Andrei Potebnia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Potebnia, Andrei Afanas’evich


Born Aug. 19 (31), 1838, in the village of Perekopets, Poltava Province (now in Romny Raion, Sumy Oblast); died Feb. 20 (Mar. 4), 1863. Russian revolutionary. Descended from dvoriane (nobility or gentry). Brother of the philologist A. A. Potebnia.

Potebnia graduated from the Konstantin Cadet Corps in 1856 and served in the Shlissel’burg Regiment as a sublieutenant. In 1862 he headed a revolutionary organization of officers in Poland. During the summer of the same year, Potebnia left his regiment and went underground. In November 1862 he and his organization joined Land and Liberty. He was one of the authors of a number of revolutionary proclamations issued in the name of the Committee of Russian Officers in Poland. Potebnia maintained ties with A. I. Herzen and N. P. Ogarev. During the Polish Uprising of 1863–64, he arrived in London to meet with them. He tried unsuccessfully to organize a Russian legion among the insurgents. He died heroically in battle with tsarist troops at Skala in Poland. Ogarev dedicated to Potebnia his “Word at the Graveside,” published in Kolokol on May 1, 1863.


Leikina-Svirskaia, V. R. “Andrei Potebnia.” Revoliutsionnaia situatsiia ν Rossii ν 1859–1861 gg. Moscow, 1963.
D’iakov, V. A., and I. S. Miller. Revoliutsionnoe dvizhenie ν russkoi armii i vosstanie 1863. Moscow, 1964.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.