Among the artefacts for the national project of the Ministry of Culture of Russia, the Taimyr Museum of Local Lore, along with unique items of material and spiritual culture of the Arctic ethnic groups, included… a radio. Now this popular novelty of 1953 adorns the Apartment of a Dudinka resident in the 1950s exposition complex. The radio receiver and player from the Berdsk radio plant – Radiola Record-53M – is not only a technical rarity, on which you can listen to vinyl records even today. It belonged to a very famous person – Grigory Popov. There are a lot of celebrities with such a surname in Russia. Grigory Popov went down in its history as a hero of the Great Patriotic War and the first Dolgan scientist in the field of economic geography.
The birthplace of the eventual scientist (by the beginning of the war Gregory was 18 years old) was the Chasovnya village, the same one that was called the Norilsk settlement. His father was the first chairman of the first Chasovnya collective farm, Roman Popov. The son of the chairman graduated from the seven-year school in Dudinka and was immediately sent to study at the Leningrad Pedagogical School. In 1940, Grigory became a student of the famous northern branch of the Herzen Leningrad Pedagogical Institute, but did not study for long: five days after the war start, he volunteered for the front.
The fate of the front-line soldier Grigory was followed by relatives and countrymen, including through publications in the Soviet Taimyr newspaper: “From the first days of the war, a student of the Leningrad Institute of the Peoples of the North Grigory Popov from the Dudinsky District went to the front. Tundra young people are following the example of Grigory Popov”. In 1942, the Soviet Taimyr wrote about his participation in a brutal bayonet attack, in which dozens of fascists were killed, and the junior commander Grigory Popov was wounded.
In the museum’s personal card, a researcher Nina Predtechenskaya wrote that in October 1942 Popov was sent to reconnaissance, where he served until November 1945: “Participant in the battles near Novgorod he received the medal For Courage. In May 1942 he was awarded the rank of junior political instructor. For bravery and fortitude in battles in Karelia he was awarded the Order of the Red Star. He traveled the entire Baltic region along the roads of war. He met victory as part of the 21st Army of the I Ukrainian Front under the command of Marshal Konev. He was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, II degree, medals For the Defense of Leningrad, For Victory over Germany. Transferred to the reserve in November 1945″.
In November 1945, Grigory Popov was only 22 years old. After demobilization, he successfully graduated from the institute, and then graduated from the Leningrad State University. In 1954 he defended his Ph.D. thesis on the Taimyr National District topic (economic and geographical characteristics) and until 1966 worked as a senior research fellow at the Research Institute of Agriculture of the Far North in Yamal, Taimyr, and Evenkia. Then he moved to the Central Institute of Economics under the State Planning Committee of the RSFSR. In 1974 he was appointed scientific secretary of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences.
Grigory Popov died in the capital in 1984, forever inscribing his name both in the history of his small homeland and in the history of the great Victory.
Together with other Russian museums, the Taimyr Museum of Local Lore takes part in the national project of the Ministry of Culture called Artefact. This is a guide to museums in Russia with augmented reality technology. For the platform of multimedia guides, museum workers from Dudinka prepare information about unique items from their collection. There was a radio player among them, transferred to the museum by Grigory Popov’s relatives in 1999.
Text: Valentina Vachaeva, Photo: Taimyr Museum of Local Lore