Remembering Ivan Safronov
Gen. Vladimir Mikhailov
, Air Force chief commander.
He is one of those people who are memorable for their creative talent. It was always interesting to talk to him, both as a professional, and as a person. His death still seems absurd. It doesn't mesh with his life-affirming character. He remains talented, pure and honest in our memory.
, editor-in-chief of Kommersant
I became acquainted with Ivan, secondhand, in 1997. I was the head of the Vremya
news program then and he provided friendly consultation to out journalists. Some spaceship broke in space around then and he gave us a lead to point the finger at some Kharkov firm. Wrongly. They sued and we barely got out of it. It was humiliating. Two years later, I returned to head Kommersant
, that is, I became ex-Col. Safronov's boss. What does a soldier do in those circumstances? He either insists that he is right or slaps the door behind himself. Safronov didn't even quit. A real colonel. So I won't believe in any suicide, no matter what.
, president of the United Aircraft Building Corp.
When speaking about Ivan, words like “vivacious” and “forthright” come to mind. He was always passionate about what he did.
, head of the presidential press and information department, special correspondent in the political department of Kommersant
Ivan was able to care about everyone, which is part of the journalistic world. He was the only one who brought souvenirs back to his colleagues after international trips. He always considered himself responsible for others. It was a very positive trait, in spite of its childishness. I can't believe that he will no longer call and tell me things to keep me smiling for the whole day.
, editor-in-chief of Kommersant-Vlast
There are people in every company who form the habitat. They are the subjects of stories, they are quoted, they are the heroes of the internal news. Ivan was such a person. He was significantly older than us. He didn't write about general topics, so he was never “well-known,” but specialists knew him well. He was an important part of Kommersant
. It is hard to believe what happened. And very sad.
Gen. Col. Vladimir Popovkin
, commander of the space forces.
A true officer and talented journalist has departed this life. Because of the timeliness and incisiveness of the material he published, he was respected by his colleagues in journalism and in the army. His dedication to his work was striking. To his last day, he gave himself over to his business heart and soul. His optimism was infectious. He had great love for life and any of us could envy his energy.
, deputy editor-in chief of Russian Newsweek
, editor-in-chief of Kommersant
Everyone knew and loved Ivan from the time he started working. He was a prankster, the life of the party and a father figure to his younger colleagues in the political department. It is a grievous personal and professional loss. I never saw a career path like his before – from officer to the press service and into journalism. He was always proud of his military past, but that never led him to lie for the sake of the generals still there. “They think I sold out,” he told me once bitterly.
, president of OAO Irkut
My close friend has died. Ivan was a strong person. He couldn't have done it himself. He loved his family too much.
, editor-in-chief of Kommersant-Dengi
He was bright and audacious and always rhyming. He could rhyme every second word, without or without dirty words. You felt at ease around him. He was the life of the party. And he knew this material exhaustively.
, editor-in-chief of Kommersant Publishing House, 2005-2006.
Ivan was an amazing person. Not many career military men in our country could go against tradition the way he did. In the middle of the 1990s, when Ivan left the space service, it was the action if a wise man. It was the action of an officer who understood that speaking the truth, even when it was unpleasant, to one's country was much harder and better work. The whole time I knew him, that is what he did – he sought and found the truth.
, deputy general director and general designer, MiG.
Ivan was one of the top specialists in the military-industrial complex. Lucid, impartial and straightforward. He held his positions without regard for persons. He was the rare person who felt at home in different companies – among journalists, among army officers, among factory directors. But he always maintained his journalistic sovereignty. He was open to friendship, but no one and nothing ever interfered with his work. Unintelligent people were offended by that. Intelligent people valued it. Everybody read him.
, press secretary to the general director of OAO Almaz-Antei Air Defense.
It's barbaric and unfair when I person leaves this life at the height of his powers, as Ivan Safronov did. A real professional, full of life and creative energy. Clever conversationalist, a true friend, a loving husband and caring father. I don't want to use the word “was.”
I was recently called into the FSB for questioning. Of course, I told Ivan about it immediately. There was no one else to talk about it with. He said, “Do you know what about yet?” “No,” I answered, “but I can guess. Some publication with some state secrets.” “Blame it all on me.” “Huh?” “Say that I told you the state secrets. I know how to act with them. I even like talking to them.” He said it without a moment's hesitation.
, deputy editor-in-chief of Kommersant-Vlast
, head of the Kommersant
political department, 1997-2000.
When my deputy in the political department Ilya Bulavinov suggested hiring Ivan Safronov, I was a little intimidated. How could I, with just under a year's experience as department head, manage a lieutenant colonel from the aerospace forces who was a good ten years older than anyone else in the department? But we hired Ivan. He was big, blue-eyed, terribly polite and used funny military expressions. He was instantly one of us. He would get information from the most closed sources, and when we asked how he did it, he would smile and say, “Well, we had a drink…” He loved life very much, and I will never believe that he could die of his own will.
, deputy editor-in-chief of Kommersant
I edited hundreds of articles by Ivan in ten years. We worked well together, even though he sometimes got offended. Now I am editing my first article about Ivan, and I thought to write not a standard obituary with the standard phrases, but this “First Person” column. Ivan loved all of those official procedures, of course, but I am sure that the simple words of the people who knew him would be even more pleasant for him. It's the last thing I can do for him. I would be stupid to promise to get to the truth about what happened last Friday at 9 Nizhegorodskaya St. That may or may not be within our power. But we can try. Because Ivan did not leave on his own. He had too good a family for that. He loved his daughter Irina and son Ivan Ivanovich, Jr., too much for that. He had to much going on to do that. Don't worry over there, Ivan, we will try to get to the bottom of it.