Sergei Volkonskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Volkonskii, Sergei Grigor’evich


Born Dec. 8 (19), 1788; died Nov. 28 (Dec. 10), 1865, in the village of Voron’ki, now Chernigov Oblast. Prince; Decembrist; major general.

Volkonskii took part in the Patriotic War of 1812 and in foreign campaigns in 1813-14. He owned extensive lands. From 1820 he was a member of the Union of the Public Good, and from 1821 he was a member of the Southern Society of Decembrists. With V. L. Davydov he directed the Kamenka Council of the Southern Society and established connections with the Northern Society of Decembrists. In 1825 he participated in negotiations with representatives of a Polish secret society. He was an advocate of the Southern Society’s program as expounded in the work Russian Justice by P. I. Peste!’. First he was sentenced to death, but this was commuted to hard labor. Volkonskii returned from Siberia in 1856, and he preserved his faith in revolutionary views until the end of his life. He sharply criticized the reforms of the 1860’s for their inadequacy. He approved of A. I. Herzen and N. P. Ogarev’s propaganda and more than once met with them abroad during the late 1850’s and early 1860’s. The stories related to them by Volkonskii were one of the sources of their information on the Decembrist movement.


Zapiski, 2nd ed. St. Petersburg, 1902.
“Pis’mak P. D. Kiselevu: 1814-15.” Katorgaissylka, 1933, book 2.


Volkonskaia, M. N. Zapiski, 2nd ed. Chita, 1960.
Nechkina, M. V. Dvizhenie dekabristov, vols. 1-2. Moscow, 1955.


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