Contemporaries

Alexei Matveevich Karpachev

Career diplomat and war veteran.

“I first met Aleksei Arkadievich in July of 1968. I had just returned from a traveling assignment and was posted to the print department of the USSR Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was appointed to work with journalists from socialist countries, and he [Aleksei] had other responsibilities. I was then a beginning diplomat with not more than 6 years of experience in the diplomatic field. He, however, was already an experienced diplomat with more than 15 years' service. I occasionally had to summarize articles that appeared in journals in Russia or other Soviet republics which dealt with one socialist state or another. Since I did not have enough work experience, I sometimes approached Akelsei Arkadievich for help. Aleksei Arkadievich was a discreet man. He could give a hint without it looking like a hint.

We very soon became not only colleagues, but friends. After a while, our families also became friends. Our families' friendship has continued to this day, although Aleksei Arkadievich, to my great regret, is no longer with us.

In our department, Aleksei Arkadievich commanded authority and respect from his colleagues, and the leadership of the department valued him. Earlier he had worked in China for many years, and although in the print department he did not work with China, colleagues from the Far East department often came to consult with him, and he never turned them away.

In October of 1969, a USSR government delegation was preparing to travel to China for talks on the border question. Akelsei Arkadievich took a very active part in the preparation of material for the delegation. When he brought the prepared materials to V. V. Kuznetsov, who had been appointed head of the delegation, V. V. Kuznetsov immediately asked why Aleksei Arkadievich's name was not included on the list of delegates. Aleksei Arkadievich answered that he did not know. The reason was extremely banal: the leadership of the department did not want to release a good worker, because they knew that the trip would not end after a week, or even a month. A day after his meeting with the first deputy minister, Aleksei Arkadievich received the order to prepare to depart with the delegation.

And so ended our rather brief time working together. Aleksei Arkadievich did not return to the print department. He and I went our separate ways for many years.

After Aleksei Arkadievich's departure, I worked in the print department for about a year, and then I was sent to a leadership training course for diplomatic workers, and at its conclusion I was posted abroad to Yugoslavia. Despite the fact that Aleksei Arkadievich and I ended up in different parts of the world, we still managed to meet occasionally. This happened when we came back on leave at the same time. We started to meet more regularly, when we both retired.

“To Aleksei Matveyevich, with fond memories that was the inscription of the copy of “China A Thorny Path to Neigborly Relations that I received. The inscription was written on the eve of a new century, in August, 1998. To some degree the book is autobiographical, since the events described in it occurred before the eyes of the author, and sometimes with his direct participation. At the same time the book presents a retrospective view of events which by that time had already become history. Today few people remember the words from the song “Russians and Chinese, Brothers Forever. But at the time it seemed it was that way, and would be forever. It's impossible to read the lines where Brezhnev describes the crisis between the PRC and the USSR, and the efforts of the Soviet embassy workers to prevent conflicts, without anxiety. No small credit for the fact that relations between the two countries stabilized and are successfully developing belongs, in my view, to my friend and colleague Aleksei Arkadievich.



 

Kudashev Rishat Sharafutdinovich

Rishat Sharafutdinovich Kudhashev is an interpreter and diplomat who worked in China for 12 years. He participated in complex high-level Sino-Soviet talks between 1950 and 1969, and was witness to the “Cultural Revolution in China. He is the author of the book “My Life in China, which was translated into Chinese and augmented with interesting visual materials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rishat Kudashev's first assignment in China was as assistant and interpreter for the head of the Harbin branch department of the Changchun railway (R. Sh. Kudashev first row, center in photograph).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like Aleksei Brezhnev, Rishat Kudashev studied in the intern program at the Soviet Embassy. They studied in different years, however. (R.Sh.Kudashev second row, second from left in photo).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From Rishat Kudashev's Recollections of Aleksei Brezhnev:

“I think Aleksei was a very good diplomat. He worked a great deal, with passion and energy. I was always surprised by his exactness. There were times, when we were preparing some document, when he would rewrite it several times, striving for the best result possible. And he attained this he attained it very well. Aleksei loved his work, and considered it very important and necessary. He gave it practically all the energy he had.

“We worked in the same foreign policy group. But, when Aleksei was left in the capacity of ambassador, then he had to deal with the broadest range of problems, including the problems of life inside the Embassy.

