Pavlov Mikhail Alekseevich
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
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
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
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
Members of the expedition of Sedov. Sit
from left to right: V. Vize, G. Sedov,
Kushakov, M. Pavlov
(left) and M.Pavlov after a two-week expedition to
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
located near the city cemetery".
Cape and mountain on
the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya on the Litke
in 1913 by G.Ya. Sedov.
(photo by EA Korago)
the west coast of the northern island of Novaya Zemlya in the gulf
of Inostrantsev. Named
in 1913 by G.Ya. Sedov.
the Jackson Island Archipelago
Franz Josef Land.