Russia and Britain – Allies in crisis

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Russia and Britain – Allies in crisis

Russian_poster_WWI_043.jpg

After nearly a century of opposition in international affairs, the Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 marked the beginning of reconciliation between Great Britain and Russia. This was facilitated by mutual links with France, and led to the formation of the Triple Entente. Here, the foundations for the allegiances which would shape the First World War were laid. This relationship would be severely strained over the coming years, eventually coming to an end with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917. But the course of true diplomatic love never did run smooth between these two great powers.

In the years leading up to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the Russian government was tying itself in knots over Britain’s continued supply of naval equipment to Turkey, the Ottoman enemy in Eastern Europe. Their own naval forces were restricted due to their inability to import warships into the Black Sea and the inferiority of Russian-made ships. Much diplomatic palaver occurred on both sides until May 1914 when the Foreign Minister Sazonov finally demanded why Britain seemed intent on sabotaging their position in the Straits. The First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill was away for most of May, and then refused to intervene with private business anyway. These fruitless negotiations on the topic of naval capacities alarmed German intelligence, fearing a naval alliance. With  tensions in Europe almost at boiling point, the German press hysteria surrounding this imagined threat increased fear of the great power of Russia.

With tensions simmering on the continent, it only took one act to spark a chain reaction volatile enough to escalate an altercation between Austria-Hungary and Serbia into a global conflict. Britain’s involvement in the war – although arguably inevitable – can be linked to its ties with Russia. The series of events was (roughly speaking): Austria-Hungary provided Serbia with an ultimatum; Russia entered the war supporting Serbia; France was obliged to support Russia; Germany was obliged to support Austria-Hungary; Germany declared war on France and Russia; Germany violated Belgian neutrality en route to invading France, ultimately drawing Britain into the conflict. The Anglo-Russian alliance was to be tested in the fires of international war. The British and French willingly made concessions to ensure Russia remained in the war; most notably, Russia’s aims changed in 1915 after the Ottoman Empire threw its proverbial hat into the ring. It now set its sights on Constantinople, the heart of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Of course, this came with concessions on the Russian side – Russia would concede Persia, previously declared a neutral buffer zone, to Britain.

As the war progressed, Russia’s fortunes took a downward turn and became increasingly reliant on loans from its allies and its people. Unsurprisingly, both were becoming disgruntled with the way the tide was turning. As the Central Powers started to make ground on the Eastern Front, the Allied governments were increasingly concerned. Opinion in Russia turned on its ruling family after Tsar Nicholas II failed to successfully lead his troops to victory and left the ineffective (and German) Tsarina Alexandra to govern in his place. A seemingly unwinnable war effort, mass inflation, famine, an unpopular Tsar, his more unpopular Tsarina and attempts to repress the masses all culminated to provide a fertile ground for unrest. Ultimately, this all led to an event which – apart from changing the course of Russian and European history – would pave the way for the downward spiral of Anglo-Russian relations.

The February Revolution of 1917 was not welcome news to Allied ears, particularly due to the closely linked families of the King and the Tsar. Despite the unrest, none had predicted such a dramatic upheaval. Nonetheless, Britain recognised the newly-instated Provisional Government after a few days. Though they were committed to the war, a Russian commander hinted that the other powers should reconsider strategy as Russia was in no state to launch a serious offensive. However, a note was sent a month later reassuring that they would not seek a separate peace treaty. The morale of British policy-makers plummeted as they heard of the increasingly chaotic and deteriorating situation within Russia. Russia’s defection or exit would be catastrophic for the Allies, and its compromised state already jeopardised any chance of a victory against the Turks or Austrians. The Provisional Government made a grave mistake remaining in the war; the country and its people were war-weary to the point of unrest. Furthermore, they were unable to fulfil any of the promises of the February Revolution while they remained in the war. Their mandate to rule was flimsy, and the continued war to please foreign allies did not please the people they claimed to represent. Ultimately, the Provisional Government was unable to withstand the pressures of ruling the tumultuous country and maintaining a war it was incapable of winning. It is thus no surprise that the October Revolution saw the swift change of power to Lenin and the Bolsheviks.

If the British government had thought the February Revolution was bad, this latest development was a veritable disaster. Though there were German forces in Russian territory and they would lose considerable financial support from their allies, the Bolshevik leadership were hasty to exit the war. Not only did they need to secure their own authority internally, but they were ideologically opposed to the colonial imperialism which the Allies embodied. This led to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918 between the newly formed Soviet government and the Central Powers, who were now free to concentrate their efforts on the Western Front. This was a huge blow to the Allies; the Eastern Front was lost, as was Russia’s vast manpower and resources. Until the end of the war, the Allies’ greatest concern was that Russia – and these assets – should not fall to the Germans. But by now, Russia was in a state of civil war.

Talks began between the Allied nations about intervention in Russia. The British wished to send Japanese and other Allied troops to Russia, nominally to support the Czech Legion already stationed there and to counter any German initiatives. President Woodrow Wilson suspected the British wanted to crush the revolution and re-establish a pro-Tsarist, pro-Allied regime but gave his reluctant consent for limited action. Ultimately, the British and French could not divert many troops from the Western Front, so a primarily Japanese force arrived in Vladivostok in August 1918. The Japanese remained principally on the Pacific Coast, so later the Americans deployed troops to rescue the Czechoslovaks and the British sent troops to Siberia in October, though they both played a minimal role in active conflict.

Following the end of the First World War, the Russian Civil War raged on. This was a great concern for Britain; none of Europe’s leaders welcomed the prospect of a successful popular revolution, as any copycat uprisings would fall on the fertile ground of post-war disorder. Thus, despite the threat of Russia falling to the Central Powers no longer a concern, foreign involvement continued.  The British had the added concern of a Bolshevik spread eastwards posing a threat to their precious Empire, particularly Persia and India. The British, alongside other world powers, supported the various White armies. Attacks and strategies between these armies were badly coordinated and foreign powers were only willing to lend support when presented with demonstrable White successes. During the period of intervention, Britain sent fleets to Murmansk and Archangel in the north – referred to as the North Russian Intervention – and the Caucasus in the south, with some small number of troops still supporting the Czech Legion. Military action in Russia became increasingly unpopular in Britain, with domestic and international war fatigue mounting. Their support in the form of equipment and troops was barely making a dent against the Bolsheviks and there were more pressing matters closer to home. The decision to withdraw all troops from Russia was taken at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

The events of the First World War and the Civil War did much to support the creation of the independent Soviet identity propagated later in the 1920s.  There was abundant evidence of ‘capitalist imperialist’ attempts to destroy Communism for the Party to claim they were under constant threat from scheming capitalists; Stalin referred to the events of the Civil War as the three Entente Campaigns (три похода Антанты). What is more, they used Allied intervention to explain the lengthy duration of the combat, thus putting the blame for the Russian people’s suffering squarely on the foreign enemies of the state, rather than the Bolsheviks. Thus ended Russia’s friendly – albeit shaky – relations with Britain, making way for a period of suspicion and tension in international relations that was by no means exclusive to Britain and the USSR.

