Petr Semenovich Vannovskii
Vannovskii, Petr Semenovich
Born Nov. 24 (Dec. 6), 1822, in Kiev; died Feb. 16 (29), 1904, in St. Petersburg. Russian general of the infantry (1883).
Vannovskii fought in the Crimean War of 1853-56. After becoming chief of the Infantry Officers’ School in 1857 and of the Pavel Cadet School in 1861 (a military academy from 1863), he introduced senseless, harsh discipline and severe punishments. During the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78 he was chief of staff of the Rushchuk Detachment, which was commanded by the heir, the future Emperor Alexander III. While he was acting chief of the defense ministry from May to December 1881 and defense minister from 1882 to 1897, Vannovskii pursued a reactionary policy; his imperiousness and rudeness made him extremely unpopular in the army. He became a member of the State Council in 1898. In 1899 he directed the investigation of student disturbances. In March 1901, Vannovskii was appointed minister of public education. He tried to .reorganize the higher educational institutions in a reactionary spirit; the hypocritical policy of “sincere concern for the school” that he pursued at the same time failed. Vannovskii retired in April 1902.