David Alekseevich Zolotarev was a Russian anthropologist and ethnographer who studied the tribal populations of the Yaroslavl region of northern Russia. In his capacity as professor of anthropology at the University of Leningrad and as a representative of the Russian Geographical Society’s Ethnographic Division, Zolotarev led numerous anthropological expeditions, and would later report the findings in published research papers and at scientific conferences. Following the Russian Revolution, the Soviet government called on Zolotarev and other anthropologists to determine how the isolated ethnic populations of the northern Russian regions were able to adapt to the new Communist society. During the 1920s, Zolotarev studied the Karelian population who lived at the Russian-Finnish border region. In measuring the physical characteristics and social customs of this population, Zolotarev’s findings were used by the Soviet government to determine that the Karelians could be claimed as Russians rather than as Finns. In 1930, Zolotarev led an expedition to study the Sami, Karelians and Russians of the Lake Imandra region.