Kushakov Pavel Grigorievich
of the expedition
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
"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
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
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
Arngold, who met with Kushakov in 1915 on Dixon
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
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.
(from the archive of
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
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.