Iosif Dubrovinskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dubrovinskii, Iosif Fedorovich


(party pseudonyms—Il’ia Innokentii, Innokent’ev, Leonid). Born Aug. 14 (26), 1877; died May 19 (June 1), 1913. Professional revolutionary. Active member of the Bolshevik Party.

The son of a merchant and tenant, Dubrovinskii was born in the village of Pokrovsko-Lipovtsy in present-day Maloarkhangel’sk Raion, Orel Oblast. He studied at realschuler in Kursk (until 1895) and Orel (in 1896). In 1893 he began to participate in People’s Will circles, but later he became a Marxist. He became head of the Kaluga Social Democratic organization in 1896. Dubrovinskii was one of the leaders of the Moscow Workers’ Union. Arrested in Moscow in December 1897, he was exiled for four years to Iaransk in Viatka Province in November 1898. He was transferred to Astrakhan in 1902, when it was discovered that he had tuberculosis. During his exile Dubrovinskii established ties with the Leninist newspaper Iskra and became its active agent.

After the Second Congress of the RSDLP (1903), Dubrovinskii joined the Bolsheviks and was coopted to the Central Committee of the RSDLP. He moved to Samara in July 1903, where he led the Social Democratic organization. He took a conciliatory position toward the Mensheviks between 1904 and 1905. Dubrovinskii was arrested in February 1905. In prison he signed a declaration of full support for the line of V. I. Lenin. Released from prison in October 1905, he did party work in Moscow and was a member of the Moscow Committee of the RSDLP and the Literary and Lecturers’ Collegium of the Moscow committee.

Dubrovinskii went to St. Petersburg in November 1905 and participated in the revolutionary actions of the Kronstadt sailors. Returning to Moscow, he was one of the leaders of the December armed uprising in the city. As a member of the Moscow committee of the RSDLP and chief party organizer of Zamoskvorech’e District, he did important work to strengthen the Moscow party organization. He prepared the Moscow regional party conference in the summer of 1906 and was arrested at a party conference in St. Petersburg in September 1906. Leaving prison in February 1907, he took part in organizing the Fifth Congress of the RSDLP. He was arrested again in March 1907 at a meeting called to elect delegates the Fifth Party Congress. Dubrovinskii was offered the opportunity to emigrate rather than go into exile. At the Fifth Congress of the RSDLP, which was held in London in 1907, he was elected to the Central Committee of the RSDLP and to the Bolshevik Center.

Dubrovinskii soon returned illegally to St. Petersburg, where he engaged in important work to restore the destroyed party organizations. In November 1908 he was arrested and exiled to Vologda and later Sol’vychegodsk. He escaped abroad and went to live in Paris. He was a member of the editorial board of the newspaper Proletarii. Dubrovinskii took an incorrect position at a meeting of the Plenum of the Central Committee of the RSDLP in 1910, insisting on reconciliation with the Mensheviks.

In the spring of 1910 he left for Russia to work in the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee and in the Moscow organization. Betrayed by the agent provocateur Malinovskii, he was arrested in June 1910 and exiled for four years to Turukhansk territory. Hopelessly ill with tuberculosis, he committed suicide by drowning himself in the Enisei River.

Lenin noted Dubrovinskii’s errors in supporting reconciliation with the Mensheviks, but at the same time valued him as one of the most important and devoted organizers of the Bolshevik Party.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See index volume, part 2, p. 435.)
Zelikson-Bobrovskaia, Ts. S. Tovarishch Innokentii. Leningrad, 1925.
Prokofev, V. Dubrovinskii. Moscow, 1969. (Bibliography.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.