(Fwd) death of Yosef Sopochin

Johanna Laakso johanna.laakso at univie.ac.at
Tue Feb 26 17:24:26 UTC 2002


Forwarded: Vladimir Napolskikh <vovia at ni.udm.ru>:

> YOSEF SOPOCHIN died of cancer at the end of January 2002 in the hospital in
> Khanty-Mansisysk.  Yosef was relatively young, and his death comes as
> something of a shock.  People who had seen him at conferences last autumn
> knew that he looked very ill, but he kept the matter to himself.  He refused
> to go to the hospital until the last moment, when the cancer was already far
> advanced.
>         Yosef  was a leader among the Surgut region Khanty.  He was a Trom-Aganski
> Khant whose family was from Ulti-Yagun sel-soviet just north of Surgut.
> His initiative, energy, experience and imagination raised him into a
> position of leadership in the post-Soviet period.    He himself worked
> diligently to secure some benefits for Khanty who were suffering from the
> adverse impacts of petroleum development and to find alternative means of
> economic self-sufficiency for relocated Khanty. A former sel-soviet member,
> he had participated in negotiating economic agreements for Trom-Aganskii
> Khanty with regional oil companies, to channel funds to Khanty.   As early
> as 1994, he was active in the obschinna (native community association)
> movement and became a major figure founding "Khanto," one of the two
> principal Khanty community associations in Surgut region.  Most recently, he
> had been attempting to secure funds so that his community association could
> purchase fishing areas along the Ob' to engage in commercial fishing.  In
> recent years, he also played a forceful role in the Khanty-Mansi native
> association "Spasenie Yugra."  Enormously energetic, talented, phlegmatic,
> nervous, generous, keenly insightful, Yosef  traveled in Europe and America,
> often with his wife Agrafena Pesikova attending conferences and seminars,
> talking to all who would listen, trying to call attention to the plight of
> the eastern Khanty.  In turn, whether in Russkinskiye or Yubilenie, Josef
> warmly welcomed visitors even in the depths of winter.
>         Yosef will be missed not only by his family and Khanty community, but by
> many friends around the world.
> Andrew Wiget,
> New Mexico, USA
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