Rostopchin, Feodor Vasilyevich, Count

Rostopchin, Feodor Vasilyevich, Count fyôˈdər vəsēˈlyəvĭch, rəstəpchēnˈ [key], 1763–1826, Russian general and statesman. He rose rapidly under Czar Paul I, serving as foreign minister from 1798–1800. He was made a count in 1799. In 1812, Czar Alexander I appointed him governor-general of Moscow. He was later held responsible for the burning of Moscow, which occurred when Napoleon's forces entered the city in Sept., 1812. He was dismissed from office in 1814 and went into exile. Rostopchin denied the accusation in his pamphlet The Truth concerning the Fire of Moscow (in French, 1823); the cause of the conflagration is still in doubt.

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