History

Ministers of Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire

 

 Prince  Viktor P. Kochubey (1768 –1834)

Minister of Internal Affairs from September 1802 to October 1807; and from November 1819 to June 1823.

He served as the Plenipotentiary Ambassador to Turkey, member of the Collegium of Foreign Affairs. For signing a peace treaty with Turkey he was granted the title of Count. Actively participated in the establishment of a ministry-based system of governance in Russia. The first Minister of Internal Affairs of Russia. He resigned his post in protest against the policy of rapprochement with Napoleonic France. He was reappointed Minister of Internal Affairs in 1819 and retired in 1823 largely due to disagreements with the Emperor’s favorite Alexei Arakcheev. In 1827 he was appointed Chairman of the State Council and Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. He was made a Prince in 1831.

 

Prince  Alexei B. Kurakin (1759 – 1829)

Minister of Internal Affairs from November 1807 to March 1810.

From 1802 and until the appointment to the position of Minister of Internal Affairs, he served as Governor General of Malorossia (Ukraine). He resigned from the position of the Minister because of disagreement with reorganization of the Ministry of Internal Affairs implemented within the framework of the Government reform designed by M.M. Speransky who had started his career as secretary of A.B. Kurakin. After his resignation served as a Member of the State Council.

 

Osip P. Kozodavlev (1754 – 1819)

Minister of Internal Affairs from March 1810 to July 1819.

In his young years he was a friend of A.N. Radischev. In 1783, he was appointed Advisor to the Director of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Served as Acting Minister of Justice and Acting Minister of Education. In 1808 appointed Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. Author of several works in economics, philosophy and literature. He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs as a supporter of reforms, designed by M.M. Speransky, who had participated in the reorganization of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the capacity of Deputy Minister. Died in the position of Minister of Internal Affairs.

 

Prince Alexander N. Golitsyn (1773 – 1844)

Minister of Internal Affairs from August to November 1819.

In 1805 he was Chief Procurator of the Most Holy Synod. He was appointed Minister of Education in 1816. Founder of the Biblical Society in Russia aiming at prisoners’ moral rehabilitation and improving their physical wellbeing. Served as Acting Minister of Internal Affairs. He held the position of Minister of Education until 1824.

 

 

Baron Balthazar B. Campenhausen (1772 – 1823).

Minister of Internal Affairs from June to August 1823.

In 1803-1805 - Director of the Medical Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs heading the organization of the healthcare in the country. In 1811, he became the first State Comptroller. In a month and a half after his appointment to the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs resigned for the reason of an illness.

 

 

Vasily S. Lanskoy (1754 – 1831)

Minister of Internal Affairs from August 1823 to April 1828.

Served as governor in several provinces. During the Patriotic War of 1812 he was the Quartermaster General in charge of “food supplies for the army.” In the period of V.S. Lanskoy’s service as Minister, the Special Chancellery of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which acted as the political police, was transferred from the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the Third Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery. He resigned for the reason of illness and old age.

 

Count Arseny A. Zakrevsky (1783 –1865)

Minister of Internal Affairs from April 1828 to October 1831.

He fought in the wars against Turkey, Sweden and France. Used to be a friend of D. Davydov. In December 1811, he was appointed Head of the Special Chancellery under the War Minister. After the war - the first General-on-Duty of the General Staff. Prior to the appointment to the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs - the Governor-General of Finland. He had to submit his letter of resignation from the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs because of riots in St. Petersburg during a cholera outbreak in the country. Returned to service in 1848, being appointed Governor-General of Moscow.


Count Dmitry N. Bludov (1785 – 1864)

Minister of Internal Affairs from February 1831 to February 1839.

