a central governmental institution of Russia in the late 17th to early 18th centuries.
The prikaz (office) was created by Peter I in 1686 in the village of Preobrazhenskoe near Moscow for the administration of the Preobrazhenskii and Semenovskii regiments and was employed by the tsar in his struggle for power against Tsarevna Sof’ia. It was called the Preobrazhenskii Prikaz in 1695. Its functions included security enforcement in Moscow and the investigation of especially important judicial matters. In 1697 the prikaz was granted the exclusive authority to investigate and prosecute political crimes. It was under the personal direction of the tsar. These functions were limited with the establishment of the Secret Chancellery of 1718 to 1726, which investigated the most important political crimes, such as the case of Tsarevich Aleksei.
The Preobrazhenskii Prikaz concentrated on the suppression of antifeudal popular movements (up to 70 percent of all cases) and the struggle against the opponents of the reforms of Peter I. The prikaz was abolished in April 1729. Prince F. Iu. Romodanovskii and Prince I. F. Romodanovskii served as its head (judge) from 1686 to 1717 and from 1718 to 1729, respectively.