Russian Nesting Dolls

Soviet Union 1991

This set of Russian nesting dolls, also known as matryoshka dolls, depicts U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union Robert S. Strauss and various Soviet officials. Ambassador Strauss served first as ambassador to the Soviet Union (1991) and then became the ambassador to Russia (1991-1992) after the Soviet Union ceased to be. Foreign Service Officer Ed Salazar, who was assigned to Embassy Moscow at the time, commissioned an artist to create them to celebrate the arrival of Ambassador Strauss after the failed August 1991 coup by hardliners in the Soviet Union. From largest to smallest, the dolls depict: -U.S. Ambassador Robert Strauss -Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev -Russian President Boris Yeltsin -Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze -Aleksandr Yakovlev (advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev) -Gavriil Popov (Mayor of Moscow) -Anatoly Sobchak (Mayor of St. Petersburg and member of the Supreme Soviet) -Flags of the United States and Soviet Union

  • Source/Credit: Gift of Ed Salazar
  • Catalog Number: 2011.0036.02
  • Created: 1991
  • Acquired: 2011

This image is in the public domain and no permission is required to use it. Please credit the National Museum of American Diplomacy as the original source, and provide a link back to the item page where possible.

Most of our items are donations, and we cannot always confirm the copyright or trademark status of photographs, prints, drawings, and other artistic works that may be depicted in these images.

Please contact us at for any permissions or usage questions.

MLA Format

Russian Nesting Dolls. 1991. National Museum of American Diplomacy,

Chicago Format

Russian Nesting Dolls, 1991, National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, DC,

APA Format

(1991). Russian Nesting Dolls [Object]. National Museum of American Diplomacy, Washington, D.C., United States.