Born on 7 Feb 1935, USSR.
Krivonischenko was a friend of Dyatlov, he took part in almost all the expeditions that Igor went to. Also Georgiy was good friends with the majority of Dyatlov group, who often visited the spacious apartment of his parents in the city centre of Sverdlovsk. Krivonishenko’s parents were well-educated and influential people, and they often welcomed students to their place. His father was the chief construction engineer of the Beloyarski Hydro-Electro Station. Yuri himself was the life of the party. Although in fact Krivonishchenko bore the name of Georgiy, friends usually called him Yuri (similar to Zolotaryov's case who was named Semyon but he preferred and friends called him Sasha). Yuri is a Slavic adaptation of the Christian name Georgiy which has Greek origin (Wikipedia).
He studied construction and hydraulics in UPI University, graduated in 1957. While working in Chelyabinsk - 40 a secret nuclear facility he experienced a disaster that became known as Kyshtym disaster. On September 29, 1957 plutonium plant experienced radioactive leak. Yuri (or Georgiy) Krivonishenko was among the people who was sent to clean it up. His body will wear clothes that have traces of radioactivity that some link to this particular event. However being specialist engineer Yuri had more knowledge about radioactivity and means to avoid unwanted exposure. Read more →
The in-house court joker. He was always looking to amuse his friends with jokes or playing the mandolin. The mandolin he took on the doomed hike was found at the storage shed where the skiers left provisions for their way back. Their arrival in the town of Serov on the morning of 24 January was marked by an unpromising incident: Yuri Krivonischenko was detained by the police at the railway station. At first the police did not let the group into the building. They probably thought these young people were too noisy for the sleepy settlement, but then they relented and allowed the group to enter the station. Krivonischenko was great fun to be around, and on that morning he was in a particularly exuberant mood. First he asked Lyuda for money to buy breakfast in a café. Lyuda, who was the group’s treasurer, told him they couldn't afford it. Perhaps she was trying to compensate for her extravagance in Sverdlovsk, where she’d bought that unnecessary five meters of cambric which cost 200 roubles. In response, Krivonischenko started to sing loudly, and the police were swiftly alerted. But Krivonischenko was not only singing when he was approached by the policeman: was also acting like a panhandler, walking around with a hat in his hands and asking for money. "They immediately took him to the police station. The policeman told him singing in public places is forbidden. This is the first public place where it's forbidden to sing!" Lyuda tried to find an explanation as to why the police took this approach. "It’s because this town is very calm, as if it’s already a Communist era here – no crime, no law violations – and then our Yurka Krivonischenko started to sing loudly."
"I love you, life!" performed in 1962 by "Soviet Sinatra" actor and singer Mark Bernes.
This was Yuri Krivonischenko's favorite song. After his death his mother took a piece of basalt, attached a silvered plate with an engraving "I love you, life, and I hope this is mutual". She kept it on a shelf in memory of Yuri.
He was 5 days shy of his 24th birthday when he died. Krivonischenko is buried on May 9, 1959, in Ivanovskoe cemetery, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia.
|Yuri Krivonischenko camera|
To many researchers of this tragedy, Yuri Krivonischenko seems to be a rather mysterious person. It is known that he worked at the Mayak secret nuclear enterprise. It is believed that he was a KGB recruit. Yuri’s clothes turned out to be radioactive. For some reason, Yuri Krivonischenko, as well as another victim - Semyon Zolotaryov, was buried separately from other hikers in a prestigious and already closed city cemetery.
A letter written by Krivonischenko on December 27, 1958, addressed to Igor Dyatlov discussing the details of the upcoming trip to Northern Ural starting on January 22, 1959. The letter contains a poem which Krivonischenko dedicated to his fellows hikers.
On 15 Aug 1958 Yuri Krivonischenko hands his letter of resignation "due to complete unwillingness to work in this system". This does not sound like a whim. Something happened and we will never know what exactly. To me it doesn't sound just like harsh conditions for work. Something completely ticked him off. It is not clear as of what happened after that. Mayak enterprise not only rejects the resignation but sends Yuri to one of the most polluted constructions site "Ozero". Only because of this resolution we know where was Yuri working when he went to Otorten.
In the following thread it seems mail is not going through for some reason, but it speaks of the persistent inquiry of a facility which allegedly no more employs Krivonichenko, on the document dated 24 April 1959 it even calls him "former" engineer. According to Alexey Rakitin Yuri Krivonischenko was not relieved of duties but reassigned, probably with the connections his father had, to a secret department of which even his former employers didn't know about.
|15 Aug 1958||
To the head of the 10th district, Comrade Latiy V.N. from the foreman of the 3rd section G.A. Krivonischenko
The resolution of the authorities on the letter is:
|31 Mar 1959||Nuzhdin inquiry to Ivanov:
We don't have this document, but it is mentioned in Ivanov's answer below.
|23 Apr 1959||Ivanov answer to Nuzhdin:
"I inform you that Krivonischenko Georgiy Aleekseevich died during an expedition in the mountain region marked as 1079 in the Ivdel region of the Sverdlovsk district.
Krivonischenko G. A. is buried by relatives in the city of Sverdlovsk. Death certificate issued by Ivdel City registry office is given to the parents of the deceased."
|24 Apr 1959||Nuzhdin inquiry to Ivanov:
"I ask you to expedite the answer to your number 34/466 of March 31, 1959 regarding the circumstances of the death of a engineer of our enterprise Krivonischenko Georgiy Aleekseevich."
|17 Jul 1959||Ivanov answer to Nuzhdin:
"I am reporting again, that Krivonischenko Georgiy Aleekseevich died during an expedition in the mountain region marked as 1079 in the Ivdel region of the Sverdlovsk district. G. A. Krivonischenko G. A. is buried by relatives in the city of Sverdlovsk. Death certificate issued by Ivdelskiy City registry office is given to the parents of the deceased.
Similarly letter was sent to you on April 23 this year, to the address indicated on the stamp of your letter, but the letter was returned for lack of addressee.
Attached Post Office reference"
|10 Jun 1959||Nuzhdin inquiry to Ivanov:
"For the third time, please inform where and under what circumstances did the engineer of our enterprise Georgiy Aleekseevich Krivonischenko die. Earlier, we asked you twice about this, №34/466 form 31.III.59 and 34/584 from April 24, 1959, but there was no response from you."
|16 Jul 1959||Nuzhdin inquiry to Ivanov:
Same document as above is registered in Sverdlovsk.