Preparation of the Igor Dyatlov group for the campaign in the context of the version of the "controlled delivery".
How could the sequence of events connected with the operation of the "controlled delivery" of radioactive items through Georgi Krivonischenko look like in the light of the above information?
A complex, multi-component operational game could not be thought of and implemented at the level of the territorial KGB Directorate for Sverdlovsk and the region. The idea of such a combination was to mature in Moscow and, moreover, at a fairly high level, since it required coordination with various instances - from the Central Committee of the CPSU and the USSR Council of Ministers, to the Academy of Sciences.
A possible impetus for the operation was the discovery of a Western intelligence channel in Chelyabinsk-40, or a production adjacent to it. Apparently, a spy of foreign intelligence was found, who was forced to become a "double agent." All his contacts, of course, fell under the full control of Soviet counterintelligence.
Practical work on the implementation of the misinforming operation began with the selection of the right person for the role of "implementer". The perverted agent, like every "double" did not inspire complete trust, foreign intelligence had to be substituted by a man who originally worked for the national security, so to speak, "ours to the core." It is possible that initially for the role of a dummy was planned Alexander Kolevatov, but then was found the best candidate - George Krivonischenko. Kolevatov was still a student and his penetration into an atomic facility could take place only in the future (or it could not have taken place at all). Meanwhile, Georgy Krivonischenko already worked in Chelyabinsk-40, and importantly, his father was a large manager. He headed the construction trust, which built energy facilities in the entire Urals region, and therefore could serve as the source of the most diverse classified information. Therefore, the choice was made in favor of George, who was to play the role of ready for betrayal of the Motherland young stalwart. By the way, it is quite possible that Kolevatov was always viewed by the KGB as a "reserve option" for the development of the operation in the event of a retirement for the unavoidable cause of Krivonischenko. And in the campaign, Kolevatov could go exactly as a "backup", ready to fulfill the assigned Krivonischen role, if for some reason he can not do it himself.
So, through the "double agent" in the eyes of foreign scouts George was created the necessary legend: he is from a rich family of a nomenklatura worker, deeply disappointed by Soviet reality, dreams of "breathing the air of freedom" and go to the West to listen there "boogie woogie" and drive luxury car with leather interior. About these machines, the Soviet youth already knew, so do not take the author's words as hyperbole. After the World Festival of Youth and Students in 1957 in Moscow, such young people in the USSR became more and more, of course, in the West, of course, they knew. At the same time, Georgy Krivonischenko could be presented as a very sensible specialist who, with the assistance of his father, in the coming years can make an excellent career in an industry of great interest to Western intelligence services. In general, the "legend" developed in the KGB looked not only reliable, but also extremely attractive in the eyes of a possible adversary. Western intelligence believed the information of its agent, who worked under the supervision of the Committee, and gave "good" to the recruiting approach to George. "Double agent" safely "recruited" him, as he informed his leaders on the other side of the border. From there came the assignment of a new agent - to prepare dust samples from certain sites in the closed territory of the Kyshtymsky complex (the name was given to the production in Chelyabinsk-40). And be ready to transfer it. Of course, the instruction received was accompanied by instructions on how best to do it without attracting the attention of counterintelligence. Carrying out the necessary samples on clothes is the simplest, most rational and safe solution, because the appearance of radioactivity on a sweater and pants in case of failure can be explained by the usual negligence, while any bag of soil immediately suggests the purposeful collection of it.
By the way, it can not be ruled out that the State Security Committee could decide to transfer the real samples from places of interest to the foreign intelligence services in order to convince her of the reliability of the new agent channel and the reliability of the information it has obtained.
After Krivonischenko "fulfilled" this order, a corresponding message was transmitted through the "double agent" to the West. And then the question arose about sending a valuable cargo to the reconnaissance center of a potential enemy. The meeting in Sverdlovsk, a city "closed" for foreigners (and for Soviet citizens, too), fell away by definition.
In early February 1959, Sverdlovsk was to host international competitions in speed skating - an exceptional event for such a closed country as the Soviet Union. There was no doubt that long before this time, Sverdlovsk would be at the very center of attention of the Soviet special services, which will try to take advantage of the opportunities for informal communication of Soviet citizens with foreigners. In addition, during the "ostentatious" events, the work of the internal affairs bodies has always become more active: round-ups on the homeland, tightening of the passport regime, control of order in crowded places, etc. In this situation, organizing a personal meeting of Krivonischenko with a Western intelligence agent in Sverdlovsk was a real madness. Especially to deduce on such meeting of the agent of investigation working under a roof of embassy.
