Pavlov Mikhail Alekseevich 
(27.05(09.06).1884–04.06.1938)


Russian geologist, member of the expedition G.Ya. Sedov. 
Born in the village of Marievka, Bakhmut district, Yekaterinoslav province, in a large family of geologists, graduates of the St. Petersburg Mining Institute. 
By virtue of his profession, his father was absent most of the time, the family lived with his mother's parents in Tsarskoye Selo near St. Petersburg.Pavlov was educated at the Tsarskoye Selo Classical Gymnasium, in which many people who later became famous studied. It was in the gymnasium that Pavlov's friendship with V.Yu. Vize. 
In 1906  Pavlov and Wiese entered together at St. Petersburg University in the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics. Pavlov, deciding to follow in his father’s footsteps, chose a department of geology and mineralogy. 
An able student was soon noticed by Professor A.A.Inostrantsev who brought up more than a dozen geologists. For six years  Pavlov worked in the geological study of the university under the guidance of Inostrantsev and privat-docent B.A. Popov. It was a wonderful school, a student of which would later himself become a professor in the department of mineralogy, and would educate the younger generation of the Ural and Far Eastern geologists. 
After the second course, Pavlov began to participate in field geological research. In 1908  the Petersburg Society of Naturalists sent him as a collector of the geological party to the Middle and Northern Urals. This was his first approach to the Arctic. The following year he worked in the Olonetsky district. Northern nature made an indelible impression on him with its wild, harsh beauty. 
In 1910–1912 Pavlov, as an independent geologist from the Petersburg Society of Naturalists, traveled to the Lovozero tundra for a petrographic survey of the nepheline-syenite outcrops. 
In these expeditions he was accompanied by Vize, who was engaged in ethnographic research.

 

Members of the expedition of Sedov. Sit from left to right: V. Vize, G. Sedov, P. Kushakov, M. Pavlov

 

