“We should learn to earn money with our brains”
Nicholas Roerich’s exhibition An Eternal Quest at the National Gallery of Modern Art
...Marching towards a common future
The Russian Consul Cometh A centenary of the Consulate General in Kolkata P.07
A Business Report from The Economic Times. In association with Rossiyskaya Gazeta
Distributed with BANGALORE • MUMBAI • NEW DELHI • WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010
Trend High-tech specialists are returning to Russia from the US and Europe
Putin strengthens India-Russia ties
Brain-gain in demand
It was a day-long visit, but in those twenty-two hours he spent in New Delhi March 12 Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the architect and prime driver of the contemporary India-Russia strategic partnership, took bilateral ties into a new orbit. MANISH CHAND SENIOR EDITOR WITH IANS
Not only did he promise Russia’s unstinted support for the budding civil nuclear industry in India – it could mean Moscow building 16 atomic reactors for New Delhi over the
next few years – he also imparted a long-overdue economic momentum to trusted time-tested ties. In a major public diplomacy outreach, the first of its kind by a visiting leader, Putin interacted with a wide swathe of Indian businessmen and civil society in New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Bangalore through a live web conference, and declared that India had been Russia's strategic partner“for decades” by virtue of a “near complete concurrence of our geopolitical interests.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 4
Konstantin Severinov feels science shouldn't be ressurected, but returned back to Russia. In 2005, with an established global reputation, he returned to his native Russia from a professorship at an American university to head the Laboratories at the Institue of Molecular Genetics in Moscow. Severinov (centre) is pictured with his young team.
EKATERINA STAROVEROVA TRUD NEWSPAPER
“IT project managers have, for many years, migrated to work abroad for large organisations or outsourcing companies.But,because of the crisis, which led to layoffs and salary reductions, many are considering moving
back to their homeland,” says Denis Roshchin, partner at Triolit, a management recruiting company. He notes a recent significant increase in the number of applications coming from job seekers with foreign experience who are now searching for a job in Russia.Job seekers from Europe and the United States write that they are ready to lead and develop projects in their home country. “Workers lost the stability level, which they enjoyed before the crisis,”explains Roshchin. Russian companies are willing to offer similar rewards: an IT project manager could receive a monthly salary of $5,000-10,000, which is similar to their salary abroad.
Moreover, Russian companies are able to offer their staff to develop some large-scale and interesting projects,which seldom happened before. Many experts return when their company opens a branch in Russia. According to Marina Lukyantseva of Morgan Hunt, a staffing and recruiting company, an employer benefits greatly from having such an employee on their team, provided this is an international business. “Companies that have operated on the international level have always employed people with Western experience, education, as well as expatriates,” she noted. Experts believe, young brilliant high-tech talents are badly need-
ed for modernisation of the country and stopping the brain drain is crucial for the its future. The modernisation is a central component of the political agenda in today’s Russia, and a number of decisions have been recently taken to follow this route. One of them is the launch a large scientific centre that will pioneer the country's research and innovation, a Russia’s answer to SiliconValley. The high-tech town for young and creative scientists and businesspeople will be built from scratch near Moscow.It will lead research in areas considered critical for Russia's modernisation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Dr. Leo Bokeria performs four to five operations a day. He has to his credit some two thousand open-heart surgeries. He is also one of the world’s leading experts on the surgical treatment of arrhythmia. RIR invites readers to witness a day of the Russian surgeon, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday. GRIGORY TARASEVICH, ANASTASIA TSIBULEVSKAYA RUSSKIY REPORTER
TWICE A MONTH
every second Wednesday of the month
The Bakulev Cardiovascular Center headed by Bokeria is the largest center of its kind in the world. It performs more operations on children with congenital heart disease than anywhere else on the planet: 3,700 a year as compared with 1,000 at the largest US clinic, in Boston. Picture this...The director’s office. By the door: the Hippocratic Oath. Massive furniture and a lot of souvenirs everywhere. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8
A “brain-gain” has begun in the IT and high-tech spheres. IT specialists, who left Russia to work abroad, are coming back. Amid an official drive for “modernisation” and a desire to diversify the economy away from hydrocarbons, specialists with Western experience in the high tech sphere are in high demand.
A day in the life of a heart surgeon
every last Wednesday of the month
POLITICS, SOCIETY AND CULTURE
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE ECONOMIC TIMES WEDNESDAY_MARCH 31_2010
www.rbcnews.com English-language business news en.rian.ru/business RIA Novosti newswire en.fondsk.ru Strategic culture foundation magazine rt.com Russia Today TV channel
Brain-gain in demand ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Russian “Silicon Valley” will be constructed on 370 hectares near the Skolkovo business school near Moscow
Mikhail Gorbachev during a meeting with citizens of the city of Tolyatti in 1985.
ANNIVERSARY RUSSIAN DEMOCRACY TURNS 20
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
President Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Viktor Vekselberg, chairman of the board of directors of the Renova Group, as the manager of Skolkovo, a high-tech research and production hub project. The business tycoon will coordinate the creation of“the Russian SiliconValley”in Skolkovo, near Moscow. Medvedev wants the private sector to actively develop the research center, which will focus on energy, information technology, communication, biomedical research and nuclear technology. The president announced the project in February as part of his policy of the country’s mod-
ernisation. The legal status of the Skolkovo project will be defined shortly. It is expected to attract prominent Russian and foreign scientists and businessmen. Vekselberg, who is estimated to be Russia’s 23rd richest man, believes that this ambitious project will be successful if international companies participate in it. The task to create a self-sufficient hi-tech research and production center “will take us 5-7 years,”he stressed. The Renova head will be the main coordinator of the Russian part of the project,Vedomosti daily said. One of the main tasks forVekselberg as the chief of the Russian version of the SiliconValley will be choos-
ing a foreign co-chairman. It should be a man who “shares the ideas of creating the valley, a like-minded person,” the paper quotedVekselberg as saying. He personally wants the foreign candidate to be “a successful businessman.”In any case, the final decision will be taken by the government and the presidential administration. The Russian “Silicon Valley” will be constructed on 370 hectares near the Skolkovo business school. It is expected that the volume of the state’s financing of the project will be announced in April at a meeting of the presidential commission on modernisation. As the state allocates money,
private companies should step in, and not only Russian ones. According to Dmitry Abzalov, analyst of the Center for Political Conjuncture, Vekselberg will be responsible for finding such companies. Then the chief of the Skolkovo project will have to build an effective mechanism for selecting and working with innovation projects and link the research with the production, the analyst told the paper. “IfVekselberg manages to solve these tasks effectively, Skolkovo may start working as an autonomous body without the participation of the state,”Abzalov said.“We will see the first results of his work by the summer or autumn 2010.”