Chief Secretary of the Supreme Criminal Court in the case of the Decembrist uprising. In 1830 the Minister of Justice. In accordance with Nikolai Karamzin’s will, Bludov prepared the final volume of Karamzin’s History of the Russian State for publication. Dmitry N. Bludov prepared a new “Regulation on local (rural) police” of 1837. After his resignation from the position of Minister in 1838 he served as Chief Administrator of the Second Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery, which was responsible for the drafting and codification of laws, as well as a member and chairman of the State Council’s Legal Department. Bludov oversaw the preparation and publication of the Code of Laws of the Russian Empire – in 1842 and 1857. Became a Count in 1842. In 1855 he was appointed President of the St.-Petersburg Academy of Sciences. From 1862 he served as Chairman of the State Council and the Committee of Ministers.

 

Count Alexander G. Stroganov (1795 – 1891)

Minister of Internal Affairs from March 1839 to September 1841.

He was Adjutant General to Nicholas I. In 1834-1836 - Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. In 1836–1839 Governor General of several provinces. During his tenure as Minister of Internal Affairs, he was a patron to Alexander Herzen and hired him to serve at the Chancellery of the Interior Ministry returning him from the city of Vladimir to which Herzen had been exiled. He resigned due to the Emperor’s dissatisfaction with his performance and was granted unspecified leave for treatment abroad. In 1854 - the Military Governor of St. Petersburg. From 1855 and until his final retirement in 1864, he served as Governor General in Novorossiysk and Bessarabia.

 

Count Lev A. Perovsky (1792 –1856)

Minister of Internal Affairs from September 1841 to August 1852.

Fought in the Patriotic War of 1812. A Colonel in the General Staff of His Imperial Majesty. He was a subject of an investigation by the Commission investigating the events of December 14, 1825 as a member of an early secret Decembrist organization. He was a deputy department director in charge of the estate and domains owned by the imperial family. Became widely known as a result of his fighting the abuse in the police of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. In 1847, he conducted an audit of the police in 27 provinces and found that only three of them met the requirements. In 1852, he submitted a letter of resignation for the reason of deteriorating health. In 1852, he was appointed the Minister of Domains and Chairman of the Commission for Studying the Antiquities, Administrator of the Academy of Fine Arts. He amassed a large collection of ancient coins.

 

Dmitry G. Bibikov (1791 – 1870)

Minister of Internal Affairs from August 1852 to August 1855.

A Hero of the Battle of Borodino, invalid of the Patriotic War of 1812. Vice Governor and Governor of a number of Russian Provinces. From 1824 to 1835, he was Director of the Department of Foreign Relations. In 1837, he was appointed Governor of the Kiev Province and, at the same time, Governor General of the Volyn Province. Despite his reputation of a martinet, becoming a minister, according to contemporaries, he did not break the course of affairs in the assigned institution, "no reorganizations plotted, no interference with the work, no philosophizing, no delaying the progress of affairs. He signed papers without reading them and never kept them long in his office. After the coronation of Alexander II, he was dismissed from service for being "inconsistent with the spirit of time." 

 

Count Sergei S. Lanskoy (1787 – 1862)

Minister of Internal Affairs from August 1855 to April 1861.

When a young man, he was a member of a Decembrist organization Union of Prosperity, and a leader of a Masonic Lodge in Saint Petersburg. The nephew of the Minister of Internal Affairs Vasily Lanskoy. Governor of the Kostroma and then of the Vladimir provinces, a member of the State Council, Vice-President of "Trustees society for prisons." Being a very experienced, cautious and flexible statesman S. Lanskoy played a major role in preparing and implementing the 1861 reform, as well as in ensuring the protection of public order at that time. He was relieved from the post at his own request for the reason of poor health. After resigning, he received the title of count.

 

Count Pyotr A. Valuyev (1814 – 1890)

Minister of Internal Affairs from April 1861 to March 1868.