Meanwhile, the meeting was needed not only to receive radioactive items, but also for personal acquaintance and evaluation of Krivonischenko's human qualities in terms of the possibility of using it in the interests of Western intelligence in the future. That is why contactless transfer of things, by bookmarking the cache, did not suit the opposite side.
So there was an idea of a meeting in a hike. Such a meeting had many advantages in the eyes of Western scouts - first of all, the fact that the distance from the inhabited places made it possible to covertly monitor the progress of a group of tourists and find out in a timely manner capture groups if the KGB sends them. In addition, the meeting "group on the group" equalized the chances of success in the event of the failure of the operation and the forceful resolution of it. In general, such a meeting significantly increased the survivability of the messenger sent to the USSR and his escort.
When it became clear that a meeting with a representative of foreign intelligence in a tourist hike was planned, the curators of the operation from the KGB began to prepare such a meeting. As has been repeatedly mentioned in this essay, the State Security Committee in those years did not have special forces units in the current sense of the term. In the operational units there were employees who received special training to solve specialized tasks (detentions in apartments, staircases, on the street, searches, hidden penetration into the premises, etc.), but nothing like group "A" then existed. A multi-day ski trip on a sparsely populated area in the conditions of the Urals winter went far beyond the usual for the operational staff of the KGB. Only in the ranks of the border troops were officers who could cope with such a task without much difficulty, since long ski crossings, winter ambushes and overnight stays were an integral element of their combat training. Therefore, it seemed logical to form a "group of tourists" precisely from young border officers who had already been proven in the case and proved their ability to "solve tasks positively and on time".
However, this did not happen, the decision to staff a group of border officers was not accepted. One can only wonder why this happened, but I think the reasons for that were pretty strong. Whatever one may say, it's the tourists-students who represent the best tourists-students, and therefore the choice was made in their favor. Especially since girls got into the group. Well, who, tell at the mercy, will suspect that in a company with girls on a hike can go one or several employees of the KGB, who decide in this campaign their official tasks?
It is because of the seeming improbability of sending secret KGB officers to a group of students that this choice seems to be the most optimal one for solving the problem that they had to solve in the campaign.
Of course, Krivonischenko was not allowed to travel alone on such a journey. A man was needed, an intelligent Chekist worker with experience in hiking, who proved personal courage in the matter, capable of helping Georgii, if necessary, in a difficult moment with words and deeds, insure him, if necessary, with a personal example to show how to act. So in the developed combination appeared Semen Zolotarev, a man with at least four combat awards. As already mentioned in this essay, four awards for the war years for a simple soldier or sergeant - that's a lot! Therefore, there can be no doubts about the personal courage of Semen Zolotarev - he proved it during the war years. Semyon ideally suited the role that he was to play in the campaign - an experienced tourist, older than the rest of the participants, single, charming, front-line soldier. Front-line workers in those years evoked constant respect and interest, so that a positive attitude towards him from the students in a sense was programmed.
So, by the end of 1958 the group was gradually formed, which was to go on the job - Krivonischenko, Zolotarev, Kolevatov. The latter, in our opinion, was absolutely necessary in the role of George's "backup officer", so that no unfavorable coincidence (illness, traffic accident, state of emergency with relatives and friends) would jeopardize the whole operation. In other words, George Krivonischenko could for some reason fall out of the cage of the participants, but this would not affect the timing of the operation and its overall strategy.
At the end of 1958, Zolotarev was "brought" to the students of UPI, and his gradual introduction into the student's environment was taking place. If Semyon was in charge of the student residency, he was already supposed to know the contingent, among whom was to work. So establishing trust with UPI students for him is an absolutely necessary element of operational camouflage. The implementation of this happens through Sogrina, perhaps because the Dyatlov was not initially considered a participant in the KGB-initiated combination. Perhaps, however, the exact opposite assumption - namely, Igor Dyatlov and his group were initially considered as participants in the combination, but joining Zolotaryov to the group should look like an accidental, involuntary, or even forced. This is a normal method of operational masking when an approach to one object is demonstrated, but in fact the goal is to establish a connection with another. The main thing is to get into the right social circle, into the "get-together", as they said then (and now).