Time matters: two time zones out On 28 March, Russia will shed two of its eleven time zones as the Samara and Udmurtia regions in European Russia switch to Moscow time, while Chukotka and Kamchatka in the northern Far East will join the adjacent Magadan zone. The optimisation recently proposed by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will leave Russia with nine time zones. A hundred years ago, Russia had no uniform time system and each city lived according to its own local solar time. In 1919, Russia’s huge territory was divided into 11 time zones (see the map) that have been used ever since, with some revisions of their borders. The current system, however, has its inconsistencies. The time difference between European Russia and the neighbouring region across the Urals is two hours instead of one: when it is noon in Moscow, it is 2 pm in Yekaterinburg and Chelyab-
This March Russian democracy celebrated its 20th birthday. Changes proposed by General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev to Article 6 of the Soviet Constitution on March 14, 1990, opened the door to political pluralism in Russia.
The fight for a multi-party political system, however, began even earlier – back in May 1989 at the Congress of People's Deputies. The idea quickly gained widespread national support – with 200,000 people taking to the streets of Moscow to call for changes to the constitution. RIR ANDREY STENIN_RIA NOVOSTI
LEGISLATION PUBLIC OFFERED A SAY IN POLICE REFORMS Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev called on the public to help draft legislation to replace a 1991 law on the police, which he blamed in part for the corruption surrounding his agency. Nurgaliyev said that the new legislation would "carry a new spirit" and "its
main principle will be to protect the rights and freedoms of our citizens." President Dmitry Medvedev has ordered Nurgaliyev to reform the country's police force, whose reputation has been ravaged by a series of scandals involving corruption and violence. RIR
SCIENCE MATHEMATICIAN WINS MILLENNIUM PRIZE
insk. At the same point in time, it is 5 pm in Irkutsk, but only 4 pm in the Severnaya Zemlya archipelago, which is located on the same longitude. The time zones generally follow the administrative boundaries, sometimes creating cu-
rious situations. For instance, in one corner of the Samara region, you can actually go back one hour by travelling east. President Medvedev believes that “the example of other countries, such as the United
States and China, show that it is possible to make do with a lesser time difference", though it is clearly impossible to adopt a single time zone as was done in China, given the enormous distance between Kaliningrad and Kamchatka. RIR
A Russian mathematician Grigori Perelman has won the Millennium Prize for solving the Poincare conjecture, one of the seven unresolved problems in mathematics. The Clay Mathematics Institute of Cambridge designated a $7 mn prize fund for the solution to these problems, with $1 mn allocated to each. James Carlson, President of CMI, said: "The resolution of the Poincaré conjecture by Perelman
brings to a close the centurylong quest for the solution. It is a major advance in the history of mathematics that will long be remembered." Yet, it is not known whether Perelman has accepted the prize. In 2006, he was awarded a Fields Medal for his work on the Poincare conjecture but he did not accept the prize. Perelman stubbornly refuses to meet the press and make public appearances. RIR
www.kremlin.ru President of Russia website www.skolkovo.ru Moscow school of management Skolkovo www.mnweekly.ru The Moscow News weekly
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE ECONOMIC TIMES WEDNESDAY_MARCH 31_2010
A town for innovators THE ECONOMY SHOULD BE BASED ON OUR INTELLECTUAL
Russia should move on to the next stage of technological development, says Vladislav Surkov, the first deputy head of President Administration. In his interview, Surkov elaborates on Russia’s modernisation plans and its intellectual potential, as well as shares details of the construction of the innovation center near Moscow.
It is also biomedical technologies which we urgently need for social security reasons because Russia should take care of its citizens and their health.This is also nuclear technologies in which Russia has traditionally been strong, and we should preserve and increase our advantage in it. Telecommunications is another important area. We do not have to explain that this industry is a strategic vector of The launch of a new big project, development for the entire called Silicon Valley, has been world civilisation, the entire announced. Why is it being done modern technological world. now? So, these are the five big macro First of all, the project is not industries which are going to called Silicon Valley. This is a develop under the new project. kind of symbol that makes Our economy should, above all, things more clear. The Russian be based on our intellectual adproject, of which the Russian vantages, our knowledge and president spoke and which is ability to invent new technolonow being implemented by his gies.This is a matter of political decision, covers five priority influence, because no weapons areas, which the president indi- in the contemporary world, no cated as“Priority directions of powerful army can replace esmodernisation of our economy”. sential products, in the broad Naturally, they include energy sense of this word, which peoand IT, because today these ple use in everyday life. branches are in the vanguard of This is, above all, a social task, world economic development. because I am absolutely sure
that a raw-material economy is unable to elementarily feed this country in a long-term perspective. It has exhausted its abilities to improve the well-being of our citizens.We are a very big country with a large population. We have stretched wide; we have a very big and costly infrastructure. Besides, we should also bear in mind that we are a northern country. Our expenses are too high. We should learn to earn money with our brains. In my view, what we have in our heads is far more expensive and profitable than what we have in our soil. But why did you decide to build this town in an open field? Why did you decide to start everything from scratch? We have excellent scientific centers, which were created in Soviet days in Siberia, near Moscow and in many other regions. But our task is to enter a new stage of civilisation. Our task is not to carry out a European-style makeover in our Soviet home, but to build a new
MEDICAL EQUIPMENT AND PHARMACEUTICALS
Five priority directions of modernisation of the Russian economy
The BRIC Economies: Managing through the crisis
DRAWING BY NIKOLAY KOROLEV
Russia with a new economy, and in order to do that, it is sometimes very useful to find yourself in an open field. And sometimes, you have to start things from scratch so that what impedes us, stops being a hindrance.We can try to create on a certain stretch of land and in a certain area a certain space to where we will take the best of what we have in our life and will leave behind the worst, which is a hindrance in our everyday life. The best conditions will be created for these best people. They will know that they are in the best place in Russia and in one of the best places in the world. And who are they? They are engineers, inventors and scientists. I, in fact, think that these are number one professions for Russia.We have enough lawyers and we have many economists. We are rich in representatives of many professions. But it is the engineer who will bring his country forward in the first place. We also want to create a unique and creative atmosphere. This is really a new town and it is vitally important that it becomes international in the very beginning. It should be of a level and quality that will attract the best experts from all over the world. I think that if two, three or four Nobel Prize winners do not live and work in this town in the long run, it will mean that we have not solved our task. The headquarters of the world leading and most prestigious and modern companies should sit in this town. It seems to me that even architecture matters. A young man, a young scientist should look around and say: yes, this is the best place of all. This is a large-scale project. Whencanthislarge-scaleproject be implemented? What are the deadlines? This is, indeed, a fairly big project. But I wouldn’t call it extremely large scale. We have a big country that can develop only with the help of big
ADVANTAGES, SAYS VLADISLAV SURKOV
Vladislav Surkov, the Presidential Executive Office’s First Deputy Chief of Staff.