He began his career at the Second Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery under the direction of Mikhail M. Speransky. Became known in bureaucratic circles as the author of a memorandum titled “A Russian Man’s Thoughts in the Second Half of 1855”, having used therein a phrase that later was often used to characterize the reign of Nicholas I – “glitter at the top and rot at the bottom." The reason for his dismissal as Minister of Internal Affairs was his confrontation with Chief Administrator of the Third Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery, Chief of Gendarmes Pyotr A. Shuvalov who had great political influence. After the resignation he was chairman of the board of a private bank. In 1872 served as Minister of State Property. In 1873 he was Chairman of the Committee of Ministers. In 1881 he was made a count.

 

Alexander Ye. Timashev (1818 – 1893)

Minister of Internal Affairs from March 1868 to November 1878.

Adjutant General of Emperor Alexander II. On the coronation day of Alexander II, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Special Corps of Gendarmes. In 1863, he was appointed Governor General of the Kazan, Perm and Vyatka provinces. In 1867, he became Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. Under the Minister A.Ye. Timashev, the Ministry of Internal Affairs introduced an unrestricted hiring system for rank-and-file police officers. These positions previously used to be filled in by retired soldiers and non-commissioned officers. The Minister in the opinion of his subordinates did not burn with love and zeal for service. He was known as a gifted sculptor and draftsman.

 

Lev S. Makov (1830 – 1883)

Minister of Internal Affairs from November 1878 to August 1880.

Served at the Ministry of Internal Affairs – an officer for special missions, Administrator of the Chancellery, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. His appointment was largely the result of support by the morganatic wife of Alexander II Princess Yekaterina Dolgorukaya. He resigned as Minister of Internal Affairs in August 1880 in connection with the forthcoming significant reorganization of the Ministry. After the resignation as Minister of Internal Affairs he became Minister of Posts and Telegraphs. L.S. Makov committed suicide. Possible causes of his suicide include his involvement (or his failure to prove his innocence) in connection with embezzlement at the Chancellery of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

 

Count Mikhail T. Loris-Melikov (1825 – 1888)

Minister of Internal Affairs from August 1880 to May 1881.

During the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–1878, he commanded the Caucasian Front. In 1878 he received the title of count. In 1878, he was appointed acting Governor General of the Volga provinces to fight cholera outbreaks. Governor General of the Kharkov Province with special powers for fighting revolutionary movement and terrorism. He preferred doing without his special powers striving to acquire public support of the activities of the Government. In 1880 he was appointed Chairman of the Supreme Administrative Commission for Maintaining Public Order and Peace. Loris-Melikov initiated the abolition in 1880 of the Third Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery as a body of Political Police and concentrated the governance of the police as a whole as well as of the Special Corps of Gendarmes, in the Ministry of Internal Affairs. He was dismissed after the assassination of Alexander II by the terrorists. After his resignation he mostly lived abroad. 

 

Count Nikolai P. Ignatiev (1832 – 1908)

Minister of Internal Affairs from May 1881 to May 1882.

From 1861 to 1864, he served as Director of the Asian Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. From 1864 he was Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey. From March to May 1881, he served as Minister of State Property. Ignatiev was behind the adoption of the Regulations on Measures to Promote State Security and Public Peace of August 14, 1881, which established the procedure for introducing a state of emergency or increased measures of security across the Russian Empire. Submitted a Letter of Resignation after the failure of his idea to convene the Zemsky Sobor (assembly of the land) to resolve important state issues.

 

Count Dmitry A. Tolstoy (1823 – 1889)

Minister of Internal Affairs from May 1882 to April 1889.

In 1861, he became a department director at the Ministry of Education. In 1865 he was appointed Minister of Education as a proponent of a «firm domestic policy. His name in the history of Russia is associated with the «anti-reform policy» that sought to revise a number of democratic reforms implemented in the 1860s and to preserve the existing sociopolitical and government system. He introduced the position of the Third Deputy Minister in charge of the Police Department and the Special Corps of Gendarmes. He ensured the approval by the Committee of Ministers of the "Regulation on the establishment of secret police in the Empire." Dmitry A. Tolstoy remained Minister until his death. Along with heading the Ministry of Internal Affairs he was President of the Imperial Academy of Sciences. Author of works on history, law and religion.

