Kushakov Pavel Grigorievich

Member of the expedition G.Ya. Sedov.
The Kushakov family in the provincial center, the city of Stavropol in the Caucasus, dates back to 1843, when peasant Alexei Semenovich Kushakov arrived from the Tula province.
In 1906 he graduated from the Kharkov Veterinary Institute, receiving a diploma “with exceptional distinction”, worked in Stavropol, in 1912 he moved to Petersburg.
Information about the identity of Kushakov is very ambiguous. An absolutely negative assessment was given to him in the book of N.V. Pinegin "George Sedov". At the institute, he crawled with difficulty from course to course, and received a diploma with honors only thanks to the non-participation of students in strikes. In a fraudulent way, having forged documents, I ended up on a foreign scientific business trip. At his last service, the veterinarian of the equestrian police guard of Stavropol wrote a denunciation to his boss, for which he was dismissed. I came to Petersburg to get a better job. Having learned from newspapers about Sedov’s upcoming expedition to the North Pole, he decided that this was the surest way to become famous. Through wife A.A. Bunge trusted him and received a recommendation to participate in Sedov’s expedition as a doctor. The expedition proved to be the worst way. It turned out to be useless as a specialist, impolite, stupid, trying to replace the boss. He did everything so that the seriously ill Sedov nevertheless went on a toboggan trip to the pole, literally pushing him to this reckless step. He did this in the hope of Sedov’s death, which allowed Kushakov to become the head of the expedition.


The former Kushakovs house in Stavropol. Now for many years there has been a radio committee


There is an opinion of Kushakov himself about these events, cited by the doctor of the icebreaking steamer “Vaigach” E.E. Arngold, who met with Kushakov in 1915 on  Dixon Island, where the latter was the head of the newly opened polar station.
Kushakov said that “after the death of Sedov, he remained behind the head of the expedition, and only thanks to his enormous energy and abilities the ship was safely delivered to Arkhangelsk. The navigator died even earlier than Sedov, the mechanic too. He had to be both a commander, navigator and mechanic. And on the ship there were a natural student of Petersburg University (most likely, this refers to M.A. Pavlov and a student of the Academy of Arts (undoubtedly N.V. Pinegin). These people, according to Kushakov, restored the team against him and at the same time he didn’t want to work as he should, he got to invite them to his cabin and, having taken out a revolver, said that if they didn’t get to work right away and stop waking up among the crew, he would have to shoot their skulls. The threat had its effect, and our young intel igenty became like silk".
And finally, the opinion of Arngold, which he drew up, having familiarized himself with Kushakov’s economy on Dikson and the activities that were assigned to him to assist the
hydrographic expedition of the Arctic Ocean 1910–1915. “Then he (Kushakov) showed us his farm. We examined the radio station: it is sound, 15 kilowatts, a station tower 100 meters high. Great bathhouse and very nice apartment buildings. It was clear from everything that Kushakov was an excellent organizer. Personal hard-won experience gained during the expedition to the Land of Franz Joseph on "St. “Foka” with senior lieutenant Sedov, and acquaintance with the polar literature helped Kushakov carefully discuss the assignment of assistance assigned to him in the event of the death of our ships and fulfill it with rare forethought and diminution”.  L.M. Starokadomsky also spoke positively about Kushakov. It is clear that a similar opinion was shared by all the participants in the geological competition.
The attitude to Kushakov and Sedov himself is ambiguous. In a letter dated August 19, 1912 he writes: "... He bothered me with his unbridledness, boastfulness and generally familiarity ...". In Sedov’s diary of November 16, 1913, there is such an entry about Kushakov: “... a very unbearable person ...”. And at the same time, Sedov leaves him after himself the head of the expedition.
Acquaintance with Kushakov’s memoirs reveals the reason for his conflicts with other members of the expedition - these are conflicts of a mandatory, organized, disciplined, principled person with decent, good, but scattered and unaccustomed people. The head of the expedition instructed Kushakova to monitor the careful consumption of kerosene, and he conscientiously carried out this task and was forced to conflict with those who could play cards all day long in the light of a kerosene lamp. Kushakov was instructed to follow the mandatory disinfection of cabins - he followed, entering into conflict with those who considered this to be optional. In these conflicts, of course, Kushakov was right. Failure to comply with such instructions was fraught with grave, disastrous consequences for the expedition. Kushakov only lacked diplomacy.
As can be understood from the above, after returning from the expedition Sedov Kushakov in 1915 was on Dixon. He was entrusted with the organization of a radio station on the island, the creation of which was necessary to ensure communication with the ships of the Arctic Ocean, wintering in the Kara Sea. Kushakov energetically took up the task entrusted and successfully dealt with it.