projects. On the contrary, I think that it’s not so large scale. In recent times, we’ve developed an awkwardness of thought. We are afraid of any new ventures. We call each big project adventurous and say that it will never be a success. This abjection of thought is the main problem for this country, from my point of view. I think that we should have several such projects. Look at other countries. They are not afraid of being ambitious. India is building several universities at a time. Enormous corporate towns with a population of 500,000 people are emerging in China. We are talking about 10,000 or 20,000, but these cities in China have 500,000 people. I am sure that this is absolutely realistic and the scale of this project is proportionate to the size of this country. How will this project be carried out in organisational terms? Can we talk about any duration guidelines if we speak about the creation of this town? First of all, a working group has been set up on order from the president to coordinate all this work.The president gave me the honour to head this working group and its work. A special body will be set up to supervise this work. The line-up of its founders will expand as negotiations will develop, including with foreign partners whose presence in this project is absolutely essential because it’s their experience that will help us to avoid mistakes.
On the other hand, we need partners who will provide a direct link with the global economy, with top-class world scientific and technological communities, and with world companies advanced in all high-tech sectors. The construction itself may take from three to seven years, dependending on how things will go. Of course, it’s very difficult to say in advance when a miracle is going to happen, a sacred spark that could flare up in this kind of community that will draw together entrepreneurs and scientists and that will simultaneously host a university center, laboratories and research departments of major basic material companies and non-basic material companies and also high-tech companies; where venture capital, which at the moment is practically nonexistent in Russia, will be present, and where small enterprises are going to emerge and operate in comfortable conditions. In my view, this environment can be formed in 10 or 15 years. I think that after that time, a chain reaction that will be difficult to stop may start. It will last for quite a long period of time, and will result in a wave of Russian inventions. I personally believe in this. I think that we are going to succeed. This interview was conducted by a Russian TV channel.
Full version at WWW.RBTH.RU
Russia india report in association with rossiyskaya gazeta, russia THE economic times wednesday_MARCH 31_2010
www.glonass-ianc.rsa.ru Russian Space Agency's English language GLONASS site www.ecp.ru/en Find more information about the Zelenogorsk Electrochemical Plant
Diplomacy Trusted and reliable strategic partnership was confirmed during the visit
Putin strengthens India-Russia ties continued from page 1
The brief visit of Putin, his first to India since he moved to his new position as the prime minister of Russia two years ago,was marked by several breakthroughs and win-win deals, taking bilateral ties to a new high,a fitting finale to the“Putin Decade”in bilateral ties. It was, after all,Putin,who visited India within months of assuming presidency in October 2000 and signed the historic Declaration on Strategic Partnership, with
Highlights of the visit
Nuclear deal Under the new agreement, Russia will build upto 16 nuclear reactors in India. "The agreement sees construction of upto 16 nuclear reactors in three locations," Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov said.
fighter jet contract Russia and India have signed a $1.5 bn contract on the supplies of 29 more MiG29K Fulcrum-D carrier-based fighter jets. The start of the supplies is scheduled for 2012.
Glonass project A joint venture will be established to produce navigation equipment for GPS and its Russian equivalent GLONASS, including the use of the GLONASS system for defense needs.
Gorshkov deal The two countries have signed a deal on upgrading the Admiral Gorshkov aircraft carrier, following an earlier statement from the Indian government's security committee, it would allocate $2.3 bn to refit the ship.
an old friend.The timely and farsighted diplomacy reversed the drift of the post-Cold war 1990s and established a template for refashioning India-Russia ties in tune with the changing realities of the 21st century. Ten years later,although he came to India this time as the head of the government,the Putin legacy was bearing fruit in myriad ways.During his brief but significant visit, the two sides vowed to end years of stagnation in economic ties by inking a clutch of pacts on oil exploration,trade in diamonds and import of fertilizers.These pacts have the potential to add more heft to current bilateral trade of $7.5 bn. Putin also vowed to boost banking cooperation with India through joint ventures and offered state financial aid for Indian telecoms unit of Russian conglomerate Sistema. "There is political will on both sides, but we need support from the captains of industry," Putin said."We should think about the future." The defence ties, the bedrock of the India-Russia relationship for decades, saw a renewed surge as the two sides inked a military aviation agreement and sealed deals worth at least $4 bn that included Russia supplying 29 MiG29K fighter jets, a Multi-Role Transport Aircraft and the joint development of fifth generation aircraft that promises to provide a new ballast to the Indian air force. The freezing of the renegotiated prize for retrofitted aircraft carrier Admiral Gorshkov, renamed by India as INSVikramaditya,at $2.3 bn removed a recent irritant in bilateral ties, and reinforced Russia’s position as India’s top supplier of military hardware despite competition from the US, France and China. Russia also agreed to provide India exclusive access to military signals from GLONASS global positioning system (GPS) that will enable the precise targeting of guided missiles. Responding to India’s surging economy and its energy needs,
