June 15 - Birthday of Alexander Gorchakov!
Perhaps, no other minister of foreign affairs in pre-revolutionary Russia is remembered in modern Russia as often as Alexander Mikhailovich Gorchakov. He took charge of the foreign policy office of the country during an extremely difficult period of time. After the defeat in the Crimean war of 1853-1856 Russia lost the status of a leading European superpower and, in fact, did not have any allies left. Gorchakov was facing a goal, which none of his predecessors had ever faced, – to find a way out of international isolation.
On June 15 we celebrate his 218th anniversary.
Gorchakov headed the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1856 when he was already almost sixty and kept that appointment during the whole period of reign of Alexander II. According to Yevgeny Primakov, during that time he was able to accomplish more than anybody else on the foreign policy arena of Russia of the 19th century. Why such an evaluation? During a quarter of the century Gorchakov experienced both diplomatic victories and obvious failures.
A full text of the article in Russian can be found here