 

By Katrina Eastgate

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How Rock’n’Roll Bridged The Iron Curtain

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How Rock’n’Roll Bridged The Iron Curtain

Venus – Shocking Blue (Shizgarah) 1970

Though our generation will probably recognise this song from the Venus razor adverts, this iconic hit holds a significantly higher value for the youth of 1970s Russia. It was originally by the Dutch group Shocking Blue and was later covered by Banarama – the version used in the adverts. The original was immensely popular in Russia in the unofficial underground music scene. For a youth desperately trying to access the forbidden rock music of the West, Venus almost became an anthem for an entire generation, inspiring covers from anyone who had a guitar. The name became distorted in Russian; it’s most commonly known as ‘Shizgarah’ (шизгара), from the catchy chorus line “She’s got it”. The song is so closely associated with the underground music scene that writer Sergei Soloukh named his collection of stories featuring characters of that era after the song. There have been multiple covers and variants, such as Alexandr Pushnoi’s “Nirvenus” – a combination of Venus and Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit.

The Beatles

Safe to say, this one is more popular in Britain and across the world. However, The Beatles really struck a chord in Russia. Something about the Fab Four chimed in with the feelings of youth across the globe, even penetrating the Iron Curtain. There is some debate over the authorities’ attitudes towards Beatlemania, with some accounts of arrests for having the Beatles ‘mop-top’ haircut, but the extent of the ‘persecution’ Beatles fans faced is unclear. Many consider the invasion of the Beatles to be the beginning of a watershed for the arrival of Western rock’n’roll in the USSR. This paved the way for names such as The Doors, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to explode onto the Soviet rock scene, fuelling a counterculture movement. The Soviet record company Melodiia eventually released ‘Girl’ by the Beatles – without copyright permission from the record company. It was released alongside ‘[I Can’t Get No] Satisfaction’ by the Rolling Stones in what was marketed as a compilation of English people’s songs, attributed to ‘vocal and instrumental ensemble (England)’ in order to avoid giving any group names. Few Beatles records were available legitimately, so fans resorted to magnitizdat (copying records onto x-rays). Others smuggled them in, often from Yugoslavia which bridged the gap between the East and West. The documentary How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin and the subsequent book of the same name make a convincing argument for the destructive impact the Beatles had on the USSR’s failing culture and society.

Boney M

Formed in West Germany with a mostly Caribbean line-up, Boney M was another English-language band that found a huge fanbase in Soviet Russia. The group is still popular now across much of Russia, and the living members continue to tour there (though rarely in Moscow or St Petersburg) – giving public performances but also private shows at conferences, parties and the like. Boney M were uniquely lucky, as their music was approved for sale in the USSR by the Soviet authorities. They were invited to the USSR for a promotional visit and concert in 1978 – one of very few artists to be accorded such an honour. The authorities did not allow Boney M to play their smash hit “Rasputin”. It is often presumed that this was due to its allusions to Russian history and the dubious figure of Rasputin. However, it was actually due to the fact that the lyrics were too sexually suggestive – “lover of the Russian Queen” and “Russia’s greatest love machine” being deemed inappropriate. Their unique position as Western music permitted by the authorities gave them enormous appeal to the masses, who saw them as symbols of Western culture and freedom.

Elton John

The famously flamboyant and proudly gay artist may not be the first pop superstar you’d expect to be popular in traditionally conservative Russia, but the singer has a surprising connection with Russia and the Russian people. Like Boney M, he was permitted to perform there in 1979 on his “To Russia… With Elton” tour, amidst Cold War tensions (you can watch most of it on Youtube). It was actually his distinctive difference which made him appeal to the Russian public; unlike similar traditionally reserved countries, some consider that Russians relish this departure from the prescriptive norm. This contributed to the sense of rebellion which made rock’n’roll so appealing to teenagers, both in the Soviet Union and in the West. This link to the country may help explain the bizarre news stories from last year about the Russian radio presenters who prank called Elton John pretending to be Putin and his subsequent invitation to discuss gay rights in Russia with the President. 

By Katrina Eastgate

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Britain and the Last Romanovs

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Britain and the Last Romanovs

At the beginning of the 20th century, most of the European royal dynasties were related to each other through intermarriage. Although Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna's marriage to Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh was the only instance of a Romanov marrying into the British family, the Russian imperial family and the British royal family were also connected through their German and Danish relatives. While blood relations didn't guarantee close political relations between nations, the geopolitical situation of the time was favourable for close Anglo-Russian relations, which would subsequently have profound consequences on the Russian state and its imperial family.

For most of the 19th century Britain and Russia were rivals in what became known as the 'Great Game.' The territorial expansion of both empires began to cause friction in regions such as the Pacific and Central Asia. Britain went to war in Crimea alongside France and Sardinia as protectors of the Ottoman Empire against Russian aggression. In 1867 Russia sold Alaska to the United States in order to prevent it from being captured by Britain. In the 1870s-80s Britain was fearful that Russia's expansion into Central Asia would threaten British rule in India. Although the European powers co-operated in suppressing the Boxer Rebellion in China (1899-1900), by the turn of the century Russia's increased influence in East Asia was cause for alarm in Whitehall.

Despite these and other differences, there were signs that a rapprochement was imminent. Shortly before he died, Tsar Alexander III concluded an alliance with France in 1894.  France had been Britain's ally since the end of the Napoleonic Wars and despite tensions over imperial expansion, the two countries would sign the Entente Cordiale in 1904. Russia's defeat against Japan (a British ally) during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05 demonstrated to the British government that the Russian threat was not as great as initially feared. In 1907 the Anglo-Russian Entente was signed, completing the triangular alliance known to history as the Triple Entente. 

