Kharkov-Kiev Secret Society

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Kharkov-Kiev Secret Society


a revolutionary society of students at the University of Kharkov, founded in 1856 by Ia. N. Bekman, M. D. Muravskii, and P. S. Efimenko. The members established ties with A. I. Herzen, distributed his publications, and issued handwritten proclamations. After the 1858 student disturbances at the University of Kharkov, the society’s headquarters were moved to Kiev, where the members organized Sunday schools for the education of the common people. The leaders of the society tried to make contact with students at other Russian educational institutions and with members of Polish secret societies in Kiev.

Although the society did not have a clear political program, most of its members advocated the abolition of serfdom, the establishment of a republican form of government, and the introduction of free education in one’s native language. In January and February 1860 the society’s more active members were arrested and exiled without trial to remote provinces of European Russia. Subsequently, several of them joined Land and Liberty.


Baraboi, A. Z. “Khar’kovsko-Kievskoe revoliutsionnoe tainoe obshchestvo 1856–1860 gg.” In the collection Istoricheskie zapiski, vol. 52. Moscow, 1955.
Taubin, R. A. “la. N. Bekman i Khar’kovsko-Kievskoe tainoe obshchestvo.” In Revoliutsionnaia situatsiia v Rossii v 1859–1861 gg. Moscow, 1963.
Eidel’man, N. Ia. “Gertsen i Khar’kovsko-Kievskoe revoliutsionnoe obshchestvo.” In Problemy istorii obshchestvennogo dvizheniia i istoriografii. Moscow, 1971.
Ivanova, R. P. “Do pytannia pro stanovlennia spivdruzhnosti demokratychnykh syl narodiv Rossii v 60-x rokakh XIX st.” Ukrains’kyi istorychnyi zhurnal, 1977, no. 1.


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