Previous USSR / Russian Ambassadors to India
1947 - 1953: Kirill V. NOVIKOV
(?.03.1905 ‒ 14.10.1983)
Born in Shakhtinsky (Novocherkassky) district of the North Caucasus Region, where his father worked as a carpenter at the I.I.Popov gunpowder factory.
In 1927 he entered the mechanical faculty of the M.I.Kalinin Leningrad Polytechnic Institute.
In 1931 he graduated from the All-USSR Boilers and Turbines Institute as a specialist in “thermal power plants”.
In 1931-1934 he was the director of the evening faculty and an assistant at the “Material Resistance” desk of the Leningrad Electromechanical Institute.
In 1937 he was an acting director of the Leningrad Industrial Institute (from 10.10.1937 to 16.12.1937).
From 1937 he chaired the Technical Council of the People's Commissariat on Heavy Industry.
In 1940 Kirill Novikov joined diplomatic service:
- as an official in the Soviet Embassy in London,
- in 1947 – the head of the 2nd European Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, then the Ambassador in New Delhi (India).
- from 1953 – the head of the South-East Asia Division,
- from 1964 – the head of the International Organizations Division of the Foreign Ministry.
The life of K.Novikov was not so simple, because he did not back the policy of the country's leadership regarding Soviet-Indian relations. Novikov delivered a speech at the meeting of the Foreign Policy Commission of the CPSU (b) Central Committee in 1952, where he showed genuine courage by criticizing the Stalin`s position, who did not openly respond to the message about the tragic death of Mahatma Gandhi. “Comrade Molotov asked me whether comrade Stalin was right when he did not send condolences on the death of Gandhi. I replied that it caused us damage as Truman, Churchill and other governmental leaders and heads of states sent condolences, while comrade Stalin never did”.
Novikov in his speech also opposed the prevailing viewpoint which reflected the Stalin’s approach, that after granting independence to India “England remained the ruler but only in another form”. “I think it is not possible to agree with this opinion,” – the Ambassador said. Novikov`s appraisal of the Nehru`s government policy and the situation in India demonstrated his high competence. During the Commission meeting the Ambassador also made very interesting remarks regarding Nehru's views on socialism. However, while reporting to senior party ideologists and practitioners, he departed from the clichéd language of the then Soviet propaganda and formulated the views of the Indian Prime-minister in a fully objective manner. In his words, Nehru is an advocate of socialism, but believes that the ways and methods of transition to socialism have to be different from those in the Soviet Union. Such adherence to principles was not conducive to Novikov`s further career. After returning from India, he held minor positions in the Foreign Ministry.
1953 - 1957: Mikhail A. MENSHIKOV
Born into a peasant family in the Posevkino village, Tambov province. He received education at the accounting courses in Borisoglebsk (1917), in the all-Soviet Central Executive Committee school (1924) and the faculty of Economics of the G.V.Plekhanov Moscow Institute of National Economy (1930).
From 1916 Menshikov worked at the cannery and in 1918 joined the Red Army.
In 1920-22 he was the head of district press agencies in Don region and Tambov province. He participated in the suppression of the peasant uprising in Tambov (1921).
From 1924 he worked as an accountant and economist at refrigeration plants.
In 1927 he joined the All-Union Communist party (b).
In 1930-36 he was the head of the department and director of the Anglo-Russian Cooperative Society ARCOS (London).
In 1936 Menshikov joined the People's Commissariat of Foreign Trade of the USSR.
In 1943-46 he was the deputy director of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration – UNRRA (USA).
From 1946 he worked as the deputy minister, from 04.03.1949 – Minister of Foreign Trade of the USSR.
On November 6, 1951 he was dismissed as “unable to cope with the responsibilities”.
In 1952-53 he worked as deputy representative of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for the Soviet-Chinese joint-stock companies “Sovkitneft” and “Sovkitmetall”.
In 1953-57 he served as Ambassador of the USSR to India, in 1957-58 –Ambassador to Nepal, in 1958-61 – to the USA.
In 1956-66 he was a candidate member to the CPSU Central Committee.
In 1962-68 he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the RSFSP, and then retired.
He was decorated with the Order of Lenin, three Orders of Red Banner of Labor.
