Sviashchennaia Druzhina

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sviashchennaia Druzhina

 

(Holy Host), a secret organization established by aristocrats of the Russian court in the summer of 1881 to combat the revolutionary movement. The Sviashchennaia Druzhina was founded after the attempted assassination of Tsar Alexander II by the People’s Will. It was directed by a central committee located in St. Petersburg and headed by P. P. Shuvalov. Leaders of the organization included grand dukes, ministers, and generals. The organization had a widely ramified network of spies and provocateurs, and it kept its activities secret both from revolutionaries and the police. Members of the Sviashchennaia Druzhina raided underground printing presses and tried to organize a system for locating political suspects. The organization built up an extensive secret service outside of Russia and published two newspapers in Geneva—Vol’noe slovo (The Free Word) and Pravda (The Truth). The organization ceased its activities in late 1882.

REFERENCCE

Senchakova, L. T. “‘Sviashchennaia druzhina’ i ee sostav.” Vestnik MGU, seriia 9: Istoriia, 1967, no. 2.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.