Born on January 24, 1918, in Kiev to the family of Nikolai Bogolyubov, a preeminent theologist, Professor at the University of St Vladimir and the Abbot of the University Church. As a priest N.Bogolyubov was imprisoned by the Soviet authorities, and when he was finally freed he had a serious decease so he died soon. The two elder brothers took care after the youngest one. The first of them, Nikolai, later became a famous mathematician, one of the ‘fathers’ of the Soviet nuclear bomb; the other, also a bright scholar, an academician of the Ukraine Academy of Sciences, was oppressed as a participant of the Spanish civil war. Hence it was not so easy for Mikhail to get admitted to Leningrad State University but he was lucky enough and he has kept faithful to the University during all his life.
In 1941, he was enrolled in the army and for four years taught Persian and Persian culture at the High School of Red Army since Stalin was planning the military campaign in Iran.
In 1945, he returned to Leningrad and started his doctoral studies at Leningrad University, being supervised by Acad. A.A. Freimann. In 1948, he defended his PhD Dissertation, in 1956, his Habilitation Dissertation, both on Sogdian linguistics. He later contributed to the study of Sogdian documents found in the mountain fortress of Mount. Mugh, Tajikistan.
As a scholar Bogolyubov always focused on the comparative historical Iranian linguistics, the study of extinct Old and Middle Iranian languages, deciphering and editing of the old texts. He is famous for his field work at the high valley of the Yaghnob river that has got no automobile roads even by now. Data on the Yaghnob language collected by him are of great importance for the Iranian linguistics. Unfortunately, the local population had a sad destiny. In 1970, they were deported from their native land down to the valley to plant cotton. It was the last deportation of an entire people during the Soviet time.
Bogolyubov has published more than 200 academic papers. He was given several awards by the Soviet and Russian State. In Iran he was given the title of the Lasting Person, among just a few other foreigners.
During 35 years, from 1960 to 1995, he headed the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Leningrad/St Petersburg State University. He is a member of several academic and dissertation councils (including the Academic Council of the IOM RAS), chief editor of some academic periodicals, the head of the Oriental Commission of the Russian Geographic Society.
From 1946 to 1949, M.N. Bogolyubov was a doctoral student at the Leningrad Branch of the Institute of Oriental Studies (now the IOM RAS); from 1958 to 1961, prepared his Habilitation Dissertation at the Institute. From 1958 to 1961, he worked as a senior researcher at the Institute.
Countries and Peoples of the East [Страны и народы Востока] / General editor of the series M.N.Bogolyubov. Ed. by I.F.Popova and A.M.Reshetov. Vol. 33. Moscow, Vostochnaya Literatura Publishers 2010.
Страны и народы Востока. Выпуск XXX. Памяти А.Л.Грюнберга. Центральная Азия. Восточный Гиндукуш / Под общей редакцией М.Н.Боголюбова. Ответственный редактор И.М.Стеблин-Каменский. СПб.: Центр “Петербургское Востоковедение”, 1998, 372 с.
Оранский И.М. Фольклор и язык гиссарских парья (Средняя Азия). Введение, тексты, словарь. Ответственный редактор М.Н.Боголюбов. М.: Издательство «Наука», Главная редакция восточной литературы. 1977
[Православный] Палестинский сборник. Выпуск 22 (85): Колесников А.И. Иран в начале VII века (источники, внутренняя и внешняя политика, вопросы административного деления). Ответственный редактор Н.В.Пигулевская, М.Н.Боголюбов. Л.: Издательство «Наука» (Ленинградское отделение), 1970
Смирнова О.И. Каталог монет с городища Пенджикент (материалы 1949-1956 гг.) Ответственные редакторы: М.Н.Боголюбов, И.П.Петрушевский. М.: Издательство восточной литературы. 1963
Курдоев К.К. Грамматика курдского языка (курманджи). Фонетика, морфология. Под редакцией М.Н.Боголюбова. М.-Л.: Издательство Академии наук СССР. 1957.