Elena Sokolova (neé Kazanskaya) was born in Kuz'minki, a suburb of Moscow, on December 17th, 1953, to Vadim and Lia Kazansky. Vadim I. Kazansky was a prominent uranium geologist and Lia A. Kazanskaya was a teacher of Russian language and literature. In 1955, the family went to China, where Vadim was head of a program of exploration for uranium deposits. The family was based in Beijing, Changsha, and Guangzhou (formerly Canton) for five years while Vadim did extensive fieldwork throughout China. They returned to Moscow in 1959 and Elena went to school in 1961. While accompanying her father...

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