When the plane of the Speaker of the State Duma Seleznev landed in Havana for refueling, Fidel Castro specially arrived at the airport

With Fidel Castro.  Havana, March 27, 1999 en route after a parliamentary visit to Peru and Colombia.

With Fidel Castro. Havana, March 27, 1999 en route after a parliamentary visit to Peru and Colombia.

In the 8th grade, he patronized the pioneer camp

Very little is known about the childhood and youth of Gena Seleznev – Gennady Nikolaevich did not like to talk about the details of his biography.

But one poignant episode stuck in my memory…

When Seleznev died in July 2015, and 40 days had already passed since his departure, colleague Tatyana Korsakova went to St. Petersburg,

to his heartbroken mother, who turned 90 the year her 67-year-old son died. (Vera Ivanovna Svobodina-Fokina is still alive.) And the mother of Gennady Nikolaevich told Tatyana such a case – however, we already remember it 5 years ago, in our publications dedicated to the 70th anniversary of Seleznev:

… – Back in school, apparently after the 8th grade, Gena was appointed to patronize the pioneer camp.

The cook’s day at the camp coincided with the parents’ holiday. Gena noticed that not all children’s parents came to visit: “You know, mom, there are even mothers who drink. How will they arrive? And it’s not the children’s fault. They are also waiting for guests. Please buy me a kilo of sweets, biscuits and something else.

And he went there more than once and gave gifts to children who remained in trouble …

Gennady Seleznev and now the chairman of the Central Staff of the public organization

Gennady Seleznev and now the chairman of the Central Staff of the public organization “Russia” Anatoly Usov

In “KP” he came up with the Direct line “and opened” Interlocutor “

Gennady Nikolayevich was the editor-in-chief of Komsomolskaya Pravda, it seems, for a short time, from 1980 to 1988. (By the way, when he was appointed to us, he was only 33 years old.) But he left a bright mark on the biography and fate of our newspaper.

It was with Seleznev that the straight line first appeared and formed as a unique genre in our country. It was used by many Russian politicians of the Seleznev era, including President Vladimir Putin. (By the way, Vladimir Vladimirovich spent his first “Direct Line” right in Komsomolskaya Pravda – he came to our editorial office – on Pravda Street, 24 – in February 2000)

And Seleznev found – as an appendix to Komsomolskaya Pravda – “Sobesednik” – the first color weekly in the Soviet Union.

By the way, Gennady Nikolayevich is perhaps the only editor-in-chief in Russia, who at different times led three central publications – in addition to Komsomolskaya Pravda, there was also Pravda and Uchitelsky Vestnik

Together with Inna Rudenko, he protected the Afghan soldiers

On February 15, 1984, “Komsomolskaya Pravda” published Inna Rudenko’s essay “Debt”, dedicated to wheelchair-bound internationalist warrior Sasha Nemtsov.

This publication removed the taboo from the “forbidden topic” – how soldiers returning from the Afghan war live and adapt to civilian life that … in fact “did not exist”. So he ordered to examine the leadership of the CPSU and the Soviet state. Although since 1983 the USSR was under martial law, which ordinary Soviet citizens were not supposed to know anything about.

Inna Pavlovna said that the title “Debt” was invented by Seleznev. He published this material without consulting the Central Committee of the Komsomol. Because he was sure: the Komsomol officials would ban “Dulg”.

What started after this essay came out with a circulation of 20 million (that’s exactly what our newspaper had at that time) – recalled Yuriy Lepsky a few years ago in “Novaya Gazeta”.

Inna Rudenko received a call from the Higher Komsomol School and was informed that the material was recognized by the Central Committee of the CPSU as “the most serious, critical mistake of Komsomolskaya Pravda”. Seleznev was not in the editorial office, he went to a meeting of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Komsomol. In the office and on the sidelines, they weren’t shy about expressing themselves. Seleznev wrote down some things so they could later read them to Vladislav Fronin (he was the secretary of the CP) and Inna Rudenko. Well, for example: “Enemies are shooting at us in Afghanistan, and journalists are shooting at us in Moscow.”

In the midst of the meeting, Seleznev was brought a note from the first reception: “Urgently go to the ATS-1 apparatus, they are calling from the Central Committee of the CPSU.” On the wire was the second person in the party – the secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU Yegor Ligachev. What exactly Seleznev heard, who seemed to be morally preparing for his resignation from the post of editor-in-chief, we will never know. But in translation it looked like this:

– Well done, Gennady! It was about time I said all this. Greetings and congratulations to Inna Rudenko.

