unofficial name for a St. Petersburg prison built in 1892.
The prison consisted of two five-story buildings intersecting one another in the form of a huge cross. The prison’s 1,150 one-man cells were arranged along the corridors in four tiers. The very harsh prison regime was intended to destroy the prisoners morally and physically. Kresty was originally built to hold ordinary criminals, but after the Revolution of 1905–07, it became primarily a prison for political offenders. Members of the St. Petersburg Committee of Bolsheviks and of the Soviet of Workers’ Deputies were among the prisoners in Kresty. During the February Revolution of 1917, prisoners were released from Kresty.
Following the July Days of 1917, the bourgeois Provisional Government imprisoned Bolsheviks in Kresty. They were freed “in August 1917 as a result of pressure from the revolutionary masses.