Some interesting takes in the comment section of the 2018 article/interview. Some suggests that Valentina murdered the others, but it seems very odd how a seventeen-year-old girl could have killed the group leader and the twenty-three-year-old guy. Poisoning? Only to wander around the wilderness for days alone? And I would have expected a much more elaborate story if she was lying.
There is mention of Valentina having to sign a non-disclosure agreement and that the government did cover up the case. As for the autopsy finding signs of poor nutrition/protein depletion, this is rural Russia in the early 1990s and people from former Soviet Kazakhstan we are talking about: how do we know this lack of proper food was not a widespread case all over the former Soviet states? There are some quite bleak descriptions of life in Russia at the time in the comment section, people struggling to earn enough for their food.
It appears that the Russians refer to it as the Buryat tragedy (бурятской трагедии).
Two excerpts from another article on the tragedy, translated with Yandex:<The helicopter descended, and everyone on board witnessed a terrible sight: "The picture was terrible: the bodies were already swollen, the eye sockets of all were completely eaten out. Almost all of the victims were dressed in thin tights, while three of them were barefoot. The supervisor was lying on top of Alexander…»<What was happening on the plateau? Why did the participants of the hike take off their shoes when they were freezing? Why did a woman lay down on a dead guy? Why didn't anyone use their sleeping bags? All these questions remained unanswered. From the place of death, the group was taken out by helicopter by rescuers from Buryatia. In Ulan-Ude, an autopsy was performed, which showed that all six died of hypothermia. By this time, relatives of the missing tourists arrived in the capital of Buryatia, who eventually took the bodies home.<Alexander Kvitnitsky, discussing the causes of the group's death, suggests that the group developed mountain sickness, which appears in high-altitude conditions: "It can be assumed that due to oxygen starvation, they could have changes in the brain that cause different reactions, including affecting the heart, blood vessels, causing hallucinations, and so on. But at the altitude that the group was at, mountain sickness almost doesn't hapPost too long. Click here to view the full text.