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Legend of Soviet Cold War era political journalism Valentin Zorin dies aged 91

April 28, 2016, 3:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

International information agency Russia Today has reported the death of the legendary Soviet political observer, TV host and publicist, Dr. Valentin Zorin

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MOSCOW, April 27. /TASS/. International information agency Russia Today has reported the death of the legendary Soviet political observer, TV host and publicist, Dr. Valentin Zorin.

"Valentin Zorin has died," twittered the Editor-in-Chief of the agency, Margarita Simonyan. "May the Lord accept him in the Heavenly Kingdom. A whole epoch has gone."

Dr. Zorin, 91 at the time of death, a professor at Moscow's MGIMO Diplomatic University and a professional news analyst for TV, was often described in the West as "a voice of the Cold War" and a man giving "a strong, orthodox Soviet view". Nonetheless he was clearly one of a handful of journalists in the international arena who could boast exclusive interviews with an array of crucial decision-makers like John Kennedy, Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon, Charles de Gaulle, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan, to name but a few.

His undeniable subtle knowledge of the intricate mechanisms steering the politics in the U.S. and Europe enabled him to provide analysis and interpretations of events that often went far beyond the conventional format of standard political journalism of his time.

Millions of former Soviet TV viewers who are now in their fifties or older will remember Dr. Zorin as a commentator on major problems of peace and detente of the 1970's in the prime-time Soviet news show Vremya and as the host of the 'The World Today' and 'Ninth Studio' reviews of world events. The popularity of the 'Ninth Studio' in the 1980's could only compare with live broadcasts of major football games.

Dr. Zorin is widely credited for introducing the genre of a discussion club and publicist 'country-focus' documentary to the Soviet/Russian television practice. He was one of the first Soviet journalists to present glimpses of everyday life in the U.S. outside the political format.

Apart from his career of a lecturer, he is also known as the author of books 'America's Uncrowned Kings', 'America of the 1970's', 'The Rulers Unmasked', 'Sirs Billions' and 'America the Contradictory'.

As of 2014, Dr. provided political comments and analysis for Russia Today international news agency.

"For everyone who knew this unconventional, superbly educated and creative man, he was always a paragon of professionalism, capability for work and dedication," Vladimir Putin said in a letter of condolences to Dr. Zorin's family.

His contribution to the fostering of several generations of experts on international politics is scarcely possible to overestimate, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a note released at the Foreign Ministry's official website.

"Dr. Zorin authored numerous TV programmes, books and articles that won the rightly deserved recognition in the Soviet Union and abroad," he said.

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