Artemii Petrovich Volynskii

Volynskii, Artemii Petrovich


Born 1689: died June 27 (July 8), 1740, in St. Petersburg. Russian statesman and diplomat.

Governor of Astrakhan from 1719 to 1724, Volynskii played a prominent role in the preparations for the Persian campaign of 1722-23. He was governor of Kazan from 1725 to 1730, with brief interruptions. From 1738 he was a cabinet minister, and he quickly became Empress Anna Ivanovna’s sole adviser on cabinet affairs. He attempted to limit the influence of foreigners.

From the early 1730’s a clique consisting primarily of representatives of distinguished but impoverished noble families formed around Volynskii. At his soirees projects for the reorganization of state administration were discussed. He wrote discourses including “On Citizenship,” “How It Is Necessary That Rulers Possess Judgment and Grace,” and “A General Project for the Rectification of Internal State Affairs.” Volynskii favored the strengthening of the political role of the dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) and its wider enlistment in state administration, and he worked out plans for the growth of trade and industry. He expressed negative sentiments about the empress and her favorite, E. Biron. Lacking real power, Volynskii was arrested with his confidants in 1740, as a result of the intrigues of Biron, A. I. Osterman, and others. He was convicted of treason and executed.


Ocherki istorii SSSR: Period Feodalizma:Rossiia vo vtoroi chetverti XVIII v. Moscow, 1957.
Shishkin, I. “A. P. Volynskii.” Otechestvennye zapiski, 1860, vols. 128, 129.