MOSCOW, December 27. / TASS /. Veteran Soviet and Russian journalist Alexei Bukalov, who for many years headed the TASS office in Italy, has died in Rome. He was 78 years old.
Bukalov was a heavyweight in the world of journalism and a true legend during his lifetime. He takes great credit for opening up the rather isolated world of the Vatican to Russian media. He was the first Russian journalist to accompany the popes on their foreign tours and remained a member of the Vatican press pool for more than 20 years.
He is the author of thousands of reports and stories on the politics and diplomacy of the Vatican and Italy and of a book in which he shares the memories of the meetings he had with three popes – John- Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis.
Boukalov was a recognized expert on the Vatican and Italy, the country where he spent nearly 30 years of his life. It is through his eyes that many generations of Russians have discovered Italy in his essays and films on the Apennines.
Alexei Bukalov was born in Leningrad on August 22, 1940 but lived most of his life in Moscow. He started his professional career as a diplomat. At the end of the 1980s, he embarked on journalism. In 1991, Bukalov was appointed head of the TASS office in Italy. His colleagues will be remembered above all for his dedication to his profession which he loved so much and his immense respect for his large and grateful audience. He will be forever missed and never forgotten.