1957 - 1959: Panteleymon K. PONOMARENKO
(27.7.1902 ‒ 18.1.1984)
A Soviet statesman and party figure. He was a member of the CPSU since 1925.
He was born in a peasant family on the Shelkovsky farm, now this place is located in Belorechensky district of Krasnodar territory.
In 1932 he graduated from the Moscow Institute of Transport Engineers. In 1918 he served in the Red Army, from 1919 worked in oil fields and on the railway. In 1922 he joined the Komsomol movement.
In 1932-36 he served in the Soviet Army and then worked as an engineer. In 1938 he was an instructor and a deputy head of the department in the UCP (b) Central Committee. From 1938 to 1947 he was the 1st secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolsheviks) of Belarus; in September, 1939 he was a member of the Council of War of the Western Military District.
During the Great Patriotic War (from 1941 to 1945) he was a member of the Councils of War of the Western, Central, Bryansk and the 1st Belarusian fronts; from 1942 to 1944 he was the chief of the Central staff of the guerrilla movement associated with the Headquarters of the Supreme Commander of the armed forces. In 1943 he was made a lieutenant general. From 1944 to 1948 he chaired the Council of People's Commissars, then the Council of Ministers of the BSSR.
From 1948 to 1953 he was the secretary of the UKP (b) Central Committee; at the same time from 1950 to 1953 he was the procurement minister of the USSR.
From 1953 to 1954 he served as the Minister of culture of the USSR.
From 1954 to 1955 he was the 1st secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kazakhstan.
He served as the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the USSR:
- 1955 - 1957 to the Peoples’ Republic of Poland,
- 1957 - 1959 to India and Nepal,
- 1959 - 1962 to the Netherlands.
From 1961 to 1962 he was the Representative of the USSR in the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.
At the XVIII, XIX and XX congresses he was elected as the member of the Central Committee, in 1952 and 1953 he was a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee, in 1953 and 1954 he was elected as an alternate member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He was a deputy to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Supreme Soviet of the USSR. From 1962 he retired.
Panteleymon Ponomarenko was awarded with three orders of Lenin, the order of the October Revolution, four other orders and a number of medals.
1953, 1959 - 1967: Ivan A. BENEDIKTOV
(23.03.1902 ‒ 30.07.1983)
Born in a postal officer’s family in the village of New Vichuga, Kostroma province.
He became a prominent Soviet statesman, who for more than twenty years (from 1937 to 1959) held key management positions in agriculture (mainly in the rank of people’s commissar or minister); a diplomat, Ambassador to India (1953, 1959-1967) and Yugoslavia (1967-1971).
He has the Doctor’s degree in economic sciences.
His ambassadorial tenure witnessed a lot of significant milestones in development of Soviet-Indian relations:
- the official visit of Nikita S. Khrushchev to India in February, 1960;
- participation in organization of the official visit of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi to the USSR on September 6-11, 1961;
- organization of the visit of Yuri Gagarin to India on November 29 – December 7, 1961;
- organization of the official visit of Leonid I. Brezhnev to India in December 1961.
At the end of his life Benediktov was especially proud of one of his decisions: “Acting on my own risk, I arranged, probably for the first time in the Soviet history, our purchase of a large plot of land abroad, in New Delhi, as the territory for the Soviet Embassy. Today, the value of land in the Indian capital has risen with tenfold increase, and thus we save large sums of foreign currency assets”.
There is one more noteworthy story – the escape of Svetlana Allilueva to the West. In early 1967 Svetlana Allilueva, Stalin’s daughter, came to India to immerse the ashes of her deceased Indian husband in the Ganges. It was her first trip abroad and she was let out for one month upon the decision of the Soviet leadership. Benediktov who had great respect for Stalin made her staying very comfortable. Besides, he managed to extend her staying for one month more which Svetlana spent in her husband’s village. Benediktov was forbidden to extend it any further and had to buy a return ticket for her on March 6, 1967. The day before, on March 5, Stalin’s death anniversary, Svetlana Allilueva had a lunch with Benediktov and his wife at the Soviet Embassy. Benediktov without consulting the KGB gave Svetlana her passport, which he kept in his personal safe. Next day early morning Svetlana came to the American Embassy located nearby and asked for political asylum. Researchers agree that Svetlana’s escape was spontaneous. Her final decision could have been influenced by the last conversation with Benediktov but nobody knows what it was about. The escape of the Stalin’s daughter entailed an important political consequence – Semichastny, KGB chairman, who was a man of principle and independent from Brezhnev, was removed. Benediktov was transferred from India to Yugoslavia.
