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Vladimir Vassilievich

Candidate of Sciences (equiv. Ph.D.) - Philology
(30.11.1927 — 27.07.2001)
Born on November 30, 1927. In 1950, graduated from Leningrad State University, the Faculty of Oriental Studies. From 1953 to 1957, worked at the Russian National Library. In November 1957, was invited to work at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies, the USSR Academy of Sciences, where he would work for more than 40 years (from 1982 senior researcher, then leading researcher). In 1974, defended his PhD dissertation.

Dr Vladimir V. Kushev studied numerous languages of the Iranian group such as Persian, Dari, Tajik, Pashto, etc., studied mss and compiled their catalogues, researched into literary heritage, history, religion and culture of Middle Eastern peoples.

Dr V.Kushev combined the best traditions of Russian and Soviet schools of Orientologist scholarship. Perfect knowledge of languages such as Persian, Pashto, English and solid knowledge of some others were just one of the sides of the highest professionalism of Dr V.Kushev who was a renowned expert in linguistics of Iran and Afghanistan. His contribution to Afghan studies was the most important. He was first in Russia to make a comprehensive research into the manuscript culture developed in Afghanistan, and discover some crucial points in the history of the writing in Pashto.

From late 1980s to early 1990s, DrV.Kushev along with Dr A.Grünberg and some foreign colleagues ran the project of the academic Afghan Grammar that promised to be a great achievement of Afghan and Iranian studies worldwide. Unfortunately, premature death of Dr A.Grünberg and political calamities in Afghanistan made it impossible to complete the project. In late 1980s, Dr Kushev defended his Habilitation dissertation Afghan Language from the 16th to 19th Century [Афганский язык 16-19 веков] that summed up his enormous expertise. The work was not published as a monograph during his life but it was edited by his disciples and published in 2008.

Dr V.Kushev was a talented translator. Thanks to his translations the Russian reader got chance to appraise some pieces of classical and modern Iranian and Afghan literature.

During many years, Dr V.Kushev headed the Seminar of Leningrad/St Petersburg Afghan scholars. It united forces of both leading scholars from St Petersburg and abroad who gave papers on the history, culture and languages of Afghanistan and neighboring territories.

More than nine years were spent by Dr V.Kushev in Iran and Afghanistan where he worked at various Soviet organizations, including the Iran USSR Society, he was its academic secretary from 1979 to 1980. Thanks to him, poems by Soviet Azerbaijan authors were translated and published in Iran.

He published more than 120 papers.

During many years, Dr V.Kushev taught at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Leningrad/St Petersburg State University. Two of his disciples, Dr Y.A.Ioannesyan and Dr M.S.Pelevin defended their PhD dissertations supervised by him.

The scholar died suddenly, on July 27, 2001, at the age of 74.


Tr by A.Zorin



Kushev V. The Dawn of Pashtun Linguistics: Early Grammatical and Lexicographical Works and Their Manuscripts // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 7, No 2, June 2001. P. 3-9.


Kushev V. A Pashtun Ruler and Literary Figure of the Seventeenth Century on Political Ethics // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 6, No 2, June 2000. P. 20-38.


Kushev V. The Formation and Study of the Afghan Manuscript Collection in the St. Petersburg Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 4, No 1, March 1998. P. 40-48.

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