Putin,who had batted vigorously for ending nuclear embargo for India in the Nuclear Suppliers Group, announced his country’s full support for India in all areas of civil nuclear cooperation, including the disposal of nuclear waste.This commitment was reflected in the signing of an intergovernmental cooperation on peaceful uses of nuclear enIndia could provide Russia a third site for the con ergy, initialled during Indian plants. "There is Haripur, there is Kudankulam, an Prime Minister ManmoSergei Kiriyenko, head of Russia's state-controlle han Singh's trip to MosRosatom. A total of 12 nuclear power units are to cow in December last THE QUOTE year, and another one laying out a roadmap for serial construction of Russian-design reactors. A separate comRegardless of my office, it primarily highlights our virmercial contract bewhen I come to India I tually coinciding geopolitical tween India's public always feel that India has interests... When I come to India, sector nuclear monopobeen our strategic partner for I have only one objective: to ly NPCIL and Russia's many decades. Although this facilitate expanded inter-state Atomstroy Export was reflects the mutual sympathies relations and direct contacts also inked for building of Russian and Indian nations, between our nations. two more civil nuclear reactors of 1,000 Mw konstantin zavrazhin_Rg each at Kudankulam in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu where Moscow is al- Moved by his unwavering comready building two reactors. If mitment to rebuilding closer this upward trend continues, strategic ties with India, ManRussia could end up building mohan Singh, was generous in upto 16 nuclear reactors in India, his praise. Describing Putin as giving it the first mover advan- “a great friend of India,”Mantage over other competitors like mohan Singh said at a joint winner by far. He has generated the US and France in India's press conference:“Prime MinisVickram Bahl more questions for me than any multi-billion dollar nuclear pie. ter Putin has been the architect Editor in Chief, other. People from varied social "This is one of our major, far- of the strategic partnership beITMN TV and economic groups want to reaching, promising areas of in- tween India and Russia, and we from personal archives owe a deep sense of gratitude to know more about the man and teraction," Putin said. what were my impressions On the strategic front, the talks him for bringing our countries turned out to be a meeting of so close to each other.”In a trib- After all these years of hosting about him. That seems strange minds. Putin shared India’s dis- ute to what is clearly the ‘Putin interesting people on television because Putin is an open man taste for the potential relapse of Decade’ in bilateral ties, Man- shows, the questions that I am and loves to interact with peoAfghanistan intoTaliban barba- mohan Singh underlined that often asked are ‘Who has been ple. rism and vowed to step up coop- the relations with Russia“are a your most interesting guest?’ My interaction with him has eration in combating terrorism key pillar of India’s foreign pol- and‘How was he (or she) in per- been on two occasions – in 2007, and on issues relating to the sta- icy,”adding:“We regard Russia son?’.The first one is easy to an- I interviewed him while he was bility of the Afghanistan-Paki- as a trusted and reliable strate- swer since all my guests have President, for my TV progic partner.”Putin smiled, bask- something out of the ordinary to gramme, Insight withVickram stan region. Taking note of New Delhi’s anx- ing in the glow of restoring vi- offer. I tell them to wait for my Bahl and during his March 2010 ieties about the threat to the re- tality in a critical relationship book. The second question is visit to India where I moderated gion posed by terror groups op- that has withstood the vagaries usually about a specific inter- his live Internet interaction with erating from Pakistan, Putin as- of changing geopolitics and view and what people are really people from three centres across serted that Moscow will not continues to remain central to curious about is to know about India asking him wide ranging enter into any defence deal with core interests of both countries the person beyond what is pre- questions. Islamabad“because of our Indi- in an emerging multi-polar sented on their screens. In this area,Vladimir Putin is a CONTINUED on PAGE 5 world. an friends' concerns.”
Vickram Bahl: Putin is a people person
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in association with rossiyskaya gazeta, russia THE economic times wednesday_MARCH 31_2010
Opinion Mutual understanding and “rediscovery” are crucial
Under the revised contract aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya (Admiral Gorshkov) will be delivered at the end of 2012.
Putin in India: Geopolitical results The Russian premier’s visit has been well received in India. What was not a sensation is that Vladimir Putin is regarded by the main social and political forces in India as the “saviour” of Russia’s prestige. Andrei Volodin
Specially for RIR
nstruction of new nuclear power nd there will be another," said ed nuclear power corporation o be built at the first two sites.
reactors. Our immediate plans call for 28 new reactors, which is almost as many as were built during the entire Soviet period. Safety is our primary concern... According to the latest assessments by the IAEA, Russian nuclear reactors are considered the safest in the world. Professionals know that.
We need to think about the future and increase high-tech cooperation. This is fully in line with our plans for Russia's economic development. One of our key goals is to diversify the economy and
emphasise innovation as it develops.... The political will is there in both Russia and India. But we certainly need the support of leading industrial and investment companies on both sides.
From the online conference with representatives of the Indian public
sergey kazak_ria novosti
Joint projects involving the peaceful use of nuclear energy are one of the most important and promising areas of cooperation between our countries... We have a large national programme for developing nuclear power generation. During the Soviet period, we built some 30 large nuclear
CONTINUED from PAGE 4
My questions were more towards world affairs, terrorism, Both lasted over an hour and Afghanistan, Pakistan and even Putin came across as relaxed, a personal one – his preference frank and friendly. In fact, not in tea. Some questions, like on much has changed in these three trade and investment, require years; I noticed that he wore the figures but Putin never refers to same style of shoes and the same notes for his answers. He someblack dial watch that looks very times scrawled bullet points much like a regular watch pilots when questions were being wear, on his right wrist. asked. Presumably, his personal The questions from people were staff discreetly pocketed the at times very narrow and point- writing pad soon after the intered.“Why were customs authori- view, lest someone take it as a ties confiscating tea samples?” souvenir. Others hit upon larger issues that But what was a first for me in my affect people to people contacts, career was the way we ended the such as the difficulties in getting programme. As the usual praclong-term short stay visas.Putin tice is, I thanked Putin and pronot only replied these questions ceeded to thank my location with words but also with enthu- hosts,the audience and close the siasm in his body language.That programme. Suddenly, I had is something my camera teams Putin hold my arm and excuse have learnt to deal with.Putin al- the interruption in order to ways moves a great deal in his thank everyone and me and give chair. This keeps the camera a final message. His warmth in teams re-framing the shots and actions and words touched the gives life and variety to a simple hearts of many and for me this talk show. In fact, his energetic was evidence that he enjoyed mannerism is infectious. being with the people of India.
