was unexpectedly fired from the investigation all together. On May 28, 1959, investigator Lev Ivanov closed the case, was promoted to the prosecutor of the Kostanay region, and the annals of Soviet jurisprudence were supplemented with a sophisticated formulation:
"The reason for the death of students was overwhelming force which they were unable to overcome."
Everyone who took part in the search signed a non-disclosure of information for 25 years. Kholat Syakhl and Otorten were closed for turists.Investigator Vladimir Korotaev — non-disclosure
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In this interview Korotaev says he saw Evening Otorten (only he and commander Potyazhneko) and that there was something written about Yudin and he goes into details in 5:21.
Korotaev, the first investigator of the Dyatlov group case in 1959, before Lev Ivanov, remembering the seamstress that first noticed the tent was cut from the inside, KGB guarding the morgue, coroners dipping in barrels of alcohol, documents disappearing from the case files and more horrors surrounding this tragedy. Read here →
It is hard to understand who was in charge really. Who made the decisions, who signed the papers, and there is also an overseeing body. Galina Sazonova, a Dyatlov Pass researcher, tried to explain:
The case was opened by Tempalov on Feb 26, 1959.
The case was closed by Ivanov on May 28,1959.
But the Protocol of inspection of the scene where the bodies were found was signed on May 6, 1959, by Tempalov, not by Ivanov.
So it looks like by looks like by May 6, 1959, Tempalov still had the position of lead investigator. In the case files there is no order for Tempalov to have been replaced as lead investigator. The 2nd volume of the case files is not literally a 2nd part.
All criminal cases are overseen by a highest authority, and the 2nd volume of the case files is the result of this supervision. In Russian is called "наблюдательное дело". Ivanov can not run and control the same case at the same time. It looks like the Tempalov still had the position of lead investigator and Ivanov was overseeing it. Lev Ivanov's boss was Evgeniy Okishev and he says there was an order from above to say that the Dyatlov group died in an accident. The order was related to him by Ivan Urakov, Deputy Prosecutor of the RSFSR, supervised the investigation department. In 1959 he was sent on behalf of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR to Sverdlovsk to keep control over the investigative activities concerning the Dyatlov group case. Whois →
In this case, why did Ivanov close the case? He should have the authority to do this. According to the paperwork Lev Ivanov is closing a case that hasn't officially been transferred to him.... again... since he is overseeing it at the same time, and Tempalov keeps signing documents.
On the other hand Korotaev hasn't signed any papers. And because he is a source of all kinds of information the late head of the Dyatlov foundation Yuri Kuntsevich asked officially what was Vladimir Korotaev's position at the time when the case was opened and this document says: "...from December 8, 1958 to April 2, 1999, successively holding the positions of investigator of the prosecutor's office of the city of Ivdel, assistant prosecutor of the Oktyabrsky district of Sverdlovsk with the duties of an investigator, senior investigator of the regional prosecutor's office, investigator for especially important cases of the prosecutor's office of the region." Vladimir Korotaev claims he signed documents but his signature is nowhere to be seen in the case files. Are the documents missing or did Korotaev embellish his role in this case? He died in 2012 at the age of 77. Whois →