Remembering Yuri Ryzhov

Academician Yuri Alekseevich Ryzhov (28 October 1930, Moscow – 29 July 2017) 

Academician Rizhov was a very sensible and warm personality. He has been for long time the Chair of the Russian Pugwash Committee. He represented the original spirit of Pugwash, focused on avoiding nuclear risks and promoting reciprocal understanding between Russia and the West. He was very much supporting what we can call democratic values across the boundaries. His departure saddens us, but his memory is a powerful reminder of what Pugwash was meant to be and still is meant  to be. I wish to express to his entire family and all his friends the deep condolences of the Pugwash community.

Paolo Cotta-Ramusino

Yuri Ryzhov, Russian scientist in the field dynamics, political and social activist, diplomat, Professor (1972), member of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Academician since 1987; Corresponding Member since 1981), former Russian Ambassador to France (1992-1998), Chairman of the Russian Pugwash Committee (2001-2012), and member of the Pugwash Council in 2002-2013.
In 1954 graduated from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology with a degree in Aeromechanics. While still an undergraduate he began his collaboration with TsAGI (Central Aerohydrodynamics Institute in Zhukovsky) where he conducted research on experimental and theoretical thermodynamics of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles until 1958. In 1958, following an invitation by academician Georgy Petrov, Ryzhov joins the Keldysh Research Centre (at the time known as NII-1); here his work focused on high speed aerodynamics. In 1961-1992 and since 1999 he has worked at the Moscow Aviation Institute: docent, professor, pro-rector, rector (1986-1992), head of the aerodynamics department since 2003 Yuri Ryzhov’s main works are in the fields of supersonic aerodynamics, rarefied-gas dynamics, interaction of atomic scale particles with surfaces, non-equilibrium processes in gas flows, non-stationary heat transfer.
Academician Yuri Ryzhov was prominent state and public figure during Perestroika time. He served as a Deputy of the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union (1989-92), member of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, chairman of the Supreme Soviet’s Committee for Science and Technology (1989-91). He was one of the organizers of the Inter-regional Deputies’ Group, the first legal parliamentary opposition in the Soviet Union. Senior deputy chairman of the Higher political advisory council to the Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of RSFSR (1990-91), Chairman of the Committee for Science, Technology and Education at the Soviet of the Union of the Supreme Soviet of USSR (1991); member of the Political advisory council to the President of USSR (1991), member of the President’s Advisory Council of the Russian Federation and member of the President’s Council of the Russian Federation (1992-98).

Acad.  Yuri Ryzhov was Ambassador of the Russian Federation to France since
1992 till 1998. In early 2001, after the death of Academician Vitalii Goldanskii, Acad. Yury
Ryzhov became the Chairman of the Russian Pugwash Committee and served as its head until 25 December 2012. He remained a member of the Russian Pugwash Committee until the end of his life. After his resignation Acad. Ryzhov was keenly interested in the Committee’s activity, especially in connection with the so-called “reform” of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), whose active adversary he was. In March 2017, Yuri Ryzhov, through telephone, took part in a Moscow meeting of members of the Russian Pugwash Committee with the Secretary-General of the Pugwash Conferences, Professor Paolo Cotta Ramusino, during which he expressed concern about the status of science and the scientific community in Russia.

He served as a member of the Council of the Pugwash Conferences on Science
and World Affairs in 2002-2013, and participated in several annual and be-annual Pugwash Conferences and international Pugwash workshops. Acad. Ryzhov was Chairman of the “History of World Culture” Research Council at the Russian Academy of Sciences, and member of the Public Committee for the Protection of Scientists. He was awarded by the USSR State Prize for science and technics, Zhukovsky Science Prize for achievement in aviation, Prize of the President of Russia, and by Russian Order “For Merit to the Fatherland” for services to the state and significant contribution to the implementation of Russia’s foreign policy course, as well as three Soviet orders for his scientific achievements. Acad. Ryzhov was recipient of the Medal “Defender of a Free Russia” for carrying out his civil duty while defending democracy and constitutional order on the 19-21 of August 1991, and awarded by National Order of the Legion of Honour (Grand Officier), France.