Benediktov was awarded with four Orders of Lenin, Order of the October Revolution, two Orders of Red Banner of Labor and a number of medals.
1967 - 1973: Nikolay M. PEGOV
(03.04.1905 ‒ 19.04.1991)
A Moscowite, son of a civil servant. He studied in the Industrial Academy (but did not finish).
Starting from 1919 he worked as a laborer, then as a worker in light industry (from 1923 – in Moscow).
In 1931-35 Pegov was the Deputy Director and later the Director of a silk weaving factory.
He joined the UCP (b) in 1930. In 1938 he was the responsible organizer of the Central Committee of the UCP (b) and the secretary of the Far Eastern Regional Committee. In 1938-47 he was the 1st secretary of the Primorsk Regional Committee of the UCP (b). In the years 1939-86 – a member of the Party Central Committee. In 1941-50, 1953-58 and 1978-84 Pegov was a member of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. In 1947-48 – the deputy director of the office for control of the party bodies of the Central Committee of the UCP (b), the head of the division of the Central Committee. On 16.10.1952 was appointed a secretary of the Central Committee and alternate member in the Presidium of the Central Committee. Later he was re-elected as a secretary and appointed to the post of the Secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
In 1956 Pegov was transferred to diplomatic service:
- 1956-63: Ambassador to Iran,
- 1964-67: Ambassador to Algeria,
- 1967-73: Ambassador to India,
- 1973-75: Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
- Since October, 1975 the head of the department of foreign personnel of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
He retired in December, 1982.
He was awarded with three Orders of Lenin, the Order of the October Revolution, medals.
1974 - 1977: Viktor F. MALTSEV
(22.06.1917 ‒ 01.10.2003)
Was born in Yekaterinoslav in a family of workers.
In 1941 he graduated from the Novosibirsk Institute of Railway Engineers and in 1954 – from the Moscow Academy of Railway Transport.
In 1954-61 he was the deputy head of the East-Siberian railroad. In 1961-63 and in 1965 he was the secretary of the Irkutsk Regional Committee of the CPSU; in 1963-64 and in 1966 the – chairman of the Irkutsk regional executive committee.
- 1967-71: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to Sweden,
- 1971-74: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to Finland,
- 1974-77: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to India,
- 1977-86: 1st Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR,
- 1986-88: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
- In 1988 he resigned.
Awarded with four orders and medals.
Indian Prime Minister A.B.Vajpayee in a letter of condolence on the death of the Ambassador noted that Viktor Maltsev "... was a dear friend of India. We remember his long and impeccable service to his country as a professional diplomat and appreciate his significant contribution to the development and strengthening of friendship and cooperation between Russia and India, especially in the period of being the Soviet Ambassador to India in 1973-77 and then as the first Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ambassador Maltsev was known for his delicate understanding of problems, as well as friendly feelings and goodwill towards India. He will be missed by many friends in India, both in the government and outside". Sonia Gandhi, Leader of the Indian National Congress: “In India, he is remembered as a friend and a good man. As a brilliant Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, he will take place in the records of his country".
1977 - 1983: Yuly M. VORONTSOV
(07.10.1929 ‒ 12.12.2007)
Born in a family of a man-of-war's man in Leningrad.
In 1952 after graduation from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) he was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
In 1954 he went to the USA where he worked for a few years as an attaché in the Permanent Mission of the USSR to the United Nations, later as a counselor of the Embassy of the USSR in the same country, in 1963-1965 as a counselor in the Permanent Mission of the USSR to the United Nations.
From 1970 to 1977 he was the Minister-Counselor in Washington.
From December, 1977 to January, 1983 Y.M.Vorontsov was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR in India.
His activities promoted stronger relations between the USSR and India. He guided the preparation for Leonid I. Brezhnev’s historical visit to India and Indira Gandhi’s visit to the Soviet Union.
From 1983 to 1986 – the Ambassador in France.
In 1987 Vorontsov became the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
In 1988 he headed the Soviet Embassy in Afghanistan.
From 1990 to 1994 he served as the Permanent Representative of the USSR and Russia to the United Nations and the UN Security Council.