 

Ivan N. Durnovo (1830 – 1903)

Minister of Internal Affairs from April 1889 to October 1895.

Provincial Marshal of the Nobility. Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. From 1886 - Head of the Fourth Section of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery in charge of charitable projects and traditionally overseen by the Empress. He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs as a person who had served under the direct supervision of D.A. Tolstoy and who was able to continue the policy pursued by him.

In 1895 with the support of the Empress Maria and K.P. Pobedonostsev he was appointed Chairman of the Committee of Ministers and he served in this position until the day of his death. 

 

Ivan L. Goremykin (1839 – 1917)

Minister of Internal Affairs from October 1895 to October 1899.

In 1861 – Vice-Governor of the Polotsk Province, than – Deputy Minister of Justice. Since 1888 – Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. In the period when I.L. Goremykin served as Minister of Internal Affairs the General Department of Prisons was transferred to the Ministry of Justice. In 1898, at the Police Department there was created a special division to manage intelligence activities within the country and abroad. After resigning from the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs – he served as Member of the State Council, Chairman of the special meeting on the peasant issue. From April to July 1906 Chairman of the Council of Ministers. One of the initiators of the dissolution of the State Duma. He served as Chairman of the Council of Ministers again from January 1914 to January 1915. He was dismissed from his position under the pressure of the State Duma and the majority of ministers regarding him as an "old senile" defamatory to the monarch and the monarchy. 

 

Dmitry S. Sipyagin (1853 – 1902)

Minister of Internal Affairs from November 1899 to April 1902.

From 1891 to 1893, he served as Moscow Governor. In 1893, he became Deputy Minister of State Property and in 1894 – Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. As Minister of Internal Affairs he became “famous” in bureaucratic circles for his answer to a question from the audience: “What should be done in case of riots?” The answer was: "At careful, reasonable and strict attitude of competent authorities to their business street riots should not take place." He became known in the society for publishing a circular banning the newspaper reports on the health of ailing Leo Tolstoy, and for adoption of measures to ensure the order on the day of his funeral. But L.N. Tolstoy outlived D.S. Sipyagin who was killed by a terrorist.

 

Vyacheslav K. Plehve (1846 – 1904)

Minister of Internal Affairs from April 1902 to July 1904.

He served as an assistant prosecutor in Vladimir and, than, prosecutor in Vologda and assistant prosecutor in Warsaw. In 1880, he became a prosecutor at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Justice. He led the investigation into the explosion at the Winter Palace prepared by Stepan Khalturin. He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs owing to his experience of managing the Police Department and his reputation for resolute action. His answer to the question of what he would do if in the capital there is widespread anti-government demonstration was, "I'll get them whipped!" Appointed S.V. Zubatov, a well-known Chief of the Moscow Security Division to the position of Head of the Police Special Division. But he also dismissed him from the service at the Ministry of Internal Affairs and set a secret police surveillance over him. Despite an increased police protection, he was killed by a terrorist from the Social Revolutionary Party. 

 

Prince Pyotr D. Svyatopolk-Mirsky (1857 – 1914)

Minister of Internal Affairs from September 1904 to January 1905.

He served as Governor in several Provinces. In 1902, he served as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs and Commander of the Special Corps of Gendarmes. He resigned as deputy minister due to disagreements with the policies of Minister of Internal Affairs. In 1902 to 1904, he was the Governor General of western provinces. Dismissed from the position of the Minister based on his letter of resignation submitted before the events of January 9, 1905 in St. Petersburg. Mass riots that took place in St. Petersburg on that day speeded up his dismissal from the position of Minister. After resignation he did not receive a new appointment.

 

Alexander G. Bulygin (1851 – 1919)

Minister of Internal Affairs from January to October 1905.

