The biography of Vasily Grigoryevich Solodovnikov, a diplomat and well - known scientist, reflects all the vicissitudes of our turbulent century: the revolution, wars, five-year plans, Stalin's repressions, the victory over fascism, the confrontation between East and West, the elimination of colonialism, the collapse of the apartheid system, perestroika and new times in modern Russia.
The life and work of the hero of the day were covered in our magazine*. Let us recall some pages of his biography.
..On March 8, 1918, a boy named Vasyatka was born to a native Russian Old Believer family in the village of Chernorechye near Samara. At the age of 13, he becomes a tractor driver, and then a turner. He tried to combine work and study. First, he entered the Faculty of the Pedagogical Institute, then the evening department of the Kuibyshev Industrial Institute, from which he graduated with honors. Then the talented young man is sent to Moscow to study at the Academy of Foreign Trade.
1947 - first business trip abroad to Romania, then to the USA, where V. G. Solodovnikov spent two years leading a group in AMTORG. Here he gained experience in interacting with representatives of local business circles, and got to know the country well. Economics and financial flows in the Western world were reflected in his PhD thesis, which he defended in 1952 at the Institute of Economics of the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he soon became a scientific secretary. In 1956, after the establishment of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), V. G. Solodovnikov, along with a number of his colleagues, was transferred to the IMEMO of the USSR Academy of Sciences, and two years later he was appointed Deputy Director for Research.
In 1952-1960. Vasily Grigoryevich participates in international meetings and forums held under the auspices of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Academy of Sciences, goes on research trips (India, Vietnam, Switzerland, USA, France, etc.).: "Export of capital" (1957), "Export of capital and its peculiarities after the Second World War" (1959), "Bourgeois theories and problems of economic development of underdeveloped countries" (1961).
In January 1961, V. G. Solodovnikov was sent to the United States - in the UN secretariat, he headed the Department of industrialization of developing countries (1961-1962). 1963-1964-Deputy Permanent Representative of the USSR to the United Nations. In February 1963, the Pre --
* See: Asia and Africa Today, 2005, N 5; 2008, N 5.
The Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarded him the diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the 1st class.
In June 1964, due to the serious illness of the first director of the Institute of Africa of the USSR Academy of Sciences I. I. Potekhin, the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences appointed Solodovnikov to this post. Vasily Grigorievich headed the Institute for 12 years (until 1976), which during this time became a major center for African studies, widely recognized throughout the world. In Moscow, African ambassadors, students and postgraduates called the institute "The Home of Africa".
In 1966, V. G. Solodovnikov defended his doctoral dissertation and in the same year was elected a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences. For many years, he headed the Soviet Association for Friendship with the Peoples of Africa, and was Deputy chairman of the Soviet Committee for Solidarity of Asian and African Countries.
In 1970, Solodovnikov published the book "Africa: The Struggle for Independence", which is also published in English and French. Amazing fact: in Madagascar, the newspaper "Hita si Re" (in Malagasy) published it in full-in 80 issues (!), for 4 months (from February 17 to May 29, 1971). The South African authorities banned this book for distribution, and in Italy its author was awarded the international " Prize Lion" for "the best work on African issues written by a non-African".
From 1976 to 1981, Vladimir Solodovnikov was the USSR Ambassador to Zambia. Soviet-Zambian relations have noticeably strengthened during my time in this country. He developed a close relationship with President Kenneth Kaunda, as well as with the leaders of the South African national liberation movements, then headquartered in Lusaka-Joshua Nkomo, Oliver Tambo, Sam Nuyoma and their associates.
After returning to Moscow, Solodovnikov works in the central office of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs - the main adviser to the Department of Foreign Policy Activities. In 1983, he returned to the Academy of Sciences and worked for 10 years as the chief researcher of the IME-MO of the USSR Academy of Sciences on the struggle of progressive forces in South Africa against apartheid and racial discrimination.
In July 1993, the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences appointed him an adviser to the Russian Academy of Sciences at the Institute of Africa.
In 2000, V. G. Solodovnikov's collection "The Creative Path to African Studies and Diplomacy" was published, which contains biographical materials (1952-1976) about his scientific, diplomatic and social activities.
In 2004, the then President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, awarded V. G. Solodovnikov the Order of Companions of Oliver Tambo - "for his outstanding contribution to the decolonization of Africa and the fight against apartheid, as well as for scientific research in Africa." It should be noted that only 22 state, political and public figures in the world have been awarded this order. In 2011 Vasily Grigoryevich published the book " House of Africa in Moscow: Starokonyushenny 16 (a look at the history of the Institute of Africa from the director's office)". In 2012, this book became the winner of the contest "For significant contribution to Science".
The results of the scientist's research are reflected in his scientific works - these are 12 monographs and more than 300 articles in domestic and foreign periodicals.
V. G. Solodovnikov has been awarded 12 government awards for his services to the Fatherland, and is an honorary doctor of three foreign universities. Among the many congratulations received by Vasily Grigoryevich on his 95th birthday is a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin. At the meeting of the Academic Council of the IAfr RAS dedicated to the hero of the day, the following words were heard: "Your outstanding achievements in science and diplomacy serve as a guiding star for several generations of international scientists, scientists and diplomats." What wishes does Vasily Grigoryevich express today to the staff of his native Institute? Here are some of them::
"We need to maintain a comprehensive approach to ISI in the future-
* During Solodovnikov's five years in Zambia, a large-scale campaign of defamation and disinformation was conducted against him in the West. Its archive contains more than 80 publications of this kind. In addition, he appears in five anti-Soviet novels-see: Capelouche S. "The Red Joker" in Southern Africa // Asia and Africa today. 2005, N 5.
It includes a study of the past and current domestic political, economic and international problems that African countries face in the context of globalization and the transition from a unipolar to a multipolar world.
It is also necessary to study the current economic situation in Africa, and on this basis prepare recommendations to the Russian government and business on the most effective ways of mutually beneficial cooperation.
Much more than at present, it is necessary to pay attention to cultural and scientific interaction between Russia and African countries. Hold more frequent international forums and bilateral meetings on topical issues.
In 2014, the people of South Africa will celebrate 20 years of life without apartheid. The Institute of Africa should take the initiative to hold an international conference in Moscow dedicated to this historic event, in which our country played a very significant role..."
And in conclusion. All his life, despite all the huge employment, Vasily Grigoryevich never lost touch with his village, whenever possible he came to Chernorechye, always went to school, helped organize the museum. Volzhskaya Nov, Volzhanka and other local newspapers published many articles about his life and work. In the book "Names and Destinies", published in connection with the 150th anniversary of the Samara province, we also find pages about V. G. Solodovnikov. And in March 2013, the Chernorechyenskaya school was named after him...
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