Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to award the Order for Services to the Fatherland 1st class to former TASS Director-General Vitaly Ignatenko. The decree was uploaded to the official portal of legal information on Tuesday.
Ignatenko, who led TASS for more than 20 years and currently holds the post of World Association of Russian Press President, turned 80 on Monday.
The award is for his “great contribution to implementing Russia’s foreign policy, public activity and longstanding conscientious work.”
Ignatenko was born in Sochi on April 19, 1941. In 1963, he graduated from the department of journalism of the Moscow State University. He started his journalistic career as an intern at the Young Communist League’s daily Komsomolskaya Pravda to walk up the career ladder to the daily’s deputy editor-in-chief. In the late 1980s, Ignatenko led New Times magazine. In 1990-1991, he was Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s aide and chief of his press-service.
On August 28, 1991 Ignatenko was appointed as TASS Director-General to run the agency till September 17, 2012. Alongside this in May 1995 – March 1997 he was Russia’s deputy prime minster responsible for overseeing mass media affairs.
Since 1999 Ignatenko has held the post of the World Association of Russian Press President and board chairman of the World Russian Press Foundation (WARP Foundation). Since November 2018, Ignatenko has led the Council for Public Television of Russia.
Profile of Vitaly Ignatenko
Vitaly Nikitich Ignatenko (Виталий Никитич Игнатенко) is a Russian journalist and politician who had been the head of TASS news agency from 1993 until 2012 and had served in the cabinet of Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin from 1995 to 1997 as deputy prime minister. He has also been a member of different journalism organizations and foundations promoting the Russian language and Russian-speaking press.
Graduating from Moscow State University with a degree in journalism, he worked for the Komsomolskaya Pravda and Novoye Vremya newspapers in the 1980s.
From 1990 to 1991 he served as the press secretary of Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
On June 2, 1995, Mr. Ignatenko was appointed Deputy Chairman of Government of the Russian Federation for media affairs. He worked in coordination with fellow deputy chairman Sergei Shakhrai. In 1997, during the Tajikistani Civil War, he was in contact with a local warlord to organize the release of foreign hostages.
In September 2012 Ignatenko was replaced as head of ITAR-TASS news agency.
He is also a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and President of the World Association of Russian Press.
It may be mentioned here that, editor of Blitz, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury has served as the Chief Correspondent of TASS news agency in Bangladesh for many years. During his visit to Moscow, Mr. Choudhury met the official news agency’s director general Vitaly Ignatenko.