Evno Fishelevich Azef

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Azef, Evno Fishelevich


Born 1869; died 1918. One of the leaders of the Socialist Revolutionary (SR) Party; a provocateur and secret collaborator with the department of police beginning in 1892.

In 1899, Azef joined the Northern Union of Socialist Revolutionaries. From 1901 he was one of the organizers of the SR Party. In 1903, Azef, in effect, led the “fighting organization” of the party; he directed the preparation of a number of terrorist acts—the murders of V. K. Pleve in 1904 and Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich in 1905. In 1901 he betrayed the congress of representatives of the SR Party in Kharkov to the police and in 1905, almost the entire “fighting organization.” In 1908, on Azef s denunciation, seven members of the “fighting organization” were executed. Exposed by V. L. Burtsev in 1908, he was sentenced to death by the SR Central Committee, but he went into hiding. In 1915, during World War I, Azef was arrested in Germany as a Russian spy. He died in Berlin.

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