From 1994 to 1998 he was the Ambassador of Russia to the USA.
From 1998 to 2000 – the adviser to the President of the Russian Federation on foreign policy.
In 1999 after completion his diplomatic mission in the USA he moved to the UN apparatus and assumed the office of the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-General.
In the last years of his life Y.M.Vorontsov was the President of the Russian–US Council of Business Cooperation, a participant of the public dialogue «Russia – US: prospects».
Y.M.Vorontsov is well-known not only as a prominent diplomat, but also as a public figure of culture. From 1989 to 1990 he took part in the creation of the International Center of the Roerichs (ICR) and was a co-founder of the Nicholas Roerich Museum initiated by Svetoslav N.Roerich. Only due to his efforts and assistance the legacy of the outstanding Russian family was successfully transferred home and laid the ground for the Nicholas Roerich Museum. In November, 1999 Y.M.Vorontsov was elected the President of the International Center of the Roerichs.
Awards: the Order for Services to the Fatherland III degree, the Order of Honour, the Order of Lenin, the Order of the October revolution, two orders of the Red Banner of Labour, the order of Badge of Honor.
In May, 2008 Y.M.Vorontsov was posthumously awarded with the highest state order of India for foreigners ‒ Padma Bhushan ("the Award of Lotus"). On June, 30th, 2008 Y.M.Vorontsov was posthumously awarded with the public award – the order "Pride of Russia".
1983 - 1988: Vasiliy N. RYKOV
(13.08.1918 ‒ 18.10.2011)
Was born in Vladivostok.
He finished secondary school summa cum laude in Novorossisk in 1936. Since 1936 he went to the Industrial institute in Novocherkassk. Since 1941 he worked as master of the assembly shop of a plant in Irkutsk.
Since 1943 he was a member the VKP (b) (the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks). Since 1946 he worked as the leading engineer, the chief of a group in a Scientific Research Institute in Moscow.
In 1952 he became the secretary of the Communist party bureau of the Scientific Research Institute. In 1956 he became the second, then the first secretary of the Leningrad Regional Committee of the CPSU. From 1961 he served as an inspector of the CPSU Central Committee. From 1963 to 1975 he was the second secretary of the Communist party’s Central Committee in the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic and a member of the Council of War of the Central Asian boundary district. From 1966 to 1971 he was an alternate member of the CPSU Central Committee. From 1971 to 1990 he was a member of the CPSU Central Committee of the.
In 1975 he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR:
- 1975-83: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to Algeria,
- 1983-88: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to the Republic of India.
Since 1988 Rykov was pensioner of national standing.
1988 - 1991: Viktor F. ISAKOV
Soviet and Russian diplomat, holds a PhD in History.
In 1956 graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR).
- 1956-61, 1963-67, 1971-77: a diplomat at the Embassy of the USSR in the USA,
- 1977-78: head of the sector of the USA desk in the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
- 1978-83: deputy head of the USA desk of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR,
- 1983-86: Minister-Counselor of the Soviet Embassy in the USA.
- 1986-88: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to the Federal Republic of Brazil,
- 1988-91: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR to the Republic of India,
- 1996-99: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Malta.
Retired in 1999.
Married, with three children.
1991 - 1996: Anatoly M. DRYUKOV
Born in Voronezh city on September 4, 1936.
In 1960 he graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
He speaks English and Urdu languages.
In 1961 he joined the Foreign Ministry and was posted in Pakistan, Zambia, Singapore and India.
- 1987-90: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR and the Russian Federation to Singapore,
- 1991-96: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR and the Russian Federation to India,
- 1998-2004: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR and the Russian Federation to Armenia.
Mr Dryukov has a diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (retired).
For many years he dealt with the South-Eastern Asia region. For a long time while not abroad he worked in the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR and the Russian Federation.
Mr Dryukov has the experience of working on all diplomatic posts from an assistant to the Head of the Personnel Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
Mr Dryukov is a member of the International Academy of Sciences of Nature and Society.
1996 - 1999: Albert S. CHERNYSHOV
Was born in Voronezh city on August 18, 1936.
