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Constantine Oumansky

Given NameConstantine


ww2dbaseConstantine Oumansky was the Soviet Union's ambassador to the United States, chosen after a successful career in police work and journalism in Russia. He was "perhaps the offensive diplomat ever sent to Washington", said journalist David Brinkley. He disliked the United States, and never held back on expressing that sentiment. As a direct result, he had few friends in Washington. Invitations to his dinners were often turned down, and sometimes those who attended were ordered to do so out of diplomatic necessity. An staff member of the United States Department of the State once attended a dinner held by Oumansky, and had to endure "a perfectly miserable evening at the Soviet embassy." He recalled that Oumansky

spent the entire time delivering a ranting, abusive tirade about real and imaginary American indignities to his country and about the essential rottenness of American society, its political and economical system and all its people without exception.

ww2dbaseUS Secretary of State Cordell Hull described Oumansky thought the Russian ambassador "did much to harm Russian-American relations." Hull and his staff attempted to be friendly, but Oumansky's attitude changed little. In Jan 1941, US intelligence picked up clue that Germany might be panning to invade Russia, and warned the Soviet embassy; Oumansky responded in anger, claiming that the US was attempting to undermine Russo-German friendship. In Jun 1942, he was replaced by Andrei Gromyko in Washington and was assigned to Mexico. For a diplomat who had served in Washington, this seemed to be a demotion, for that the Soviet Embassy in Mexico City had only been a mere ministry only recently. However, the intent was that, with Oumansky's loyalty and experience, he could improve relationship with Latin American countries. In Nov 1943, he delivered the message to the Western Allies that Russia intended on annexing the portion of Poland even beyond what was taken by Russian troops in Sep 1939, when Germany and Russia jointly invaded the country.

ww2dbaseSources: New York Times, Washington Goes to War.

Last Major Revision: Sep 2007

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