“I had good professional and personal relations with Aleksei. We literally understood each other sometimes without a word. I knew what he would say and where he was going with something. He knew what I would say and where I was going with something. Our relationship developed in a way that we had almost no serious conflicts. Of course we argued, just because so many things in those conditions couldn't be double-checked.

“I always managed to maintain the necessary connections, including with Chinese colleagues. Aleksei also had good relations with his Chinese friends, which he had established while studying at the People's University of China. We only studied there for a year, but that time left its impression on us for the rest of our lives.

“It would be nice to talk about China as a professional to a professional. Many of my views coincided with Aleksei's. I believed, and still believe, that we cannot allow relations with China to worsen. And now it is all the more important to develop them. China is after all the second-largest economy in the world...

...The fact that we were able to settle the question about the border was, I beleive, a great achievement of ours...

From Rishat KudashevRecollections about Life in the Soviet Embassy

“During my work in the Ministery of Foreign Affairs and in the Central Committee I traveled to fifty countries. And after that I started to warm up to Sinologists. The Sinologists were very generous, and when I traveled to Beijing, they took care of me like family.

“Like Aleksei, I was chosen several times as the secretary of the party organization in the Embassy. The party organization repeatedly set on its daily agenda questions related to cultural work, and because of this, there was a very active social life in the Embassy. We organized concerts and competitions. We also tried to offer the Embassy workers the chance to get to know the country in which they lived and worked we would organize excursions and lectures...

We had good relations with several Chinese schools. Their students would come to the Embassy school to give concerts...

Rishat Sharafutdinovich with his wife,
T.A. Kudasheva in China, early 1960s.

The work of diplomats' wives: “The work of diplomats' wives is supplementary, but important. (Photo: Rishat Sharafutdinovich with his wife, T.A. Kudasheva in China, early 1960s.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

R.Sh. Kudashev at A. A. Brezhnev's anniversary

“Later years Aleksei worked in the International Labor Organization. I often visited him and we discussed different problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are excerpts from the author's book recounting his early years and materials from the personal archive of Rishat Sharafutdinovich Kudashev.

 

Natalia Borisovna Babochkina

Natalia Borisovna Babochkina was born in Leningrad on October 21, 1929, into the family of Boris Babochkin (1), a star actor in the Aleksandriisky Theater who later played the main role in the Vasiliev Brothers' film Chapaev. She graduated the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in 1953 and sought her fortune in journalism. On February 15, 1958, Viktor Poltoratsky (2) invited her to work for the new magazine Literature and Life. (3) The main occupation for the daughter of the great actor Babochkin, however, was the magazine “Moskva.

The Institute of International Relations

There has already for many years been a different, new building for the Institute of International Relations. But we came from the older one, the boat-building, which has not yet been washed away with time. As usual with people who have set sail on a ship, a feeling of being in a unified crew developed among us.

I am positive that the institute was indebted to the efforts of Yuri Pavlovich Frantsev (4) for the extremely high level of its professors and teachers. They wanted to make truly knowledgeable and educated people of us. A list of our teachers would have had Tarle, Baranskii, Efimov, Epshtein, Duchene, Bokshchanin...

...our student, Aleksei Arkadievich Brezhnev, at the time, of course, simply Liosha, very touchingly looked after an old professor, Tarle, and used to take him after lectures back to the faculty office or wherever else he needed to go.

Inochka Konzhukova (Enessa Brezhneva):

Each of our girls had their own definite character, as they used to say their own peculiarities. And among these girls, there was one who was a soul mate Inochka Konzhukova, or for fifty years now Brezheva.

I became acquainted with Inochka by coincidence and in a rather silly manner. We were comparing who had gotten more tan over the summer. We couldn't figure out who won, started to laugh, went off together to our lecture, and were inseparable after that. We could find funny things together and sincerely be happy because of whatever funny thing we found.

Inochka and Liosha Brezhnev

Fate, just as it is supposed to, brought Ina and Liosha Brezhnev together.

The relationship between Ina and Liosha was what I consider ideal.

I didn't spend that much time together with Ina and Liosha. We didn't correspond when they worked those long years abroad, but Ina and I always knew: we would see and understand each other without a word.

Ina and I became like family. And our husbands, although seemingly completely different, working in different areas, turned out to be similar, most of all because they were irreproachable gentlemen.

