Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov (Евгений Максимович Примаков, born October 29, 1929) is a Russian politician and diplomat. During his long career, he served as the Russian Foreign Minister, Prime Minister of Russia, the last Speaker of the Soviet of the Union of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union, and chief of intelligence service. Primakov is an academician and a member of the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Primakov was born in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, and grew up in Tbilisi, Georgian SSR. Primakov's descent and early childhood is obscure, no reliable information is known about his father (who was possibly repressed) and there were speculations in the media that Primakov was an adopted child. He was educated at Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies, graduating in 1953 and did postgraduate work at Moscow State University. From 1956 to 1970, he worked as a journalist for Soviet radio and a Middle Eastern correspondent for Pravda newspaper. During this time, he was sent frequently on intelligence missions to the Middle East and the United States as a KGB co-optee under codename MAKSIM.
As the Senior Researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Primakov entered in 1962 the scientific society. From 30 December 1970 to 1977, he served as Deputy Director of Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the USSR Academy of Sciences. From 1977 to 1985 he was Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the USSR Academy of Sciences. During this time he was also First Deputy Chairman of the Soviet Peace Committee, a KGB foreign propaganda front organization. In 1985 he returned to theInstitute of World Economy and International Relations, serving as Director until 1989.