First direct mayors election held in Norilsk 50 years ago
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First direct mayors election held in Norilsk 50 years ago

August 29, 2022

We can say that 1997 was the year of mayors. In all three cities of the Norilsk industrial region - Norilsk, Talnah and Kayerkan - the first in their history direct elections of mayors were held.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Vasily Tkachev was elected mayor of Norilsk, Igor Stepanenko – Kayerkan, Yury Luks – Talnah.

On January 7, the city theater also hosted the first ever official inauguration – the ceremony of taking the mayor office. And the main informational background of 1997 was the struggle for powers between Norilsk and Talnah.

Talnah adopted its own charter, where it declared itself a city of regional subordination (!), not included in any municipalities. Talnah kept the taxes collected on its territory, resumed publication of its own newspaper, Talnah’s Ogni, it was emphasized in every possible way that Talnah, which had taken the proud title of the Russia ore capital, had an independent municipality.

Tkachev had no time to sort things out with Talnah, as the conflict with the regional authorities escalated, which was not at all happy about his return to the mayor post. The Norilsk mayor was arrested twice that year, after which he rarely visited the city, and a permit regime was introduced in the administration hall. Two years later, under another governor, Vasily Tkachev was given a term on charges of taking a bribe and the first mayor era ended.

In February 1997, the living wage in Norilsk reached one million rubles. This figure is considered the peak of inflation in the city.

And back in 1997, a physical education teacher from a Norilsk school, Sergey Ogorodnikov, and a children’s doctor from France, Christine Janine, made an unprecedented two-month walk on drifting ice. They reached the North Pole. Sergey Ogorodnikov became the second Norilsk citizen after Vasily Ryzhkov, who visited the top of the Earth.

Also in 1997, a temple was opened in Norilsk, named after the image of the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow. A small baptismal church’s construction was completed in 1994 – it was the first stage of the temple complex. In 1995, the Christmas service was held in the new walls.

And the main building of the temple complex was commissioned in 1997. The Temple of All Who Sorrow Joy, designed for 800 people, was given the status of a cathedral.

In the History Spot’s previous publication, we talked about the fact that in 1992 the first plane of a private airline flew to Norilsk and the Aeroflot’s long-term monopoly ended.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

August 29, 2022

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