Petrashevskiy Circle

   Aminor official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, M. V. Petrashevskiy came under surveillance by the Third Section in early 1848 because of a political tract he wrote. Petrashevskiy and 33 other men then quickly came under suspicion for a “plot of ideas” and were arrested and interrogated by the authorities. After a military court-martial of 23 dangerous plotters, 21 were sentenced to death by firing squad in December 1848. Three days before Christmas, the convicted men were prepared for execution, but instead of being shot, they heard an imperial decree commuting their death sentence and sentencing them to prison and exile. One of the condemned was the writer Feodor Dostoyevsky. Petrashevskiy and his coconspirators were not revolutionaries. But the waves of revolution sweeping over Europe in 1848 convinced Nicholas I that the Third Section had to nip subversion in the bud to prevent another Decembrists’ Revolt. The arrest and punishment of Petrashevskiy and his associates presaged the prophylactic arrests of dissidents by the Okhrana and the Soviet security services.

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Exile —    The tsarist regime used Siberian exile as a punishment for dissidents. Following the Decembrists’ Revolt in 1825, hundreds of officers were exiled to Siberia by Tsar Nicholas I. Most of these officers took their wives and children with them.… …   Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.