Anatoly Fedorovich Dobrynin

(b. 1919)

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Mikhail Sergeevich Gorbachev (b. 1931) Soviet statesman, General Secretary of the Communist Party of the USSR 1985–91 and President 1988–91


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(b. Kranaya Gorka, 16 Nov. 1919; d Moscow, 6 Apr. 2010)

Russian; Soviet ambassador to the United States 1962–86 Dobrynin joined the Soviet diplomatic corps in 1946 and his first posting abroad was to the UN secretariat, where he worked from 1957 to 1960. From February 1960 to December 1961 he was head of the American Department of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There followed a post as Soviet ambassador to the United States, where he remained until 1986. Dobrynin played an important role in the Cuban Missile Crisis. His abilities were recognized by the Soviet leadership, which made him a candidate member of the Politburo in 1966, and full member in 1971. Dobrynin's career continued to prosper after 1985 under Gorbachev. In 1986 he played a pivotal role in the formulation of Soviet foreign policy when he was made secretary of the International Department of the Central Committee. This was the first time that Dobrynin had served in the party apparatus, and his appointment represented the relatively low priority which Gorbachev placed on ideology in foreign policy. Dobrynin retired from the Central Committee at the end of 1988, but continued as adviser to the presidency until 1991.

Subjects: Politics.

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