Obituary: Alexei Adzhubei

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The Independent Online
AS A SON of the late Alexei Ivanovich Adzhubei, living in London, I feel that I have to point out some distortions of the facts in the obituary of my father (by Jeanne Vronskaya, 23 March), writes Dr Alexei Adzhubei. These inaccuracies, incorporated in a short text, can create a wrong impression of my father.

Jeanne Vronskaya discusses AI Adzhubei's friendship with the then Chairman of the KGB Vladimir Semichastny. Her remarks are supported by a citation from the memoirs of the then prime minister of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev. However this citation is invented. No such paragraph appears in Khrushchev's memoirs. The other citation, from the book by Khrushchev's son Sergei, is changed to make it sound more disapproving of AI Adzhubei.

Describing our family's 'lavish way of life', the obituarist writes that AI Adzhubei lived in two Politburo residences and even engaged a French architect to design his country house. All this is untrue. For more than 40 years, AI Adzhubei lived in one and the same flat in a block where not a single Politburo member lived. No French architect worked on AI Adzhubei's dacha.

The obituarist continues that after he was forced to resign from Izvestia my father was appointed to the high post of editor of the official magazine Soviet Union. This is incorrect. As one of the main supports of Khrushchev's liberal reforms, AI Adzhubei was banned by Brezhnev from publishing anything in Russia or abroad and never thereafter held senior positions until the recent changes in Russia.

My father was not 'already ill' in 1990 as the obituary says. In this year he started his new paper aimed especially at supporting Russian businesses and democratic reforms. Unfortunately there was not much time left for this important new endeavour.