Anatoliy Anatolievich Petritskiy graduated the cinematography department of the All-Soviet State Institute of Cinematography. Alexandr Zarkhy's (5) film My Younger Brother (1962) was the first full-length feature that Anatoliy shot, after which he was invited by the director Sergey Bondarchuk (6) to work on his adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's novel War and Peace. The shooting took six years (1961-1967). In 1969, the film won the Oscar for best foreign-language film. His favorite movie, by his own admission as a cinematographer, was Georgiy Daneliya's (7)“Minimo.

Quotations from the article We sail from the Krimskiy Bridge our course is set are published by the permission of the author.

 

Aleksandr Ilych Chasnik

“When Aleksandr Brezhnev's book, “China: A Thorny Path to Neighborly Relations was written, Aleksandr Ilych was one of the people who received a copy with a personal inscription.

“For me, as someone removed from politics, it was interesting to look into the world of a serious diplomat and Sinologist engrossed in his work. I was able to look at the details of diplomatic work anew, and deepen my conception of Soviet-Chinese relations, of which I was a contemporary, but which I knew very little about.”

Aleksandr Ilych Chasnik was born in the city of Stalinogorsk (now Novomoskovsk) (1) in 1933. Aleksandr Ilych's parents worked at the factory “Azot, the largest of the chemical plants in the Soviet Union.

Aleksandr Ilych's lived through all the difficulties of the period. At the end of the 1930s his father was under threat of arrest, but by a fortunate coincidence he ultimately managed to avoid confinement.

At the beginning of the war, Aleksandr Ilych's father volunteered for the People's Militia (2), and departed for the front.

Aleksandr Ilych's mother, as a chemicals specialist, was evacuated to Kirovograd to work in a copper smelting factory (3) . (The Kirovograd copper-smelting factory was the site of the first copper smelting in the Soviet Union. In 1957 it was absorbed into the Kirovograd Chemical Plant).

Aleksandr Ilych and his mother recall the evacuation as highly organized. Working space and apartments were provided for arriving specialists.

His family settled in Moscow after life in evacuation. His parents continued to work in industry.

Aleksandr Ilych's acceptance to School No. 327, now School No. 1227 (4), was a major success.

­The building, constructed in 1913, met all the requirements for a contemporary school building of the 1940s. The classrooms for physics, chemistry and natural sciences were excellently equipped, there was an excellent gymnasium, and a large flat roof for outdoor excercise. The faculty was very strong. They taught not only technical sciences but also liberal arts, including Russian language and literature courses and English. All of this could not fail to influence the later course of Aleksandr Ilych's life. He has always been and will always be passionate about physics, but his additional love for literature has lasted his entire life.

Aleksandr Ilych's family lived, like many families in the post-war years, in difficult circumstances. Luckily, it was possible to work on the side as a technician in the school's remarkable physics classroom.

The young man's professional interests were formed during his school years. Physics became his main and favorite occupation.

At school, Aleksandr Ilych made the acquaintance of his future wife Irina, with whom he lived together until the end of her life.

Having graduated school with a silver medal, Aleksandr Ilych was accepted to the Moscow Power Engineering Institute (5). At the Institute he was presented with the chance not only to receive professional training, but to broaden his perspectives and become acquainted with life in different parts of the USSR. Students were sent to cities around the country for internships in industry, and the students also often participated in camping excursions.

Aleksandr Ilych still harbors a love for traveling and receiving new impressions.

His wife Irina fully shared with him a passion for travel. Much later, traveling united their family with the family of Aleksei Brezhnev.

Reading and attending the theater were separate but no less powerful passions in Aleksandr Ilych's younger days. In this, his wife, a “woman of letters who graduated Moscow State University's History Department, exerted a definite effect on him.

In 1956, Aleksandr Ilych Chasnik graduated the Moscow Power Engineering Institute with distinction and was assigned to work at “ORGRES, the Organganization for Launch and Adjustment of Electric Plants, established in 1932 (6). He began to travel on business to electircal plant building sites. Work on the launch and adjustment of the generators at the Hydroelectic Power Station was one of his more interesting jobs).

For his excellent work on the Hydroelectic Power Station, Aleksandr Ilych Chashnik was awarded a certificate of recognition from the Central Committee of the All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (9).

During his work on the hydroelectric station, Aleksandr Ilych accumulated interesting professional and personal experiences, and the work gave him a sense of participation in important events occuring in the life of society.

