March 01, 2018

The Women of Russian Diplomacy



The renowned Russian revolutionary Alexandra Mikhailovna Kollontai was born into a noble family. As her first act of rebellion, she married a poor military officer rather than her parents’ choice, an imperial adjutant. But then, in 1898, Kollontai left her husband and son to attend university in Zurich, Switzerland. After the Bolsheviks came to power, she became a member of the Soviet government and started her diplomatic career.

The legendary Marxist-feminist icon began her first ambassadorship in 1924 and represented her country until the end of the Second World War, serving as Soviet ambassador to Mexico, Norway, and Sweden. Throughout her career, in addition to advocating for the Soviet Union in the international community, Kollontai was a forceful proponent of the idea of gender equality.

As Kollontai’s grandson recalled in his memoirs:


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