Mikhail Fedorovich Grachevskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Grachevskii, Mikhail Fedorovich


Born 1849 in the village of Berezovka, in present-day Saratov Oblast; died Oct. 26 (Nov. 7), 1887. Russian revolutionary, member of People’s Will. The son of a priest.

In 1867, Grachevskii began to study at the Saratov Ecclesiastical Seminary but did not graduate and in 1869 became a village teacher. Starting in 1871 he worked as a locksmith and an engine operator. In 1874 he enrolled as an auditor in the St. Petersburg Technological Institute, became acquainted with the Chaikovskii Circle of the Narodniki (Populists) and carried on revolutionary propaganda among the workers of St. Petersburg and Moscow. He was associated with the Moscow Circle (which included S. I. Bar-dina and P. A. Alekseev). He was arrested three times (1873, 1875, 1878). He was a defendant in the Trial of the 193. In the fall of 1879 he escaped from exile (Arkhangel’sk Province). At the end of 1879 in St. Petersburg he became a member of the executive committee of People’s Will, on the instructions of which he worked in 1881–82 in Byelorussia and in the Baltic region to strengthen the influence of the party in the provinces. In St. Petersburg, he took part in attempts on the life of Tsar Alexander II. He was also involved in the printing of the People’s Will publications and conducted the financial affairs of the organization. In June 1882 he was arrested. In the Trial of the 17 (1883) he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted to life at hard labor. (Grachevskii’s speech in court was published in the journal Byloe [Past], 1906, no. 12.) He served his term at hard labor in the Peter and Paul Fortress and then in Shlissel’burg Fortress, where he committed suicide.


Figner, V . Zapechatlennyi trud: Vospominaniia, vols. 1–2. Moscow, 1964.
Volk, S. S. Narodnaia volia 1879–1882. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.