About dmitry likhachov

Dmitry Sergeyevich Likhachov was an outstanding Russian scholar who was considered the world’s foremost expert in Old Russian language and literature. He has been called “a guardian of national culture” and “Russia’s conscience”.
The same year he graduated from the Leningrad University (1928), Likhachov was arrested for his speech criticising the Bolshevik reform of Russian orthography. Deported to the Solovki Special Purpose Camp, he spent 5 years there. Likhachov returned
To Leningrad unbroken, and started his spectacular scholarly career in the Pushkin House (as the Russian Literature Institute is known), which spanned more than 60 years and saw the publication of more than 500 scholarly works. Likhachov didn’t stop his work even during the Siege of Leningrad. He believed that Russia was an integral and indivisible part of European civilisation, contrary to “Euroasiatic” views of Russia popular with Lev Gumilev, Boris Rybakov, and many other contemporaries.
In 1953, Likhachov was admitted into the Soviet Academy of Sciences. He defended Andrei Sakharov, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and others during their hard years. In 1986, he was elected the first President of the Russian Cultural Fund. In his 80s and 90s, he became more of a public figure, serving as an informal advisor to St Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak and President Boris Yeltsin. In 1993, he became the first person to be named an Honorary Citizen of St Petersburg. He also presided over the commission set up to prepare for Alexander Pushkin’s bicentenary. A year before his death, Likhachov became the very first recipient of the reinstated Order of St Andrew. The Likhachov Philanthropic Fund was set up in 2001.



About dmitry likhachov