Lev Perovskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Perovskii, Lev Alekseevich


Born Sept. 9 (20), 1792; died Nov. 9 (21), 1856, in St. Petersburg. Count; Russian statesman; general of the infantry (1855). Illegitimate son of Count A. K. Razumovskii.

Perovskii graduated from Moscow University in 1811 and entered military service, joining a detachment of file leaders who carried out the functions of a general staff. He fought in the Patriotic War of 1812 and the foreign campaigns of 1813–14. He was a member of the early Decembrist organizations, but in 1821 he quit the movement. After retiring from military service, he worked in the Collegium of Foreign Affairs from 1823 to 1826, and from 1826 to 1840 in the Department (Ministry in 1827) of Appanages, where he became deputy minister in 1840. From 1841 to 1852 he served as minister of internal affairs.

Perovskii’s memorandum “On Eliminating Serfdom in Russia,” which he submitted to Nikolai I, was used as a guide for establishing the Secret Committee on the Peasant Question in 1846. From 1852 to 1856, Perovskii headed the Ministry of Appanages. In 1850 he was named head of the Commission on the Study of Antiquities. He took part in archaeological excavations near Novgorod, in Suzdal’, and in the Crimea. Perovskii assembled a large coin collection, which is now in the Hermitage, and a collection of old Russian silver.


Vasil’chikov, A. A. Semeistvo Razumovskikh, vol. 2. St. Petersburg, 1880.
Varadinov, N. Istoriia Ministerstva vnutrennikh del, part 3, book 3. St. Petersburg, 1862.
Stoletie udelov: 1797–1897. St. Petersburg, 1897.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.