Yuri Abramochkin (1936-2018) was born in 1936 in Moscow. He shot his first report on the Moscow Festival of Youth and Students in 1957 with a FED camera donated by his father. Then he first came to the Soviet Information Bureau with this material. In the years 1958-1960, Abramochkin studied photography at the School of Photojournalism under the Union of Journalists in Moscow, worked as a photo lab assistant. In 1961, after the Soviet Information Bureau was transformed into the Novosti Press Agency (APN, then RIA «Novosti»), he became its full-time employee. He worked in the agency most of his life.
Yuri Abramochkin was a member of a narrow circle of reporters admitted to the shooting of the first persons of the state, and his work ─ evidence of different periods of the official life of the country. He was one of the few photographers who could travel abroad and for half a century went a half-planet with a camera. Among the heroes of his work are the general secretaries of the USSR Nikita Khrushchev, Leonid Brezhnev, presidents Mikhail Gorbachev, Boris Yeltsin, Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, leaders of other countries ─ Fidel Castro, Margaret Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth II, Yasser Arafat, five American presidents from Richard Nixon to George Bush Sr. and many others. Of all the types of filming officials, he preferred «intermediate cadres,» noting that «the most successful scenes can be removed after protocol posing when everyone begins to behave naturally.» His photographs of the first USSR cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, are distinguished by the directness of his vision of the hero. Gagarin in the pictures of Yuri Abramochkin is young and smiling. He jumps with a skipping rope, basks in the sun in a funny hat and suffers from toothache. This side of Gagarin would be impossible to see in any other photographers’ pictures.
At the same time, another major theme of the works of Yuri Abramochkin is ordinary people, their daily life, which runs parallel to the ever-changing events of the era. He has repeatedly noted that he is interested in people, regardless of their status, profession, and age. He especially loved and knew how to shoot children.
Yuri Abramochkin is the holder of many honorary awards and titles. Among them, the Golden Eye Award of the international competition World Press Photo (1987) for a snapshot of the landing of Matthias Rust on Red Square. Yuri Abramochkin was a member of the Union of Journalists and the Union of Photo Artists of Russia, Honored Worker of Culture of the Russian Federation. He is one of the 15 photojournalists of Russia included in the famous American encyclopedia «Modern photographers» of the publishing house St. James Press Chicago & London.