Larisa Popugayeva

Larisa Anatolyevna Popugayeva (Russian: Лари́са Анато́льевна Попуга́ева; September 3, 1923 – September 19, 1977) was a Soviet geologist, candidate of geological and mineralogical sciences (1970), one of the discoverers of diamond deposits in the USSR.

Larisa Popugayeva

Larisa Anatolyevna Popugayeva

(1923-09-03)3 September 1923
Died19 September 1977(1977-09-19) (aged 54)
Alma materPerm State University


Larisa was born on September 3, 1923 in Kaluga. Her father, Anatoly Grintsevich, secretary of the Prigorodny District Party Committee in Odessa, was shot in 1937. Mother, Olga Grintsevich, is a Leningrad art critic.

In 1937, after the death of her father, together with her mother and born in Odessa, her sister Irina, Larisa returned to Leningrad. In 1941 she graduated from the school and entered the Leningrad University.

Larisa Grincevich met the Great Patriotic War in Moscow, where she, together with other alumni excellent students from Leningrad schools was sent on a special voucher to the All-Union agricultural exhibition. At the beginning of the war, this group was left indefinitely in Moscow. Meanwhile, Larisa's mother and sister left for the Ural evacuation.

In September 1941, Larisa arrived in Molotov, where her mother and four-year-old sister were evacuated. Was enrolled in the Molotov University (now Perm State University). She graduated from nursing courses, worked in the clinic. Then she graduated from the courses of machine gunners.

From April 1942 to July 1945, was a volunteer in the Air Defense Division of Moscow, the commander of the gun crew, was promoted to the rank of junior sergeant.

In 1950 she graduated from the Department of Mineralogy of the Leningrad University. Simultaneously with her studies she worked for three years as a geologist-explorer in various expeditions of the North-Western Geological Administration.

Already in 1950, her work in the north of the Irkutsk region was linked to diamonds. In the summer of 1951 she was on an expedition in the Subpolar Urals. In 1952, Larisa married a LISI teacher Viktor Popugayev.

In June 1954, Larisa Popugayeva discovered a kimberlite surface, later called the Zarnitsa mine. The following year, another 10 pipes were opened in this locality.[1][2]

Larisa Popugayeva died on September 19, 1977 from occlusion and aortic rupture.


Larisa Popugayeva's name is given to a diamond weighing 29.4 carats (about 12 mm across).[3] Streets in the diamond cities of Udachny and Aykhal bear her name. In Yakutia, in the town of Udachny, a monument to Larisa Popugayeva is erected.[4]



  1. Sergey Kostyrko. "Голгофа геолога Попугаевой". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  2. "Лариса Попугаева: жизнь после жизни". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  3. "Запоздалые цветы для Натальи Сарсадских". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  4. Sergey Ushakov. "Ларисе Попугаевой поставили памятник". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
  5. "К 90-летию Попугаевой". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
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