In 1959 he graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
- 1959-67: an official of the Foreign Political Information Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR,
- 1967-71: an official of the Embassy of the USSR in Vietnam,
- 1971-73: first secretary in the Foreign Political Events Planning Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR,
- 1973-76: Counselor to the Foreign Minister’s group,
- 1976-81: Principal Counselor of the Foreign Political Events Planning Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR,
- 1981-82: Head of the Foreign Minister’s group,
- 1982-87: personal assisstant to the Foreign Minister of the USSR. In 1987 became the Head of the General Secretariat and a member of the Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR,
- 1987-93: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USSR and the Russian Federation to the Republic of Turkey,
- 1993-96: Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation,
- 1996-99: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India.
From 2003 Mr Chernyshov has been a member of the Supreme Council of the “International Eurasian Movement”.
He is decorated with the Order of the Red Banner of Labour, the Order of Friendship of Peoples and The Order of the Badge of Honour.
2005 - 2009: Vyacheslav I. TRUBNIKOV
Born in the city of Irkutsk on April 25, 1944, ethnic Russian.
Education: Graduated from the Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in 1967.
Language proficiency: Hindi, English.
Employment: On graduation joined the USSR foreign intelligence service.
On diplomatic service since 1975:
- 1975-77 - posted to the USSR Embassy in India.
- 1984-87 - posted to the USSR Embassy in Bangladesh.
- 1987-90 - posted to the USSR Embassy in India.
Since 1992 held senior posts in the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation:
- 1996-2000 - Director of the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.
- 2000-04 - First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
- 2004-09 - Appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India.
Holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary;
Holds the military rank of General of the Army.
Decorated with state orders and medals of the Soviet Union, Russian Federation and Republic of Belarus
Academician, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences; Member, Journalists Union of Russia.
Married, with a daughter.
1999-2004, 2009-2017: Alexander M. KADAKIN
(22.07.1949 - 26.01.2017)
Was born in the city of Kishinev, USSR, on July 22, 1949. Ethnic Russian. Graduated with honours from the Moscow State Institute (University) of International Relations under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR in 1972.
Language proficiency: English, Hindi, Urdu, French, Romanian.
Joined the diplomatic service in 1972:
- 1971, 1972-78 – probationer, attaché, third secretary of the Embassy of the USSR in India, New Delhi.
- 1978-83 – second, first secretary, counsellor of the Secretariat of the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. (Concurrently, 1979 – 85 – Asst. Professor of the Department of Indian Studies, the Moscow State Institute of International Relations).
- 1983-89 – Assistant, Senior Assistant (Chef du Cabinet) to the First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR.
- 1989-91 – Minister–Counsellor (DCM) of the Embassy of the USSR in India, New Delhi.
- June–September 1991 – First Deputy Head of the Foreign Minister’s Secretariat.
- 1991-93 – Minister–Counsellor (DCM) of the Embassy of the USSR/Russia in India, New Delhi.
- 1993-97 – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Nepal.
- 1997-99 – Member of the Collegium, Director of the Linguistic Support Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
- 1999 – 2004 – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India.
- 2004-05 – Ambassador–at–Large, Secretary of the Council of the Heads of Entities of the Russian Federation , MFA.
- 2005-09 Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Kingdom of Sweden.
- 2009-17 – Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of India.
Accompanied Chairman Leonid I. Brezhnev, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev, President Boris N. Yeltsin on a number of official visits abroad including India , USA, Britain, UN, as consultant.
Diplomatic Rank: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (1994).
Participated in the work of Soviet delegations at five sessions of the UN General
Assembly as an expert.
Publications: Authored and translated several books from English and Hindi. Published over 50 articles in scientific journals and press in Russia and India .
Visited more than 30 countries.
Had a number of Government decorations. The Order of Honour (2009)
Was awarded the title of the Honoured Diplomatist of the Russian Federation (2004).
Academician, Russian Academy of Natural Sciences.
The name of Russian Ambassador to India, Alexander M. Kadakin, who died on January 26, 2017, was given to a street in the central part of New Delhi. This decision was announced duting the annual Russian-Indian summit in St. Petersburg by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. "Our relationship always received support from great people, one of whom was Alexander Kadakin. We lost a great friend of India this year and to pay tribute and respect for his memory, we decided to name one of the streets in New Delhi in his honor, "- said the Indian Prime Minister.
In 2018, he was posthumously awarded with Indian second highest civilian award – Padma Bhushan.