NOVIKOV Kirill Vasilyevich

Wednesday, 03 December 2014 14:21

NOVIKOV Kirill Vasilyevich (?.03.1905–14.10.1983) was 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 Novikov joined diplomatic service: as a official in the Soviet Embassy in London, in 1947 – the head of the 2ndEuropean 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 Ministr.

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.

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