the 85th year of life gone without exaggeration, a great Soviet and Russian artist, Illustrator of books for children Victor Chizhikov. Just because he invented a charming symbol of “Olympics-80” – cute smiling Misha, his name will remain forever in the history of our country and the memory of many people. “MK” talked with the widow of the painter Zinaida Chirikova and family unrelated family Marina Kameneva.

With his wife Zinaida Sergeyevna, the artist lived for 56 years, they were married in 1964. “We went to school together, they went and graduated from the polygraph Institute, first fled to different companies, and then life brought us back together,” he shared with us Zinaida Chizhikova.

– left Viktor?

He was 84 years old, and he had accumulated diseases, and from them, and tired, – said the “MK” Zinaida Sergeevna. – He has somehow got sick and draw…He’s just tired, especially in this, such a hard year. He was forced to sit at home and broke his whole life. In addition, passed away all of his favorite friends. He was very upset because of this, he was very sad. It can understand the man who left with good people, but with a different generation. Affected and the General changes in our life: besides health, we, seniors, are going through, because in many respects do not agree with the life of the young generation, not everything new we perceive. I felt that his recent interest in everything that surrounds us is gone. Still this isolation of coronavirus, when was impossible to go out…He started coughing for a long time, we went to doctors, but they walked around on the surface. As a result, all brought to such a crisis. He was in the hospital, which is now not allowed any relatives, anyone, and for bedridden patients is very bad, they’re abandoned, neglected…Brought him home from the hospital, and yesterday it got worse, and the ambulance took him back to the hospital with the words: “you Must save him!”.

But could not be saved…But that’s not the heart. The diagnosis is not delivered. First said it was a minor stroke, then found some kind of shadow in the lung suspected cancer. Then one doctor said he had pneumonia. And pneumonia provoked something like a stroke. Although the paralysis he had. But he began to fade, lost normal breathing. Yes, he had two heart attacks, a stent was…but that’s not the heart. I have not yet received the conclusion on his hands.

– What was he? Although I understand, in a nutshell, the person with whom you have lived all your life, you do not say…

He was a child. I have always said that I have two sons, our son who died at age 44, he was the youngest child and the husband was my oldest child. And when the son grew up he too was the same, to��to his father: open the soul wide open, enthusiastic, friendly…And very gullible. And such people are very upset when their credulity is used. He could not understand: how is it with an open mind, I wanted to help the cause, helped… Me, he said, do not expect gratitude from people, but I want them dirty tricks did not. He was very sociable, loved friends, in his youth loved feast. He had three best friends, they had a Quartet, and they gradually, one by one left, and he was left alone, stay on this sinful earth.

It is only in the past year, have ceased to draw. Last year, Marina Kameneva, our family friend, empty cottage where we could live for some time. And this time he did his last book.

Says Marina Kamenev, honored worker of culture of Russia, Director of the bookstore “Moscow”:

– This is a huge loss not only for me for all his family and friends, but for the whole country. Because it is a great Russian Illustrator who has created illustrations for books almost all well-known children’s writers: Agnes Barto and Sergei Mikhalkov, and the assumption…I believe many people know him since childhood. Until his last days he worked, was popular, many publishers have released books with his illustrations. Well, of course, many remember and know as the author of the Olympic Bear. In September, he would have been 85 years old, had not lived.

– You knew him for many years, what was he?

– he is an extremely kind, selfless, and Bear like him…In his heart he to the end of life remained a child. Just like him, bright and wonderful person could create such a wonderfully kind and charming image of the Bear. Sorry, I can’t talk a lot, it’s hard for me. And now we’re busy planning a farewell with him, drawing up the lists of who’s coming to say goodbye.

Farewell to Victor A. Chizhikova will be held on Thursday, July 23, at the Botkin hospital morgue, with 10 hours. He will be buried at Vostryakovskoye cemetery, where the grave of their only wrong son.