Zolotarev successfully falls into the "environment" of Polytech students after meeting them New 1959 at Kourovka camp site, where Semyon was decorated as a senior tourism instructor. After that Semyon arrives several times to the hostel of his new acquaintances and even leaves personal belongings in Sergei Sogrin's room. And going on a campaign with the latter, at least, in it everyone is sure.
At this time, the Moscow curators of the operation agree with the Western intelligence about the time and place of the upcoming meeting for the transfer of radioactive samples and personal acquaintance with an agent who will remain in the USSR for a long settling with the help of Georgy Krivonischenko (and possibly his father.) In fact, he will have to organize a prolonged subsidence for the KGB). Krivonischenko goes on a campaign with Igor Dyatlov's group, the route and terms of which are known and determined in November-December 1958, so that Western intelligence can appoint a rendezvous in a certain place. The rendezvous point was chosen quite logically, with good reason - this is the first Ural mountain on the group's path, devoid of forest cover, allowing to control approaches from all sides. It is located approximately at an equal distance from the most diverse settlements - to Ivdel and Ous (in the Sverdlovsk region) about 130 km, and to Troitsko-Pechuresk (on the other side of the Ural Range, in the Komi ASSR) is just over 150 km. The independent output of a well-trained intelligence group in the areas of these settlements for 3-4 days is no problem. Calculation of the opposite side is understandable: scouts will go to the "Big Land" even earlier than the group of Djatlov will return from the campaign. But the KGB has to agree to this, it is impossible to put the enemy in a frankly unprofitable position, because this will only awaken superfluous suspicions. The date of the rendezvous is the first day of the last winter month - you will not even get drunk.
In January 1959, a representative of the central apparatus of the KGB appeared in Sverdlovsk, overseeing the preparation of the operation on the spot. As in any case, where there is a human factor, various kinds of problems and problems have arisen all the time and for their prompt resolution the presence of a person endowed with appropriate authoritative powers was required. This curator was supposed to lead the group on a campaign and wait for her to return with a report on the work done. The presence of this unknown person, his invisible hand, directing events in one way or another connected with the campaign of the group Dyatlov, is felt clearly in a variety of small details, although nowhere and never the name of this person was not fixed. Therefore, for us he will remain just a "Curator".
At this - the final stage of preparation - there is, apparently, a question with the marching radio station. From the statement of Rimma Kolevatova, available in the criminal case, we know that there was a radio station in the tourist club, which the group could take with them. We are not even interested in its characteristics now - weight, size, stable range of reception and transmission - this is insignificant in the context of the issue touched upon. Another important thing is that Igor Dyatlov was an experienced radio amateur, he had his own registered callsign, moreover, it is known that he had already dealt with this most unfortunate radio station - Igor took it with him to a New Year's Eve party, which a large group of students from Sverdlovsk Polytekh organized in night from December 31, 1958 on January 1, 1959 in the forest between the railway stations of Kourovka and the Fighters about 70 km from Sverdlovsk. Then Igor personally wore the radio station on himself and worked with her himself. He adjusted to a quick campaign on Oorten.
However, he did not receive it. Is it possible to imagine that the KGB does not equip employees sent to a risky operation with means of communication? This question immediately gives rise to a counter: and for what it to do? First of all, it is necessary to determine what exactly the participants of the operation were supposed to transfer to the "Big Earth".
Just a conditional phrase to inform about the fact of the meeting and the success of the event? To tap on a specially reserved frequency a conditional message, such as "the sun is shining and the tomato is red"? Well, let's say that they did it and the next morning the Chairman of the State Security Committee would be informed about receiving a conditional radiogram reporting the regular development of the situation. So what? But nothing - the group of Djatlov wandered on his route further, and foreign scouts move in a bouncy trot along their own way.