From 1879 to 1881, he served as an inspector of the Main Penal Directorate. In 1881-1888 he was Marshal of the Nobility in the Zaraysk District. In 1889-1990 Governor of Kaluga and Governor of Moscow. In 1900-1904 he was Assistant to the Governor General of Moscow Grand Prince Sergey Aleksandrovich who actively helped him secure the position of Minister of Internal Affairs. He was working on the project of establishing an advisory State Duma, known as “Bulygin’s Duma.” He retired after the Manifesto of Nicholas II on the introduction of legislative Duma and government reorganization. He was executed by a fire squad in 1919 by the provincial Cheka for "conducting reactionary policy in 1905."

 

Pavel N. Durnovo (1844 – 1915)

Minister of Internal Affairs from October 1905 to April 1906.

Assistant Prosecutor at the Naval Court, served at the Ministry of Justice. Between 1884 and 1893, he served as Director of the Police Department. Dismissed from his position for using the secret police for personal purposes but he was appointed a Senator. In October 1905 Chairman of the Council of Ministers Sergei Yu. Witte insisted on his appointment to the position of Minister of Internal Affairs since he would be able to “immediately assume control over the entire police force and run it with the necessary level of competence.” He resigned together with Chairman of the Council of Ministers Sergei Yu. Witte.

 

Pyotr A. Stolypin (1862 – 1911)

Minister of Internal Affairs from April 1906 to September 1911.

District Marshal of the Nobility. In 1902, he became Governor of the Grodno Province and in 1903-1906 he served as Governor of the Saratov Province. He was appointed Minister of Internal Affairs just before the convocation of the First State Duma as a person capable of defending the Government interests in the Duma. On July 9th, 1906, the next day after the dissolution of the First State Duma P.A. Stolypin was appointed Chairman of the Council of Ministers while retaining the position of Minister of Internal Affairs. The reforms developed by P.A. Stolypin included as well a substantial restructuring of the Police. On September 1, 1911, he was fatally wounded by a terrorist who was close to the Socialist Revolutionary Party being at the same time a police agent.

 

Alexander A. Makarov (1857 – 1918)

Minister of Internal Affairs from September 1911 to December 1912.

He served as Prosecutor of the Saratov Court of Justice in 1901-1906, i.e. at the time when P.A. Stolypin was Governor of this province. Since 1906 he served as Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs. He was respected at the Ministry of Internal Affairs since he looked at everything from a prosecutor’s viewpoint. In 1916 he served as Minister of Justice. Makarov as a hostage was executed by a firing squad in September 1919 by order of the VCheka following the explosion of a bomb in the building of the Moscow City Committee of the Bolsheviks’ party.

 

Nikolai A. Maklakov (1871 – 1918)

Minister of Internal Affairs from December 1912 to June 1915.

Administrator of the Poltava Treasury Chamber. In 1909 he was appointed the Governor of Chernigov. After the beginning of the First World War he applied several times for resignation. After resigning, he was given a high court title of Chamberlain. Arrested by the Provisional Government. Maklakov was executed by a firing squad in 1918 during the Red Terror.

 

Prince Nikolai B. Shcherbatov (1868 – 1943)

Minister of Internal Affairs from June 1915, to September 1915.

He was one of the founders of the Russian Union of Landowners. In 1913-1915 he served as general manager of the State Horse Breeding Authority. A great connoisseur of horses. His appointment to the position of Minister was probably a result of his closeness to the Grand Prince Nicholas Nikolaevich, who was at the time the Supreme Commander-in-Chief.

 

Alexei N. Khvostov (1872 – 1918)

Minister of Internal Affairs from September 1915 to March 1916.

Since 1905 he served as Governor of the Vologda and Nizhny Novgorod provinces. A deputy of the Fourth State Duma. After his appointment to the position of Minister despite the existing rules he remained a deputy of the State Duma, leader of conservatives. He formed the Society Against High Prices, with the Ministry of Internal Affairs. One of the reasons of his dismissal – failure in fighting the influence of G.Rasputin. He was executed by firing squad by order of the VCheka.  

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