The deal on the GLONASS system includes the use of the GLONASS signal for defense needs
As someone who has been observing the dynamics of our bilateral relations for more than a decade, I did not find the contracts signed in Delhi striking, the more so since their details had been under discussion for more than a year.“Non-classical”(nuclear) energy is already commonplace, since Russia, for example, is planning to build a nuclear power plant at the opposite end of the world, in Morocco. And so we could not wait to learn the fate of the “contract of the century”,to supply India with 126 multi-role fighters, which Putin was lobbying strongly for in Delhi three years ago, when he was still president of Russia. A “ray of hope”appeared when it was reported that India is to participate, to the tune of $600 mn, in the development of a fifth-generation fighter, since this high-tech aircraft promises to be better than its American equivalent, the Raptor. But at $7.5 bn, the volume of bilateral economic links in 2009 is frankly rather depressing: it is considerably more modest than Russia’s trade turnover with the relatively small country of Turkey. Nevertheless, these views of a sceptic would seem to be refuted by the “undercurrent” of Putin’s visit, which is the return of our two countries to the arena of real twenty-first-century geopolitics, which journalist and author Fareed Zakaria has aptly dubbed “the post-American world”. For a long time, Russia and India, each country in its own way, amused themselves with the illusion of a comfortable “unipolarity”, i.e. a unipolar world in the“American”style.
The elites of both countries were willing to play world politics according to rules laid down by Washington. However, the global crisis that struck so“unexpectedly”showed just how shaky the political economy of a unipolar world was and forced many, including Moscow and Delhi, to take more of the initiative and to act more boldly. For India, the China factor also plays a role in this, since many “at the top”and“on the street” believe China is trying to surround the Indians in the area of their vital interests, i.e. in South Asia. And here Russia too has remembered that peace in Central Asia, which is a key region for us, begins in Pakistan, and that we have effectively the same interests as India in Afghanistan. Putin did not shy away from talking about this in Delhi. The leaders also apparently discussed the way America’s geopolitical influence is waning and China’s is rising in both South and Central Asia. All this obviously not only provided abundant food for thought but also prompted Delhi and Moscow to change, as it were, the geopolitical paradigm and to return, albeit in new circumstances and with new content, to the tried and tested relations which in the recent past did not prevent India or the Soviet Union from strengthening their strategic position in the southern part of Central Eurasia. The conditions are now even more favourable for a new Russian–Indian “entente”, if only because we do not need to have an argument with America or with China, but simply need to defend our strategic interests, relying on clear political will and a newly acquired knowledge of the world. It is in this new Russian–Indian mutual understanding and mutual rediscovery that I see the true meaning of Vladimir Putin’s brief visit to Delhi.
Dr AndreiVolodin is professor of history with the Institute of World Economy and International Relations in Moscow.
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE ECONOMIC TIMES WEDNESDAY_MARCH 31_2010
www.roerichtrust.org The International Roerich Memorial Trust i www.roerich.org Nicholas Roerich museum in New York
Exhibition The artist's outlook of the world was unique
This March, India has a brush with the genius of Russian artist Nicholas Roerich, the sage-philosopher who made the mighty Himalayas the home of his spirit for much of his later life, when a unique exhibition showcasing 75 of his best paintings were put up for display at the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi. ALENA ADAMKOVA SPECIALLY FOR RIR
The sheer magic of Roerich’s paintings had the viewers spellbound. Small wonder, he was revered by his admirers across continents. His contemporaries described him variously as Apostle of Beauty, Messenger of Culture, Mighty Warrior of the Spirit and Master of Himalayas. Looking deeper, one can’t but recollect the year 1942… the Second World War was still raging, India was struggling for its independence, but the two visionaries – Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Nicholas Roerich -- were discussing the future of friendship between India and Russia. Only the mighty Himalayas around
them stood silent witnesses to their dreams. Almost 70 years later, the two countries are witnessing the flowering of those prophetic yearnings. Much has changed since then, but there is a growing realisation that India and Russia are like two pillars on which the peace of the whole world rests. SwamiVivekananda, an Indian philosopher-mystic, has captured the essence of the Indian belief in spirituality and the interconnectedness of the human spirit. “Political greatness or military power is never the mision of our race, it never was and mark my words, it never will be. But there has been other mission given to us, which is to conserve, to preserve, to accumulate all the spiritual energy of human race...” Clearly, the strength of India and Russia lies in its people who aspire towards illumination of spirit and the highest knowledge. Nicholas Roerich, too, was rooted in such knowledge. His mind anchored in the heritage of the past and his hands, heart and mind creating a radiant future. In the name of Beauty, he was mapping out the ascent of mind
Roerich abode gets highest patronage place in February. The Memorial Complex of the Roerichs in the township of Naggar in the serene Kullu Valley comprises the Estate where the illustrious Russian family of the elder Roerichs lived from 1929 to 1947, an Art Gallery and the 'Urusvati' Himalayan Research Institute. Until his death in 1993, it was the abode of Svetoslav Roerich and his legendary film star wife, Devika Rani. The Estate is justly considered one of the unique treasure-houses of world culture.
“The beautiful leads us through all the bridges. The beautiful opens the gravest locks. The beautiful weaves the wings of light and unites the human souls in their aspiration for the Common Light.” (N. Roerich) Roerich’s deep love for world culture was reflected in the
signing of the Roerich International Banner of Peace in 1935 in Washington by 21 countries in presence of US President F.D. Roosevelt. The treaty aimed at protecting the lofty monuments of artistic and scientific institutions and collections of the creative spirit of human genius from the havoc of war and acts of barbarity. “We need the Pact for culture memorials protection not only as an official body, but also as an educational law, which will ... bring up younger generation with the noble ideas of preserving cultural values of the universe,” Roerich wrote. One can hope that more Indians, especially children, can see the exhibition in Delhi to get the feel of Roerich’s works, which may inspire them to widen their consciousness. The Himalayan paintings of Nicholas Roerich merit a closer look. They were all created by the painter during the time he spent in Naggar – either in Kullu valley, or in neighboring Lahoul, Spiti or Chamba mountainous regions. Like no other painter, Roerich was able to grasp and depict the subtlest shades, hues and tones of the mountains, their ethereal transparency – be it at sun rise, blazing daytime, in the mystical dusk quietness or on starry and translucent nights… No wonder he was proclaimed the ‘Master of the Mountains’. He could sense the spirit and harmony of the mountains, and saw in them the symbol of the highest aspiration towards the Beauty and Knowledge.‘Treasure-house of the Spirit’ – this is how Roerich used to call his beloved Himalayas. They nourished Roerich’s heart and soul for over twenty years and he was able to share their gift with other people through his canvases. “The Himalayas, which for
“ Art is the heart of the people. Knowledge is the brain of the people. Only with heart and wisdom humanity can unite and understand each other.” N.Roerich
Portrait of Nicholas Roerich painted by his son Svyatoslav.
