Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Leif Kihlsten in memoriam

Yesterday, news broke that the popular Swedish Russia expert and lieutenant colonel Leif Kihlsten has passed away at the age of 66 after a period of illness. Kihlsten was an officer true to his profession, and for long served within Swedish military intelligence. He was also a frequent commentator on Russia and the CIS in Swedish media.

The news of Leif's death has struck the Swedish East European analytical community with sorrow. It is no exaggeration to say that he was very well-liked within the community. Combining humour and wit with deep knowledge about and enthusiasm for his subject, many of us have been inspired by him throughout the years. He was a true story-teller who could fascinate his audience by the most unexpected and still ingeneous parallels on phenomena within our field of study. Leif will be truly missed and his memory cherished by those of us who had the privilege of knowing him as a friend or colleague within our community.

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