Sergei Ivanovich Muravev-Apostol

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Murav’ev-Apostol, Sergei Ivanovich


Born Sept. 28 (Oct. 9), 1796, in St. Petersburg; died there July 13 (25), 1826. Decembrist; lieutenant colonel. Son of a prominent diplomat and writer, descended from an ancient dvorianstvo (nobility or gentry) family.

Murav’ev-Apostol graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Railway Engineers in 1811. He served in the Patriotic War of 1812 and in the foreign campaigns of the Russian Army in 1813–14. He was one of the founders of the Union of Salvation and was a member of the Fundamental Council of the Union of Welfare. After the uprising in the Semenovskoe Guards Regiment in 1820, in which Murav’ev-Apostol served as a company commander, he was transferred as the battalion commander to the Chernigov Infantry Regiment. In January 1822 he was recruited into the Southern Society of the Decembrists by P. I. Pestel’, and he became head of the Vasil’kov Council. Murav’ev-Apóstol, together with M. P. Bestiuzhev-Riumin, incorporated the Society of the United Slavs into the Southern Society in September 1825.

A republican by conviction and an opponent of serfdom, Murav’ev-Apostol in the period 1823–25 set forth a number of plans for an armed uprising in the army, and in November 1823 he came to share the opinion of Pestel’ on the need to assassinate the tsar. Using former soldiers of the Semenovskoe Regiment who had been transferred to the Ukraine, Murav’ev-Apostol waged revolutionary propaganda among the troops. He was appointed the third director of the Southern Society in early November 1825. He planned an uprising in military units stationed in southern Russia. Learning of the defeat of the Decembrists on Dec. 14, 1825, in Senate Square in St. Petersburg, Murav’ev-Apostol organized and headed the uprising of the Chernigov Regiment on December 29. Severely wounded, he was taken prisoner. He was among the five leaders of the Decembrist uprising who were hanged.


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