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Issue № 83. December 2020

To the History of N.P. Ignatiev’s Activities as a Minister of Internal Affairs (1881–1882): Based on the Materials of Metropolitan Isidor (Nikolsky) Diary

Kirill A. Vakh, Alexander Yu. Polunov

Kirill A. Vakh — General Director of the Scientific Publishing Center «Indrik», Deputy Head of the Scientific Section of the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, Moscow, Russian Federation.

Alexander Yu. Polunov — DSc (History), Associate Professor, Professor, School of Public Administration, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation. 

The purpose of this article is to introduce into scientific circulation new information about the activities of N.P. Ignatiev, which is contained in the diary of a prominent church and statesman of the Russian Empire — Metropolitan Isidor (Nikolsky) of St. Petersburg. After the assassination of Alexander II and the actual removal of Chancellor A.M. Gorchakov, N.P. Ignatiev was included in the circle of new emperor confidants. He was recommended by the leaders of two opposite political groups: Count Loris-Melikov and K.P. Pobedonostsev. Ignatiev was offered the post of one of the key governmental departments — the Ministry of the Interior. At the same time, Ignatiev was attacked by his former boss A.M. Gorchakov, who sought to compromise him and thereby prevent his further rise. The new minister had to make a choice on which “party” — liberal or conservative — he would rely on in his activity aimed to pacify Russia. Ignatiev did not seek the rapprochement with Pobedonostsev and, in fact, tried to distance himself from his conservative program. This put the end to his public career. He tried to propose a middle way of the country’s development, but was proclaimed a supporter of the constitution and was dismissed by the tsar on the advice of K.P. Pobedonostsev. Numerous details and “rumors” recorded by Metropolitan Isidor in his diary make it possible to enrich the picture of the internal political struggle at the beginning of the reign of Alexander III.


N.P. Ignatiev, K.P. Pobedonostsev, Alexander III, liberalism, conservatism, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Zemsky Sobor, terrorism.

DOI: 10.24411/2070-1381-2020-10106

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