Polar station Dixon. 1915 year.
(from the archive of N.I. Evgenov)


After the ships were released from ice captivity, the Ministry of the Sea was going to mothball the radio station, but at the request of the GFO and the Polar Commission of the Academy of Sciences, it was decided in 1916 to open a permanent hydrometeorological station here. Her leadership remained with Kushakov. The station consisting of 8 people began to operate in September 1916. The wintering day schedule established by Kushakov was very strict, scheduled by the hour and included scientific observations, household and indoor chores, gymnastics games, hunting, and dog riding. In June 1917, the composition of the polar explorers was changed. In 1918, Kushakov was part of the West Siberian detachment of the expedition for hydrographic study of the Arctic Ocean, led by B.A. Vilkitsky. His task was to provide equipment for coastal and ship radio stations.
In 1919, Kushakov emigrated abroad. Until recently, the latest information about him dated back to 1920. While in London, he drafted a “memorandum” on the development of the Northern Sea Route.
Now information has become available on the emigrant period of Kushakov’s life (see http://vaga-land.livejournal.com/981370.html), which also specifies the years of his birth and death.
In 1926, in England, he married Agnes M Murray. After moving to permanent residence in Switzerland, Kushakov was engaged in active scientific activity for many years. In 1936 he published a scientific article in the introduction of which was written: The first experiments that formed the basis of this work date back to 1912 and subsequent years. They were done during Arctic expeditions conducted under the patronage of the Russian government and the Academy of Sciences in Petrograd. The author took part in them as a leader and a doctor. All materials collected at that time were lost during the political events that shocked Russia.
This work was resumed first in 1928 in France, in the laboratories of Dr. Ronchez in Nice, then in Switzerland since 1930 in Montreux and Lausanne, where research continued thanks to the support of M Park J Hammar from St. Louis, Missouri at a special institute - Health Research Laboratory, but most of all at the Institute of Clinical Chemistry. This publication is only a summary of a set of experiments related to food leukocytosis.
In 1945, Kushakov, for his work on the study of food leukocytosis, was nominated from the University of Lausanne for the Nobel Prize in medicine.
In 1946, the publishing house Éditions Delachaux & Niestlé (Lone, Switzerland) published the book Nuit De Midi et Soleil De Minuit (Midday Night and Midnight Sun), with his own illustrations, in which he described his Arctic adventures.
A review of this book was published in the newspaper L’IMPARTIAL (La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland) on July 3, 1946:
“It is with pleasure and interest that the book of Dr. Kushakov, a Russian scientist and researcher who emigrated to Switzerland, became his second homeland and refuge, in which he conducts his outstanding research in the field of bacteriology. From expeditions to the Arctic over several years, Dr. Kushakov brought breathtaking memories of polar life in a constantly changing and often unpredictable environment, where each achievement is the result of an uncompromising struggle with the destructive forces of a polar nature, disproportionate in scale to a person forced to live there”.
Died and buried in Lausanne.
North East Cape Entrance Inostrantsev Bay on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya. He described, put on the map and named G.Ya. Sedov in 1913.
Cove (Pavlovskaya) in the bay of Efremov in the area of Dixon island. It was named in 1917 by the employees of the first radio station on Dixon.

The name of the wife of Kushakov, Claudia Yakovlevna, is the cape (Claudia) on the northern shore of the Gulf of Inostrantseva.


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