On Sunday, November 6, Gennady Seleznev would have turned 75 years old.

On Sunday, November 6, Gennady Seleznev would have turned 75 years old.

He proposed to “liberate” the rich and help the poor

In the Deputies Corps of the Duma – at least the old members of the Parliament – remember well many of the legislative initiatives of President Seleznev. And above all, the fact that it was he who advocated the adoption of a progressive tax scale. Gennady Nikolaevich believed that for the rich it should reach 35%, and those who receive less than the subsistence minimum are subject to preferential taxation or are completely exempt from taxes.

Seleznev advocated the ratification of the European Social Charter, according to which the minimum wage per person should be two and a half times higher than the subsistence minimum. Today, the charter has only been partially ratified. And these two indicators, income and minimum living wage, for Russians caught up only recently.

And also from the Duma biography of Gennady Nikolaevich. In 1999, a Russian parliamentary delegation led by Seleznev returned from an official visit to Peru and Venezuela. The plane landed in Havana for refueling. Imagine the surprise of the speaker and members of the delegation when Commander Fidel Castro climbed the ladder and entered the plane. (look at the photo). He hugged Seleznev, greeted the members of the delegation, invited the delegation to the official hall to enjoy coffee and famous Cuban cigars. Well, we talked. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, this is the only case when the Cuban leader has given such special attention to a transit delegation. (The former head of the secretariat of the Speaker of the State Duma Nikolay Liakh told KP about this).

On the day of Seleznev’s 55th birthday, Russian President Boris Yeltsin came to the State Duma for the first time to personally award the Order of Merit to the Fatherland II degree.

Then the leaders of the factions turned to Yeltsin with a proposal to award Seleznev with this order – but only the fourth degree. Boris Nikolayevich himself corrected the four to two.

I was on a horse and loved “Komsomolskaya Pravda”

Apart from newspapers and politics, Seleznev had another passion: equestrian sports.

He loved horses from an early age. In 2005, he became the president of the Russian Equestrian Federation, for many years he headed the sports club “Planernaya Konnitsi”.

In the 90s of the last century, the issue of disbanding a cavalry regiment in the Ministry of Defense was acute – there were no funds to feed the horses. Seleznev met with President Vladimir Putin, who at that time was also a lover of equestrian sports, shortly after a special decision was made to fund the horse regiment.

This unit was then transferred under the jurisdiction of the FSO of Russia.

By the way, several “horse” interviews with Seleznev were published in our newspaper – I accidentally did them. I was always struck by the emotionality with which Gennady Nikolayevich spoke about the problems and tasks of the “horse theme”.

And in general, he never interrupted communication with his native newspaper – he gave heavy political interviews, comments, I could call him at any time on his mobile phone. He came to the newspaper holidays and the anniversaries of our luminaries – Vasily Peskov, Yaroslav Golovanov.

And once he rushed with a bouquet for his birthday to Irina Ivanovna Troitskaya, who in recent years has worked for us as an ordinary inspector of the personnel department.

Only now the biography of Irina Ivanovna was not ordinary. When Vladimir Putin first came to Komsomolskaya Pravda – in February 2000, in the rank of acting Chairman, we also invited Irina Ivanovna. “But why her?” – Kremlin officials asked us. “Yes, she saw Stalin!” – we explained. All doubts immediately disappeared.

Those who walked with Seleznev along the same corridor in the building at 24 Pravda Street still work at Komsomolskaya Pravda – Andrey Dyatlov, Polina Varidina, Tatiana Adabash, Kiril Serov.

Our editor-in-chief Vladimir Sungorkin treated Gennady Seleznev very warmly. When the idea arose to erect a monument to Gennady Nikolayevich in his small homeland, in the city of Serov, Sverdlovsk Region, Sungorkin and Komsomolskaya Pravda immediately joined the collection of voluntary donations: they published an invoice for funds several times, they themselves participated in it, told how it went the competition for the best project of the monument.

The monument was opened on October 14 of this year. A month after the leader of our expedition, Vladimir Nikolayevich Sungorkin, died in the taiga.

(Sculptor – Honored Artist of Russia Yury Zlotya, architect Alexander Dorofeev. The head of the Serov urban settlement Vasily Sizikov took an active part in the implementation of this project.)

– The monument is sincere and truthful – believes the widow of Gennady Nikolaevich – Irina Borisovna (and the bronze Seleznev is leaning on a pile of newspapers, not so official, the collar is unbuttoned). He didn’t like wearing ties…


We express our gratitude to Anatoly Usov, Chairman of the Central Staff of the public organization “Russia”, for his help in preparing the publication.


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