RIR Dossier Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) was an extraordinary personality, a unique individual, having an immense thirst for knowledge and a deep appreciation of beauty in all forms. A trained painter and lawyer, also ethnographer, geographer, poet, philosopher, traveller, fighter for peace, defender of cultural values of all nations, Roerich throughout his life, devoted himself to the ideal of the common good of mankind. Early in his career, Roerich distinguished himself as his generation's best painter of scenes from ancient Russian history. Roerich was associated with several Symbolist literary-artistic journals, directed the School of the Imperial
centuries have inspired Hindu and Buddhist thought and art, embrace in their snows some of the most famed sanctuaries of India, worshipped for thousands of years. In the strange and beautiful Kullu valley alone are structures, groves and nooks sacred to 360 gods. Kullu collected all sublime names of the humanity - Manu, Buddha, Arjuna, Pandava heroes,Vyasa, Gessar Khan. And
The International Roerich Memorial Trust (IRMT) in the Himalayan Kullu Valley in Himachal Pradesh will now function under the patronage of the Co-Chairmen of the Russian-Indian Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technological and Cultural Cooperation (IGC). This decision was taken at the working session of the CoChairs of the IGC - Russia's VicePremier Mr. Sergei Sobyanin and the Indian External Affairs Minister, Mr. S.M.Krishna, which took
and soul for posterity. Roerich’s genius amalgamated the past, present and future in one grand synthesis of life. And it is because of it, Roerich will always be relevant. This gift for synthesis was reflected in everything Roerich did. Synthesis was his method as well as style. This ability to view the world in its unity and interconnectedness, when everything from the tiniest ant upto huge stars has its unique place in the majestic Cosmic Design, allowed Roerich to sense, understand and communicate with the very foundation of Life. He was spiritually attuned to its essence, radiance, thus pulsating fabric that resembled the canvases of the great Master… It is this psychic affinity of Roerich with the universal truth that strikes a chord with every seeker of truth, cutting across national or religious boundaries. It invites everybody to perceive the underlying harmony and beauty of the creation and teaches one to attune oneself with it. Beauty does not require an interpreter. Consciousness of beauty is an inborn capacity in each one of us and Roerich was convinced that it should be cultivated and manifested on all levels. It is the common ground for all people in their hard evolutionary search and paves the way for the attainment of the higher levels of consciousness.
India gets a taste of Roerich’s Himalayan quest
Blessed soul (Bhagavan Shri Ramakrishna). 1932.
Red Horses. 1925.
Krishna. From “Kulu” series. 1929.
Society for the Encouragement of the Arts. After the October Revolution, Roerich and his family left Russia. As emigres, they lived in Finland, England, and the United States, finally settling in northern India. In 1928, Nicholas Roerich and his wife Elena founded the Institute of the Himalayan Studies "Urusvati". Roerich remained a prolific painter, but he was engaged in other activities too. He spearheaded an international campaign for the adoption of a treaty — the 'Banner of Peace' Pact — to protect art and architecture in times of war. The Roerich family was deeply rooted in the philosophic teaching called Agni Yoga, or the Living Ethics.
all masters and heroes, who either by sword or in spirit won great battles,” wrote Roerich. The Himalayan paintings bring out Roerich’s belief that spiritual heritage is the most potent binding and uniting force between diverse cultures.
Dr.Alena Adamkova is the Executive Director of the International Roerich Memorial Trust
www.kolkata.mid.ru Consulate General of the Russain Federation in Kolkata www.russiancentre.org.in/eng Russian Centre of Culture and Science in New Delhi
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE ECONOMIC TIMES WEDNESDAY_MARCH 31_2010
History One hundred years of the Consulate General in Kolkata
The New Delhi connection
Russia's first Indian mission: The untold story
The nerve centre and hub of activities promoting RussianIndian relations in different spheres, the Russian Centre of Science and Culture (RCSC) in New Delhi marks its 45th anniversary in March, 2010.
As the Russian consulate general in Calcutta (now Kolkata) celebrates its 100th anniversary, Irinia Glushkova looks back at power politics, high-wire diplomacy and machinations of the mid-19th century ‘Great Game’ that led the mighty Britain to let Moscow open its first mission in the ‘Jewel in the British Crown’.
THE DIRECTOR OF THE RCSC IN NEW DELHI
RUSSIAN CONSULATE IN CALCUTTA
It took the Russian Foreign Ministry more than 40 years to overcome Britain’s resistance and open a mission in what Britain called“the jewel in its crown”. This issue first came up in the late 1850s. However, the the smoke of the Crimean War (1853–1856) and the anti-British uprising in India (1857–1858) still hung in the air. Britain, preoccupied with consolidating its power in India, was frosty towards Russia’s diplomatic initiative. Since diplomacy is invariably based on etiquette and parity, the price of reciprocity became clear after lengthy delays: in 1875, Britain opened its consulate in Tiflis (now Tbilisi). However, Russia’s stubborn adversary throughout the latter half of the 19th century did not rush to fulfill its part of the deal.“The Great Game” had already begun. The two empires confronted each other in Central Asia. However, the ruling Conservatives in Britain did not consider it their duty to honour the previous Labour government’s promise. In a dispatch to the Foreign Office on June 2, 1879Viceroy of India Lord Lytton objected to the appointment of a Russian consul to Bombay (now Mumbai). At that time, Mumbai“was a venue for annual meetings of protesters, conspirators and plotters”and the viceroy anticipated“exaggerated reports about the discontent of our subjects”. Lord Lytton also wrote that the Foreign Office must demand Tashkent or Samarkand in exchange for Mumbai. On his part, War Minister GeneralVannovsky wrote to Foreign Minister Nikolai Girs on June 27, 1885: “At present, the War Ministry has only one agent in Asia, at our mission in Peking; the headquarters of the Caucasian District receives some information from our instructors inTehran but we have no way of following what is happening in India.” The shadow of England’s new rival, Germany, appeared on the horizon and finally on August
The Russian consulate in Kolkata has been keeping records of its activities from the very start that include amassing an impressive collection of photographs.
