—The comprehensive chorological analyses of benthic and planktonic faunal groups, the reconstruction of paleogeography, and the delineation and correlation of the same-type biofacies and geographic ranges of the fauna suggest that the Paleozoic tectonic blocks of the Verkhoyansk–Chukotka foldbelt (Tas-Khayakhtakh, Selennyakh, Omulevka, Omolon, Okhotsk, and Chukchi inliers) and Kotel’nyi Island originated in the same epicontinental sea basin of the Siberian paleocontinent, being parts of its passive margin located at the place of the recent foldbelt. We provide a rationale for paleontological, sedimentary, and morphometric diagnostic characteristics of rift zones in complex thrust-folded structures. A rift development, with activation phases in the Ordovician and Devonian, is found to have preceded the break-up of the passive margin in the late Paleozoic.

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