today there are two kind of theories. Theory kind one: The accident was caused by natural forces (avalanche, snow storm, infrasound, ball lightning, stove, poison and so on). Theory kind two: Other human were involved (Mansi, KGB, ...). OK, there is still a third kind for aliens, UFOs, The Yeti, and all that stuff, but I would say, this is not realistic. So either a natural force was the initial trigger for the accident or a human force (even with other human involved, it still could be an accident). There is not a single proof for the one theory or the other. All we have so far are hints. A hint always needs interpretation, because it is not clear. So some hints point more in the direction that a natural force was the trigger (for example no other traces), some point into the direction that other human were involved (for example they left the area orderly and not in panic).
I think we all agree, that if the man, buried in Zolotaryov's grave is not Zolotaryov, this has a massive impact on the case. Because then it is clear that other human were involved. Because of this, it is so important to determine, how certain it is that the man in Zolotaryov's grave is Zolotaryov or not. When I read the articles and all the forum posts a lot of questions came into my mind. I will post them all in the hope, someone can answer them. Some of them I can answer for myself, nevertheless I will post them.
Question 1: How sure is it that Zolotaryov attended the journey and not another man?
Answer: Very sure, since the pictures before the journey and during the journey show the same man.
Question 2: Who identified the hikers in the ravine? Is it possible that the body of Zolotaryov was identified as another hiker. Think of the level of decomposition. Is it possible that some of the other hiker was accidentally buried in the grave of Zolotaryov?
Answer: The exhumation showed that the man buried in the grave of Zolotaryov is surely older than 30 years old. All other hikers were much younger. For me, this is a proof that a mix-up can't be the reason. Either the man is Zolotaryov or if not, it happened by purpose. OK, there is the possibility that another man who has nothing to do with the accident who was in the same age and had similar injuries was accidentally buried in the grave, but the chance for this is almost zero, so not possible.
Question 3: When I understand the DNA comparison correct, the found DNA had not a good quality or was not enough. Because of this, only a test of the female line could be carried out with two other relatives. Better than nothing, for sure. But what if Zolotaryov's mother was not his real mother? What if his father betrayed his mother? Does the DNA test exclude such things?
Question 4: What if Zolotaryov was neither related with the female line nor with the male line? For example he was adopted. I mean when I see the photo of him sitting next to his parents (I guess it are his parents), they look not similar for me. Was this excluded somehow?
Question 5: How good is the quality of the DNA comparison? Are there external factors that can damage the DNA (water, sunlight, snow, radiation, whatever)? In general, what is the positive/negative/false positive/false negative ratio? You know, each measurement has a ratio how many negative cases are mistaken for positive cases and how many positive cases are mistaken for negative cases?
So don't get me wrong. I don't want to doubt the results simply because it does not fit with my favorite theory. I only want to understand how valid the results are. I only want to understand how many factors can have an influence on the results. How high is the chance that the body buried in Zolotaryov's grave is not Zolotaryov? I mean, 100% certainty is not possible, we all know this. But can you give an estimation whether it is more 70% certainty or 90% or maybe even 99%?
I hope someone can give me an answer to these questions.