First Norilsk geologist killed in robbery

First Norilsk geologist killed in robbery

January 24, 2022

Vladimir Domarev refused to give the bandits the keys to the geological department safe.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The Leningrad Mining Institute graduate first came to Norilsk in May 1925 with the fourth Norilsk expedition part led by Pavel Alliluyev. Here, together with Nikolay Urvantsev, he explored mount Rudnaya.

Then Vladimir Domarev led the exploration of non-ferrous metal deposits in Hakassia and the Minusinsk region, and became the Lentransproekt chief survey engineer.

In 1936, Domarev was arrested and given ten years in prison under the ‘political’ article 58. He got into Norilsk again, that time as a prisoner.

Vladimir Domarev with his daughter. 1936

In 1947, the released Vladimir was appointed the Norilsk combine geological department chief engineer and lived right in the office.

On the night of April 23, 1947, an armed raid was made on the building. Demanding the keys to the funds and the cash register, the bandits inflicted 17 stab wounds on Domarev. He entered into a fight with them, even his face was injured. Vladimir Domarev died on the operating table.

Elizaveta Urvantseva described the event in a letter to Domarev’s wife Natalya:

“…At three o’clock in the morning, the bandits, in order to rob the cash desk, made an armed raid on the geological department. One of the bandits climbed through the window into the accounting department, went to the exit door and let in two accomplices. The watchman was sleeping, obviously, sitting on a chair in the office… They tied the watchman to a chair and demanded the keys to the funds and the cash register. The watchman, an elderly one, pointed out that the authorities had the keys, the chief was in that room and his name was Vladimir Domarev. The bandits knocked, introduced themselves as employees from the third department, called Vladimir Domarev by name. He opened the door, and then the drama broke out… Having wounded Vladimir with a knife, the bandits disappeared”.

He was escorted to the cemetery by a mass of people – everyone loved and respected Vladimir Domarev.

In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told that the Talnah first inhabitants were 15 drillers: the future mining capital began with tents and wooden houses.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

January 24, 2022

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