MOSCOW. OCTOBER 5, 2022. PIR PRESS. «I have never had any role models. Journalism is a craft; it is knowledge of the subject you are going to write about. You have to have some background. Journalism is also about the ability to reach people. When I was still an officer, I was fortunate enough to visit military enterprises with my father, and there I got to know their general directors. When I went to the military academy, we were taught naval tactics, and we studied ship weapons systems, but it was all about iron. It was immaterial. But when I started communicating with constructors, that iron suddenly came alive to me. Once I approached the officer on the ship, I straightaway began telling the combat commander what kind of missile was in service on the ship, what it was capable of, and what it consisted of. It opened a lot of doors because even the officers were not always aware of the whole range of problems and characteristics which are inherent to this or that technical item. On balance, we ended up with an interesting conversation, which revealed a host of interesting details», — Dmitry Litovkin, a military journalist, editor-in-chief of the Independent Military Review (“Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye”).
EDITORIAL: Today, October 5, 2022, is the 40th day since Dmitry V. Litovkin, a Russian journalist specializing in political and military issues, left us. My conversation with him as a member of PIR Alumni Community for the project Open Collar took place on June 6, 2022. I remember how excited he was to answer my questions. We talked for almost two hours and time flew by as we discussed a lot of issues. We discussed his personal life, his PIR’s past, and his life interests. Journalistic experience, the principles and criteria of a professional journalist, the features of his work. Of course, we touched upon the the issue of our country, its past, present and future. We did not forget Western countries, the role of nuclear weapons and «Sarmat» factor. All in all, the conversation turned out to be fruitful. It was also a very easy and marvelous conversation. And so was Dmitry.
When I saw him at the closing ceremony of the XXI PIR Center International School on Global Security on June 25, I was sincerely surprised by the combination of his childlike ingenuousness and masculinity, by his openness and credulity. He was clear and bright. Now he is gone, but for sure his memory will be kept alive by everyone who knew him and communicated with him.
By publishing this text, we want to cherish the memory of Dmitry Litovkin; we want to thank him for his empathetic support in the journalistic pursuits of his young international relations specialism; and we want to posthumously express our admiration for his professional and personal qualities. I hope that this text will convey his mood, his views, and his rich inner world…
When Dmitry came to PIR Center, his broad smile and stubborn optimism lit a spark of mischief in our team, which is in general more used to rather monotonous work. Dmitry did not accept formalism. A firm opponent of the suit and tie, he devoted himself with his entire being to everything he was interested in, whether it was his work or hobbies, of which he had many.
He worked easily. More precisely, he seemed to work effortlessly. He could easily prepare several pieces daily for Izvestia, Krasnaya Zvezda, or Independent Military Review. His wear-and-tear work was very akin to a game. He could also organise the working process so that it turned into a series of news exchanges. This was a well-organized process in which journalism was inseparable from kind human communication.
Dima called to tell current news and asked for a comment, already knowing or prompting the answer because he was well versed in military issues. He did not value his own knowledge, but he eagerly and generously shared it with his friends and colleagues. Just ask and he would tell you the whole history of the creation of a missile and also compare it with foreign analogues.
He became a child when it came to birds, fish, motorcycles, fishing, or his other hobbies. He devoted himself with his entire being to his hobbies and did not accept half measures. His aquariums and birdcages were huge. And he did know a lot about whiskey and cigars.
Dmitry loved life, and this love was reciprocal. However, COVID struck an unexpected blow.
After his illness, his broad smile acquired notes of philosophic sadness. It was as if he looked at his own life from heaven and remained sad. The past no longer pleased him, and the future worried him.
Having left us at the age of 50, he will remain in the memory of his friends as a sincere, reliable, and bright person, who was equally open to exploits and eccentricities.