Mikhail Pavlovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pavlovich, Mikhail Pavlovich


(also M. P. Vo-lonter; real name Mikhail Lazarevich Vel’tman). Born Mar. 13 (25), 1871, in Odessa; died June 19, 1927, in Moscow. Participant in the Russian revolutionary movement. Orientalist.

Pavlovich was the son of an office worker. In 1892 he was arrested and then exiled to Verkhoiansk for participating in Social Democratic circles in Odessa. From 1898 he was a member of the RSDLP and carried on party work in Odessa and Kishinev. In 1901 he went to Paris, where he worked on the newspaper Iskra. After the Second Congress of the RSDLP (1903) he joined the Mensheviks. From 1905 to 1907, Pavlovich worked in the St. Petersburg military organization of the RSDLP. Between 1907 and 1917 he was an émigré in France, where he studied the national liberation movements of the countries of the East. He was an internationalist during World War I.

Pavlovich returned to Russia in the summer of 1917. After the October Revolution of 1917 he worked in the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. In 1918 he joined the RCP (B) and worked as chairman of the Main Committee of State Projects of the RSFSR. In 1919 and 1920 he was a representative of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Republic on the Southern Front. In 1920 he helped organize and lead the First Congress of the Peoples of the East in Baku, where he was elected to the Council of Action and Propaganda. From 1921 to 1923, Pavlovich was a member of the board of the People’s Commissariat of Nationalities. Between 1921 and 1927 he was chairman of the All-Russian Scientific Association for Oriental Studies and rector of the Moscow Institute of Oriental Studies. One of the organizers of the discipline of oriental studies in the USSR, Pavlovich was the author of works dealing with imperialism and the history of national liberation movements in the countries of the East.


Sobr. soch., vols. 2–3, 7–9. Leningrad, 1925–27.


Kuznetsova, N. A., and L. M. Kulagina. “Pavlovich (Vel’tman).”
Narody Azii i Afriki, 1963, no. 3.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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In 1921, after deciding that tsarist-era scholars lacked the appropriate political credentials, the Central Committee mandated the creation of a new All-Russian Scientific Association of Oriental Studies and a corresponding journal, Novyi Vostok (The New East), both to be headed by Mikhail Pavlovich Pavlovich (given name Mikhail Lazarevich Vel'tman).
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