Evgenii Osipovich Zaslavskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zaslavskii, Evgenii Osipovich


Born Dec. 20, 1844 (Jan. 1, 1845), in Voronezh; died June 13 (25), 1878. Russian revolutionary. Organizer and leader of the South Russian Workers’ Union. Son of a colonel.

Zaslavskii studied at the Petrovskoe Agricultural Academy, near Moscow, and at the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. He was involved in the revolutionary-democratic student movement. Zaslavskii moved to Odessa in 1872, where he founded a legal printing press, gave lectures on political economy, and introduced students to the works of the French socialist F. Lassalle and to those of N. G. Chernyshevskii. He began to conduct socialist propaganda among Odessa workers in 1873. The South Russian Workers’ Union was founded under Zaslavskii’s leadership in the spring of 1875. In drawing up the rules of the organization, Zaslavskii used the Provisional Rules of the International Workers’ Association, written by K. Marx. Zaslavskii supported the political education of the workers and the development of their class consciousness, and he favored the overthrow of the power of the exploiting classes. However, he was not a consistent proletarian revolutionary. The teachings of the Narodnik (Populist) ideologist P. L. Lavrov greatly influenced Zaslavskii’s views. Although he viewed the proletariat as the most active participant in the revolutionary movement, Zaslavskii did not understand its role as the predominant force of the revolution. Arrested in December 1875 when the workers’ organization was crushed, he was sentenced to ten years at hard labor in 1877. Zaslavskii died of tuberculosis in the hospital of the St. Petersburg prison fortress.


Rabochee clvizhenie v Rossii v XIX v.: Sbornik dokumentov i materialov, vol. 2, part 2. Moscow, 1950.
Itenberg, B. luzhnorossiiskii soiuz rabochikhpervaia proletarskaia organizutsiia v Rossii. Moscow, 1954.


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