In 1894, shortly after his accession to the throne, Tsar Nicholas II married Princess Alix of Hesse, who became Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna. Alix was said to have been Queen Victoria's favourite granddaughter and spent much of her childhood in her care. For the occasion Victoria appointed Nicholas colonel-in-chief of the Royal Scots Greys. In 1896 Nicholas and Alexandra visited Scotland and met Victoria at Balmoral, where he made a positive impression on the British Queen. She noted that the Tsar conducted himself as an English gentleman, and his command of the English language was almost faultless.

Nicholas and Alexandra in Balmoral with Queen Victoria

Nicholas and Alexandra in Balmoral with Queen Victoria

 

After Victoria's death in 1901, her eldest son Bertie came to the throne as King Edward VII. Queen Alexandra, Edward's consort, was the sister of Nicholas's mother, Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna. In 1909 Nicholas and his family attended the Cowes regatta at the Isle of Wight where they were received warmly by King Edward. When Edward died the following year, representatives from all the European royal families gathered at his funeral. This was the last time the extended European royal family met before the outbreak of the First World War. The beginning of the 20th century was a period of political turmoil in Europe but especially in Russia, where in 1905 a series of revolutions threatened to depose the Tsar and forced Nicholas to make major concessions. The fate of the Romanov empire was not helped when it was clear that the heir to the throne, Tsesarevich Alexei Nikolaevich, suffered from haemophilia and risked dying at any point. This hereditary disease was introduced to the European royal families by Queen Victoria herself. The Tsarina turned to the mystic Grigory Rasputin, who seemed able to work miracles and save Alexei's life when it was in danger. Although Rasputin's political influence was not as great as most historians imagine, his association with Nicholas and Alexandra served to discredit them in the eyes of their subjects. 

Upon Edward VII's death his son George V (i.e. the Russian Tsar's cousin) became the British King. King George and Tsar Nicholas had a close relationship since childhood and shared remarkable physical similarities during middle age. Britain believed in the need to contain the imperial ambitions of Germany, while Russia was insistent on preventing Germany's ally Austria-Hungary from interfering in the affairs of its client states in the Balkans. These were some of the circumstances which led to the outbreak of WWI, which was to engulf all the major European powers in a four-year conflict.

Striking resemblance between King and Tsar

Striking resemblance between King and Tsar

The early setbacks suffered by the Russian army at Tannenburg and the Masurian Lakes were not an encouraging sign for the Triple Entente. Nevertheless, the Russian army was able to score significant successes on its southern front against the Ottoman Empire. The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 was designed to allow troops of the British Empire to land in Turkey and join Russia in defeating the Ottomans, before directing their forces against Austria-Hungary and Germany from the east. The failure of this effort meant that the Russian army was usually on its own in the eastern and southern fronts, simultaneously fighting German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman armies. The Royal Navy provided supplies for Russia's army and civilian population to alleviate the dire economic situation in Russia, but the Russian Empire lacked the infrastructure to distribute these resources effectively from the port of Archangelsk.

The February Revolution of 1917 and Tsar Nicholas's abdication troubled the crowned heads of Europe, even those who were fighting against the Russians. Under the Provisional Government Nicholas and his family were initially placed under house arrest at the Alexander Palace, before being evacuated to Tobolsk in Siberia for their security. After the October Revolution, the new Bolshevik government sent the former imperial family to Ekaterinburg, where they were eventually executed in July 1918. At every stage of the process there were opportunities for British agents to smuggle the Romanovs out of Russia and to escort them to safety in Britain.

The failure to do so results from a combination of factors. Neither the British government nor the Romanovs themselves appreciated the danger they were in – given the volatile political situation during the Russian Civil War, their fate was by no means certain. Even the Bolsheviks couldn't agree on what to do with them, and while Nicholas and Alexandra suspected that they might be executed by the Communist authorities, no-one expected their children would be killed. Furthermore, the British were not too keen to offer asylum to the ex-tsar's family. While he initially offered his cousin asylum, King George became afraid of the potential for political upheaval at home and the negative reaction Nicholas (who had the reputation of a tyrant) would create for the British monarchy. By the time George changed his mind and realised the extent of the danger to Nicholas's life, authorising covert operations to rescue the Romanovs, it was too late to mobilise the resources for a successful evacuation. The final pages of Nicholas and Alexandra's diaries bear witness to an evacuation plan.

George V regretted his failure to save 'cousin's Nicky' for the rest of his life. In 1919 the British battleship HMS Marlborough arrived in Crimea and evacuated most of the surviving members of the imperial family, including Dowager Empress Maria Fyodorovna and Nicholas's younger sister Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (the late Tsar's youngest sister Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna was evacuated later). Grand Duchess Xenia lived in England for the rest of her life, receiving from her British royal cousins a small stipend and a modest grace-and-favour apartment at Hampton Court Palace, where she died in 1960. Her grandddaughter Princess Olga Andreevna Romanoff lives at Faversham House in Kent. 

Photo-card of HMS Marlborough, autographed by the Imperial passengers

Photo-card of HMS Marlborough, autographed by the Imperial passengers

  By Jimmy Chen

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Peter the Great in England

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Peter the Great in England

In 1697 and 1698, the young Tsar Peter I of Russia embarked on a Grand Embassy across Europe. As the name suggests, this was primarily a diplomatic mission, with Peter looking for allies to join him in a war against the Ottoman Empire. This was the first time a Russian tsar had visited western Europe. Peter assumed the name Peter Mikhailov, but his true identity was never in doubt. The reason of this was to avoid the ceremony that would usually accompany state visits.

Over the course of the embassy Peter was interested in learning from western European technologies. He was keen to acquire the technical skills himself, which he could later teach to his subjects. In August 1697 he visited the United Provinces (The Netherlands), where he spent four months working as a shipbuilder. At the invitation of William of Orange, the Dutch Stadtholder, Peter was invited to England, over which William also ruled as King William III.  

