History 1718 - 1802 years
On June 7, 1718 Peter I founded the Main Police in Saint Petersburg. Adjutant General Anton Manuilovich Devier was appointed General Police Chief.
On June 4, 1718 A. M. Devier requested the Senate to send him the regulations that would guide the operation of the police, to make public “the Tsar's will” obliging residents of the capital to comply with demands of the General Police Chief, and to staff the police with the required number of people. On the same day, the Senate issued the Decree on assignment of 10 officers (from major to warrant officer), 20 non-commissioned officers, 160 soldiers, a government official, and 10 minor officials under Devier's command. Soldiers and non-commissioned officers were to be assigned by the province's administrative office. However, that Decree was not fulfilled appropriately. By the end of 1718, the personnel of the Office of the Police Chief comprised 41 people, excluding the General Police Chief (1 major, 2 captains, 2 warrant officers, 2 cavalry sergeant majors, 2 sergeants, 4 quartermaster sergeants, 4 corporals, 22 private soldiers, and 2 clerks-minor officials). In 1719, 3 lieutenants and 23 private soldiers were additionally assigned to the Office of the Police Chief, i. e. its staff increased to 67 people.
In February 1718, there was created the ad hoc emergency body for political crime detection – the Secret Office headed by P. A. Tolstoy. Initially, it had a very specific task – to investigate the case of Tsarevich Alexei. Yet afterwards, after the completion of the investigation of Alexei's case, it continued functioning. As a result, two political police bodies were operating simultaneously – the Preobrazhensky Department and the Secret Office. The latter primarily focused on cases initiated in Saint Petersburg or in the neighboring towns. All other areas of the country were within the competence of the Preobrazhensky Department. By the scale of its activities, the Preobrazhensky Department considerably excelled the Secret Office. For instance, from 1719 to 1726 the Secret Office investigated 280 cases, while the Preobrazhensky Department from 1718 to 1725 - nearly 2,000 cases. The role of the Secret office was gradually diminishing, and on May 28, 1726 it was liquidated.
On January 16, 1721 the Regulation of the Chief Magistrate was issued. It read that the Police “facilitate rights and justice, give rise to good practices and morals, protect all people against bandits, thieves, rapists, fraudsters and others of that ilk, suppress dishonorable and indecent existence and urge everyone to labor and honest business, train good inspectors, diligent and kind servants, regularly construct towns and streets therein, prevent expensiveness and ensure prosperity in everything required for human life, warn against all diseases that occurred, promote cleanness on streets and in houses, prohibit redundant household expenditure and all apparent faults, support beggars, poor, sick, disabled and other indigent people, protect widows, orphans and aliens according to God's commandments, bring up the youth in chaste purity and honest sciences; all these in short, the police are the spirit of the civil society and all good practices, and the fundamental support of people's security and comfort”.
In 1721, owing to A. M. Devier's efforts, there were installed first street lights and benches for rest in Saint Petersburg. The fire emergency service was organized. Besides, the police had the powers of a judicial institution and could impose punishments in criminal cases.
On January 17, 1722 due to the arrival to the ancient capital of Peter I who had accepted the title of the Emperor, the Articles were issued on appointment of the guards of shift soldiers in Moscow for strengthening the security.
On January 24, 1722 the Emperor's Decree introduced “the Table of the Ranks of all military, civil, and court officials and of the classes those ranks are included into; and as regards officials within one and the same class, those shall be ranked in the order of precedence of accession to the rank, while military officers are predominant, even if someone was granted the rank earlier”.
On January 19, 1722 there was established the title of the head police master in Moscow that was the supreme police title in Moscow conforming to class V of the Table of the Ranks. The head police master was appointed by the Emperor from among military or civil officials.
On July 9, 1722 the Emperor issued the detailed instruction (48 articles) to the Moscow head police master, according to which he was in charge of protection of public tranquility in Moscow, was the head of the Moscow Office of the Police Chief, and starting from 1782 – of the Board of Decency. In 1729 – 1731 and in 1762– 1764, the head of the Moscow Police was called the General Police Chief.
On December 10, 1722 the Instruction for the Moscow Office of the Police Chief (46 clauses) was issued that regulated in detail various aspects of the organization and work of the police.