11, 1899, Lord Salisbury, the then head of the Foreign Office, responded positively to Russian envoy in London Pavel Lessar. Lord Curzon, a notorious Russophobe, became the viceroy of India in the same year. In a telegram to Secretary of State for India Lord Hamilton, he wrote that the Russian consul was well-known in Central Asia and was sent to Mumbai not for commercial purposes alone. Before long,Vasily (Wilhelm) von Klemm arrived here. An outstanding professional, he fitted the job perfectly. First, he was engaged in Oriental Studies at the Lazarev Institute of Oriental languages and at the Oriental languages section of the Foreign Ministry’s Asian Department, where he was later employed. Second, he had excellent diplomatic training: serving first with the Political Agency in Bukhara and later on as a Foreign Ministry official representing the border relations department of the gover-
nor of the Trans-Caspian Region. AlexanderVygornitsky arrived soon here after Klemm. He mastered Hindustani (a mixture of Urdu and Hindi) at the officer corps in Bukhara and then polished it during his practical training in India. Foreign Minister CountVladimir Lamsdorf gave clear-cut instructions to Klemm:“India is primarily important for us because it is the British Empire’s most vulnerable spot,a sensitive nerve, which, if touched, may compel the Queen’s government to change its policy of hostility towards us and display the compliance desired on all issues where our interests clash.” A brilliant analyst, Vasily Klemm sent detailed reports to the Foreign Ministry about the traditions of India, its economy, political and military events. Written racily, his dispatches read like a detective story. He was quick to realise the importance of promoting trade. He
sent cinchona seeds to the Sukhum experimental station and found capable teachers for familiarising Russians with Indian languages. He worked unstintingly to create a positive image of Russia, befriending upper class Indians and intellectuals and, last but not the least,was a talented intelligence officer. He did not miss a single move in the redeployment of Anglo-Indian troops and the activities of English diplomats in Afghanistan and Tibet. The British-Indian administration always kept an eye on Klemm and barred him from moving around the country. His servants, both in the office and at home, reported to the police about his every step and even his mail was torn open. Klemm worked in Mumbai until 1906. Subsequently, he served as the consul general in Meshed, Iran, headed the Foreign Ministry’s Third (Central Asian) Political Department until 1917 and was a diplomatic envoy of the White anti-Bolshevik movement of Admiral Kolchak inVladivostok. Eventually, he moved to China and disappeared. The date of his death is unknown. In 1908, the Russian Foreign Ministry in St Petersburg requested their British counterparts to allow them to move the consulate from to Kolkata, closer to the Anglo-Indian government. Finally, the Brits acceded to the request in 1910, several months before the the Indian capital moved from Kolkata to Delhi.
Excerpts from a piece by Irina Glushkova, the author of several books on Indian culture
Set up in 1958 as the Cultural Department of the Embassy of the USSR at the Travancore House, Curzon Road, it started functioning in 1965 as Soviet Cultural Centre at 24, Ferozeshah Road, New Delhi. The new building came into being in January 1982 and was called House of Soviet Science, Culture and Art.The centre assumed the new nomenclature of the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in 1992, functioning as a branch of the Russian Centre of International Scientific and Cultural Cooperation (Roszarubezhcentre). In the end of 2008, it became the Indian Representative Office of the Federal Agency for CIS Affairs, Russian Compatriots Abroad and International Humanitarian Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo), an autonomous body functioning under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation in 68 countries of the world. India is the only country where Rossotrudnichestvo has five Russian Centres of Science and Culture. The RCSC is carrying out various cultural activities in close cooperation with Indian social organisations, associations and clubs, organises regular events in the field of art and culture, science and technology, etc., in the form of photo and painting exhibitions, music and dance programmes, film shows, ballet and piano concerts, seminars, symposia, press conferences, round-table
discussions, literary evenings, literary olympiads, painting competitions, chess tournaments, etc. It follows the tradition of celebrating important national days of both, India and Russia. It is the rare privilege of the RCSC to record the gracious visits of distinguished dignitaries and world leaders such as Mrs. Indira Gandhi, Mr. M . S . G o r b a c h e v, M r. A.K.Gujral, Mr. A.B.Vajpayee, Mrs. L.A. Putina and others. The 80th Anniversary of Roszarubezhcentre, the 60th Anniversary of the Establishment of Indo-Soviet Diplomatic Relations, the 60th Anniversary of theVictory of Great Patriotic War, the inauguration of Roerich’s Art Club and Museum by Mr. Somnath Chatterjee, Speaker of Lok Sabha, visit of His Eminence Kirill, Russian Orthodox Church Leader and others are landmark events in the history of RCSC, assuming new dimensions to its clearly perceptible activities. The successful accomplishment of the“Year of Russia in India”in 2008 and the“Year of India in Russia” in 2009 with momentous events showcasing each other’s history and culture are important milestones in the long annals of RussianIndian relations. The Year 2010 will become as bright and saturated as the previous two. The main event of the anniversary year - a unique art exhibition «Russian Winter» from the collection of the State Russian Museum was recently opened at RCSC. Thirty-three rare paintings, all classical 19th and 20th century Russian winter landscapes by leading artists, have stepped out of the world famous museum at St.Petersburg for the first time in the archive's 115-year-old history for a show in the Indian capital.
PRESS OFFICE OF RUSSIAN MUSEUM
'Pink snow' by Rudolf Frentz (1925) is one of the paintings on display at the "Russian Winter" exhibition at the RCSC.
RUSSIA INDIA REPORT
IN ASSOCIATION WITH ROSSIYSKAYA GAZETA, RUSSIA THE ECONOMIC TIMES WEDNESDAY_MARCH 31_2010
www.bakulev.ru/en Bakoulev Center for Cardiovascular Surgery eng.mma.ru I.M. Sechenov Moscow Medical Academy www.rian.ru RIA Novosti newswire
Medicine The world famous heart surgeon Leo Bokeria recently celebrated his 70th birthday
A day in the life of a heart surgeon On the floor, a huge stuffed lion that is practically life-size. The association is clear: the name of the office’s occupant is Leo. Bokeria has already changed into scrubs for the operating room — he is wearing a surgeon’s pale green smock. “I have an operation in 15 minutes. Let’s talk until then.” “We would like to begin with the subject of how time…” “My personal time is determined primarily by sleep.I sleep roughly six hours a night. No matter where I am, I try to go to bed at the same time: at midnight or a little after. I get up at about 6:30. I have a simple schedule: I arrive at the center, talk to two or three people in the space of 15 minutes and leave for the operating room. After the operations, I usually have many meetings with colleagues and guests, telephone conversations and mail.” Bokeria is famous for allowing journalists into the holy of holies, the operating theater. So we set off for the operating block. We don smock, hat, mask, etc. Only our hands and eyes remain uncovered. The operating theater is cold and brightly lit. A team is gathered round the operating table: Bokeria, a nurse and two young assistant surgeons. Bokeria is almost unrecognisable: his face is covered by a mask and thick glasses with additional lenses. A heart operation is a delicate business, on top of which many of the patients here are children. The tiny patient is almost invisible. From under the sheet, one can see only the crown of its almost bald head: the child is four months old. “Every year in Russia, some 25,000 children are born with congenital heart defects,”says Bokeria.“If an operation is not performed quickly, 70 pc of those children will die before they are a year old. It’s all very sad. But on the other hand, if the operation is performed promptly, 97 pc of those children will grow into healthy adults.”