Perhaps, the participants in the operation should give more information to the "Big Earth", say, to provide verbal portraits of the persons who appeared. But how can this be done in secret from Dyatlov, who, as the leader of the campaign, was responsible for all the broadcasts? Here we rest on the inevitable loss of conspiracy, which is unacceptable in the eyes of any leader of the KGB. And in addition, and unmotivated, because no serious motivation for such an outlet in the radio ether does not exist. What is the urgency in communicating the signs of foreign scouts on February 1 from the slope of Holat-Sahyl, and not February 14 from the post office in Ivdel? Track the movement of illegal immigrants throughout the country, uncover "appearances," "passwords," "recruitment approaches"? So it was quite possible to do this after Zolotaryov's phone call from Ivdel - within an hour the state security agencies of the whole Urals would be informed about which guys they should look out for at train stations, in train cars, in the cabs of truckers. Even if there was some time difference for foreign agents (and, of course, it was), how far would it take them away, taking into account the scale of the Ural region and the whole country?
On the contrary, the purpose of the operation was to prove to foreign intelligence that now it has a safe "exit" to a man from Chelyabinsk-40. Yes, abandoned illegal immigrants will have to be identified, but Zolotarev, Krivonischenko and Kolevatov would have quietly engaged in this upon their return. Perhaps, even would go to Moscow for a week or two, to "scrub" the counterintelligence archives. But sitting in a tent on the slope of Holat-Syahyl they could not do it, even having Igor Dyatlov's radio station at their side. So why did she need them at all?
The KGB was well aware that a radio station might be a source of concern for foreign intelligence officers who had come to the meeting. In no way facilitating the solution of the main task, the radio station will only create difficulties, wake up unnecessary suspicions, which no explanation can be removed. Therefore, the circumstances developed so that the group did not receive this radio station. It happened as though by itself, although there remains a strong suspicion that the events in the right direction were prompted precisely by the "Curator". Later, no one really can explain why the group was left without a radio station, which the Dyatlov hoped for with good reason. But the most interesting is not even that! It is interesting that the Prosecutor's Office did not even bother with this issue during the investigation, although it is directly connected with the organization of the march. In this lack of curiosity, the invisible hand of the "Curator" is also felt, which recommended not to "pedal" the lack of communication. Investigator Ivanov simply passed her silence, as inessential ...
At the same time, in January 1959, the group faced other problems. For example, it turned out that the Woodpeckers may not go on a campaign, since they do not let him go from the pulpit, to which he only recently got a job. However, absenteeism in groups is a disruption to the long-prepared operation of the Committee, a similar result is unacceptable, which means that the campaign should take place under any conditions. We know from the letter of Thibault Brignoles that at the meeting of the "old men" (the senior members of the group - Dyatlov, Thibo Brinol, Krivonischenko, Slobodin, Axelrod), this issue was discussed and it was decided to go camping without Dyatlov. Thibaut even mentioned the name of the new candidate for the group leader - by mutual consent of the discussion participants, he was a young engineer Yury Verkhoturov from Lysva, who established a tourist club at the Lysva turbine-generator plant (TGZ). But the new leader does not need the State Security Committee primarily because he is not familiar with Zolotarev. In addition, it is possible that the KGB had some negative information specifically for this person and did not want to see him among the participants in the campaign. In any case, it follows a little trick and Igor Dyatlov, suddenly quietly released from the chair on a campaign. Recall that Dyatlov had to be absent from work for at least 3 weeks - this is a full-fledged vacation! Anyone who has come across the Soviet labor law firsthand knows that the personnel officers did not like to grant leave "at the expense of the future vacation period," that is, for an unprocessed year. The first leave was usually given after 11 calendar months of work, and the second - after 6. Leave "at own expense" (without payment) was not welcomed and resorting to them was fraught with reputation - colleagues at work could regard them as disguised parasitism. But in this case, as we see, the Soviet administrative system admitted a strange failure, rather, even mercy - they issued a travel order to Dyatlov! Normal such a trip ... with friends on a hike through the mountains, dales and villages ... Even if we admit that in the UPI labor discipline was "at zero" and the teaching staff was walking who and how they wanted, all the same, the design of the trip for the duration of the hike looks fantastic. But, apparently, there were some arguments that turned out to be quite weighty and sufficient for making the necessary decision. Another one is a well thought out and organized accident ...
