Yevgeny Primakov

Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at
Mon Sep 14 10:01:01 PDT 1998

A correction and some additions to my earlier posting on Yevgeny Primakov, Russia's new Premier.

He was not the Director of IMEMO but merely its Deputy Director in charge of its Middle East Section in the 1970s, prior to his becoming Director of the Oriental Studies Institute. At IMEMO one of his closest allies was Stanislav Menshikov, now based in the Netherlands, and coauthor a few years ago of a book with John Kenneth Galbraith. Menshikov has long been close to Primakov and it is quite likely that he (and Galbraith) are the source of his references to FDRoosevelt in some of his recent speeches. Whereas IMEMO worked directly for the Central Committee of the CPSU, the Oriental Studies Institute was officially "independent," thus widely viewed as essentially a KGB front. Primakov's later (and apparently earlier) history with that organ and its offshoots certainly fits with this. Indeed, in the current context having such connections apparently is viewed positivel politically.

Primakov's "son-in-law" at IMEMO is actually the husband of his daughter-in-law, accepted by Primakov as a son figure. His own son died in Red Square in Moscow of a heart attack at age 27 during an October Revolution celebration, November 7, 1979.

Primakov's mother came from the Svanneti sub-group of the Georgian peoples and Primakov spent much of his youth with his maternal grandparents in Georgia. These are the closest to being Persian of any of the Georgian subgroups. Some groups in Georgia actually are Persian, e.g. the Ossetians from whom Stalin was derived (and who are rumored to the be the true descendants of the ancient Scythians). Primakov's father was a Russian/Ukrainian. Barkley Rosser

-- Rosser Jr, John Barkley rosserjb at

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