chapter  7
9 Pages

Evgenii M. Primakov: Arabist and KGB middleman, director and statesman: Mikhail Roshchin


Evgenii Maksimovich Primakov had a splendid career, all the way from a Ph.D. student to Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, and almost to the position of President. He set out on this path as an Arabist, and the purpose of this article is to discuss his work as a scholar and researcher and then, subsequently, as a scholar and administrator of sciences. Between 1977 and 1985 Primakov served as director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Soviet Academy of Sciences; in that period I was first a Ph.D. student and then a scientific co-worker in the Arab Countries Section of that institute. I was not closely acquainted with Primakov, but I was regularly present at his lectures and speeches, and thus gained a good idea of the style and manner that characterized him as a leader.