In the same period Aleksandr Ilych became interested in questions not only of adjustment of electric generating equipment but also in its development. When the developers who had worked on the hydroelectric station invited him to the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Electromechanization (10), he happily accepted the proposal. This enterprise had been founded in 1941 with the goal of processing and producing different electric equipment for defense applications. For its services in preparaing and realizing the program for the launch of the world's first artificial earth satellite and of “Vostok, the world's first piloted spacecraft, the Institute was awared the Red Labor Banner. In 1986 the enterprise received the Order of Lenin for producing electronic equiptment for submarines. In 2003 it was awarded the Russian Government Prize in Science and Technology for the development of the unified satellite bus “Resource-UKP.

By working at the Institute, it was possible for Aleksandr Ilych to attain serious professional growth and master new fields of studies and areas of expertise. Having begun by participating in work on diesel generators for submarines, he switched to the development of nuclear generators. The development of systems for orienting solar-powered batteries for satellites, microelectronics, software for lunar equipment this is just a partial list of the work that Aleksandr Ilych participated in.

While actively pursuing professional activities, Aleksandr Ilych did not neglect his passions. He acquired books while on trips throughout the country which were difficult to purchase in Moscow. With his wife Irina, he traveled around the country, and visited theater productions.

Irina worked at the Institute for Social Science Information (11). There, she became acquainted with Enessa Brezhneva. Cultural interests united the families sightseeing tours, and discussions of new theatrical or cinema releases.

When Aleksandr Brezhnev's book, “China: A Thorny Path to Neighborly Relations was written, Aleksandr Ilych was one of the people who received a copy with a personal inscription.

For him, as someone removed from politics, it was interesting to look into the world of a serious diplomat and Sinologist engrossed in his work. He was able to look at the details of diplomatic work anew, and deepen his conception of Soviet-Chinese relations, of which he was a contemporary, but which he knew very little about.

 

Mikhail Petrovich Dubinin

Mikhail Petrovich Dubinin: Graduate of the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Ph. D. in Engineering Science.

Employed in internal affairs agencies and at the Academy of Management of Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA) from 1978; retired colonel of police.

General teaching experience of more than 35 years.

Defended Ph. D. thesis on technical specialization area #05.13.10 Social and Economic systems Management.

More than 119 scientific and research articles published by M.P. Dubinin during his career.

Mikhail Petrovich Dubinin, Docent at the Faculty of Information Technology of Management of Internal Affairs Agencies, Ph.D in engineering, and retired colonel of police, received at the end of the academic year 2010/2011 the title “MIA Academy of Management Teacher of the Year. In the same year he also received the “Best Teacher at Educational Institutions of the MIA. award from the Minister of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation.

“I have been acquainted with Aleksei Brezhnev, who was my cousin, since the time I was born (in the city of Kuibyshev, now Samara, in 1940) (1). We lived in the same house, and our relations were the way they usually are between younger and older brothers: there was concern and advice, not always pleasant, being given by the older one, Aleksei, and observing, the desire to imitate, and occasional insults from my side. But in general, Aleksei and I, as well as our families, have remained friends throughout our lives.

I was always impressed by Nadezhda Ivanovna and Arkadii Vasilievich, the parents of my cousin, and by their great care for and attention to their son. Nadezhda Ivanovna always was up to date on the interests of her son no matter if it was chess, a model airplane-building club, or fishing, she always knew all his friends. Arkadii Vasilievich spent a lot of time with his son in the workshop. Thanks to his father, Aleksei knew how to work and loved to work with carpenter's and plumber's tools.

I played chess with Aleksei with real passion. Following his example, in school I signed up for the chess club, and not for nothing: later I managed to win, more than once, against some rather formidable opponents. Of course I was proud of myself. At the time I was living with my parents in Moscow, our school invited Christina Galuj, the champion of Poland, to a simultaneous chess display. And it was I who managed to win against her!

I began school in Kuibyshev in 1947. A year after that Aleksei finished school and entered the Moscow State Institute for International Relations. After another three years, my father was invited to work in Moscow, and our family settled in the “Sandy Streets district (2), where I still live.

In Moscow I received letters from my school in Kuibyshev, in which my former classmates wrote with their news and asked about my life in Moscow.