On October 2, 1727 Emperor Peter II issued the Decree, subject to which the Moscow police was withdrawn from under the command of the Office of the Police Chief and was transferred into the supervision of the Governor General of Moscow. In November, Head Police Master and State Counsellor I. D. Pozdnyakov was delegated from Saint Petersburg to head the Moscow police, while the Moscow Office of the Police Chief was subordinated to the Senate.
On April 6, 1731 the Secret Office of Investigation was created that had the authority to investigate political cases in the entire territory of Russia. All persons stating “word and deed” were sent there. All central and local bodies were obliged to fully comply with orders of Chief of the Office A. I. Ushakov. He was empowered to penalize any official for a “failure”.
The Secret Office of Investigation succeeded the Preobrazhensky Department. The archive of the latter was delivered to the Office, while the Preobrazhensky main residence became the residence of the Secret Office. However, unlike the Preobrazhensky Department, the Secret Office of Investigation was not in charge of any other functions and dealt solely with investigation of political crimes. The staff of the Secret Office of Investigation significantly exceeded the staff of the Preobrazhensky Department. The Secret Office of Investigation directly reported to the Empress (Anna Ioannovna, Elizabeth I).
In the mid-XVIII century, the Secret Office of Investigation played a very important role in the system of the state authorities of Russia. With relentless cruelty, it persecuted everyone who expressed any discontent with the government. The Secret Office acquired a terrible fame due to refined tortures, capital punishments and mercilessness of its servants. The Secret Office of Investigation and its office in Moscow were liquidated in 1762.
On August 28, 1732 subject to the Empress’ Decree Major-General V. F. Saltykov was appointed the General Police Chief; he also headed all police administrations in the state. Before the issue of the new instruction on his position, he was to act according to the previous one issued by Peter I.
On September 22, 1732 there was declared an increase in the staff of the Office of the General Police Chief: two counselors, billeting officers, two officers, architects with apprentices, 30 clerks, and a squad of 135 people from the Saint Petersburg garrison (for one-year service) were assigned to aid the Saint Petersburg Head Police Master.
On September 22, 1732 subject to the Decree signed by the Empress, the General Police Chief was obliged to establish the police in Kronstadt composed of the police master in the rank of captain, two lieutenants, and several clerks. To perform the police functions, 24 private soldiers, three corporals, and two non-commissioned officers were assigned from the Kronstadt garrison. They were to be changed every six months.
On April 23, 1733 relying on report of the Main Office of the Police Chief “On establishing the police in cities”, Empress Anna Ioannovna approved the creation of the police in 23 largest cities of the empire.
On December 10, 1734 the Senate issued the Decree prohibiting the administrative offices of the provinces and voivodeships to arrest policemen without prior approval of police offices.
In 1736, the Cabinet of Ministers decided that the secondment of military men from their regiments “without extreme need” should be abolished. The creation of the police was not deemed to be an “extreme need”. It was planned to form the staff of the police for each city based on its financial capacity because expenses for the police were to be paid from the city funds. Retired military men and civil officials who were able to continue their service were recommended to be recruited in the police on the first-priority basis. The decision was adopted that the reestablished city magistrates should be responsible for the maintenance of the police in all the cities, except Saint Petersburg and Moscow.
On July 28, 1741 the trade police was established (as a division of the Main Office of the Police Chief) consisting of the counsellor and the assessor for the purpose of control over product sale and pricing.
On May 24, 1742 A. D. Tatishchev was appointed the General Police Chief having been granted the rank of Lieutenant General, while his position was transferred from the fifth to the third class on the Table of the Ranks, i. e. above presidents of the offices included in the fourth class.
On May 1, 1746 the Decree signed by the Empress stipulated that the General Police Chief would not be under the command of the Senate, but “should directly report to Her Imperial Majesty”. All complaints about the police and accusations of the police “of any insults and bribery” should be sent to the General Police Chief, while complaints about the latter might only be sent directly to Empress Elizabeth I. Subject to another decree, on the same day there was established the Department for Investigation of Thieves and Robbers' Cases under the Main Office of the Police Chief: it operated in the capital, towns and districts of the Saint Petersburg Province. The Decree of Elizabeth I read that those tasks would not be possible to fulfill without prosecuting thieves and robbers hiding outside Saint Petersburg after crime perpetration. Those should be dealt with by the special police division, while the administrations of towns and districts of the provinces should assist it. Thus, there were a certain centralization and specialization of activities of the police in combating crime, not yet countrywide, but within the metropolitan province.
