Valerian Alexandrovich Zorin (Russian: Валериан Александрович Зорин; 1 January 1902 - 14 January 1986) was a Soviet diplomat best remembered for his famous confrontation with Adlai Stevenson on 25 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Life and career
Zorin was born in Novocherkassk. After joining the Soviet Communist Party in 1922, Zorin held a managerial position in a Moscow City Committee and the Central Committee of the Komsomol until 1932. In 1935, he graduated from the Communist Institute of Education (Высший коммунистический институт просвещения). In 1935-1941, Zorin worked on numerous Party assignments and as a teacher. In 1941-1944, he was employed at the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. In 1945-1947, Zorin was the Soviet ambassador to Czechoslovakia. In 1948, he helped organize the Czechoslovak coup d'état. In 1947-1955 and again in 1956-1965, he was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union. At the same time, he held other positions, including that of the permanent Soviet representative at the UN Security Council in 1952-1953. In 1955-1956, Zorin was the first Soviet ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany. In 1956-1965, he again represented the Soviet Union at the UN Security Council, which led to his famous confrontation with Adlai Stevenson on 25 October 1962, during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Zorin released a controversial statement on the potential causes of the president's murder, dismissing beliefs that Kennedy had been killed by a leftist fanatic, Lee Harvey Oswald, and instead speculated that it might have been a result of Kennedy's progressive views concerning civil rights and the "scum" of the American South.
In 1965-1971, Zorin served as the Soviet ambassador to France. In 1971, he became an ambassador on special missions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union. At the 22nd and 23rd Congress of the CPSU in 1961 and 1966, Zorin was elected to the Central Committee of the CPSU.
Awards and recognitions
Zorin in film
In the 1974 television play The Missiles of October, Valerian Zorin is portrayed by Will Kuluva, in the 2000 film Thirteen Days by Oleg Vidov. In 2013 TV series Czech century (České století), he was portrayed by opera singer Vladimír Koval.
"Valerian A. Zorin, Soviet Envoy, Dies." New York Times, Jan. 19, 1986. Accessed 21 Feb. 2017.
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