January 17 (29), 1832 was born Nikolai Pavlovich Ignatiev, Count, Russian statesman, diplomat, member of the preparation of the Treaty of San Stefano (1878), Minister of the Interior (1881-1882).
Nikolai Pavlovich finished the Corps of Pages, and then graduated from the Military Academy in 1851 with a silver medal.
In July 1856 as a military attache, he came to London, where he was instructed to explore the latest achievements of artillery and engineering, as well as to "bring clarity to the political and military intentions of our enemies in Europe and Asia."
In 1857, Ignatiev went on a great journey across Europe and the Middle East visiting Vienna, Belgrade, Athens, Istanbul, Syria, and Palestine. Back in St. Petersburg, he filed several briefs to Minister for Foreign Affairs A. M. Gorchakov with a proposal to send a number of scientific expeditions to Central Asia. In 1858 Ignatiev led an expedition, which was tasked to establish diplomatic relations with Khiva and Bukhara Khanates. In Bukhara, he succeeded to conclude a treaty advantageous for Russia, providing for free navigation of Russian ships in Amudaria River, halving the custom duties on imported goods, the establishment of a commercial agency in Bukhara.
Another important event in the early diplomatic career of Ignatiev was the conclusion of the Russian-Chinese treaty in Beijing on November 2 (14), 1860. Under this treaty, Russia acquired territories, which it had partially developed back in 17th century. For his services Ignatiev was given the rank of adjutant-general and assigned the Director of the Asian department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In July 1864 Nikolai Pavlovich was appointed ambassador to Istanbul; in August next year he was awarded the rank of lieutenant-general, and in March 1867 - the rank of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary. While in Istanbul, Ignatiev participated in negotiations related to the creation of Romania, in the settlement of the Cretan question and many other related to national liberation movements in the Balkans.
During the Russian-Turkish war of 1877-1878 Ignatiev was attached to the retinue of the king and was in Romania and then Bulgaria, taking part in the discussion of a variety of diplomatic issues. After the fall of Plevna in late November 1877, the military-political situation changed in Russia's favor, prompting the Turkish government to go for peace talks. Development of the provisions of treaty with Turkey was entrusted to D. A. Miliutin and Ignatiev.
In February 1878 in San Stefano was signed a preliminary treaty putting an end to the war between Russia and Turkey. Serbia, Montenegro and Romania obtained independence. Bulgaria, which included Macedonia, became an autonomous principality. Russia received back Southern Bessarabia, and in the Caucasus it was given the city of Batum, Kars, Ardahan and Bajazet. Later, Ignatiev pointed out that "it was very hard for me to sign a contract called preliminary, realizing that it did not correspond to the ideal, for the implementation of which I had worked so hard for 14 years of my life."
In 1881 Ignatiev was appointed Minister of State Properties, then Minister of Interior. However, already in 1882 he was dismissed. Being a member of the State Council, he was actively engaged in social activities: he was chairman of Society for Promotion of Russian industry and trade, headed Petersburg Slavic Benevolent Society, was a member of the Russian Geographical Society and wrote his memoirs.
Nikolai Pavlovich Ignatiev died June 20 (July 3), 1908 in Kiev Province.
Lit.: Горинов М. М. Государственная и общественная деятельность графа Н. П. Игнатьева: 1879-1908 гг.: автореф. дисс. ... канд. ист. наук. М., 2007; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.hist.msu.ru/Science/Disser/Gorinov.pdf; Дмитриевский А. А. Граф Н. П. Игнатьев, как церковно-политический деятель на православном Востоке: (По неизданным письмам его к начальнику Русской духовной миссии в Иерусалиме о. архимандриту Антонину Капустину). СПб., 1909; Игнатьев Н. П. Материалы, относящиеся до пребывания в Китае Н. П. Игнатьева в 1859-60 годах. СПб., 1895; Игнатьев Н. П. Походные письма 1877 года. Письма Е. Л. Игнатьевой с балканского театра военных действий. М., 1999; То же [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://militera.lib.ru/db/ignatyev_np/index.html; Хевролина В. М. Николай Павлович Игнатьев. Российский дипломат. М., 2009.