Stolypin, Peter Arkadievich

   Stolypin was the most successful reformer of the last years of tsardom, and an effective and brutal security boss. After serving as governor of Saratov oblast, Stolypin was brought to the capital as minister of internal affairs in early 1906 to deal with growing urban and social violence. Shortly thereafter, he was made prime minister. Stolypin called for a policy of authoritarian reform. He institutionalized a “wager on the strong,” making it possible for rich peasants to obtain land at nominal prices. As the empire’s security generalissimo, he crushed revolution; in 1906–1908, more than 25,000 rebels received sentences of death, imprisonment, or exile. During this period the noose was referred to as a “Stolypin necktie,” and freight cars used to transport prisoners into exile were known as “Stolypin cars.” He used the Okhrana effectively, breaking up many terrorist organizations. Stolypin was assassinated on 1 September 1911 by an anarchist who was also an informant for the Okhrana. In an article on Stolypin’s death, the New York Times noted that the person most responsible for his death was “Stolypin himself.”

Historical dictionary of Russian and Soviet Intelligence. . 2014.

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