Brusnev, Mikhail Ivanovich
Born Jan. 13 (25), 1864, in the stanitsa (large cossack village) of Storozhevaia in the Kuban’; died July 1, 1937, in Leningrad. Organizer of one of the first social democratic groups in Russia.
Brusnev was born into the family of a cossack cornet. He was active in the revolutionary movement from 1881. He completed the St. Petersburg Technological Institute in 1891. In 1889 he united students of Marxist inclinations from the technological, forestry, and mining institutes and the University of St. Petersburg with workers’ circles which had been previously connected with D. Blagoev’s and P. V. Tochisskii’s groups. Brusnev was the head of the committee that directed the organization’s work. He also took charge of the circles’ supply of illegal literature and books for independent study, organized a newspaper printed by hectograph, and issued several proclamations. During 1890-91 he participated in the presentation of an address to N. V. Shelgunov from workers and in a demonstration at Shelgunov’s funeral, and he organized the celebration of the first May Day in Russia. From 1891, Brusnev worked as a technologist in the Moscow workshops of the Moscow-Brest railroad, founded new social democratic circles, and established connections with circles in Tula, Nizhny Novgorod, Kharkov, and Kiev and with Plekhanov’s group, Liberation of Labor, from which he obtained a large supply of illegal literature. Arrested in April 1892, he spent four years in prison and was then exiled to Yakutia. From 1901 he took part in a Russian arctic expedition; he returned to St. Petersburg in 1904. He joined the Engineers’ Union, a social democratic group. In 1907, Brusnev was among the electors to the State Duma from the left bloc (Bolsheviks and Socialist Revolutionaries). Subsequently, he retired from political activity.