Norilsk street and rare mineral named after Vladimir Kotulsky
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Norilsk street and rare mineral named after Vladimir Kotulsky

March 22, 2022

Geologist Vladimir Kotulsky was the author of the textbook that taught more than one generation of geologists. He is considered the founder of applied geology.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The world-famous luminary of science lived a hard life. In 1918, Kotulsky became vice director of the Geological Committee, which operated in Siberia under the Kolchak government, led the exploration of the Baikal region, Altai, and Kazakhstan.

In 1930, he was arrested for ‘organizing the Geolcom (Geological Committee), supported by the White Guard government’. The execution was replaced by ten years in prison, but then through the efforts of his sister, the singer of the Bolshoi Theater, Kotulsky was discharged. In 1931, he discovered a sulfide deposit on the Kola peninsula. And in 1932 he was again arrested, sentenced to ten years, serving his term in Monchegorsk.

In 1941, Kotulsky, together with the Severonickel combine, was evacuated to Norilsk. In our city, he became a senior geologist of the Norilsky Nickel combine’s geological department, taught mineralogy at the technical school (now the Polar State University), under his leadership the geological map of the Norilsk region was compiled.

In 1943 he was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor for his work in Norilsk. From 1945 to 1949 he worked in Leningrad at Gipronickel. In 1949, Kotulsky was again sentenced to 25 years in the camps, and while being transferred to Norillag, he died: according to one version, from a heart rupture, according to another one, he was killed by a criminal.

The rare mineral kotulskite was named after the scientist, as well as one of Norilsk streets. All the city geologists advocated for this toponym in 1966 because they also studied geology with the Kotulsky’s textbook.

In the last issue of the History Spot photo project, we told about Zavenyagin street: it was a testing ground for the city planning innovations.

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Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive

March 22, 2022

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