Fedor Vasilevich Rostopchin
Rostopchin, Fedor Vasil’evich
Born Mar. 12 (23), 1763, in the village of Livny, Orel Province; died Jan. 18 (30), 1826, in Moscow. Russian statesman; count (from 1799).
Rostopchin was the virtual head of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs from 1798 to 1801. He was sent into retirement in 1801. From May 1812 to 1814 he was commander in chief (governor-general) of Moscow. During the Patriotic War of 1812, Rostopchin conducted anti-French propaganda, which was largely demagogic. He was appointed a member of the State Council in 1814 and retired for the second time in 1823. After 1812 it was widely believed that Rostopchin had started the Moscow fire, but in 1823 he publicly denied it in The Truth About the Moscow Fire. Rostopchin was the author of several literary works and of memoirs.