Alexey Fyodorovich Orlov

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Orlov A F-by Kruger.jpg

Prince Alexey Fyodorovich Orlov (19 October [O.S. 8 October] 1787 – 21 May 1862) was a Russian diplomat, the natural son of Count Fyodor Grigoryevich. He was born in Moscow and took part in all the Napoleonic Wars from 1805 to the capture of Paris. For his services as commander of the cavalry regiment of the Life Guards on the occasion of the rebellion of 1825 he was created a count, and in the Turkish War of 1828–1829 rose to the rank of lieutenant-general.

It is from this time that his diplomatic career of Orlov began. He was the Russian plenipotentiary at the Peace of Adrianople, and in 1833 was appointed Russian ambassador at Constantinople, holding at the same time the post of commander-in-chief of the Black Sea fleet. He was, indeed, one of the most trusted agents of Nicholas I, whom in 1837 he accompanied on his foreign tour. From 1844 to 1856 he was in charge of the infamous Third Section, or secret police.

In 1854 he was sent to Vienna to bring Austria over to the side of Russia, but without success. In 1856 he was one of the plenipotentiaries who concluded the Peace of Paris. In the same year he was raised to the dignity of prince, and was appointed president of the Imperial Council of State and of the Council of Ministers. In 1857, during the emperor's absence, he presided over the commission formed to consider the question of the emancipation of the serfs, to which he was altogether hostile. He died in Saint Petersburg.