Now it's time to touch on the origin of clothing with traces of radioactive dust. As we know from the results of the radiological examination, the group had at least three such items - these were two sweaters and pants. It is known that there was a pronounced localization of beta radiation sources (for sweaters these were 70 and 75 square cm, and for pants - 55 sq. Cm). That is, the sources of radioactivity were not blurred or scattered, on the contrary, they were very compact. Physical and technical expertise showed a significant reduction in the level of contamination when washing samples in cold water: for 3 hours, the decrease in radioactivity amounted to tens of percent. That is, we see that the dust was easily washed off with the most ordinary water without the addition of any chemical reagents. But there is no doubt that this clothing has been in the water for a long time (according to quite reasonable estimates of the forensic expert, the bodies stayed in water for at least 6 days and not more than 14 days - this interval was confidently determined by a combination of many signs: sliding of the hair cover, exfoliation of the epidermis, safety of the lungs and etc.). So the initial pollution had to be very significant. It is impossible to establish exactly now, but you can try to evaluate the order of the figures characterizing the contamination. If we assume that during each day of stay in the stream this value decreased by half - and this is a very correct assumption - and after 14 days of washing with water the activity level was about 200 Bq, then the initial activity value should be in the region of 3 million Bq. This estimate is not overstated, but rather the reverse, but even in this case the result is impressive. A source with an activity of 100,000 Bq for beta radiation is classified as a radioactive waste, subject to unconditional disposal and disposal in a special storage facility. This thing can not be stored in the house, it can not be used for a long time and it definitely poses a threat to the health of others. In the case of a sweater and pants, we see a multiple (tens of times) exceeding the threshold of 100 thousand Bq.
If the State Security Committee actually planned an operation of "controlled delivery" of radioactive materials to US agents, it would seem unbelievable that radioactive items were kept in the house of one of the participants in the campaign among other things. The value of the sweaters and pants specially prepared for the transfer in the eyes of the initiators of the operation was very high, and besides, as we saw, these things were quite dangerous. The committee has never been so cynical about its employees and assistants to risk their lives in vain. Therefore, the items intended for transfer were to be placed at the disposal of the participants of the hike in the very last hours before the exit.
And there are some rather unexpected indirect confirmations.
As is known, Igor Dyatlov's group initially received storm suits (hooded jackets and trousers) from the tourist club "Polyteka". The clothes are not perfect, but at that time, perhaps, the best of all that the Soviet light industry could provide. However, just before going on a campaign, a command came to return them. The elder sister of Alexander Kolevatov said in such words about what had happened during the interrogation in the prosecutor's office: "I will not be mistaken if I say that much for the equipment of the group got into the sports club of the UPI with a fight. My brother "snatched" storm suits, as he himself put it, to each participant in the hike; after a while he was told that the storms were supposed to be only for climbers, and they demanded to return them (they came to us at stormy costumes). On the last day, on the day of the release, Alexander took out woolen sweaters and brought them home "smuggling", putting on himself 3 pieces. "
This moment is extremely interesting first of all by its absurdity. First tourists get storm suits in the required quantity, and this means that these suits were at that time no one else needs, who needs - all was enough. But unexpectedly in the head of the institute turkluba Lev Semyonovich Gordo awoke with an administrative genius who, frightened of spoiling public property (tear, burn or simply render useless), under a formal pretext demanded a shortage of ammunition to return. Such a wonderful foresight can not help but surprise, especially if we recall that Comrade Gordo was not aware of the route of the group. As already mentioned at the beginning of the essay, in the middle of February 1959, at the very beginning of the search, no one could accurately reproduce the route of the Igor Dyatlov group, since the latter did not pass the protocol of the meeting of the route committee to the Politekh club, Recover, asking friends and relatives of missing tourists. But Gordo did not bother with such a trifle as the unsettled protocol, his ammunition worried him, like an exhausted administrator. He was so alarmed that the "woodpeckers" disobeyed the order to return the received costumes, that he even sent a special courier to Kolevatov to take these costumes. Wah! what remarkable vigilance, what is the height of the economic impulse, there is a grasp of the experienced storekeeper.
The removal of storm suits clearly violated the plans of tourists and possibly jeopardized the timeliness of the group's exit. And here very successfully Alexander Kolevatov from somewhere got wool sweaters. The sweater, of course, is far from a storm suit, but at least some kind of compensation. There were a lot of sviters, apparently, for the whole group, because in the sense of Rimma Kolevatova's speech, my brother did not two but more "trips".
