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Plehve, Viatscheslaf Konstantinovich

PLEHVE, VIATSCHESLAF KONSTANTINOVICH (1846-1904), Russian statesman, was born of Lithuanian stock in 1846. He was educated at Warsaw and studied law at the university in St Petersburg before he entered the bureaucracy in the department of justice, in which he rose rapidly to be assistant solicitorgeneral in Warsaw, then solicitor-general in St Petersburg, and in 1 88 1 director of the state police. As assistant to the minister of the interior he attracted the attention of Alexander III. by the skill he showed in investigating the circumstances of the assassination of Alexander II. He received the title of secretary of state in 1894, became a member of the council of the empire, and in 1902 succeeded Sipiaguine as minister of the interior. Plehve carried out the " russification " of the alien provinces within the Russian Empire, and earned bitter hatred in Poland, in Lithuania and especially in Finland. He despoiled the Armenian Church, and was credited with being accessory to the Kishinev massacres. His logical mind and determined support of the autocratic principle gained the tsar's entire confidence. He opposed commercial development on ordinary European lines on the ground that it involved the existence both of a dangerous proletariat and of a prosperous middle class equally inimical to autocracy. He was thus a determined opponent of M. de Witte's policy. An attempt was made on his life early in 1904, and he was assassinated on the 28th of July of the same year by a bomb thrown under his carriage as he was on his way to Peterhof to make his report to the tsar^he assassin, Sasonov, was a member of the fighting organiaation of the socialist revolutionary party.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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