In January Peter and part of his entourage arrived in London, where they first stayed at the Strand in central London, before moving closer to the docks in Deptford. Peter stayed at Sayes Court, which was owned by the diarist John Evelyn. By all accounts, Peter and his friends did not treat the property well. Peter was fascinated by the wheelbarrow (a device unknown in Russia) and would have his courtiers push him in the wheelbarrow into Evelyn's precious garden hedges. The walls and floors were covered in mud and grease, and more than a dozen paintings damaged. After Peter's departure Evelyn claimed for compensation from the government. He eventually received £350, a considerable sum for the time. 

Peter's visit to England did not solely consist of trashing his lodgings, though these activities did seem to take up considerable time. In Deptford he observed the shipbuilding activities in the royal shipyards, often joining in with the work. Statues in Amsterdam and St Petersburg (outside the Admiralty) depict Peter working as a ship's carpenter. Related to his interest in naval and military affairs, Peter was given access to the arsenal at Woolwich and invited to review the fleet at Portsmouth.

At the Royal Observatory Peter met Sir John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal.  Reported meetings with such luminaries as Edmund Halley, Isaac Newton and Sir Christopher Wren are most likely to be apocryphal. Peter did visit the Royal Mint in the Tower of London, where Newton served as Warden of the Mint before being appointed to Master in 1699. 

Upon his departure from England, Peter received a gift from William III in the form of the Royal Transport. Designed to carry important persons across the North Sea between England and the Netherlands, the vessel was one of the most modern in the king's fleet. The ship's ornamentation was further embellished before being presented to the tsar. Peter was overjoyed at the gift, though a diplomatic alliance with England was not forthcoming.

Peter's three month visit to England is commemorated in a bizarre sculptural ensemble in Deptford, unveiled by Prince Michael of Kent in 2001. Designed by Mikhail Shemyakhin (also responsible for a seated statue of Peter in the grounds of the Peter and Paul Fortress in St Petersburg, in which the tsar is depicted with a tiny head), the towering figure of the tsar stands in a tricorn hat between an empty throne and a dwarf. The English inscription reads: 

Russian Czar, Peter the Great, arrived in England in January 1698 and stayed in Sir John Evelyn's house, Sayes Court in Deptford for four months.  This monument is erected near the royal shipyard where Peter the Great studied the English science of shipbuilding.  The monument is a gift from the Russian people and commemorates the visit of Peter the Great to this country in search of knowledge and experience.

By 'official' standards, Peter's Grand Embassy was a failure. None of the European powers were willing to join him in an alliance against Turkey – they were more concerned about the fate of the Spanish throne (the Spanish War of Succession involved the major European powers and lasted from 1700 to 1714). In Dresden Peter met with Saxon Elector Augustus the Strong, who was also King of Poland as August II. The two became lifelong friends but their efforts were eventually directed against Sweden rather than Turkey.

Nevertheless, Peter's Grand Embassy was a great success at an informal level. Not only did he manage to bring a handful of skilled craftsmen and technical experts back to Russia with him, Peter acquired extensive knowledge himself and soon implemented what he had learnt in Russia. The layout of Peter's new capital of St Petersburg was inspired by his experience of London and Amsterdam, while the fleet he created in the Baltic was greatly influenced by the knowledge of maritime affairs he acquired in England and Holland.

By Jimmy Chen

Images: Robert Scarth [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Paul Delaroche [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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British perspectives on Catherine the Great

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British perspectives on Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great is usually regarded as one of Russia's greatest ever rulers. Over the course of her 34 year reign, Catherine presided over the golden age of the Russian nobility, when the arts and learning flourished through the support of aristocratic patrons. Catherine was admired by and corresponded with Voltaire and Diderot, the brightest stars of the French Enlightenment. However, Catherine had promised much more and by the end of her reign there was a sense of disappointment that the empress had turned her back on much of her earlier reforms. This impression is reflected in the contemporary British responses to Catherine and her empire.

An overwhelming majority of British publications of the mid-18th century cast a negative light on the Russian people. Russians were described as 'brutal and ignorant' and animated by 'fondness for strong liquors', more Asiatic than European, with no culture of their own. Catherine's accession to the throne in 1762 caused some British observers to be optimistic about Russia's prospects. In 1767 Catherine issued the Nakaz, or Instruction, a list of guiding principles to the legislative commission which she set up to establish a new law code for the Russian empire. The following year an English translation by the Russian aristocrat Mikhail Tatishchev appeared in London. The author remarked that his manuscript 'was honoured with the kindest reception by a great number of persons of the most distinguished rank in this nation.' 

The empress' openness to innovation in science was demonstrated by her willingness to have herself and her son inoculated against smallpox in 1769. This procedure was carried out by Sir Thomas Dimsdale, a British surgeon from Hertfordshire, who received a handsome payment from Catherine following the successful operation. Many Russian nobles were skeptical and feared for the empress' and the tsarevich's life. When demonstrated that there was no adverse effect, Catherine's courtiers were lining up to receive Dimsdale's treatment. This episode demonstrated the symbolic power of the empress in her court. 

Catherine considered herself a patron of the arts and sought to promote this image around Europe. She commissioned paintings from Sir Joshua Reynolds and the dinner services from Josiah Wedgwood. The Green Frog Service produced by Wedgwood's factory remains on display in the Hermitage collection. In 1779 Catherine bought the art collection of Sir Robert Walpole (Britain's first Prime Minister) from his grandson, the 3rd Earl of Oxford. Many of these paintings are still owned by the Hermitage and displayed in its galleries. The sale caused consternation among the British elite, which lamented the loss of so many artistic treasures to Russia. A few years earlier the great British actor David Garrick had written to Princess Dashkova (one of the empress' closest confidants) during her visit to England, 'I fear what one of our own poets once prophesied will come to pass – "Russia shall teach the arts to Britain's isle."'

By 1780, British attitudes towards Catherine began a downward trajectory. She began to flex her diplomatic muscles and established the League of Armed Neutrality to prevent the Royal Navy from searching neutral vessels for French contraband during the American Revolutionary War. She continued to have some advocates in Britain, mainly those who believed that the cause of the American revolutionaries was just and it was not in Britain's interests to prevent the Thirteen Colonies from breaking away. There were even poems published in London celebrating Catherine as the defender of liberty.

