Sungurov Affair

Sungurov Affair


a trial of a group of persons arrested in Moscow in June and July 1831 on a charge of planning to establish an “antigovernmental society.” The trial was named for N. P. Sungurov.

Sungurov, passing himself off as a member of the Decembrist Society who had survived the defeat of the uprising in 1825, attempted in early 1831 to organize a secret society. He held talks with members of the student circle of Ia. I. Kostenetskii, who were united by a mutual hatred for the regime of Emperor Nicholas I. The organization was to be patterned after the Decembrists, but its membership would be socially more diverse and would also include government officials and students. The purpose of the society was to establish a republican system of government in Russia. Sungurov also established contacts with a group of officers of Polish descent at the Moscow garrison, but, after learning of their intention to flee to Poland and join the revolt of 1830–31, he denounced them to the chief police commissioner of Moscow.

In July 1831, on information obtained from I. N. Polonik, a student at Moscow University, Sungurov and 25 of his associates were arrested. The case was turned over to the Moscow Military Court on the order of Emperor Nicholas I. At first the court sentenced seven persons to death. However, under the final sentence, on Feb. 26,1832, Sungurov and F. P. Gurov were exiled to Siberia at hard labor. Five others, including Kostenetskii, were drafted into the army, while the rest were placed under police surveillance. N. P. Ogarev, N. V. Stankevich, and others who helped collect funds for those who had been drafted were also placed under police surveillance. Sungurov’s adventurist activities have led a number of historians to accuse him of provocation.


Kostenetskii, Ia. I. “Vospominaniia iz moei studencheskoi zhizni.” In Russkii arkhiv, 1887, books 1–2.
Fedosov, I. A. Revoliutsionnoe dvizhenie v Rossii vo 2-i chetverti 19 v. Moscow, 1958.
Nasonkina, L. I. Moskovskii universitet poste vosstaniia dekabristov. Moscow, 1972.