Ambassador Kadakin was no ordinary diplomat. Since joining the Russian diplomatic service in 1972, he spent almost his entire career on India, serving there twice as Ambassador. He was witness to historic moments of our bilateral relations and had personal acquaintance with several Indian leaders. More than that, he contributed, shaped and influenced the course of our relations at close quarters, ably defending his country's interests. It would not be an exaggeration to say that Alexander Kadakin's name became synonymous with India, and he was an institution by himself. He was a scholar and lover of Indian culture, art and history, and fluent in Hindi. Ambassador Kadakin once wrote, and I quote “I like a lot of what epitomizes India, first of all, her great people. And the country itself, as put in Kalidasa's “Meghaduta” - from the Himalayan ranges and sacred cities on the banks of the holy Ganges to the magnificent places and forts of Rajasthan, bustling streets and ancient temples of the South, from the exuberant vibrancy of colours in national dresses to the spices of traditional cuisine. In India I have many old, good, genuine and loyal friends whom I cherish”. He has left behind a rich and irreplaceable legacy as a professional and a warm hearted human being."