One of the most important British admirers of Catherine was the utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham. He was well-acquainted with the small Russian community in London and worked on proposal to help Catherine implement the principles of the Nakaz, which he would eventually send to the empress. This work was abandoned as Bentham realised that Catherine was turning her back on her early liberalism, but he was still keen to visit Russia and request an audience, hoping to make use of his younger brother Samuel (who had been in Petersburg since 1780) and his Russian acquaintances. In the event, Jeremy ended up in the village of Krichev in modern day Belarus with his brother. The village was part of Prince Potemkin's vast estates and the prince hoped that the Benthams could implement British agricultural practices to make the land more profitable. In 1787 Potemkin sold his estates in exchange for land in Poland. The project was abandoned and Jeremy returned to England in disappointment.

By the end of the 1780s, Russia's territorial conquests at the expense of the Turks in the south and Poland in the west caused anxiety in Whitehall. In 1788 the British government encouraged Sweden to go to war against Russia in an attempt to clip Catherine's wings. By 1790, war with Russia became a real possibility. William Pitt's Tory government threatened war if Catherine didn't relinquish control of the fortress of Ochakov to the Turks. That war was avoided was due largely to political intrigues and the role of the liberal opposition led by Charles James Fox. In the House of Commons, Fox spoke in defence of Catherine's conquests and dismissed the idea that Russia could ever be a threat to British interests. Fox was supported by Count Semyon Vorontsov, the Russian ambassador in London. Vorontsov contributed information to a 1791 pamphlet titled Serious Enquires into the Motives and consequences of Our Present Armament Against Russia. It stressed the important commercial links between the two countries: 'Our vessels which sail so fast, and whose excellent rigging resists the most violent tempests, have their sails and cordage from the hemp of Russia.' In recognition of Fox's efforts, Catherine ordered his bust to be made and placed between those of Cicero and Demosthenes.

By the following year the international political climate had changed, when the French revolutionary regime executed King Louis XVI. Catherine began to fear revolution in her own empire and joined the anti-French coalition. Catherine promised 40,000 Russian soldiers to support the war effort. The British press mocked her for her reticence in sending the troops since she was 'so busied in plundering and enslaving Poland.' General Suvorov was described by British journalists as the butcher of Praga (Warsaw's eastern district beyond the Vistula). In the final years of Catherine's reign, Russia and Britain found themselves in an uneasy alliance. Unfounded rumours of Catherine's death filled the pages of newspapers in such a way that it seemed as though the British elites were hoping to accelerate Catherine's demise by force of will.

When the empress finally died in 1796, British observers were optimistic in pursuing more stable diplomatic relations with Russia (this hope soon turned out to be in vain). Nevertheless, in writing Catherine's obituaries commentators finally had the opportunity to assess her reign. They concluded that Catherine had accomplished many great deeds and improved the livelihoods of her people, but by the end of her reign was far more interested in her own prestige and honour in the European stage. Nevertheless, the very fact that Russia became an important subject for political debate in Britain for the first time during Catherine's reign spoke volumes about the growing power and influence of the Russian empire under her rule. By virtue of placing Russia permanently on the European diplomatic map, Catherine's greatness in the history books is assured.   

 

By Jimmy Chen

 

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The Conferences on Film

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The Conferences on Film

Tehran, Yalta & Potsdam. What was discussed and what did it mean for relations?
 

Tehran

The Tehran Conference was held from Novermber 28th to December 1st 1943, at the Soviet Embassy in Iran. It was the first time the “Big Three” of Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt had all met together.  The main topic of discussion was the opening of a second front in western Europe, to help ease the pressure on the soviet troops fighting in the east. This was agreed along with a confirmation that the Soviet Union would join the war against Japan after the defeat of Germany

British Pathe

Yalta

The Yalta Conference was held between the 4th and 11th February 1945. The powers agreed that following the unconditional surrender of Germany, it should be split into four zones, although Stalin maintained that the French zone would have to be made out of the British and American Zones. The conditions under which the Soviet Union would enter the war against Japan were discussed and it was agreed that, in exchange Soviet participation, they would be given a sphere of influence in Manchuria after its defeat. It was also decided that free elections would take place in Eastern Europe and Stalin was invited to participate in the United Nations Russia was invited to join the United Nations. He requested that each of the 16 Soviet States should be granted membership, however only Ukraine and Byelorussia were given.

British Pathe

 

Potsdam

At the Potsdam Conference in July 1945 there was a change of personnel. Stalin discussed post war Europe with Atlee and Truman. Tensions were high as they argued over the details of the boundaries between the zones. It was here that the decision was made that America would get the zone with very little economic benefit, which would later lead to the creation of Bizonia- an action that affirmed the division between the Soviet Union and the Western powers. There was also debate on the amount of reparations the Soviet Union was allowed to extract from their zone. Moreover, western powers were concerned about the spread of communist power in Eastern Europe, and, mistrust grew as Truman refused to tell Stalin about the atombic bomb which the USA had successfully tested by this point. 

 

Wame Su Youtube
Год выпуска: 1945
Страна: СССР
Производство: ЦСДФ
Режиссер: Илья Копалин

By The Russian Student

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Britain's First Contacts with Russia

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Britain's First Contacts with Russia

Edward Bonadventura, wiki commons

Edward Bonadventura, wiki commons

In 1553 King Edward VI of England sent three ships on an expedition to China. The ships were to sail north around Norway, in an attempt to locate a fabled northeastern passage to the Orient. The Spanish and Portuguese had secured the southern trading routes, thus obliging the English to look for another path. The commander of the expedition was a courtier named Sir Hugh Willoughby, a relative of the Duke of Northumberland, who was head of the King's Regency Council. Willoughby's second-in-command was Richard Chancellor, a man of learning who had some experience in navigation.

The Bona Esperanza, Bona Confidentia, and Edward Bonadventura set sail on 11 May from Deptford. After three months' voyaging, the Esperanza (with Willoughby on board) and Confidentia sighted land at Novaya Zemlya. The crew intended to head eastwards but weather conditions forced them to land on the Kola Peninsula on 23 August, in the region of modern day Murmansk. Willoughby hoped for a change of wind that would allow him to continue his journey. Instead, winter came and heavy snow and frost prevented further progress. Attempts to locate local fishermen were in vain, since they retreated inland during the winter months. Over the course of the coming months the entire crew of the two ships perished in the dark cold northern Russian winter.

