Whether always the award finds the hero? Works and days of the geologist Larisa Popugayeva of
A we will return to Larisa Grintsevich now. In the summer of 1950 it worked as geologists, “in the field“, in the north of the Irkutsk region, on the river the Lower Tunguska speak. In 1951 Larisa spent summer on Polar Ural Mountains. And here in 1952 in the field she did not go because she married and gave birth to the daughter.
Spring of 1953 Larisa (now Popugayeva) asked to send it to Yakutia together with Natalia Sarsadskikh`s party. During expedition in summer of 1953 geologists found here, on river banks Daldyn, crystals of a pyrope and small diamond. It is obvious that it was necessary to come back to the next summer for investigation continuation by method of piropovy shooting here.
But summer of 1954 of N. Sarsadsky could not go to expedition, it gave birth to the daughter. Larisa Popugayeva could refuse too as she was pregnant. But what was sung in the Komsomol song? “Think of the Homeland earlier, and then of yourself!“ The homeland needed diamonds. Larisa Popugayeva made abortion and went to expedition to Yakutia.
Her position was called “the chief of party“. Though in party of this there were only 2 persons: it and worker F. A. Belikov. Worked together, and work was hard - manual washing of soil. On fresh (very fresh!) air. Geologists gradually went down on a watercourse Daldyn, investigating also its inflows, and made the table, noting quantity of pyropes in shlikha and trying to define the place of their maximum concentration. Search gave them on a watershed of two streams. Here Larisa found unusual breed, clay of bluish color, all in pyropes. It was the diamondiferous kimberlite! It was the victory!
But it is not without reason told: at a victory there are a lot of parents. The local geological administration did not wish to give monasteries of the pioneer to any foreign little girl from Leningrad at all. And business was not only in glory here. For discovery of the field the considerable award relied. For opening of the first field of the Soviet diamonds the Stalin award obviously shone! Big money inspired on big meanness.
Upon return on base Larisa Popugayeva gave the report on discovery of diamondiferous breed by it. Besides, even prior to expedition, expecting the plane which would bring it with F. A. Belikov on Daldyn, she generously shared a technique of piropovy shooting with local employees. Anyhow! What was it taught all life to? Knowledge and experience should be given to the Soviet people.
At once after the given report from Larisa demanded to hand over all collected materials in a special unit: cards, records, samples. So it was necessary under the law, and there was nothing to object. And then natural pressure began. To Larisa in plain terms suggested to write backdating the application for transition to work to a local geological expedition. In this case honor of important opening would pass to the local geological administration. Threats of all calibers were put to use. Larisa was not allowed to landing in the plane “on the continent“ and did not allow to send the telegram to Leningrad. Remembered suddenly that she is a daughter of “the enemy of the people“. Began to say that places here wild, people - too. So Larisa can get lost in a taiga - and remember as called. At last, L. Popugayeva was elementary put under house arrest. After three-months resistance Larisa signed the required application.
Now let`s remember that it is about the young woman who is torn home to the husband and the little daughter. So three months of sitting in the Yakut solitude of L. Popugayeva can be included safely for a year of imprisonment.
Return to Leningrad was not so triumphal. Employees of VSEGEI told Larisa that she betrayed their interests and subjected the woman of obstruction. What too was rather meanly. In three months none of the Leningrad administration saw to it: why it from Larisa is not present any news. Whether the help is required? To put it briefly, L. Popugayeva got into an unenviable position of the Soviet prisoners of war by which hard stay in enemy to captivity was equated to treachery.
Generally, return to institute was impossible. Larisa came to postgraduate study of Mining institute which did not finish.
As it is necessary, after punishment of the innocent rewarding of not privy took place. In 1957 six geologists got the Lenin award for opening of diamond fields in Yakutia. It is natural that the surname of the valid pioneer, L. Popugayeva, in this list did not appear. However, in the same 1957 it was handed the Order of Lenin “for progress in economic and cultural construction and in connection with 325 - the anniversary of inclusion of Yakutia into structure of the Russian state“.
To “diamond“ subject of L. Popugayev did not come back also it to it any more and did not allow. She got a job in Central scientifically - research laboratory of stones - semi-precious stones where she worked until the end of life.
Justice in relation to Larisa Popugayeva was partially restored in 1970. It was awarded by ranks “The pioneer of the field“. The same year she became candidate of science on set of merits without defense of a thesis. And after death the monument in the city Successful which is near the first field of the Soviet diamonds found by L. Popugayeva was delivered to it.