Aleksandr Dmitrievich Mikhailov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Mikhailov, Aleksandr Dmitrievich


Born Jan. 17 (29), 1855, in the city of Putivl’, Kursk Province, in present-day Sumy Oblast, the Ukrainian SSR; died Mar. 18 (30), 1884. Russian revolutionary; Narodnik (Populist). Of noble descent.

Mikhailov enrolled at the St. Petersburg Technological Institute in 1875, but he was expelled in the same year for participating in the student movement. In 1876 he played a prominent role in organizing the Land and Liberty group (Zemlia i Volia). In the spring of 1877 he settled in Saratov Province among the Old Believers, hoping to discover “revolutionary socialist ideals” among them. Returning to St. Petersburg in the spring of 1878, Mikhailov participated in all the important Land and Liberty undertakings in that city. He firmly believed in the need for a centralized, strictly conspiratorial all-Russian organization based on unity and discipline. His comrades called him “the all-seeing eye of the organization and the guardian of discipline.”

Mikhailov attended the Lipetsk and Voronezh Congresses in 1879. After the split in Land and Liberty he became a member of the Executive Committee of the People’s Will and one of the organization’s most active members. He set up underground printing presses, managed the party’s finances, and plotted terrorist acts. Arrested on Nov. 28, 1880, Mikhailov was tried in February 1882 in the Trial of the 20 and was sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted to life at hard labor. He died in an isolation cell in the Aleksei Ravelin at the Peter and Paul Fortress.


“Avtobiograficheskie zametki: Zaveshchanie.” Byloe, 1906, no. 2.
Pis’ma narodovol’tsa A. D. Mikhailova. Moscow, 1933.


Plekhanov, G. V. “Vospominanie ob A. D. Mikhailove.” Soch., vol. 1. Moscow-Petrograd, 1923.
Pribyleva-Korba, A. P., and V. N. Figner. Narodovolets A. D. Mikhailov. Leningrad-Moscow, 1925.
Figner, V. N. Zapechatlennyi trud, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1964.
Klevenskii, M. A. D. Mikhailov. Moscow, 1925.
Protsess 20-ti narodovol’tsev v 1882 g. Rostov-on-Don, 1906.
Arkhiv “Zemli i voW i “Narodnoi voli. “Moscow, 1932.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Full browser ?