In Moscow I studied in School # 144, which is now School #1384 (3), named in honor of Principal Designer of the Head System Design Bureau “Almaz-Antei A.Lemansky (4), who graduated from the school five years before I did.

Shortly after I enrolled, a new building was built for the school. In the courtyard they planted an apple orchard with the help of the students.

I participated in the chess club, which was led by Yurii Dmitrievich Kabalevsky (5), a famous man in the chess world. He was the son of the well-known Soviet composer Dmitry Kabalevsky (6), who was himself a great lover of chess.

What else do I remember about my school years? Of course, the photography club. Both Aleksei and I were passionate lovers of photography. At that time, as now, it was a very popular hobby among young people. But the technology was different; developers, fixing bath, darkrooms, red lamps...but how engrossing it was! Aleksei later got involved with slide-making (7). I remained faithful to photography.

My favorite subjects in school were physical education, mathematics, and English in that order. Physical education attracted me more than the other subjects. At our school they devoted special attention to it, obviously, correctly assuming that health is the most important thing. In school there was also gymnastics, which I liked very much as well.

I also finished music school (8). To this day I still play the piano, guitar and accordion with pleasure, and I love to sing ballads. Sometimes I perform for my colleagues at the Academy, where I work at present.

In tenth grade, I signed up for a figure skating group at Sokolniki. I continued to skate there even after I began to study at the Institute.

In my grade school transcript there were two “Fours in Russian and English. Because of this I didn't receive a gold medal, like Aleksei, or a silver medal. It was the fault of confusion that I didn't manage to fix at the last moment.

The absence of a medal, however, did not keep me from entering the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (9). The “Phys-Tech system was designed to prepare scientists and engineers to work in the newest areas of applied and theoretical physics and applied mathematics. The best scientists in the country taught at the Institute.

But neither studies nor social work (I traveled as an accordionist with the propaganda team around the suburbs of Moscow) (10) attracted me as much as my internship at the Scientific Research Institute, beginning in my third year.

By the time I graduated “Phys-Tech in 1964, Aleksei already had a family a wife and two children and he was already an experienced diplomat and sinologist. Our families continued to be friends and kept meeting.

Although in the beginning our professional interests did not coincide, unexpectedly, as often happens in life, in our fields of mathematics and Sinology and diplomacy we found points of common interest. After I finished my graduate work I began to work at the Central Economic and Mathematical Institute at the Academy of Science of the Soviet Union (11). One of the directions of my research was mathematical modeling of international relations, including computational imitation of decision-making. Aleksei and I argued about this topic often and rarely came to any agreement. As a practicing diplomat and someone who knew contemporary Chinese history, he could not admit the possibility of deriving predictions for the development of international affairs in laboratory conditions. These debates, however, enriched our professional “experience, and let us look at our respective work from new angles.

Aleksei was particularly interested in my work with the Society of the Friends of Soviet Cinema, which was founded in 1925 (12) with the goal of bringing together fans and friends of cinema and promoting educational and propagandizing activities. After a long hiatus (from 1934) it was reopened in the 1960s. From 1964 to 1980, I was the chairman of the Moscow Cinema Club at the movie theater “Rossiya. Aleksei was very removed from this area, but he was always glad to receive new information about it.

In 1978 the grounds for our professional debates disappeared. I transferred to the Academy of MIA USSR (now the Academy of the MIA. of the Russian Federation). They needed specialists at the Academy who knew how to make mathematical models of social and legal processes with computer technology. This is where I defended my Ph. D. thesis on the theme “Optimization of Management Decisions in Internal Affairs Agencies. I still work here at present.

My daughter Natalia followed in my footsteps. She received two kinds of higher education technical and juristic and at present she is the head of the faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at the Moscow University of the Russian MIA, and is a colonel of police.

I was not working on problems of international relations any longer. I did, however, read with great pleasure Brezhnev's book, “China: the Thorny Path to Neighborly Relations. It made me think not only about the concrete events described in the book, but also appreciate the analytical approach of the author to the development of relations between these countries, and his ability to maneuver in complex international, domestic, and institutional situations. The author was not afraid to take responsibility and make decisions, the correctness of which it was only possible to understand after some time. I suppose that for current and future diplomats, if they use these methods analogously, there is something to learn from reading this book.

We are still friends with Aleksei Brezhnev's family with his wife Enessa, with their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.