The ending of history with mysterious sweaters is interesting. As you know, the things of the participants in the hike returned to their identity as soon as they were identified; in the investigation file there are a dozen such protocols. So, for example, Alexander Bagautdinov was returned to felt boots, taken from him by Alexander Kolevatov before the campaign, and not went on a trip because of illness Vyacheslav Bienko returned 350 rubles, which he passed during preparation. Institutional tourist club returned property taken "dyatlovtsami"; the investigator even offered to give the cut out tent to the sports club "Polytekh". There, however, they did not want to take it (this, by the way, is a serious argument against the fact that the investigation of someone there covered up and traces.) When the tracks really "sweep" destroy, but do not give out to those who wish to receive them). But there are no traces of sweaters, obtained by Kolevatov for the whole group, in these "protocols of identification" and "return", as if the sweaters themselves did not exist. The mysterious owner of these things did not want to declare himself, and the investigator Ivanov seemed to be not looking for him. "Extra" sweaters that did not belong to the group disappeared by themselves, like a mirage in the desert, but from the statement of Rimma Kolevatova we know for sure that they existed! And, not one or two, but in a much larger number.
Probably, someone will have doubts about the expediency of the most "supply" of the radioactive dust from Chelyabinsk-40 in 1959. In fact, in the previous section of this essay it was already pointed out that foreign intelligence (primarily the USA) tried to monitor the state of the nuclear industry The USSR and, on the whole, had a fairly complete idea of what kind of fissionable materials, where and in what quantities are produced. It would seem, for the sake of what in the late 50's foreign intelligence had to take considerable risk in an attempt to obtain information that they already owned? Is there not a contradiction in common sense in the assumption of such an operation?
It is clear that Soviet counterintelligence, as well as foreign policy structures, have taken all the necessary measures to implement in practice the leading political line, which throughout the 50's. of the last century required, we recall, the all-out exaggeration of the nuclear power of the USSR. Therefore, in 1959, the KGB had a full reason to try to misinform the intelligence services of NATO countries, poking them information on the growth of production capacity for the production of fissile materials. Including in Chelyabinsk-40. Moreover, such operations on "atomic disinformation" could be considered as priority, i.e., of particular importance not only from the military point of view, but also from the political point of view. Such disinformation measures could take on a variety of forms and be implemented in various ways - from official statements by the state leadership, to sending out defectors with the necessary misinformation and conducting operational combinations in the form of "controlled deliveries."
Concerning preparations for the march, one more important aspect can not be ignored. As shown by the time that has passed since the publication of the first version of this essay, many readers are unconcerned with the question of the unarmed group, in other words - the lack of weapons from the alleged "employees and assistants" of the State Security Committee. Readers are stumped by the thought that a secret KGB operation could be carried out by unarmed personnel.
What I want to note on the merits of the topic: there were serious arguments against the weapons of Zolotaryov, Kolevatov and Krivonischenko with firearms, both as a technical plan and as related to the special nature of the task assigned to them. First of all, for a long time (about 2 weeks of the campaign), it would be impossible to conceal weapons from members of the group who are uninitiated into the essence of the task being accomplished. Raskonspiratsiya before "their own" in the eyes of the KGB is fraught with the same failure of the task as before the "strangers." All instructions of special services concerning the organization of work of employees in the "secret state" were categorically forbidden to disclose their belonging to the KGB before outsiders even under the threat of life.
Equipping backpacks or quilted jackets with hidden pockets for hidden placement (carrying) of pistols during the campaign of this task did not solve. Taking into account the conditions of the winter multi-day hike, during which the weapon could be kept for several days at temperatures of -20 ° C -40 ° C and lower, the weapons should be stored in winter grease and cleaned and re-lubricated before use. To do this in secret from the uninitiated members of the Zolotarev group, Kolevatov and Krivonischenko could not.
