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  • Position : Executive Board member, Honorary Member of the Trialogue Club International
  • Affiliation : Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences
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In memory of Vyacheslav Trubnikov

19.04.2022

MOSCOW. APRIL 19, 2022. PIR PRESS. “Member of PIR Center’s Executive Board, Member of the Trialogue International Club, Vyacheslav Ivanovich has been with our non-governmental organization for many years, as a bright speaker, a participant in dozens of our events, projects, and undertakings. We have been to so many places together, from Montreux and Delhi to Abramtsevo and Zvenigorod, where we were able to admire the colossal experience, diplomatic tact, and professional intuition of General Trubnikov. And his ability to inspire the younger generation... After all, we were just now preparing with him for state exams in the non-proliferation master's program at MGIMO, where he chaired the state commission, for PIR Center’s Summer School ... I have no doubt that the younger generation will learn from General Trubnikov’s work, will study and adequately adopt his experience,” Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center’s Director and Founder.

On April 18, we were deeply saddened by the news about the death of Vyacheslav Trubnikov, a Russian statesman, army general, Hero of the Russian Federation, Member of PIR Center’s Executive Board, Member of the International Trialogue Club, Senior Research Fellow at IMEMO. He was 77 years old.

Vyacheslav Ivanovich spent 42 years of his life in the public service of the Soviet Union and Russia – in the KGB of the USSR, the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia and Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Trubnikov served as Director of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service from January 1996 to May 2000; he was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to India from 2004 to 2009. It is impossible to overstate General Trubnikov’s contribution to the restoration of the Russian foreign policy apparatus after the collapse of the USSR. No less important is his role in establishing a long-term friendly relationship with India, as well as in maintaining Russia's position in the field of international military-technical cooperation.

General Trubnikov was born in Irkutsk in the family of an aircraft factory worker evacuated from Moscow. In 1961, he graduated from the Physics and Mathematics Secondary School under the Lomonosov Moscow State University with distinction. In 1967, Vyacheslav Ivanovich graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, where he learned Hindi and English.

Upon graduation, Vyacheslav Trubnikov joined the KGB of the USSR, serving in the First Chief Directorate. In 1971-1977, he worked in India and Bangladesh, then returning to the central office in Moscow. From 1984 to 1990, he was back in South Asia. When he came back to Moscow in 1990, he became the Head of the Division of South Asian Countries of the First Chief Directorate. In new Russia, he became the First Deputy Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service in 1992. In 1996-2000 served as the Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service.

In 2000, General Trubnikov moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where he became the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia for CIS Affairs in the rank of federal minister. From 2004 to 2009, he served as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to India, where he previously had worked for the KGB.

After retiring from public service, Vyacheslav Trubnikov continued working on issues of international politics and security. From October 2009 until his death, he held the Senior Research Fellow position at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations named after Yevgeny Primakov. He was a Member of PIR Center’s Executive Council.

Trubnikov believed that nuclear conflicts can be avoided. "As long as nuclear weapons are in the hands of responsible regimes, whether military or democratic, there can be no military conflict involving nuclear weapons."

Vyacheslav Ivanovich has always been open to dialogue with the younger generation of experts and practitioners. He readily expressed his own vision of the future of international relations, intelligence. In 2019, at PIR Center’s International School of Global Security General Trubnikov said: “I see the future of intelligence as more and more complex, since more and more tasks will arise before it. Up to this day, two points of view are fighting in intelligence. The first is “technical means will solve everything that is needed,” whereas the second one is that without human intelligence, that is, undercover intelligence, it is impossible to see the world the way it actually develops. I am a supporter of the second point of view. We can photograph anything from space. I myself saw photographs taken by American satellites 30-40 years ago: they showed the footprints of our sentry boots at the naval base in Murmansk. Just imagine what a unique quality of photography! But no one can tell from this picture who was wearing these boots, or where and why he went. In order to know why, you need to penetrate into the most important thing – into the kitchen (consciousness) of the leadership of the country that is your potential enemy. You need to understand the motives that guide them. The sovereignty of any state from time immemorial rested on intelligence. Therefore, intelligence will not die – it will develop in accordance with the requirements that the country's political leadership will impose on it."

In order to preserve the memory of Vyacheslav Ivanovich and salute his outstanding role in Soviet and Russian foreign policy, PIR Center is preparing to publish on its website the General Trubnikov Memory Gallery. It will include his scholarly essays published under at PIR Center, as well as photographs from the PIR Center archive and memories of his colleagues, friends and students. Some of them are given here:

“I mourn the death of Vyacheslav Ivanovich Trubnikov. Member of PIR Center’s Executive Board, Member of the Trialogue International Club, Vyacheslav Ivanovich has been with our non-governmental organization for many years, as a bright speaker, a participant in dozens of our events, projects, and undertakings. We have been to so many places together, from Montreux and Delhi to Abramtsevo and Zvenigorod, where we were able to admire the colossal experience, diplomatic tact, and professional intuition of General Trubnikov. And his ability to inspire the younger generation... After all, we were just now preparing with him for state exams in the non-proliferation master's program at MGIMO, where he chaired the state commission, for PIR Center’s Summer School ... I have no doubt that the younger generation will learn from General Trubnikov’s work, will study and adequately adopt his experience. Blessed memory,” Vladimir Orlov, PIR Center’s Founder and Director.

“Rest in peace. A wonderful person and a true professional in his field,” Evgeny Buzhinsky, Chairman of PIR Center’s Executive Council, Lieutenant General (retired), Ph.D.

"Blessed memory. Great man,” Dmitry Evstafiev , Professor at the Higher School of Economics.

“April 18, 2022 was overshadowed by the tragic news that General Trubnikov, an outstanding Russian intelligence officer, a bright civil servant, an intelligent, talented, charismatic person. For me, he was one of the examples of those servicemen of modern Russia who inspire endless respect and admiration, motivate me to grow and move on. He can only be surpassed with great difficulty. An irreplaceable loss for the country. Blessed memory and immense gratitude to Vyacheslav Ivanovich,” Elena Karnaukhova, Assistant to Director on Special Projects & Education and Training Program Coordinator, PIR Center.


For all questions related to the Trubnikov Memory Gallery, please contact PIR Center’s Information and Publications Program Coordinator Egor Chobanyan at [email protected]

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