Throughout the XVIIIth century, Anglo-Russian relations were very contentious. The Ochakov crisis of 1791 risked escalating into direct military action between Russia and England. Ambassador Count S.R. Vorontsov managed to garner the support of members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons of the English Parliament, come in contact with the Prime Minister, members of his cabinet and opposition leaders. The above mentioned allowed him to handle the possibilities of the press, publishing houses and the opposition during the Ochakov crisis of 1791 as well as influenced a public opinion in Britain. In large part, because of the active actions of S.R. Vorontsov and his office staff, it was possible to avoid an armed conflict between Russia and England. One of the closest employees of Semyon Romanovich was the son of a Ukrainian priest Yakov Ivanovich Smirnov, who was considered by many contemporaries as one of the outstanding employees of the office of the Russian Embassy. Ya. I. Smirnov was knighted of the Order of St. John under Paul I, and then the Emperor’s stunning decision took place – the priest was appointed charge d’affaires of Russia in London. V.F. Malinovskiy, the future first director of the Tsarskoye Selo Lyceum, served in Vorontsov’s office. After leaving London, he worked as a secretary at the negotiations in Iași in 1792. As well as V.F. Malinovskiy, V.P. Kochubey hailed from Ukraine. The nephew of Count A.A. Bezborodko was in London from the early spring of 1789 until January of 1791. In 1793, Vorontsov gave V.P. Kochubey, who was diligently engaged in his education, a brilliant character reference. Over the course of his service, Count S.R. Vorontsov regularly defended the interests of the employees of his office; he knew how to gather individuals for his inner circle and work. In the XIXth century, there was a concept of “official of the Vorontsov school”. S.R. Vorontsov and members of his office used the methods of modern public diplomacy, which implies means used by governments, private groups and particular persons to change the views of other people and governments in order to influence their external political decisions. Public diplomacy is a tool for creating the image of the state. Appealing to public opinion, publication of government documents, use of the mass media and issuance of brochure for manifesting one’s position are methods which play a crucial role in modern public diplomacy, which originated due to Ukrainian diplomats as well.
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