A fighter, a tribune, a scholar. In memory of Grigori Mikhailovich Lokshin

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On September 7, 2022, Grigori Mikhailovich Lokshin, a leading researcher of the Center for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies of the RAS Institute of China and Contemporary Asia, passed away after a long and serious illness.

Grigori Mikhailivich belonged to a glorious cohort of the first Soviet Vietnamists. In 1961 he graduated from MGIMO, was a post-graduate of that Institute, and in 1964 defended the dissertation for the degree of Candidate of Historical Sciences with the theme: “The National Liberation Movement in South Vietnam in 1954-1964”. In 1961, at the 22d Congress of the CPSU he was a member of the first Vietnamese interpretation team.

Grigori Mikhailovich contributed greatly to “public diplomacy”. In 1965-1973 as the Executive Secretary of the Soviet Committee of the Support of Vietnam from the very beginning of the American intervention in Vietnam he organized the mass movement of solidarity with the Vietnamese people in the USSR and cooperated with numerous social movements in different countries which joined for the cessation of the war in Vietnam. He passionately put all his forces, his organizational skills, his talent of the polemicist and orator in that work. In many respects due to Lokshin “solidarity ships” departed to Vietnam with thousands of tons of cargos necessary for fighting Vietnam and bought for the money collected throughout the Soviet Union. He rendered great services in having found a common language with foreign social organizations which opposed the war in Vietnam. This resulted in Stockholm Conferences on Vietnam held from 1967 to 1975 and the establishment of the International Commission for the Inquiry of the US War Crimes in Indochina. G.M. Lokshin was one of inspirers of the international protest campaign against the US war in Vietnam, one of the crucial moral and political factors for the victory of patriotic forces in South Vietnam.

In 1973—1993 Grigori Mikhailovich continued working for peace as the Executive Secretary of the Soviet Peace Committee. In 1994 he was a Secretary of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Peace Foundations, and in 1998 he was the Secretary-General of the International Peace Institute in Vienna. G.M. Lokshin rendered great services in the prohibition the testing of nuclear weapons. From 2007 he continued his social work as the Vice-Chairman of the Russia-Vietnam Friendship Association.

Grigori Mikhailovich did science all his life. In 1963 he began working at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. In 1968 he worked at the Institute of World Economy and International Relationships of the USSR Academy of Sciences. G.M. Lokshin’s active social position made for the success in his researches. He is one of the authors of such books as “History of Vietnam in Modern Times”, (1965), “The Public and the Problems of War and Peace” (1978), “20th Century: Full-Face and Profile” (2001). In 2007 G.M. Lokshin became a leading researcher of the Center for Vietnam and ASEAN Studies of the RAS Institute of Far Eastern Studies. He was the author of numerous scientific and journalistic articles on the problems of the national liberation movement in South Vietnam, on the policy of the US and the former USSR in SEA, one of the leading specialists on the issues of the South China Sea and ASEAN not only in Russia, but also worldwide. G.M. Lokshin was the initiator and one of the authors of such collective works as “ASEAN at the Beginning of the 20th Century: Relevant Problems and Perspectives” (2010) and “ASEAN in the Current World” (2019). His book “The South China Sea: a Difficult Search for Accord” (2013) created a great resonance. Also, he participated in the work at the unique multivolume edition “The Complete Academic History of Vietnam” (2014), and the work “Modern Vietnam: A Guide” (2015). G.M. Lokshin was an indispensable participant of different Oriental forums, where his papers always attracted attention with their originality, acute judgements and brilliant speech.

G.M. Lokshin rendered great services for Russia and Vietnam; his contribution to the development of “public diplomacy” and Oriental science was highly appreciated: he was a Cavalier of the Order of Friendship of Peoples and the Order of the Badge of Honor; also, of two Vietnamese Friendship Orders and several medals.

Grigori Mikhailovich Lokshin will live in the memory of his friends, colleagues and all those who knew him, as a patriot, an uncompromising fighter for justice, a tribune, a scholar with enormous horizons, a loyal friend and a good man.

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