Eugen Volodymyrovych Oppokov, the first President of Ukraine Mikhail Sergyovych Hrushevsky’s second cousin, was born on January 21, 1869 in Rude village, Skvirsky district, Kyiv region, in parish church priest Vladimir Yoanykyovych Oppokov’s family (Mikhail Sergyovych Grushevsky’s mother’s cousin) and Maria Vasylivna Zabrodska . With the lapse of time a large family had four boys and six girls. In 1878 a small Eugene went to the first class in the school №3 in Kyiv, which in 1886 he brilliantly graduated with honors. After the first year of studying at Physics and mathematics Department at the St.Vjljdymyr University, he entered the Mechanical Department of the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. In 1892 Oppokov got a diploma as an engineer and began his long career in the Western expedition dealing with the swag drying in Polissya. In the same year he married Paraskeva Petrivna Bourtseva, and in 1893 their daughter Mary was born.

Being an engineer of the expedition dealing with the swag drying in Polissya (in 1903 he became 1st level hydraulic engineer) Oppokov headed the hydrological studies implementation and works in 1894-1905 in Chernihiv, Kursk and Poltava provinces, later conducted similar works in Volyn’, Minsk and Grodno provinces. In 1913, Western expedition stopped its activity, and Eugene started working at the Ministry of Agriculture and State Property in Minsk Province and was at the head of Polissya exploring group that surveyed catchment areas of swampy rivers in the Neman and the Pripyat basins in Minsk province (in 1915-1916s the party was in Kyiv).

The results of experimental work and research that were carried out during the 25 years of the expedition activity were published in 1899 in an anniversary report " Essay on Western Expedition works during 1873-1898" under the common authorship of Y.I.Zhylinsky. It contains the first Oppokov’s scientific work - he was the author of the section "Hydrometric work in Polissya". In 1899 Oppokov published three articles in the journal "Hutoryanyn": two of them stated author’s opinion about some articles published in this journal, that were devoted to water management issues. These articles revealed a list of published papers, reviews and findings of several hundred items that Oppokov systematically wrote.

The years in Western expedition and in Polisska party were a period of Oppokov’s creative expansion: during 1900-1916he published about 100 papers. Most of them are dedicated to the forests’ and wetlands’ hydrological significance. A possible deforestation impact , the drainage of wetlands within flow regime of navigable rivers are in detail examined. Important are those works in which the author presents his opinion about the allegations of progressive rivers shallowing, publishes his own summary about the interconnection of runoff and the factors that define it, the water balance of the river basin and so on. To that time hi most weighty Oppokov’s publication about "Yearly flow process in Upper Dnieper basin (to Kyiv) and its constituents during 1876-1908 and partly more remote time" and his substantial work "River valleys in Poltavska province" were reffered.

In 1917 Oppokov shifts from research-and-production activity to educational work in the field of hydrology and land reclamation and in related specialties.

From personal file official list "Extraordinary professor of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute in the Architectural art department in the Hydraulic engineering faculty, a junior scientific assistant of the Kyiv Polytechnic Institute, an official for special class VI assignments of the Ministery of Agriculture, councillor of State, engineer-technologist Eugene Vladimirovich Oppokov", made up February, 1919, it is known that " September 18, 1917 in the Order №2056 Comrade Minister has agreed to the appoint an engineer-technologist E.V. Oppokov as full-time teacher in the KPI in the Architectural art department in the Hydraulic engineering faculty and charged him with the duties of extraordinary professor in the same department, pending the acquisition of the adjunct title, which is a two-year period" .

He did not stop his academic activities during 1918-1920. Despite the difficulties of the time he happened to publish more than 10 papers, including his book " Peat resources of Ukraine". They summarized the results of previous studies of wetlands, peatlands within the former Poltava, Chernihiv and Minsk provinces. Oppokov promoted in these works the widespread peat usage as a fuel for industry.

Since 1921 Oppokov’s educational work had increased. In addition to lecturing hydrology and land reclamation at the Polytechnic Institute Professor Oppokov started teaching an irrigation course in the Kyiv Agricultural Institute in 1923, since 1926 - in Kyiv engineering-reclamation college, later transformed into the Institute.

His educational work Oppokov combines with scientific-organizational one: during 1921-1926 he was a reclamation chairman section and a member of the Presidium of the Agricultural Scientific Committee of Ukraine.

In February 1919 at the USSR NAC (National Agriculture Committee) Agricultural Research Committee appeared, in the centre of which UkrMet (Ukrainian Meteorological Service) was formed, led by Associate Professor M.I.Danylevsky. In the edict of 19 November 1921 H. Rakowsky - Chairman of Council of People's Commissars of the Ukrainian SSR defined UkrMet as the main observations authority in the country that already had the Weather Service at that time. At the beginning of 1922 this organization consisted of 8 people and started uniting provincial meteorological centres. At the time hydrological observations were subordinate to the Dnieper River Shipping Company management and USSR Ministry of Agriculture and Food irrigation department.

At the end of September 1922 Professor of Hydrology and Hydraulic Engineering Department in Kyiv Polytechnic Institute Y.V.Oppokov reported on the expediency of the Meteorology Bureau formation and represented the program of its activities at a meeting of Ukrainian Meteorological Service. The UkrMet Council approved Y.V. Oppokov’s sugestion and from 1 October 1922 an effective meteorological bureau with its members Oppokov and engineer S.K. Komarnicky appeared. Within the he first UkrMet ‘s estimate of 200,935 roubles for 1923 for all service activities, Hydrometeorological Bureau had restricted sum of 200 roubles (about 1%).

