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  • Position : Founder & CEO
  • Affiliation : PIR Center
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Orlov.Vladimir.Ru

28.12.2018

MOSCOW, DECEMBER 28. PIR PRESS NEWS. “How can people escape from a well-trodden path in their journey? It’s actually quite simple: they just need to veer off from the beaten track. Whenever I travel with companions – preferably locals – who help me on my own journeys, my recipe is to convince them that the beaten track is not for us. Ideally, our own path should lead to the deepest, darkest forest… That’s the kind of forest I like best. It’s a synonym of freedom for me.” – PIR Center Founder and Special Advisor Vladimir Orlov.

“For his great contribution to the development of international cooperation in the area of nonproliferation and arms control, I hereby award Vladimir Orlov, member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, with the Russian Foreign Ministry’s honorary medal For Contribution to International Cooperation”. The award was presented to Vladimir Orlov on October 4, 2018 – his 50th birthday – from Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov. 

“Here in the Russian Foreign Ministry, we greatly value our cooperation with you. We are grateful for your regular publications on pressing international security issues,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his own letter of congratulations. 

Russian and foreign diplomats, as well as Vladimir Orlov’s colleagues in the expert community, are full of praise for his professional achievements – which include the foundation of PIR Center. But the praises are not limited to his work in an official capacity – “while wearing a tie”, so to speak. “We have here an extraordinary person who seems to have arrived straight from the Renaissance era, when one could be a scholar and an explorer at the same time. First he travels to the farthest corners of the globe, and then he brings back with him new research, photo exhibitions, and immersive workshops where you can spend hours entranced in his stories about things that have nothing to do with the number of warheads or other such inventions,” Deputy Minister Ryabkov said about Orlov. It is in fact very difficult to imagine a spirited and creative diplomacy without such a huge part of our lives as travel.

That is why the PIR Center team has sat down with their captain to ask him about his “Life without a tie”. The interview, focusing on his journeys of our planet and his own life journey, was conducted as part of an eponymous PIR Center project.

“I have visited 70 different countries in my life,” Orlov says. “My most memorable impressions are from the Barguzin Valley in Buryatia, with its serene silence and mountains all around; the Angel Falls waterfall in Venezuela; the road from Issyk-Kul to Osh in Kyrgyzstan; the tattooed grandmothers of the Chin tribe in western Myanmar; climbing the jagged Tsingy rocks in Madagascar; the spirit of old Havana; and the lifestyle of Samoa, where Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote, “I would like to rise and go where the golden apples grow.”

“How can people escape from a well-trodden path in their journey? It’s actually quite simple:  they just need to veer off from the beaten track. Whenever I travel with companions – preferably locals – who help me on my own journeys, my recipe is to convince them that the beaten track is not for us,” Orlov says – at which point we start wondering if he means his life journey as well as his world travels.

“Ideally, I want my path to lead me to the deepest, darkest forest. That’s where my thinking is at its best, and that’s where conversations flow with the greatest ease – if there is someone to talk to, of course. A deep forest, literally a jungle. That’s the kind of forest I like and enjoy the most. A deep forest is a synonym of freedom for me.”

Vladimir Orlov didn’t make his discoveries just for his own self. He likes to share them generously with his friends and colleagues on his Facebook page. But those short Facebook stories are far too fleeting.

And that is why there is also the website orlov.vladimir.ru for those who like to get the full story of his journeys: the mountain valleys of Bhutan… the lemurs of Madagascar… the “Russian Hawaii”… the old streets of Cuba… and the vastness of Russia itself, of course.

There is a lot to discover together with Vladimir Orlov – and there is a dedicated section on his website called “Discoveries with Orlov”, where his friends share their own stories.

Type Orlov.Vladimir.Ru in your browser – come and see for yourselves! And here’s to many interesting journeys in the New Year!

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