In 1747, the General Police Chief was empowered to demand payment for or to evict from state apartments married guards, and even the Life Guards who were extra-privileged for participating in the palace coup and seizure of the throne by Elizabeth I.
On May 24, 1759 two companies of dragoons were transferred under the permanent command of the Main Office of the Police Chief: a key task of those companies was to prevent brigandage and robberies on the Saint Petersburg–Moscow road. The term of attachment of dragoons was rather short – they were to be changed every four months.
On January 9, 1762 subject to the Decree signed by the Empress, the new General Police Chief was appointed to serve in Moscow who was subordinate to the Saint Petersburg General Police Chief. The General Police Chief was subordinated to the Senate “as all boards and offices”. At the same time, the positions of police masters in other cities were abolished, and the police in cities was transferred into the control of administrative offices of the provinces and voivodeships.
On March 21, 1762 the Decree signed by the Empress introduced the title of the Chief Director of all police offices who reported directly to the Empress. Both General Police Chiefs were subordinated to the Chief Director of the police.
On March 22, 1762 subject to the Empress' Decree, Chief Director of the police N. A. Korfu was entrusted to set up positions of police masters in the provinces and cities he considered appropriate. Governors and voivodes were not only prohibited to penalize police masters “if the latter act against their positions and ranks in some cases”, but “within the police activities” were made dependent on the Main Police. At the same time, the Department for Investigation of Thieves and Robbers' Cases within the Saint Petersburg police established in 1746 under the Main Office of the Police Chief was subordinated to the administrative office of the capital province.
On December 19, 1774 there were introduced the positions of village policemen to perform police functions. Catherine II personally wrote the Instruction for Village Policemen that was to be known by heart by all village policemen. For that purpose, priests or other literate people read that instruction aloud to village policemen. Village policemen were elected at village gatherings not only from among free, state peasants, but also from among serfs. After village policemen from among serfs took the oath, landowners were prohibited to engage them in any other work. Upon expiry of the term of their powers, village policemen from among serfs returned to their prior status. But if they were efficient at their positions, they could be elected for another term. Village policemen were in charge of public order, fire safety, sanitary surveillance; they were to take measures to prevent and suppress crimes and to perform other instructions of local authorities.
On November 7, 1775 Catherine II issued the Manifesto called “Institutions for Administration of the Provinces of the Russian Empire”. It was being prepared for several years. The Manifesto was rewritten six times personally by Catherine II or as dictated by the Empress. According to that Manifesto, 41 instead of 25 provinces were created, each composed of several districts. By the end of the reign of Catherine II, there were 50 provinces and 493 districts in the country.
A new administrative and police body was created in each district of every province – the lower territorial court. It included several noblemen who declared their intent to serve in the police and were recommended to be included in the lower territorial court by the assembly of the district nobility. The assembly also assigned a candidate to the position of the chief of the district police – the district police chief who was also called the county Police captain. All members of the lower territorial court, including the county Police captain were approved in their positions by the governor. In those districts where there were no assemblies of the district nobility because of the small number of noblemen, members of the lower territorial court could be appointed by the governor, generally from among civil officials or military retirees who did not always have noble titles.
The Manifesto “Institutions for Administration of the Provinces” comprised a comprehensive instruction for the county Police captain that stipulated his competence and main functions. The lower territorial court was to control order and discipline in rural areas, fulfill decisions of senior authorities and court rulings, as well as carry out preliminary investigation of criminal cases. Controlling the compliance with laws and order in a district, the lower territorial court was entitled to request support from military authorities and from local residents. The county Police captain was responsible for the state of roads and bridges, fire safety, countering the epidemics and epizootics in the district. The county Police captain was assigned with the task “of encouraging diligence among farmers”, but also with the task of urging all the people to comply with laws, which was fully applicable to the district nobility. Encouraging and admonishing the noblemen, the county Police captain was not authorized to penalize them, unless there was a breach of laws. He was to liquidate the breach “within the powers granted to him”. The county Police captain fulfilled the decisions not only of district and province administrative and judicial bodies, but also of the nobility's trusteeship – a class corporate organization that regulated the relations in the nobility class and protected the interests of the nobles.
The county Police captain was to take measures against wasters of their own estates “discrediting the noble title.” To a certain extent, this type of his activity could be regarded as the autocracy's desire to use police measures as a barrier to landowners' arbitrariness and abuse, which was essential since those often instigated peasants' unrest and insurrections.