Academics and E.V.Oppokov B.I.Sreznevskyy with delegates of Geophysical meeting in May 1930 (Kyiv) on the 75th anniversary of Kyiv meteorological observatory EV Oppokov led The Meteorological bureau until April 29, 1925 when he resigned, due to fundamental divergence in views with M.I. Danilevsky on the Institute of Water Resources establishment.

In Kyiv E.V. Oppokov lived in his house, Artem Street, 87 (old name - Lviv st.). Nearby, Artem str., 89, ap.1 (now a farmstead and houses are linked, and here the High Council of Justice of Ukraine is located) a family Prybe – a family of German subjects - lived since 1922. Preparig to his business trip to Germany in 1928 to purchase a periodical literature and fundamental works on hydrology, hydraulic engineering, irrigation and geophysics, Oppokov turned to junior Prybe for advice on transferring his own money or receiving a loan in the Berliner Bank. Prybe helped him, but this assistance was worth Oppokov’s life in 1937.

On August 14, 1937 the chairman of Katerynoslav railway weather station I.A. Zaharov said at the questioning that it passed through he helped criminal counter-revolutionary relations between Ukraine and the Kuban take place. In Ukraine, the main body of the rebellion were academics Oppokov, Holodny, Shaposhnikov and professors De Metz and Ponamarchuk.

September 15, 1937. At the end of the day in the house of the Water Management Institute (Artem street, 45), in the director’s office was a search and seizure of property and some documents. Institute party organizer, technician E.H.Charnetsky and academic’s assistant M.M.Ulasovych were attendant. The last was the director during 2 years after these events, but did not participated in any Academy meetings, which accused E.V.Oppokov, for which he has repeatedly criticized. Search protocol signed by the USSR NKVD (The Peoples Commissariat for Internal Affairs) employee B.P.Rohov.

In the evening on October 15, 1937 two rooms in the house where the academician lived were searched, and the academician was arrested.

At the first questionning Oppokov unexpectedly pleaded guilty in regular passing through the German Consulate information about the agriculture development and plans of land reclamation in Ukraine, water, rail, highways combinations infrastructure, some statistical indicators of the national economy dynamics. In the case there are no other materials and reports about the next interview, photographs or fingerprints . A copy of the report №259 dated November, 4, 1937 is based on Ezhov’s order on August 11, 1937 and witnesses the sentence - execution (according to the certificate of UGB NKVD USSR № 49265, E.V.Oppokov’s sentence, convicted of the first category, 4.XI.1937, made 11.XI.1937) in Bykivnia Forest.

During 1922-1937 E.V.Oppokov published about 150 scientific works, including a series of guidelines, manuals and textbooks written in Ukrainian: "Agricultural hydraulic engineering" (1925), "Land drainage" (1930 and 1932), "Peat machine" (1932).

Oppokov began training of scientific personnel in the postgraduate school, when headed the Hydrology research department and continued till the end of his career, having prepared 11 candidates. Oppokov’ graduate students were the future professors, doctors A.V. Ohyevsky, V.A .Nazarov, K.I. Makiv (associate member USSR Academy of Sciences since 1948), A.E. Babynets (associate member of USSR Academy of Sciences since 1964) V.G Tkachuk and others.

A key to successful scientific work Oppokov considered a detailed study of each subject before its research, the full awareness of similar studies performed in related institutions at home and abroad. Therefore an important role in his work played compiling bibliographies, abstracts, summary on many papers, he visited hydrological institutions of the country and abroad to establish personal contacts and views exchange, participated in congresses, conferences and meetings. Oppokov was a member of I and II South Russian reclamation Congresses (1909 and 1912) and Meteorological Congress (1915), honorary chairman of two Ukrainian irrigation congresses (1923 and 1924), Deputy Chairman at the I and II Russian hydrological meetings, an active member of the Congress of Productive Forces and the national Economy of Ukraine Study (1924) and others.

Some Oppokov’s works were awarded. His monograph "The river flow process in the Upper Dnipro basin"of 1908 was awarded a D.A. Tolstoy Prize by the Russian Academy of Sciences; Russian Geographical Society awarded Oppokov with the F.P.Litke Grand Gold Medal for the works on the hydrology of the south-west in 1916.

His election as the Main Physical Observatory correspondent in 1903 and as the Russian Geographical Society member in 1926 was a recognition of his achievements to the Russian science. Professor Oppokov was awarded the Doctor of Science degree. Oppokov’s outstanding achievements in the hydrology development in the country were marked by his election as a member of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1929), and because of his activity on the reclamation science development – he became anacademician of the Lenin All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (1935).

Eugene Oppokov came into Ukrainian science history as the founder practical hydrology within the Ukrainian Meteorological Service activity, as well as the creator of hydrological science schools in Ukraine. Outstanding scientist’s untimely death is an irreparable loss.

E.V. Oppokov cause is continued and developed by the present generation of Ukrainian hydrologists.

The authors are grateful for any archives to institutions of the State Archival Service of Ukraine and the institutions of the V.I. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine and the Director of Mikhailo Hrushevsky Historical and Memorial Museum S.M. Pan’kova for the information about the Oppokov’s genealogy.

V.K. Hilchevsky, O.I. Lukyanets (Kyiv National University), O.O. Kosovets, M.I. Dovhych, I.V. Lavrynenko, V.V. Sokolov (Central Geophysical Observatory )

Translated by Kokoruz Mariia, LA-02