TASS first deputy head premieres his documentary about Soviet diplomat in Washington

TASS Russian News Agency | Dec 7, 2019 at 8:08 AM

WASHINGTON, December 7. /TASS/. The premiere of TASS First Deputy Director General Mikhail Gusman's documentary titled ‘Anatoly Dobrynin. 24 Years and 14 Days from Ambassador's Life' filmed to mark a centenary of the diplomat's birth has taken place at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C.

In addition to foreign diplomats, experts and journalists, the premiere was attended by former US Ambassadors to Russia James Collins and John Beyrle and William Brumfield, Professor of Slavic Studies at Tulane University (Louisiana), who was earlier awarded Russia's Order of Friendship.

Addressing the audience, Russian Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov spoke about Dobrynin, a prominent diplomat and public personality who represented the Soviet Union in the United States for almost a quarter of the century.

Antonov admitted that it was difficult for him to imagine how he would have worked in Washington under such circumstances and for such a long time. He also recalled that the Cuban Missile Crisis had occurred during Dobrynin's tenure as Soviet Ambassador to the United States.

According to Mikhail Gusman, the author of the documentary, Dobrynin who would have turned 100 on November 6, 2019, had a historic mission to be a key negotiator from the USSR in the dialogue with the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis. "The role of diplomats, the more so ambassadors, does not boil down to technically following instructions from the Center. It is a great creative work," said Gusman who knew the diplomat personally.

The documentary explores complicated relations between the Soviet Union and the United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It features archival interviews with Dobrynin and declassified cables, which were sent to Moscow. It also includes interviews with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US veteran diplomat Henry Kissinger and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Moscow's Oktyabr cinema hosted the documentary's premiere in Russia on November 16.

Anatoly Dobrynin was appointed Soviet Ambassador to the US in 1962 by then Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. The diplomat served for nearly 25 years during the administrations of six presidents: John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. He was a significant influencer in handling the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and in signing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM Treaty) in 1972.