Kabardian Hagazheyev inherited name from father’s friend
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Kabardian Hagazheyev inherited name from father’s friend

August 15, 2022

Johnson Hagazheyev was born on January 27, 1940 in the village of Nartan, Kabardino-Balkarian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. In 1961 he graduated from the North Caucasian Mining and Metallurgical Institute and came to Norilsk.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. He worked as a smelter at the Copper plant, and as a foreman at the Nickel plant. Since 1971, he was the Copper plant smelting shop head. Then he became the plant’s deputy chief engineer for production. Later he headed the Copper plant, and after it he became the Nadezhda metallurgical plant’s director.

Johnson Talovich Hagazheyev

The 34-year-old director of the Copper plant Hagazheyev relied on young people: under him, for example, smelting units were served by Komsomol crews. Having become the director of Nadezhda, Hagazheyev brought the young enterprise to its design capacity, achieved high performance in metal.

In July 1996, Johnson Hagazheyev was invited to RAO Norilsk Nickel as deputy general director, and then as head of Norilsk Combine JSC.

As the combine’s director, he formed a new team of production workers, carried out a number of serious reforms, and the combine got out of debt.

By 2000, under Hagazheyev, production had risen to 18 percent of the world’s output of platinum and 66 percent of palladium, the combine controlled 22 percent of the world’s nickel production and 19 percent of cobalt. Wage arrears were liquidated, such social programs as Mommies and Six Pensions were launched.

In March 2001, together with the Norilsk mayor, Oleg Budargin, Johnson Hagazheyev turned to the Emergency Situations Ministry head, Sergey Shoigu, with a request to return the status of a closed city to Norilsk.

A family legend told why the Kabardian Hagazheyev got a foreign name Johnson: his father named him after his friend’s son who died early. The friend did not have time to explain why his child had such an untypical name – he himself died in the war.

There was also such a legend about Hagazheyev. The general director was fond of the song The Brave Hasbulat. His personal driver got tired of rewinding the song back and forth, and he recorded the entire tape with The Brave Hasbulat only. So they began to measure distances with this song: it took six Hasbulats to Talnah, 14 – to the airport.

In the History Spot photo project previous publication we told about 1953 in Norilsk: that year the village became a city, but most of its inhabitants remained prisoners.

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Text: Svetlana Ferapontova, Photo: Nornickel Polar Branch archive

August 15, 2022

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