Butyrka Prison

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Butyrka Prison


a prison that served as a central deportation point in prerevolutionary Russia; it was also used for the detention of persons under investigation or sentenced on political or criminal charges. The first information on the Butyrka Prison dates from the 17th century.

The prison was built in Moscow near the Butyrka Gate in 1879, at the site of the castle erected by the architect M. F. Kazakov under Catherine II. Insurgent streltsy (semi-professional musketeers) were incarcerated in the towers of the castle under Peter I, and E. I. Pugachev was held there under Catherine II. Hundreds of participants of the Polish Uprising of 1863 passed through the old castle. In 1883 members of the People’s Will were detained in the towers of the Butyrka Prison, as were in 1886 participants in the Morozov Strike of 1885. In 1904 and 1905, N. E. Bauman, V. F. Lengnik, E. D. Stasova, and other prominent Bolsheviks were detained in the Butyrka Prison, and in 1908 and 1909, V. V. Mayakovsky served a term there for spreading revolutionary propaganda among the workers. Between 1910 and 1917, F. E. Dzerzhinskii, Em. Iaroslavskii, and other Bolsheviks were held there.

The regime of the Butyrka Prison was cruel. The prison administration responded to the prisoners’ protests with violence. During the February Revolution of 1917 the workers of Moscow freed the political prisoners. After October 1917 the Butyrka Prison was used for the detention of persons under investigation.

References in periodicals archive ?
Today we remember the death of Sergey Magnitskiy, who died November 16, 2009 in Moscows Butyrka prison, where he was confined after making corruption allegations against Russian officials.
The November 2009 death in Butyrka prison of 37-year-old attorney Sergei Magnitsky gained broad international attention and refocused Western concerns about corruption and the lack of judicial independence in Russia.
The 56-year-old actor visited Butyrka prison in Moscow to research for his Whiplash role, met guards there, and even asked them to lock him up for a brief moment.
In the bleak, grim setting of Moscow's Butyrka prison was Mickey, complete with blue designer red-tassled moccasins.
His narrative moves as a three-part are from Russia to England and back again, taking us from Mirsky's privileged childhood and education to his early years as a Guards' officer and brilliant young litterateur in Tsarist St Petersburg, through his years on the fringes of London's literary and academic circles, on to the senseless and nightmarish literary disputes of Stalin's Moscow and the final warped confessions that his NKVD interrogator extracted over a series of nights in the Butyrka prison.