The baby’s heart has been stopped for an hour now. An artificial circulation machine has been working in its place. The baby’s blood is pumped through the tubes into a transparent container that looks like a gallon jug.It impregnates the blood with oxygen and returns it to the body. Suddenly the command:“Warm it!”It sounds like the cry“Land!” after many months at sea. During the operation, the body is cooled. We watched, somewhat horrified, as the nurse periodically sprinkled chipped ice around the baby’s body. Now that the operation is over, the body can be returned to its normal temperature.The green line on the monitor jumps up once.Then again and again.The baby’s heart is working on its own. We walk out of the operating room into the hall where Bokeria explains what the last two and a half hours involved. “It was a complicated operation.A normal heart should have a pulmonary artery and an aorta coming out of it. In this case, the heart had only the aorta coming out of it and the pulmonary artery coming out of the aorta.The blood impregnated with oxygen from the lungs could not get to the organs. Moreover, the valve on the aorta was not working properly. No prosthesis exists; they don’t make little valves for infants. The valve has to be reconstructed. I did that and it all seems to have worked.” “Do you operate on many children?” “I try to do 50 pc children and 50 pc adults. Sometimes, it works out to three children and two adults. All in all, 17-18 operations a week.” Back in the operating room. A different one. Again the silence, the stopped heart, the tubes, the clock on the wall and lots of equipment. And again a small heart. Apparently weak. On top of the heart defect, this baby has Down Syndrome. The two diseases often go together. Bokeria makes a tiny incision with his
RIR Dossier He is the Director of the Bakulev Research Center for Cardiovascular Surgery, a chief heart surgeon of the Russia’s Health and Social Development Ministry, the president of the Health of the Nation League and member of the Public Chamber where he chairs the Healthy Life commission. Born in Ochamchira, Abkhazia, Leo Bokeria was educated at Moscow's First Medical Institute and holds a Doctor's degree in Medicine. Since 1968, he has worked at the Cardiovascular Surgery Institute. Bokeria has to his credit at least ten operations that he was the first to perform in Russia. But the details are hidden behind a string of terms that only specialists understand: “trans-myocardial revascularization”, “implantation of cardio-defibrillators”, “dynamic cardio-myoplasty”, etc. It was Bokeria who invented the method of hyperbaric oxygenation, which allows surgeons to operate on virtually inoperable children by placing them in an altitude chamber.
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
surgeon’s scissors… Finally we hear: “Warm it!”The body begins to return to life. “Will the two children you operated on today be all right?” “They should be.These children will need serious care. But the operations were successful.” “Is it true that many patients do not survive surgical intervention?" “The probability of a lethal outcome on the operating table is small. Statistically, for the most complicated cases, 5-7 pc cannot be saved. In countries where heart surgery is popular, people live to at least 80,”says Bokeria. At a small anteroom outside the OR, Bokeria washes his hands. First with one special solution, then another. Then dries his hands. A nurse holds out his
rubber gloves. Now, he’s ready to go to the operating table. This time, the heart is large and strong.The woman is 40. We can see Bokeria cutting out a small piece of tissue and handing it to the nurse with tweezers. In exchange, she gives him what looks like a small metal castor. “Do you want to see? This is what an artificial valve looks like. And this one was made in Russia.Homemade,so to speak,” Bokeria allows himself to smile, then returns to his work with concentration. Using a syringe, they fill the heart with air. It swells till it looks like a small sack.You can see the blood vessels.You can also see the accretions of fatty tissue — white stripes. Again: “Warm it!” But some-
“A little growth would go a long way to earning Russia little more love...”
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“It’s about the atmophere of an oasis of recreation with delicious drinks, snacks, comfortable seats, wi-fi...” “My strategy has been to find the funnier side of life in Russia, and it works for me.”
thing’s not right. The heart doesn’t want to start. The machine records its beats with sound signals. It squeaks, then falls silent.The doctors are puzzled; they keep looking at the monitors. Then, everything returns to normal. “You have many titles,many positions, good relations with the powers that be. Does anything get in the way of your work?” “There are many questions. For example,with heart transplants. The public has the impression that people will be killed in order to do a heart transplant. They suspect that doctors will take the heart of a living person and give it to someone else. In fact, this procedure has been devised down to the smallest refinements. Eight hours before a
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heart is taken from a donor, a test is conducted with medical examiners and other specialists present — a number of people who see that the brain is dead. Eight hours later, the test is repeated. This is an international practice. Thousands of hearts have been transplanted to date.” Most recently,the Bakulev Center has been developing endovascular operations. Older people with weak organisms are often considered unfit for open-heart surgery.Instead,a small incision is made in the femoral artery, into which a catheter is introduced with a folded artificial valve. The instrument travels along blood vessels to its goal, while the doctors follow the process on a monitor where the heart is seen in 3D. The operation leaves only a tiny scar of three millimeters.An operation like that is on the schedule for tomorrow. But for now, in the OR, the patient’s heart does not want to start beating.The machine monitoring the patient’s condition is making a continuous, highpitched squeaking sound. Bokeria picks up what looks like two large metal spoons with wooden handles.The male nurse tightens a knob on one of the machines. Bokeria drops the spoons right into the thorax. And gives the command:“Discharge!” The body twitches.The continuous squeak from the monitor becomes intermittent. With the first jolt from the current, the heart started to beat.The operation is over. Again, we’re in Bokeria’s office. He looks hale and is ready to answer any questions. “We’d like to return to our question about time. In your view, do you use your time right?” “Of course not! I’m an academician, the director of a medical center, a laureate of many prizes, I should just go to all sort of coasts and stare at the beautiful women. But, I go on and on! Of course, it’s not right. But that’s how my life has turned out.”
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Published on Mar 13, 2010
“We should learn to earn money with our brains” Dr. Leo Bokeria performs four to five operations a day. He has to his credit some two thousa...