Russian TV presenter Igor Kirillov, who was the chief presenter of state television during Soviet times, has died at the age of 89.
For decades, Kirillov was the presenter who briefed the USSR public on major current events, including the launch of the Sputnik satellite, communist party statements, military parades in Moscow’s Red Square, and the burials of Soviet leaders at the Kremlin wall.
The news of his death has been reported by Channel One and other Russian media as well as the BBC.
The cause of death was not specified, but sources cited by Izvestia and Ren-TV said Kirillov’s health began to deteriorate in September. Reports indicated that he had suffered from thrombosis – a blood clot. Interfax reported that he was hospitalized in October.
Kirillov hosted the daily news program Vremya (Time) for more than 20 years.
Born September 14, 1932 in Moscow, Kirillov was an actor at the Moscow Drama and Comedy Theater – now Taganka Theater – from 1955 to 1957.
Later he began to work at the Shabolovsky Television Center as the deputy director of the Central Television Music Editorial Office. A few months after starting his career in television, he went on the air and won the announcer competition.
By the late 1980s, the job of a news anchor was no longer the domain of professional advertisers but of journalists. This was also true in the Soviet Union, and Kirillov was seen less and less on television.
Kirillov last received Vremya on December 30, 1989. The Soviet Union collapsed two years later.