1912 V.Vize (left) and M.Pavlov after a two-week expedition to Novaya Zemlya


After learning about the upcoming expedition of Sedov, friends were eager to take part in it. They offered him their services and were accepted. 
August 26, 1912 members of the expedition moved to the ship. The next day, the “Holy Martyr Foka” left the port of Arkhangelsk on the Barents Sea. In the first year, it was not possible to get to Franz Josef Land, which was planned to be the starting point for a hike to the North Pole, and the expedition wined on the western coast of the northern island of New Earth. 
In the spring with the advent of the sun began research routes. In March – April 1913  Pavlov and the sailors Linnik and Konoplev made the crossing of the island at 76°N.
During the first and second winterings, the members of the expedition carried out intensive research work. Everything they did had the prefix "for the first time". 
Participation in the expedition of Sedov brought Pavlov world fame. At the meetings of the Petersburg Society of Naturalists, he made two reports, but, unfortunately, a considerable part of the materials remained in manuscripts. 
Immediately after graduating from university in 1915  Pavlov conducted field work in the Fergana region, and after returning, on the recommendation of Inostransev, was elected an assistant in the department of mineralogy and seconded to Perm University for teaching. He stayed there for almost three years. From that moment on, his gradual migration to the east began. 
In January 1919  Pavlov transferred from Perm University to the Yekaterinburg Mining Institute, where he occupied the position of assistant professor in the department of petrography and mineralogy. But the Civil War did not contribute to the normal functioning of a higher educational institution. In the first days of August 1919  in connection with the offensive of the Red Army detachments, it was decided to evacuate the entire Ural Mining Institute to Vladivostok. For this, almost the whole train was needed.Professors and associate professors of the institute left for the East with their families, carrying books, collections, some equipment. I went to the East and some senior students. 
In Vladivostok  the echelon of the Ural Mining Institute arrived in late August. The teachers who came from the Urals joined the recently organized Vladivostok Polytechnic, renamed Vladivostok Polytechnic Institute. Pavlov took the position of associate professor and “deputy, acting professor” in the department of mineralogy in the new university. 
Rare classes in Vladivostok University could not fully satisfy Pavlov. For the sake of earnings, he agreed to teach at the teachers' gymnasium, conducted general geology and mineralogy, and on his free days he made excursions with a geological hammer along the coast of the Sea of Japan and along the river Shkotovka, where volcanic rocks of various ages are exposed. He got used to the geology of the Far East, to which he devoted a total of nineteen years of life. 
Geologically  the Far East was at that time a unique object to be studied by geologists of any profile. Due to poor knowledge, almost every new study was pioneering. 
It naturally happened that the career of a geologist Pavlov in the Far East developed in two directions simultaneously: as an educator of the younger generation of geologists and as a learned geologist-practitioner. Autumn, winter and spring were devoted to teaching at the institute and processing collections, and summer was devoted to geological research in the field. 
After the establishment of the Soviet Union in the Far East, all the universities of Vladivostok were merged into one Far Eastern State University, in which Pavlov occupied the position of professor in the department of mineralogy. 
As a search geologist  Pavlov made the greatest contribution to the study of coal deposits of the Far East, primarily the Suchan coal basin, which was given almost ten years. He sort of continued the work of the mining engineer Pavlov, his father. And no less important is the fact that he raised a whole galaxy of Far Eastern geologists. 
In July 1930  Pavlov went to Chukotka, where he was entrusted with the leadership of the geological parties working from the Joint Stock Company of Kamchatka Society. 
The planned work was successfully completed, and in 1931 a new contract was concluded with this company for the management of geological exploration in the Chukotka Peninsula. Like last year  the route to Chukotka lay through Kamchatka, and Pavlov departed by ship to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Upon arrival there, he was unexpectedly arrested for himself and the whole expedition. 
Pavlov was taken to the center of the Far Eastern Territory of Khabarovsk, where he and another geologist N.N. Koron was charged with sabotage in the coal industry of the region: one gave sabotage recommendations, and the other consciously carried them out. 
The investigation was conducted according to the technologies of that time: any trifle, any confession turned around against the accused, any acquaintance with foreigners, even the most innocent, was regarded as a connection with foreign intelligence. Any resistance was useless, and Pavlov and Koron "fully admitted their guilt".  As a result, the Russian intellectual Pavlov, a man completely fascinated by science, who worked in his homeland, renowned for participating in the expedition of Sedov, turned into an enemy of the people, an agent of Japanese intelligence. 
On October 27, 1932  the board of the Special state-political management decided: 
“Mikhail Alekseevich Pavlov, Nikolay Nikolayevich Koron, to be sentenced to death with a ten-year prison sentence in a concentration camp, counting from the day of arrest. Case file in the archive".  
At the same time, completed its famous flight “A. Sibiryakov”, whose supervisor was Vize. He knew that his friend had settled in the Far East, he wanted to see him, but when he found out about Pavlov’s arrest, he did not dare to seek a meeting. Who will condemn him for it? Only such giants as academicians A.F. Ioffe and P.L. Kapitsa, could afford to speak in defense of innocent convicts. 
Prisoner Pavlov was used to conduct geological surveys along the Volochaevka – Komsomolsk section of the projected railway. Here he quickly found signs of manganese ores and suggested the existence of a deposit somewhere higher in the Vandan mountains. The authorities became interested in the discovery of Pavlov, and in the autumn of 1933, at the expense of the resources of the Far Eastern camp management, a search party of 15 prisoners was formed, headed by Pavlov. Good results were immediately obtained, the scope of work expanded, and the party gradually transformed into an expedition, the composition of which reached 120 people. Residential barracks and production facilities were built, mining and drilling and chemical-analytical studies were carried out. Experimental enrichment of ore, conducted by experts of the Mining Institute, showed that it possesses high qualities, “technically similar to ordinary Chiatura ore, and is approaching the first class of export Nikopol”. 
Work continued until mid-1936. The interest of the local leadership, not supported by Moscow, disappeared, and the activity of the expedition was curtailed. 
According to Pavlov's estimates, the reserves of the Vandansky deposit amounted to no less than seven hundred thousand tons of ore, and the geological prospect — two million tons. In his latest report, he wrote that the deposit could become the base of the manganese industry in the Far East. But nobody was interested in it anymore. The report was classified as “secret” and sent to closed funds until better times. 
The construction of the railway also ended, the first train went along it, and the need for the services of geologists disappeared. Pavlov was transferred to the main work of the prisoners - the logging, but he was already physically unable to carry it out. Weakened those who were not able to not only fulfill the plan, but in general to go to work turned out to be many, and the authorities decided to get rid of the ballast. Quickly fabricated a case of sabotage and 40 people, including Pavlov, who was also credited with counter-revolutionary agitation and praising the fascists, were sentenced to death. On June 4, 1938, in the basement of the Khabarovsk prison, the sentence was carried out in a manner that is striking in its savagery and barbarism. Each person sentenced to death was given a sign in his hands, on which the name of the person being shot was written in clear, good handwriting. Put to the wall, photographed, took away a plate, shot. And so - forty times in a row. What was not the first to see it all and wait for their turn.

 

Pavlov for a moment before the shooting


This is how the people's power was cleared from the best representatives of the people. 
On March 22, 1957  the Khabarovsk Regional Court overturned the decision of the Troika of NKVD on the DVK. The Military Tribunal revised and reversed both decisions: from 10.27.1932 (shooting with a replacement for serving ten years in a concentration camp) and from 26.03.1938 (shooting with bringing it into execution. Both cases against Mikhail Alekseevich Pavlov were discontinued due to the absence of corpus delicti in his actions. 
As stated in the certificate, which was received in 1972 by the husband of Pavlov’s granddaughter, military sailor A.A. Belousov, “.. due to the lack of data in the case, it is not possible to establish the exact burial site. The common burial place of citizens repressed at that time in the mountains. Khabarovsk, located near the city cemetery". 
Cape and mountain on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya on the Litke peninsula. Named in 1913 by G.Ya. Sedov.

 

Pavlov's  Glacier

(photo by EA Korago)


Glacier on the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya in the gulf of Inostrantsev. Named in 1913 by G.Ya. Sedov. 
Lake on the Jackson Island Archipelago Franz Josef Land.

 

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