SIB was led by Solomon Lozovskii, who had substantial experience in foreign affairs as head of the ill-starred Profintern from 1921 to 1937 and deputy foreign minister to Viacheslav Molotov from 1939 to 1946.
Well before the war's end, SIB's head, Solomon Lozovskii, reflected on the importance of Central Asia to the Soviet Union's international engagement.
As Lozovskii believed, Soviet socialism in Uzbekistan could provide a model for Middle Eastern or Asian Communists.
Hence Lozovskii stressed that it would be inappropriate to produce a brochure on Soviet-Indian relations, "since we never had relations [with India], we can only wish them the speediest possible liberation from England." More appropriate, argued Lozovskii, would be brochures on relations with Iran or Turkey, both independent states.
Photographs like these did double duty, satisfying Lozovskii's original vision of the Soviet Union as a countermodel to the British Empire and United States, while simultaneously addressing the call to pursue less cosmopolitan (read: Moscow- and Leningrad-centric) subjects.
Only a few years earlier, the principle guiding Lozovskii's mission had been to portray a multiethnic, multiconfessional Soviet Union as a virtuous alternative to the British Empire or the United States.
Lozovskii's old vision of a Soviet Union struggling against the British Empire qua imperial federation and democracy had been displaced by a quest to hold the Soviet Union's gains in Eastern Europe.
On 13 January 1949, Lozovskii was called into the office of Georgii Malenkov, where he was forced to confess to anti-Soviet activity.
(80) To the Bolsheviks, it was explicitly unimportant if new party officials did not shine due to their mastery of affairs: the ECCI presidium explained that it was not vital if they knew all the "rule patterns," only that "they had at their disposal the most important qualities: revolutionary hardness, Bolshevik irreconcilability, connection with the masses." (81) Lozovskii even said: "if they arrest the municipal advisors, they will be more valuable if they are in prison.
(82) Molotov and Lozovskii ata meeting of the PS ECCI on communist parties' municipal politics, RGASPI f.
This and another case of editing by the Soviet Information Bureau were most likely the ones to which Ehrenburg referred in a letter, probably from October 1941, to Shcherbakov, Lozovskii
, and Aleksandrov: RGASPI f.