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Shishkin Anatoly Aleksandrovich

   Born April 29th 1945 in Grodno, Belorussia, in the family of an army officer who had participated in World War II. His childhood was not free of troubles; life during that time was difficult, but the desire to learn, to acquire knowledge about the world has possessed him since the earliest years. When time came to choose a calling, he was confronted with a difficult choice: he was equally attracted to military service and history, literature and the arts. Due to a number of reasons the former was chosen. He was admitted to the Omsk Tank Technical School and graduated from it successfully, was appointed Technical Aide to the Commander of a tank company. His service took place in locations north of the Polar Circle, in Siberia, as well as in the garrisons of the Leningrad military district. Trainings, marches and studies took up much of his schedule and yet he found time to read his favourite authors, such as Alexey Tolstoy and Theodore Dreiser, he indulged in the poetry of Sergei Esenin and Eduard Asadov, studied in a musical school and was the leader of an accordion band. Anatoly Aleksandrovich is a laureate of three national contests of amateur performance groups. The desire to expand his knowledge never left A.A. Shishkin, and so he was admitted to the correspondence department of the Leningrad State Institute of Culture and graduated from it with the qualification of a stage director. He has simultaneously completed, also by correspondence, the required coursework at the Lvov Higher Military Politics School. Beginning from 1969 his entire life is tied to work in the area of cultural education, to which he dedicates all of his energy, knowledge and experience. While working as the director of the Political Authority of the Leningrad military district, he was in charge of cultural education activities in the units of the district, as well as the work of the garrisons' Officer's Houses and military museums. He has gone all the way from a student to a coloneland an aide to the director of the Military Historical Museum of Artillery, Engineering Units and the Units of Communications and Scientific Work. Since 1988 he was among the active forces of the Russian military in Afghanistan, in the cities of Kabul and Kandagar, where he has organized an exhibition for the military staff dedicated to the successes of the Russian Army and the heroic resistance of the city of Leningrad during World War II from the funds of the Military Historical Museum of Artillery. Since 1995, after retiring from the military, he has been working as the director of the State Memorial Museum of the Defense and Blockade of Leningrad. A.A. Shishkin is an accomplished figure in the cultural life of Russia, a colonel in reserve, an academician of the International Academy of Natural and Social Sciences, a member of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), a member of the Creative Union of Museum Workers of St. Petersburg and the Leningrad district. He is a proud recepient of 14 state awards, which marks his modest contribution to what he has dedicated his life to. His work in the museum brings him enornous satisfaction. The need to widen the factual knowledge on the history of the battle of Leningrad, to prepare exhibitions, to publish research articles and reports, and all this - in the name of the glorious defenders of our city - is now stronger than ever. In the harsh realities of everyday military life, his wife Valentina Andreevna, who has not parted from him in 33 years, has always remained his faithful friend and assistant. They both love to travel. Besides the fact that due to the military dislocations he has visited various regions of the former Soviet Union, his passion for travel has brought him to places from Kaliningrad to the Kamchatka, as well as to many foreign countries. Work takes up a lot of his time and energy, and yet he manages to travel and finds time for his favorite "quiet hunting" - he is an expert on places for mushroom-picking and visits those every year.

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