Death of Sir Hugh Willoughby, wiki commons

Death of Sir Hugh Willoughby, wiki commons

The other vessel, Chancellor's Edward Bonadventura was separated from the other two in late July by a storm, and continued the journey alone into the White Sea. Chancellor landed at the mouth of the River Dvina, close to the Archangel Michael Monastery. Thirty years later Ivan the Terrible built the port of New Kholmogory, which was soon renamed Archangelsk from the nearby monastery. After receiving the hospitality of the inhabitants of Nenocksa (Нёнокса), Chancellor headed towards Moscow on 23 November. On the way he was intercepted by an envoy of Tsar Ivan IV (Ivan the Terrible) carrying an invitation to the capital city. Chancellor, the second-in-command of a naval expedition to China, was now journey for hundreds of miles in the capacity of an ambassador, representing England at the tsar's court. The young Tsar Ivan was presiding over a glorious era in his country's history. He had recently conquered the Tatar khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan and made a vassal of the Khan of Sibir (i.e. Siberia). Ivan was intent on expanding Russia's commercial opportunities and was keen to demonstrate Russia's wealth to the visitor.

The tsar's court made an impression on Chancellor, who described Ivan thus: “The [Grand] Duke [of Muscovy] is Lord and Emperor of many countries and his power is marvellous great.” Chancellor reported that Russia was a land of great abundance, with furs being especially plentiful. When Chancellor returned to England in 1554 he carried with him a letter from Ivan addressed to King Edward, agreeing to the establishment of trading relations. By this point Edward was dead and succeeded by his half-sister Queen Mary. The expedition's benefactor, the Duke of Northumberland, had been executed for his attempt to secure the throne for his niece, Lady Jane Grey. Chancellor avoided being tainted by association and the new queen duly established the Muscovy Company, which was given a special privilege to trade with Russia.

Richard Chancellor and Ivan IV, wiki commons

Richard Chancellor and Ivan IV, wiki commons

Chancellor travelled to Russia for a second time in 1555, where he learnt of the fate of Willoughby and his ships (the bodies had been discovered by the fishermen in the spring of 1554). Willoughby's diary was retrieved and sent back to England. After more than a year in Russia, Chancellor left Russia for England. He carried on his ship Osip Nepeya, a boyar from Vologda, whom Ivan sent as ambassador to England. On the return journey the Edward Bonadventura encountered difficulties on the Scottish coast and broke free of its anchor at Pitsligo Bay on 10 November. Chancellor and the ambassador's suite took a small boat and attempted to row to shore. Chancellor and his young son perished in the attempt, as did many members of the ambassadorial suite. Nepeya miraculously survived the ordeal, and soon found himself in London presenting his credentials to Queen Mary. 

Chancellor died at the age of 35 and could have accomplished much more for Anglo-Russian relations. Chancellor and Willoughby were said to have been the first western Europeans to set foot in Russia. This seems unlikely. Nevertheless, through Chancellor's efforts a lucrative trade was established between England and Russia. Chancellor's replacement was Anthony Jenkinson, who visited Russia four times between 1558 and 1571. Jenkinson's accounts of his travels in Muscovy remain an importance source for historians of 16th century Russia. The Anglo-Russian trading relationship increased in significance as both powers became key players in the European stage. When the Russian empire gained a foothold in the Baltic at the beginning of the 18th century, Chancellor's route to Archangel was replaced by a safer one to St Petersburg, allowing Anglo-Russian trade to flourish. This commercial relationship proved to be vital for the Royal Navy's naval dominance during this period, as the masts of British warships had to be made from strong Russian timbers.   

By Jimmy Chen

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Mikhail Barclay de Tolly (1761-1818): A misunderstood hero

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Mikhail Barclay de Tolly (1761-1818): A misunderstood hero

фрагмент портрета генерал–фельдмаршала князя М. Б. Барклая де Толли для Военной галереи Зимнего дворца. Художник Дж. Доу (1829)  

фрагмент портрета генерал–фельдмаршала князя М. Б. Барклая де Толли для Военной галереи Зимнего дворца. Художник Дж. Доу (1829)

 

Mikhail Barclay de Tolly served in the Russian army with great distinction almost his entire life. Despite this, the Russians never accepted him as one of their own. His surname was proof enough of his foreign origins. Among contemporaries Barclay was described as German or even French, but his ancestors were in fact Scottish. A branch of the Clan Barclay became lords of Towie castle in Aberdeenshire. As such, they were known as the Barclays of Towie. In 1621 Peter Barclay of Towie and his brother John, both merchants, moved to the trading port of Rostock in Livonia. Over time the surname was corrupted and became Barclay de Tolly.

The Barclays de Tolly soon established themselves among the political elite in the Baltic. Peter's grandson Wilhelm Stephan Barclay de Tolly (1675-1735) served as Mayor of Riga. His Coat of Arms is displayed in Riga's St Peter's Church to this day. Over the course of the 18th century, the Russian empire acquired more and more influence over the Baltic. Wilhelm Stephan's son Gotthard became a Russian officer by the name of Bogdan Barclay de Tolly. His three sons Erikh, Mikhail and Andrei would all join the Russian army.

Mikhail Barclay de Tolly's spent his early military career fighting against the Ottomans, the Swedes and the Poles. He acquired a reputation as a brave and intelligent officer and gradually rose through the ranks. He came to the fore during the Napoleonic Wars. In 1807 he served as a major general and suffered a heavy wound while commanding the rearguard of the Russian army at Eylau (7-8 February). In 1808 during the Russo-Swedish War, Barclay led a column of 5,000 men across a 200 mile stretch of the frozen Gulf of Bothnia to surprise the garrison of the Swedish fortress of Umea. This act established his reputation on the international stage. When the war ended in 1809 Sweden ceded Finland to Russia. Barclay was appointed Deputy Governor-General of Finland. After several months the unpopular Governor was dismissed, and Barclay assumed the top job.

