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Varvara Lvovna Yakhemovich

Varvara Lvovna Yakhemovich

Varvara Lvovna Yakhemovich (Born in December 17 of 1913, Warsaw – died in August 19 of 1994, Ufa) – geologist-stratigrapher, Doctor of geological and mineralogical sciences (1959), Professor (1969), Honored Scientist of Bashkir Republic (1964), Honored Geologist of the Russian Federation (1984), Honorary Academician of the Academy of Sciences of the Bashkortostan Republic (1991).




Varvara Lvovna Yakhimovich was born on December 17, 1913 in Warsaw in the family of bilding engineer of communications Lev Porfirievich Yakhemovich and Vera Stepanovna Sukhanova, paramedic midwife. The family left Warsaw when Varvara Lvovna was two and a half months old, and moved to Kursk, in connection with the transfer of her father to the Moscow-Kiev-Voronezh railway. The next place of residence of the family was Mikhailovskiy Farm, Chernigov, Kornevo Station. During the Civil War, her father was appointed head of the demining squad for the restoration of destroyed roads and bridges. Mother with Varvara Lvovna and her older sister Olga went to Sochi, in the direction of the work of this detachment. Then the family moved to the station Lazarevskaya, where the father built a section of the Black Sea railway between Sochi and Lazarevskaya. It was during this period that the little Varvara, watching the work of her father, decides to become a mining engineer. This is how she writes about this in her diary:

Later, in connection with the new appointment of the father, the family goes to Armavir, and later to Orenburg, where Varvara Lvovna passed school years (1922-1930).



Varvara Yakhemovich. 1934 г.

After nine classes at school and having worked as a registrar of Orenburg’s clinic No. 7, Varvara Lvovna entered as a collector in a geological party. From 1931 to 1934 she was the youngest, then the senior collector in the Sredne-Volzhsky geological-hydrogeodesic trust of the People’s Commissariat of Industry of the USSR (Samara). In September 1934, she was transferred to the Geological Bureau of the Khalilkombinatstroy of the USSR People’s Commissariat of Heavy Industry (Orsk). In September 1933 Varvara Lvovna Yakhimovich marries Nikolai Evlampievich Zubkov, in January 1935 they had a son, Nikolai. In the years 1935-36 she works as a geological technician on the Drilling Site of the Orenburg Railway of the People’s Commissariat of Railways of the USSR (Orenburg).
In September 1936, Varvara Lvovna enrolled in the Saratov State University at the Geological Faculty. Studying at the university, she continues to work with small interruptions. In April 1940, having passed the exams ahead of schedule, she went to Turkmenistan, to the Kara-Kumskoye GRP of the All-Union Institute of Galurgy for exploration of the Kara-Kumskoye sulfur deposits. In the autumn of 1940 she returned to Leningrad with this party and transferred to Leningrad State University. This event coincides with the death of her husband.
A few days before the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, she traveled to the Middle Volga region as part of the Sredne-Volga VNIGRI thematic party. With the beginning of the war, returning to Leningrad becomes impossible, so Varvara Lvovna goes to Saratov, where she passes the state examinations in the speciality. Then, with difficulty through the evacuation point, she gets to Orenburg to her mother and son.


War and post-war period

November 1941 — June 1951 Yakchemovich was working in the “Yuzhuralugolrazvedka” Trust of the USSR People’s Commissar, then the USSR Ministry of Coal Industry (she was a senior geologist of the geological survey and geological survey crew, later – a head of the petrographic cabinet, then – senior geologist of the geological and production department of the trust, and a head of the geological prospecting party)..

Varvara Lvovna Yakhemovich in the years of work in the «Yuzhuralugolrazvedka» Trust.
Photos from the collections of the National Museum of the Bashkortostan Republic.

The results of her first thematic work on «The Petrographic and Mineralogical Characteristics of Tertiary Coal Deposits of the Sakmaro-Belsky Interfluve of the Fore-Urals» led to the discovery of the Neogene South-Urals brown coal basin. Her ideas were supported by the chief geologist of the Trust A.S. Khomentovsky and by the head of «Glavougolrazvedka» Department of the USSR MM. Tsukurov, who launched extensive research work in the Urals. On the selected promising areas in 1945-1946 eight brown coal deposits were discovered: Kozlovskoye, Tulganskoe, Elshanskoe (Repyevskoye), Matveyevskoye, Yushatyrskoye, Togustemirskoye, Urman-Tashlinskoye and Tovakanovskoye. In total, there were more than 50 of them in the South Ural brown coal basin.

