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.


Gernet, M. N. Istoriia tsarskoi tiur’my, 3rd ed., vol. 3. Moscow, 1961. Pages 377, 381–82.
References in classic literature ?
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On November 13, he was moved to St Petersburg's Kresty prison.
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Carlton, P.S., Kresty, L.A., Siglin, J.C., Morse, M.A., Lu, J., Morgan, C., Stoner, G.D., 2001.
Laura Ann Kresty of the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus and her colleagues induced cancer of the esophagus in rats by treating them with a tumor-causing chemical.
He is now being held in hospital at the notorious Kresty prison in St Petersburg after being attacked by fellow inmates.
It is remarkable testament to the new spirit of openness that the eventual programme included the massive and much troubled remand prisons - Butyrki in Moscow and Kresty in St Petersburg - as well as the notorious Byely Lebed in Solikamsk, in spite of a hostage-taking incident there just two days before the visit, in which the procurator and one of the hostage-takers were killed.
In the agricultural colony on Sakhalin Island, the Russian Empire had its equivalent of the Penitentiare de Mettray; in the Kresty, built according to panoptic design by the architect Antony Tomishko and run according to the Philadelphia system, it had its version of Pentonville.