Barclay was a capable administrator and politician who protected Finnish autonomy and personally chaired meetings of the Finnish Senate. In June 1810 Tsar Alexander I summoned Barclay to St Petersburg and appointed him Minister of War. In his new capacity Barclay was faced with a herculean task: to reform the Russian army in time for an imminent war against Napoleon. The War Minister did not shy away from the hard work and over the course of only two years made significant progress. The army was reorganised into self-sufficient corps modelled on Napoleon's Grande Armée. The chain of command was streamlined and new field regulations were introduced via the so-called Yellow Book. The War Minister issued decrees for factories to increase production, making sure that the army was well supplied with weapons, ammunition, uniforms and food. Barclay established a network of secret agents who worked across Europe to gather military intelligence. By 1812, the army Barclay presided over was the most disciplined in the whole of Europe.

Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly. Russia postage stamp, 2011

Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly. Russia postage stamp, 2011

Upon Napoleon's invasion in June 1812, Barclay de Tolly was appointed commander-in-chief of the First Western Army, some 110,000 men. Before leaving the Russian camp for St Petersburg, Tsar Alexander ordered Barclay to preserve the army, for he had no other. Barclay's force, even when combined with the 40,000 men of General Pyotr Bagration's Second Army, was greatly outnumbered by the Grande Armée. Barclay knew that the only way to preserve his army was to retreat and refuse Napoleon the opportunity to do battle on favourable terms and destroy the enemy army, as he had done before against the Russians at Austerlitz (1805) and Friedland (1807). Barclay knew well that the further Napoleon's army advanced, the further away his supply depots were. Meanwhile, the Russian army would be closer to its supplies and reinforcements.

Barclay's strategy of retreat was poorly understood by his fellow generals. In order to maintain morale, he addressed his soldiers about the prospect of doing battle with the enemy, but each time it seemed a battle was imminent, Barclay ordered a retreat. Bagration, a far more aggressive commander by nature, was infuriated by Barclay's actions, accusing him of cowardice and even treachery. In some circles Barclay de Tolly was considered a Napoleonic agent due to his foreign origins. After all, he had given up Lithuania and Belarus and was leading the enemy to the gates of Moscow. The last straw was Barclay's decision to abandon the defence of Smolensk (16-18 August). Although Barclay remained commander of the First Army, General Mikhail Kutuzov was appointed to assume overall command of the army.

Statue of Barclay de Tolly in front of the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg, by Boris Orlovsky

Statue of Barclay de Tolly in front of the Kazan Cathedral in St Petersburg, by Boris Orlovsky

At the Battle of Borodino (7 September) Barclay sent a defiant message to his detractors by fighting with exceptional courage.  Commanding the Russian right, he rode to the critical points of the battlefield and on occasion personally led units into the heat of battle. Following the battle there was no question of Barclay's loyalty, but after advising Kutuzov to abandon Moscow at the Council of Fili, his ideas on strategy were still poorly understood. Soon after the Russian army abandoned Moscow, Barclay left for Petersburg to restore his health. On his way he was often forced to assume a disguise to avoid stones being thrown at him. 

Barclay spent the winter months in disgrace, but by the beginning of 1813, after the Grande Armée was driven out of Russia, Barclay's strategy was vindicated and he returned to favour in the court. The tsar ordered Kutuzov to continue the campaign and force Napoleon all the way to Paris, allied with Austria and Prussia. When Kutuzov died in April 1813, Barclay was waiting in the wings. In June he was appointed commander-in-chief of the Russo-Prussian Army. At the Battle of Leipzig (16-19 October 1813) he commanded the centre of the coalition army and secured a decisive victory over Napoleon. By March the following year, Barclay de Tolly's victorious men were the first to march into Paris.

In June 1814, as part of the celebrations following the victory over Napoleon, the British government invited the allied monarchs to visit Britain. Tsar Alexander's entourage included his most senior commander, Barclay de Tolly. Barclay was relatively inconspicuous in Britain. The British public were far more interested in the sovereign and General Matvei Platov and his Cossacks. Barclay de Tolly spent his time in London sightseeing and meeting with distant relatives named Barclay. The British government eventually sent Barclay a diamond-encrusted sword for recognition of his services in the war against Napoleon.

Barclay, now Field Marshal, remained in his post of commander-in-chief until his death in 1818. He was created a hereditary prince (knyaz) in 1815, the highest non-royal title in the Russian empire. Despite such accolades, Barclay's reputation is still not secure, with most people ascribing Napoleon's defeat either to Kutuzov or 'General Winter'. Following the bicentennial of Napoleon's invasion in 2012, Barclay's name is better known among Russians, while recent academic works such as Dominic Lieven's Russia Against Napoleon have encouraged a better appreciation of Barclay's exploits among students of Russian history.   

By Jimmy Chen  

Bust of prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly (1761–1818) in Tartu. Created by Vasily Demut-Malinovsky (1779-1846), built in 1849. Wiki, Alma Pater

Bust of prince Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly (1761–1818) in Tartu. Created by Vasily Demut-Malinovsky (1779-1846), built in 1849. Wiki, Alma Pater

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Samuel Greig (1736-1788): Master of the Seas

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Samuel Greig (1736-1788): Master of the Seas

In 1762 Catherine the Great seized the Russian throne from her estranged husband, Peter III. Like Peter the Great, whom the empress hoped to emulate, Catherine sought to develop Russia's naval power. She turned to Britain and the Royal Navy, which would soon achieve mastery of the world's seas. Among the officers the Royal Navy sent to Russia was one Samuel Greig.

Plaque at the birthplace of Samuel Grieg (now the 'Half Crown' public house) in Inverkeithing High Street, Fife. Wiki, Kim Traynor

Plaque at the birthplace of Samuel Grieg (now the 'Half Crown' public house) in Inverkeithing High Street, Fife. Wiki, Kim Traynor

Greig was born in 1736 in the village of Inverkeithing in Fife. He participated in the Seven Years War and was present at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in 1759, one of the Royal Navy's greatest victories of the eighteenth century. Greig became a lieutenant in 1761 and he last saw action in the Royal Navy at the Battle of Havana in 1762.

He arrived in Russia in 1764 and was soon promoted to captain. In 1768 war broke out between Russia and the Ottoman empire. The Ottomans threatened the Russian Black Sea Fleet, which at this point consisted only of six ships. Count Alexei Orlov proposed to sail half of the Russian Baltic fleet to the Mediterranean as a distraction (via the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay), a monumental undertaking with no guarantee of success.

