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Main | Archive | Issue 6/2008

Priceless Eyewitness Accounts
Column: Embassy Life



History is of special importance in present-day foreign policy and international affairs. Some people try to rewrite history, interpret it one-sidedly, or take it away from those who witnessed and were part of it. This is what the foreign minister of the Russian Federation, S.V. Lavrov, said at the presentation ceremony of the book The Ambassador in the Country of Pyramids by A.M. Belonogov and the book The Afghan Notebook by L.P. Bogdanov. Addressing the veterans of the Foreign Ministry and the special services who had gathered at the ministrys Small mansion, he spoke highly of the reminiscences of the former USSR Ambassador to Egypt (1984 1986) and the former head of the KGB mission in Afghanistan (1978 1980). The Minister said that the authors gave valuable facts which could greatly help present-day and future researchers. At the same time the authors do not claim that this is the whole truth, but rather their personal assessments of what was going on. The Minister thanked the Russian Afro-Asian Peoples Organization, which, jointly with the Olma-Press Publishers, initiated the publication of a series of memoirs by veterans of the Oriental front of Soviet and Russian diplomacy.

The chairman of the Board of the Organization and the head of the Committee for international affairs of the Council of the Federation, M.V. Margelov, expressed the hope that these books would be read not only by the veterans, but also by young people who are in the process of choosing their path in life. He emphasized that official diplomacy cannot be successful without peoples diplomacy.

The people present observed a minute of silence in memory of Major-General L.P. Bogdanov, the author of the book about Afghanistan.

A.M. Belonogov, the author of the book about Egypt, thanked the Society and the Olma-Press Publishers and expressed the hope that more books by Soviet and Russian experts on the Middle East would be published.

A member of the Council of the Federation, retired ambassador, and the former chairman of the Organization for 30 years, A.S. Dzasokhov, Lieutenant-General Y.A. Neshumov, who took part in the Soviet-Chinese border negotiations and in the events in Afghanistan, and the veteran of the USSR military intelligence Lieutenant-General A.T. Golubev promised to contribute their reminiscences to the series.

Yury Tavrovsky.
Photo by the author.




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