On November 7, 1775 the Manifesto “Institutions for Administration of the Provinces of the Russian Empire” also introduced changes into the organization of the city police. After the abolition of the Main Office of the Police Chief, the positions of subordinate to it police masters were also liquidated. In case a town had no permanent military garrison where low rank servicemen headed by the commandant performed the police functions, there was established the position of the governor appointed by the Senate as advised by the provincial government. The governor was subordinate to the provincial government and, unlike the county Police captain, was not obliged to fulfill the decisions of the nobility's trusteeship.
If there was no military commandant in the provincial center, the head police master was appointed. The governor did not depend on the head police master; moreover, the position of the head police master actually existed during that period only in the capitals: Saint Petersburg and Moscow. The military commandant remained the police chief in provincial towns, whereas the position of the police master in other towns of the province was established during the reign of Paul I.
On April 8, 1782 there was published the Law on the Provincial Police that included 14 chapters, 274 articles and stipulated the structure of local police administrations in towns. It established new police bodies in towns – boards of decency. In provincial towns, those were headed by police masters, and in districts – by governors. Boards of decency protected public order, urged residents to comply with laws and regulations, executed decisions of the province administrations and court rulings. They were in charge of improvement of municipal areas, and controlled the trade and their main function was to investigate and prevent crimes, arrest perpetrators, collect evidence of crimes or misconduct. A board of decency included the police master (or the governor), 2 police officers (on criminal and civil cases), and 2 Ratmans (elected from among merchants and craftsmen of a town). According to the law, a locality was divided into units headed by special police officers. Each municipal unit included from 200 to 700 households. The office of the special police officer called “the unit” was the special-purpose police institution that served as the central body. Special police squads were assigned to every municipal unit in capitals and towns. Each unit was to recruit the fire brigade chief for fire control. The special police officer had two municipal sergeants subordinate to him. There were verbal judges working in every unit. A municipal unit was divided into blocks consisting of 50–100 households. The police functions in each block were performed by block supervisors and block lieutenants. Block supervisors were elected by boards of decency, while block lieutenants were elected by block residents for a term of 3 years. Lower rank duty policemen were responsible for keeping order on streets. The Law on Provincial Police stipulated the main requirements to a policeman. He should possess: “1. Rational mind. 2. Goodwill in fulfillment of entrusted tasks. 3. Kindness. 4. Loyalty to the service of the Imperial Majesty. 5. Diligence for common benefit. 6. Zeal in service. 7. Honesty and disinterestedness”. Policemen were warned of inadmissibility of taking bribes that “blind eyes and corrupt the mind and heart”, preventing from telling the truth.
On November 3, 1782 the Board of Decency was opened in Moscow. In terms of the police structure, the city was initially divided into five districts: 1. the Kremlin, 2. Kitay-Gorod, 3. Bely Gorod, 4. Zemlyanoy Gorod, 5. the area behind Zemlyanoy Gorod – Kamer-Kolezhsky Val. The neighboring settlements, including Andreevskaya, Danilovskaya, Novaya Derevnya and Butyraskaya, were added to Kamer-Kolezhsky Val. Later, subject to the Law on the Provincial Police, Moscow was divided into 20 municipal units and 88 blocks. Each block was to have 12 night guards, altogether totaling 1,056 men. Their work on duty was remunerated at a rate of 18 rubles per year. For firefighting, people were assigned from houses (the number depended on the number of rooms) – all in all 2,824 people. Fire coachmen numbered 464. “Those also included 180 men serving in the police, while others were recruited from among those unfit for active army service.” The Board had 180 horse dragoons for direct police needs.
On June 20, 1788 the Decree of Empress Catherine II established two hussar squadrons under the Moscow Board of Decency – those were formed from among commoners and civilian employees according to the laws. Both squadrons were under the command of the head police master and were engaged for ensuring order in the streets and in public places, and for patrolling both the city and the outskirts.
The Board of Decency was made responsible for maintenance of the passport regime. The block supervisor was obliged to know occupations and income sources of residents of the block in his charge, to collect information from house owners about everyone, even about temporary visitors.
On December 28, 1797 subject to the Decree, the Saint Petersburg police, after the Moscow police, were transferred under the direct command of the military governor.