In July 1770 the Russian navy met with the Ottoman fleet at Chesma Bay. Greig served as the captain of Orlov's flagship, the Tri Ierarkha. The Ottomans had sixteen ships of the line while the Russians only had nine. Initially the battle was indecisive, with both the Ottoman flagship and the Russian ship Sv. Evstafii blowing each other up. On the morning of 7 July Grieg was transferred to the Rostislav and ordered to escort the four fireships which were sent into the midst of the Ottoman line. The operation was successful and soon the whole Ottoman fleet was in flames. As a result of Greig's decisive action, the grateful Orlov conferred upon him the rank of admiral, which was expressly confirmed by the empress.

The Battle of Chesme was the Ottoman navy's greatest defeat since the Battle of Lepanto two centuries earlier, and sent shockwaves throughout the European powers. The Russian navy demonstrated to foreign observers that it was a force to be reckoned with. Chesme was the only major naval engagement of the war, but after sailing back to home base at Kronstadt Greig worked tirelessly to reform the Russian fleet, including the introduction of a new code of discipline. In recognition of his services Catherine appointed him Governor of Kronstadt.

Greig's final hurrah came in 1788. Sweden (encouraged by the British government) had recently declared war on Russia and threatened to land an army close to St Petersburg. Admiral Greig, now the highest-ranking naval officer in Russia, was sent to blockade the Swedes.  The Russians met the Swedish fleet at Hogland on 17 July. It was said that the empress could hear the guns firing from the Winter Palace. Admiral Greig's fleet successfully prevented the enemy from breaking through and thus assumed mastery of the Baltic. The threat of a Swedish landing was completely eliminated. The joy was short-lived for the victorious admiral. A few days after the battle, he caught a fever and soon fell seriously ill. When she heard about her admiral's condition, the empress sent her personal physician Dr John Rogerson (yet another Scotsman in Catherine's service) to Greig. The doctor's efforts were to no avail and Greig died at Reval (Tallinn) on board the Rostislav on 26 October at the age of 53.

Catherine deeply mourned the death of Admiral Greig, who was laid to rest in Tallinn Cathedral in a grand ceremony. Catherine commissioned her neoclassical architect Giacomo Quarenghi to design an elaborate tomb into which the admiral's remains were later placed. Greig's descendants continued to serve his adopted homeland with distinction. His son Alexei Greig (1775-1845) became an admiral himself and was a member of Nicholas I's State Council. Alexei's son Samuil Alexeevich (1827-1887) rose to the rank of Lieutenant General of the Russian army, seeing action in the Crimean War before serving as Minister of Finance in 1877-80.

Grave of Samuel Greig, Tallinn Cathedral, Wiki: Concord

Grave of Samuel Greig, Tallinn Cathedral, Wiki: Concord

By Jimmy Chen

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Patrick Gordon (1635-1699): Peter's Lieutenant

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Patrick Gordon (1635-1699): Peter's Lieutenant

The seventeenth century was a period of religious instability in Scotland. Following the victory of the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, many Catholic Scots were at risk of persecution after the Scottish Church became Calvinist. This was the fate that threatened Patrick Gordon, a Scottish Catholic born in 1735 in Auchleuchries, Aberdeenshire. Gordon decided to embark on a career as a soldier of fortune, serving in Germany, Sweden and Poland. In 1661 he enlisted in Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich's Russian army and distinguished himself as an officer in campaigns against the Turks and Tatars in southern Russia.

Г.А. Афонасьев

Г.А. Афонасьев

Gordon disliked Russian service and was often exasperated by the lack of discipline among his men, despite the tsar's attempts to reorganise part of the Russian army into units based on the organisational principles of western European armies. Gordon himself was well-favoured and became major general in 1678 and lieutenant general in 1683. He participated in Prince Vasily Golitsyn's campaigns against the Crimean Tatars in 1687 and 1689. Although the campaigns were unsuccessful, Gordon was made a full general.

The defeat of the Crimean expeditions was one of the reasons which contributed to revolution in Moscow. Supporters of eighteen-year-old co-tsar Peter I challenged the regime of Tsarevna Sofia, who ruled in conjunction with her favourite Golitsyn. During these vital moments Gordon's troops joined Peter's side and forced the tsarevna out of the Kremlin. Peter acknowledged his debt to Gordon and the Scotsman remained in the tsar's favour for the rest of his life.

Although Peter was nominally still co-tsar and the junior partner of his half-brother Ivan V, Ivan was ill for his entire life and was incapable of making decisions. In effect, Peter was sole ruler of his country and took steps to realise his vision of Russia as a modernised European state. From a young age Peter was interested in naval affairs, and hoped to make territorial conquests in the Black Sea, where he planned to build a port for a marine navy. In 1795 he sought to seize control of the fortress of Azov from the Ottomans but was unsuccessful in his attempt as the Ottoman navy came to the rescue of the besieged fortress. Having learnt his lesson, Peter returned the following year with a river fleet that he built at Voronezh and sailed down the Don. On land Gordon came up with the idea of the 'movable rampart', which allowed the Russian soldiers to remain under cover while advancing on the city.

General Gordon was one of the most trusted military men in the tsar's circle. When Peter left on his famous Grand Embassy in 1697-98, Gordon was given the task of running the state in Peter's absence. In this capacity Gordon was able to crush an attempted rebellion by the streltsy (elite musketeers) against Peter while the tsar was still abroad. When the tsar returned, he was in no mood to be merciful towards the streltsy. The rebels were hanged in Red Square and the streltsy units disbanded. In 1699 the 64-year-old Gordon died following an illness. The tsar was at his bedside and personally closed his loyal general's eyelids when he expired.

Patrick Gordon was not the only Scotsman to be a high-ranking Russian officer during the seventeenth century. General Paul Menzies was Peter the Great's tutor in military affairs and served Tsar Alexei as a diplomat, and together with Gordon persuaded the authorities to establish the first Roman Catholic congregation in Russia. Other Scotsmen who served Peter include Count Jacob Bruce and his brother Robert Bruce, whose family moved to Russia in 1649. Robert served as the first commandant of the Peter and Paul fortress (effectively Governor of St Petersburg) until his death in 1720, whereupon he was buried in the grounds of the Peter and Paul Cathedral.

 

By Jimmy Chen

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