On January 4, 2014, Professor Viktor Grigoryevich Korgun, an outstanding Soviet and Russian orientalist and a talented researcher of Afghanistan, died after a serious and long illness.
He was born in Leningrad in 1940. In 1957, he graduated with a gold medal from the Caucasian Suvorov Officer School in Ordzhonikidze (now Vladikavkaz). In the same year, he entered the Kiev Higher Radio Engineering School of the Air Defense Forces. From 1959 to 1961 he served in the army. In 1961, he entered the Institute of Oriental Languages at Moscow State University in the Department of Persian Language and Literature.
Since 1966, its fate has been closely linked to Afghanistan. Working as a translator for the Soviet Embassy in Kabul, he fell in love with this country and became interested in the history, culture and traditions of the Afghan people. Subsequently, as part of a group of Soviet advisers in the Ministry of Planning of Afghanistan, he took part in solving complex economic problems, participated in negotiations between statesmen of the two countries.
In 1968, he graduated from the IVY. In 1968-1971, he taught Persian at the Military Institute of Foreign Languages. In 1971, he entered the postgraduate program of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences, in 1975 he defended his PhD thesis and was enrolled in the Institute as a junior researcher. Continuing to study the history of Afghanistan, he wrote a number of scientific articles and monographs. Some of them have become reference books for historians, specialists in the field of international relations, teachers, graduate students and students of humanitarian universities, and anyone interested in the history of Afghanistan.
Since 1966, V. G. Korgun has regularly visited Afghanistan in various capacities: from translator, consultant, lecturer - to scientist, political analyst and expert. He was so familiar with Kabul and many of the country's provinces that Afghans themselves often listened with great interest to his stories.
Viktor Grigoryevich was very sensitive to the mistakes and mistakes of the Soviet and Afghan leadership, which eventually left an unpleasant residue in relations between our countries. But he has always believed that the time will come when Russia will restore large-scale cooperation with Afghanistan and restore the good attitude of the Afghans. He himself made great efforts to strengthen the friendly relations between the peoples of Russia and Afghanistan from year to year.
For five years (1983-1988), as scientific secretary of the Soviet - Afghan Commission of Historians, V. G. Korgun in his scientific research and works analyzed in detail the external factors that determined the historical fate of the Afghan people. Over the past decade, he has carefully studied relations between Afghanistan and the United States, and his assessments have been listened to with interest both in Afghanistan and abroad.
Viktor Grigoryevich's research interests were not limited to Afghanistan - he is also the author of numerous studies on the history and politics of the region's countries. He has written more than 170 articles and sections in collective monographs. He is the author of several books: "The Intelligentsia in the political Life of Afghanistan", "Afghanistan in the 20-30s of the XX century: Pages of Political History", "Afghanistan: Politics and Politicians", " History of Afghanistan. XX century". These fundamental works of his, as well as numerous articles and textbooks written and published in different years, will remain relevant for a long time and enjoy high authority in the scientific community.
For ten years - from 1983 to 1993 - Viktor Grigorievich was an active participant in the permanent Soviet-American Dartmouth Conference on the Near and Middle East.
In 2000, V. G. Korgun defended his doctoral dissertation on the topic "Formation and evolution of the political system of modern Afghanistan". Since 2003, he has been the permanent Head of the Afghanistan Sector at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
2001-2005 Korgun is a Professor in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern History at the Institute of Asian and African Studies (ISAA). MSU and the Department of Regional Studies of the Military University of Foreign Languages. Since 2009 - Professor of the Department of Oriental Studies at MGIMO (U) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia.
Viktor Grigorievich took part in international conferences and seminars on Afghanistan in Moscow, Almaty, Tashkent, Bishkek, Dushanbe, Kabul, Delhi, Peshawar, Istanbul, London, Paris, Vienna, Washington, Berlin. He was fluent in Dari and English.
For six years - from 1997 to 2003 - V. G. Korgun successfully combined scientific work with journalism - he was the editor of the magazine "Asia and Africa Today". Our readers will remember his brilliant articles and essays on Afghanistan and other countries in the Middle East. The most recent of these articles, "The Peace Process in Afghanistan", was published as recently as June 2013.
We will remember Viktor Grigoryevich Korgun as a great journalist, a loyal and reliable comrade, a bright and interesting person.
Editorial staff of the magazine "Asia and Africa Today"
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