On September 12, 1798 the Charter of Capital Saint Petersburg and attached to it special police staff tables were adopted. The sixth chapter thus defined the police as follows: “The police are a part of the City Administration responsible for ensuring decency, good behaviour, and order in the city.” The military governor who had two adjutants was in charge of the general management of the police (Articles 2, 8). Besides, the head police master and two police masters were placed under his command to assist him (Article 3). As regards the police activities, the military governor received daily reports from the head police master and directly reported to the Emperor (Article 4, 6).
The head police master controlled the entire police of the city, while each of the police masters was in charge of ½ of the city. Each unit of the city had an inspector with two officers (Articles 12, 13). A private inspector was appointed to his position and dismissed by the Commission. A unit of the city was divided into city blocks, and each block had a non-commissioned officer and two block commissars under his command, each of them was responsible for ½ of the block (Articles 17, 18).
On January 17, 1799 the Charter of Capital City Moscow and attached to it special police staff tables were adopted. Moscow was divided in two districts (parts), a police master was appointed to each of those. Adjutants from the police, two secretaries and a translator were placed under the command of the military governor. City private courts and a police department were established for their audit. The positions of a secretary and a translator were established under the command of the head police master, and two clerks – under the command of each of the police masters. Special police officers were renamed into inspectors, and city block supervisors – into non-commissioned inspectors. Two block commissars were appointed in each block instead of one former city block lieutenant. There were military squads in each part of the city composed of one officer, two cavalry sergeants, one non-commissioned officer, 24 dragoons, 24 foot soldiers, and one drummer. All in all, there were 1,060 servicemen in Moscow. All of them (except for the officer) were recruited from among those unfit for army service. The fire department was established under the command of the head police master. It comprised one fire service chief, 20 fire brigade chiefs, and 61 workmen; 60 fire horses were provided. A headquarters physician for medical examination of sick townsmen and policemen, a major, a physician's assistant and apprentices were appointed – 26 people in total. Firefighting remained a duty of all the citizens. According to the regulations adopted in the late XVIII century, one person was demanded from 28 apartments, which provided as a result 75 people per each part of the city. Street lights were lit and put out by civilian employees. After the sunset, the order in the city was ensured by residents. Night guards were appointed and assigned in four-men groups per guard box, later –in three-men groups per box. There were 352 guard boxes.
On May 20, 1800 subject to the Decree, all the city police were placed under the command of military governors and commandants, or battalion commanders. In case of absence of the latter, governors headed the police. The police functions in Saint Petersburg were delegated to the commission supplying the residence with provisions, as well as to the military governor. The head police master and two police masters were under his control.
On August 1, 1800 Decree “On judging police officials in case of a crime by the Civilian Government” was issued.
On November 30, 1800 subject to the Decree signed by the Emperor, the Saint Petersburg police were transferred under the command of the civil governor. That decision was explained by the intent to liquidate the existing isolation of the city police and the rural police that resulted from the police reforms during the reign of Catherine II.
On March 15, 1801 subject to a Decree signed by the Emperor, the Saint Petersburg police were returned under the command of the military governor according to the Charter of Capital Saint Petersburg.
On May 11, 1801 subject to the Decree signed by the Emperor, a new subordination of the police was established. The Decree read: “to prevent misunderstandings, inconveniences and difficulties occurring in the Police of the cities due to confusion of the Military and Civil administration”, its management shall be based on the following: 1) All military governors having civil authority “also have supreme control over the police based on the title of governors general”; 2) Military governors who do not have civil authority and commandants shall head the police subject to the Police Charter as former head commandants; 3) Where there are no commandants, the police shall be headed by governors who are subordinate to military governors managing the provinces; 4) Regiment chiefs, as well as regiment and battalion commanders and other military heads are prohibited to govern cities and the city police and are only allowed to command the military unit in their charge; 5) Until the general statute, the police of the capitals shall be under the command of the military governors.
On January 1, 1802, new staff lists were adopted for 37 provinces that stipulated the new structure of the police administration.
On February 12, 1802 subject to the Decree signed by the Emperor “On reestablishment of various public offices”, together with city dumas, there were reestablished in both capitals the Boards of Decency created according to the Law on Provincial Police dated 1782. Besides, the following measures were approved: to refer the maintenance and lighting of street lights and paving of streets near state institutions to the expenses of the latter; to replace the appointment of duty policemen in boxes by direct hiring of volunteers by the board; to reduce public expenses for maintenance of military police squads and of two dragoon squadrons established to assist them.
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 Turkeyhe 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 governorin severalprovinces. 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-Generalof 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 ofthe Decembrist uprising. In1830the 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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