Varvara Lvovna described her achievements in this period in the following way:

While working in the Trust in the summer of 1948 and 1949 Varvara Lvovna worked concurrently as the head of the Mannysai Airogeological Party of the Emba Expedition of the All-Russian Aerogeological Trust.
In May 1950 she defended her First Doctorate thesis at the Saratov State University on the theme «Geology and coal of the Fore-Urals».
In June 1951, when exploration work in the South Urals brown coal basin was coming to an end, she transferred to one of “the Great Buildings of Communism”, Expedition No. 27 of the Hydroproject Trust, conducting a research for the construction of the Volga-Ural Canal. To complete the technical project in 1953 she was transferred to Moscow to the Hydroproject Geological Survey Department as a senior engineer. In the same year, during the reorganization of the ministries and the transfer of the Hydroproject to the Ministry of Power and Electroindustry of the USSR, Varvara Lvovna received an invitation to the newly organized Bashkir branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in Ufa and agreed.


Work in the Mining and Geological Institute of the Bashkir Branch, of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (Ufa)

Since November the 1st 1953 Varvara Lvovna works as a senior researcher at the Mining and Geological Institute of the Bashkir Branch of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, later renamed as the Institute of Geology.
In May 1959, she got her Second Doctorate Thesis on the topic “Cenozoic of the Bashkirian Fore-Urals” at the All-Russian Geological Institute (St.Petersburg).
After June 1962, she is a Head of the Laboratory of the Quaternary Geology, later reorganized in the laboratory of the Cenozoic stratigraphy.
After organization in 1972 of the Volga-Ural commission on the Quaternary period under the Academy of Sciences guidance; Varvara Lvovna was appointed its Head. This commission joined regional geological organizations in the area between Volga and Urals.
Varvara Lvovna had cooperation with many leading geologists, palaeontologists as well as archaeologists of our country. Here are some excerpts from her extensive correspondence.


Dr A.L. Chepalyga’s letter. Moscow V.S. Zarkhidze’s letter. Arkhangelsk


Academician A.L. Yanshin’s letter. Moscow


Letter of the Prof. B.S. Kozamkulova. Alma-Ata


A.S. Zastrozhnov’s letter. Volgograd (St-Petersburg)


Prof. O.N. Bader’s letter. Moscow.


A.P. Shokurov’s letter. Oktyabrsky city.


Field trip during the Vth All-Russian conference on the Quaternary period. Ufa. 1981.


Since 1988 Varvara Lvovna Yakchemovich was Scientific Leader of the Laboratory of the Cenozoic Stratigraphy. Several stratigraphic schemes of the Fore-Urals and adjacent areas were developed under her guidance.

Every year Varvara Yakhemovich participated in the field works.

Samara region. Domashkinsky Vershiny. 1977.


Sultanaevo site. 1981.


Ust-Kamennogorsk. 1983.


Her last field was in 1994 at the Miocene brown coal quarry in the surroundings of the Tyulgan city of the Orenburg region (Russia).

Tyulgan site description made by Varvara Yakhemovich in the field notebook


Varvara Lvovna died in August 1994 when she was 80 years old.


Awards and Prizes:

The Stalin Prize (1950)
Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1976)


link to the list of references

Papers about Varvara Lvovna Yakhemovich (in Russian):

1. Борцова Н. Служение науке. В кн.: Современницы. Уфа: Башкирское книжное издательство, 1979. С. 146-154.
2. Камалетдинов М.А. Варвара Львовна Яхимович (к 80-летию со дня рождения) Библиографический указатель. Уфа: ИГ УНЦ РАН, 1993. 65 с.
3. Камалетдинов М.А. Почетный академик АНРБ Варвара Львовна Яхимович (к 90-летию со дня рождения) // Вестник Академии РБ. 2003. Т.8, № 4. С. 62-69.
4. Юзиков Ю. Геолог Варвара Яхимович. Краеведческий калейдоскоп. [Электронный ресурс]: Бельские просторы, 2007. URL: (дата обращения: 21.08.2013).
5. Данукалова Г.А. Яхимович В.Л. / Башкирская энциклопедия. Т. 7. Ф-Я. Уфа: Изд-во Башкирская энциклопедия, 2011. С. 481. http://xn—-7sbacsfsccnbdnzsqis3h5a6ivbm.xn--p1ai/index.php/component/content/article/2-statya/2496-yakhimovich-varvara-lvovna
6. Курманов Р.Г., Данукалова Г.А. К столетию Варвары Львовны Яхимович // Геология. Известия Отделения наук о Земли и природных ресурсов АН РБ. 2013. № 19. С. 111-112.
7. Данукалова Г.А., Курманов Р.Г., Яковлев А.Г., Осипова Е.М. Выдающийся российский геолог-стратиграф Варвара Львовна Яхимович (к 100-летию со дня рождения) (1913-1994) // Геологический сборник, № 10. Информационные материалы / ИГ УНЦ РАН. Уфа: ООО «ДизайнПолиграфСервис», 2013. С. 286-298.
8. Данукалова Г.А., Курманов Р.Г. Варвара Львовна Яхимович // Бюллетень комиссии по изучению четвертичного периода. № 73. Москва: ГЕОС, 2014. С. 5-12.