Just think for a second what could have happened if a normal positive student, a good Komsomol member or a Komsomol member, had seen a gun in Zolotaryov's hands ... The first and only thought that could have dawned on the student would be the conviction that he, finally, , the true face of Zolotarev was revealed - that criminal, bandit, urka! No stories about "secret staff", "operation under cover", "encrypted confidant" would not help - at that time no one simply knew about such methods of counterintelligence work (and those who knew sat behind barbed wire in camps and anyone could not tell anything). No one from the students could believe that the tourism instructor can solve some problems in the interests of state security - few could believe it even in 2011, when the first version of the essay appeared, when the history of the KGB and covert operations on the territory of the disintegrated USSR ceased be a state secret. Therefore, if only someone saw the gun in the hands of Zolotaryov (or Krivonischenko or Kolevatov), then the campaign of the group Dyatlov on this and ended - the owner of the arms would be tied up and dragged to the "Big Land" in the nearest police station. At the showdown, so to speak. Because a military pistol in those days could only be with police officers or officers of the Soviet Army, all other options are criminal! Arming members of the group with military weapons meant risking the disruption of the operation in the event of an accidental spinspiration - the risk is completely superfluous, as it seemed initially.
In addition, foreign spies, for the meeting with whom the group was sent, could initially assign themselves the role of military servicemen of internal troops pursuing fugitive criminals, and, guided by this legend, check the documents and personal belongings of the members of the group . If they could find pistols during such a search, the operation of "controlled delivery" would fail, even without having begun. The likelihood of such a check was non-zero, as it was known that illegally thrown agents on the territory of the USSR, especially those operating in groups, could be disguised as police, KGB or courier service employees accompanying secret mail.
Before Zolotarev, Kolevatov and Krivonischenko, the task was not to detain foreign agents who appeared at the meeting with them, which means that the "power component" in this operation was not available for its regular development. Apparently, the initiator of the task quite logically judged that the presence of weapons does not help to achieve the goal, but can prevent.
Therefore, it was a well-founded decision not to arm all three with firearms. Armament of only one person out of three - say, Zolotarev - while maintaining all the above risks, reduced the effectiveness of its application to almost zero. In addition, the issuance of weapons to one and non-extradition to others could be regarded by the participants of the operation as a manifestation of distrust or disbelief in their forces, which was absolutely unacceptable from the point of view of the corporate ethics of the KGB. Therefore, the principle worked: to everyone, or to anyone.
It is clear that none of the initiators of the operation suggested the possibility of mass murder of the whole group. Apparently, the prevailing view was that an excellent camouflage in a group of real, unsuspecting tourists would be the best protection for the participants in the operation. In addition, apparently, the "opposite side" showed great interest in this operation, so the curators from the KGB were sure that "those things are very necessary, they will swallow everything". This arrogance played a cruel joke, but it became clear later.
I would like to especially note that the work without regular firearms and documents certifying membership in the Committee was the norm for the KGB operatives. Moreover, from the history of the KGB "A" special forces team, we know that its employees sometimes went to dangerous tasks, either without firearms or with unloaded weapons. That is, even in cases when it was known that an inevitable and acute force confrontation was known, the employees had to act as gladiators, hand to hand. This statement, perhaps, will break the templates for many readers and even cause distrust, but it really was so. In order not to remain unfounded, I will cite one of the most striking examples of such a "melee operation": the seizure on May 12, 1989 of a criminal group armed with four PM pistols barricaded in an apartment on the fourth floor at No. 21 on ul. Zhukovsky in the city of Saratov. The division of group "A" that carried out this operation under the command of Hero of the Soviet Union VF Karpukhin carried only unloaded pistols. And they wielded them like brass knuckles.
Here we should also touch upon the issue of the absence of a "force cover", which the KGB did not provide to the Djatlov group for the duration of the operation. This is also one of the arguments by which some investigators of the tragedy try to refute the version of the "controlled delivery". In the opinion of the "disproved" the Committee was supposed to ensure the safety of its employees by sending certain armed groups along the tourist route. How this should all look in practice, the "refutators" themselves do not represent, but the argument seems to be very significant to many of them.
Perhaps the first thing that needs to be clarified in this connection is what tasks such a force cover group should solve? It is the nature of the tasks assigned and would determine its composition and armament. It remains completely incomprehensible what exactly this group (or group) should have done in the "controlled delivery" operation. The physical defense of the Djatlov group it could not have provided in any case, since it should not have been present at the meeting place. Perhaps, she should have taken revenge on the adversary in the case of the murder of the "dyatlovites"? To organize and carry out the pursuit by your own means? Detaining or destroying the enemy? But what, in that case, should be the number of such a group: 10 people? 20? 50? Company? Battalion?
