Osinskii, Valerian

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Osinskii, Valerian Andreevich


Born Oct. 29 (Nov. 10), 1852, in Taganrog; died May 14 (26), 1879, in Kiev. Russian revolutionary; Narodnik (Populist).

The son of a general, Osinskii studied at the St. Petersburg Railroad Institute from 1871 to 1872. He served in zemstvo (local self-government) institutions in Rostov-on-Don and became involved in the revolutionary movement in 1875. He was one of the founders of the journal Land and Liberty. From late 1877 he headed the first (Southern) Executive Committee and became a herald of the People’s Will. He led terrorist attacks on the procurator of Kiev M. M. Kotliarevskii and the colonel of gendarmes G. E. Geiking. He engaged in political agitation and encouraged liberals to fight againt tsarism. Arrested in Kiev in January 1879, Osinskii was sentenced by the Kiev military district court to death by firing squad; however, Alexander II changed this to death by hanging. Osinskii was a talented propagandist and organizer. Energetic, fearless, and charming, he was popular in the revolutionary underground and in society. L. N. Tolstoy esteemed him highly (Poln. sobr. soch., vol. 36, 1936, p. 151 and vol. 63, 1934, p. 67).


“Biograficheskie zametki o V. Osinskom.” In Literatura partii “Narodnaia volia.” Moscow, 1930. Pages 31–35.
“Osyns’kyi Valer’ian Anriiovych.” Naukovo-informatsiinyi biuleten’ arkhivnogo upravlinnia URSR, 1964, no. 6.
Stepniak-Kravchinskii, S. M. V. Osinskii: Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1972. Pages 423–30.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.