"The first Quaker attempt at contact with Russia dates from their earliest years. The principal founder of Quakerism, George Fox, sought to take his message to all the great and good of his contemporary world, and in 1656 and again in 1661 he sent an epistle to Tsar Aleksei Mikhailovich: ‘Friend!’, he wrote in the first, ‘The Most High rules in the affairs of Men, the Lord God of the spirits of all Flesh’. Unfortunately, the rest of the texts is lost; no English Quaker travelled to Russia at that time, nor is there any record of the ‘pious tsar’ responding to this unorthodox approach.
Nevertheless, the term ‘Quaker’ soon found its way into Russia......Polemics about religious‘enthusiasm’, the belief in direct divine inspiration, were common in Europe in the late seventeenth century, and the label ‘Quaker’ was often slapped on people accused of denying proper authority in the name of their own religious experience. The English author of the polemical pamphlet The danger of enthusiasm discovered, in an epistle to the Quakers (1674) was attacking the actual Religious Society of Friends in England; but a group of ‘so-called Quakers’ who became the subject of ecclesiastical investigation in Swedish Riga in 1688 were Protestant radicals of a different variety who, like Kuhlmann, were tarred with the Quaker brush. ‘Enthusiasm’ was essentially subversive, since it set alleged direct knowledge of the will of God above any authority of prince, priest or parliament. In the end, Kuhlmann was burnt at the stake in Moscow.....
To conclude: in conformity with the assumptions of their times, the early Quakers sought to make an impression in Russia by addressing its rulers, and in their relations with Russia, as everywhere, they combined social activism with evangelical religious fervour. From the late 19th century onwards the emphasis shifted more to relief and social work among the Russian people, religious faith expressed less through piety or evangelism than through humane practice. In both the later Imperial and, especially, the Soviet periods practical concerns were joined to the challenge of pacific relations and reconciliation with a country broadly viewed in the UK as hostile or belligerent, and which militantly proclaimed a competing set of values."
Much more in an excellent article at http://friendshousemoscow.org/?page_id=227