In any case, the fact of using the group of "force cover" from the point of view of the initiator of the assignment means the failure of the operation, that is, an abnormal, unplanned development of the situation.
By the way, it is by no means a fact that a group of 10 people could, in those conditions, detain at least three armed agents of enemy intelligence who have passed proper fire, physical and tactical training. For such an operation in an open area requires a full military unit, at least a platoon, reinforced with snipers and preferably a cynologist with a dog. And the platoon is desirable not one, but several, so that they are nominated from different directions. No territorial administration of the KGB in the late 50's. The last century did not have such special forces units, which means that it would be necessary to contact the border guards to organize such an operation. And this is not only administrative barriers (albeit within one department), but also purely technical - after all, all these people with weapons and ammunition should be taken, placed, to ensure delivery to Ivdel and beyond. A real military operation ... Think for a second, how many dozens and hundreds of people will be devoted to the fact that the KGB conducts in the depths of the Ural region some very secret operation and requested border guards from the northern regions for this ?!
The complexity of the organizational arrangements and the threat of disclosure of the secrets of the upcoming action group is the first serious minus in the eyes of the initiator of the task from the KGB. But there is another.
The main advantage of Holat-Chahl (or Ottoten, or any other mountain on the route of the group) from the point of view of organizing a rendezvous there is a great distance from housing. Small, almost completely uninhabited places, winter time and related features of movement make it easy to detect the presence of strangers. Especially if there are many.
Who can guarantee that the enemy will not find the cover group yet? Who can guarantee that the enemy, after discovering the Djatlov group, does not take a pause in a day or two to make sure that there is no tracking accompanying the track? The itinerary of tourists is famous!
No support group could render any assistance in the implementation of the main task of the "controlled delivery" operation. But to prevent one fact of his presence - very much even. Therefore, it must be clearly understood that the formation and use of such a group had no practical sense.
How was the transfer of things supposed to happen? This is just the simplest part of the operation, because it required interaction in the "password" - "recall" scheme. The order of such interaction was predetermined. At the appointed time, an allegedly random meeting of Igor Dyatlov's group with a group of "tourists" from another region of the country was supposed to take place at the appointed place (although Armavir, even Vladivostok, does not matter, for it would be impossible to check the origin of the group in that situation). It is possible that several "rendezvous" points were chosen on the route, which gave some flexibility to the traffic patterns of both sides. In the process of communication after the exchange of conditional phrases from the "tourists" should have been requested to give them (or sell for money - it does not matter!) Pants and a sweater, because one of their comrades burned their things at the stake. Or it made it worthless in some other way - it's also completely unimportant. It is important that Krivonischenko should gladly meet the request, take off his pants and sweater and pass them on to new friends. In exchange, he could get money (and even a considerable sum!), But the money in this case did not matter much: only that he gave his things in front of numerous witnesses, which deprived any halo of mystery or "illegality". This entire operation was to be carried out completely openly, in front of many people - participants in the campaign, possibly with accompanying feast and photography. Operative photography of foreign intelligence agents was required to be carried out in compliance with a number of conditions, of which Zolotarev was aware. To carry out operational photography, he had a special camera and a special film. Particularly we emphasize that Semyon Zolotarev had two cameras, one of which (under No. 55149239) was found in a tent and identified by Yudin in March 1959, and the second one was found on the neck of the deceased Zolotaryov when his corpse was found in two months in a creek the number of this camera in the Ivanov case is not fixed and its fate is unknown).
After a friendly feast and the transfer of things with radioactive dust to foreign agents, two groups of tourists had to disperse. Perhaps this combination provided for some development, for example, it meant the subsequent meeting of Krivonischenko with one of the agents with the purpose of his employment in a closed city or the organization of a new permanent communication channel - the details of the counterintelligence operation are unknown to us and will never be known. It is important to emphasize that the meeting on the slope of Holat-Chahl, which was ultimately tragic for the Djatlov group, was in direct causal relationship with the radioactive clothing of the group. In other words, there would be no clothes - there would be no meeting ...
Approximately according to this scheme, the events in the last campaign of Igor Dyatlov should develop. However, due to a number of reasons, everything went wrong, as planned, which resulted in the death of the group in its entirety.