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Anatoly Dobrynin on 23 June 1967

Anatoly Fyodorovich Dobrynin (Russian: Анатолий Фёдорович Добрынин, 16 November 1919 – 6 April 2010) was a Russian statesman and a former Soviet diplomat and politician. He was Soviet Ambassador to the United States, serving from 1962 to 1986 and most notably during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He was appointed by Nikita Khrushchev.

Early life and education

Dobrynin was born in the village of Krasnaya Gorka, near Mozhaisk in the Moscow Oblast, on 16 November 1919.[1] His father was a locksmith. He attended the Moscow Aviation Institute and after graduation went to work for the Yakovlev Design Bureau. He entered the Higher Diplomatic School in 1944 and graduated with distinction.


Dobrynin joined the Soviet diplomatic service in 1946.[1] He later joined the secretariat of the foreign ministry working for Molotov, Shepilov, Gromyko and Zorin. He was appointed deputy secretary general at the United Nations in 1957 and returned to Moscow as head of the Soviet foreign ministry's America department in 1960.[1] Dobrynin was appointed Soviet ambassador to the USA in 1962. His tenure lasted until 1986.[1]

Anatoly Dobrynin had the unique experience of serving as Soviet Ambassador to the US during the terms of six US Presidents (Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter and Reagan). The Cold War rivalry made his position one of the key elements in Soviet-US global geopolitical dialogue.

In 1971, he was selected to the Central Committee of the Communist Party (CPSU).[1] After his long term as Ambassador to the United States, he returned to Moscow in 1986, joining the Secretariat of the party and leading the international department of the CPSU Central Committee for two years. At the end of 1988, he retired from the Central Committee and served as an advisor to the Soviet Presidency.[1]

He attended the December 1989 Malta Summit that formally marked the end of the Cold War. He was given the honorary rank of Russian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in 1992.

Works and death

His book, In Confidence: Moscow's Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents, was published in 1995. (It was last reprinted in 2001 as ISBN 0-295-98081-8.)

Dobrynin died in Moscow on 6 April 2010. In a telegram to Dobrynin's family, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paid tribute to Dobrynin, stating:

«Anatoly Dobrynin, a talented and memorable figure, professional of the highest calibre and legend of Russian diplomacy has left us. His name is associated with a whole epoch in Russian and global foreign policy.

There can be no overestimating Anatoly Dobrynin’s personal contribution to resolving the Cuban missile crisis and normalising Soviet-American relations.

His outstanding abilities as a negotiator and analyst earned him the respect of both colleagues and opponents, and his goodwill, deep knowledge and wealth of life experience won him the respect and liking of everyone around him.»[2]

Honours and awards


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Dennis Kavanagh (1998). "Dobrynin, Anatolly Fedorovich". A Dictionary of Political Biography. Oxford: OUP. p. 148. Retrieved 1 September 2013. 
  2. "Dmitry Medvedev expressed his condolences over the death of diplomat Anatoly Dobrynin". Presidential Press and Information Office. 8 April 2010.,4:38. Retrieved 1 September 2011. 

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