Loris-Melikov, Mikhail Tarielovich
Born 1825 in Tbilisi; died Dec. 12 (24), 1888, in Nice. Count; Russian statesman; adjutant general; member of the State Council. Descendent of dvoriane (nobility or gentry) of Tiflis Province.
Loris-Melikov studied at the Lazarev Institute and in a school for guards subensigns and cavalry Junkers in St. Petersburg. From the late 1840’s he took part in military operations against Shamil’ and against the Turks in the Transcaucasian theater during the Crimean War of 1853-56. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 he commanded a corps in the Caucasian theater. In early 1879 he was appointed acting governor-general of Astrakhan, Saratov, Samara, and Kharkov. While waging the struggle against the revolutionary movement, Loris-Melikov, in contrast to other governors-general, attempted to win over the oppositional segment of society.
After the explosion in the Winter Palace perpetrated by S. N. Khalturin on Feb. 12, 1880, Loris-Melikov was appointed head of the Supreme Administrative Commission and became, in effect, a dictator. On Aug. 6, 1880, the commission was abolished on Loris-Melikov’s initiative. He was appointed minister of the interior and chief of the gendarmes, but this did not lessen his influence. Continuing the struggle against the revolutionary movement, he alleviated punitive measures in order to get the approval of liberal public opinion. He presented a report to Alexander II suggesting a number of economic reforms, and the report was approved. At the same time, he attempted to have representatives of enfranchised society take part in examining the projects for reforms. After the murder of Alexander II and the promulgation by Alexander III of a manifesto strengthening the autocracy, Loris-Melikov retired in 1881. He lived primarily abroad.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. “Goniteli zemstva i Annibaly liberalizma.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 5, pp. 25-72.
Gr. M. T. Loris-Melikov. Tiflis, 1889.
Zaionchkovskii, P. A. Krizis samoderzhaviia na rubezhe 1870-1880-kh gg. Moscow, 1964.
P. A. ZAIONCHKOVSKII