Andrei Zhelyabov
Andrey Ivanovich Zhelyabov (Желябов, Андрей Иванович in Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

) (August 17(29), 1851 – April 3(15), 1881), Russian revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

, member of the Executive Committee of Narodnaya Volya.

After graduating from a gymnasium
Gymnasium (school)
A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

 in Kerch
Kerch is a city on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea, an important industrial, transport and tourist centre of Ukraine. Kerch, founded 2600 years ago, is considered as one of the most ancient cities in Ukraine.-Ancient times:...

 in 1869, Zhelyabov got into a Law School
Law school
A law school is an institution specializing in legal education.- Law degrees :- Canada :...

 of the Novorossiysky University in Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

. He was expelled from the university for his participation in student unrests in October 1871 and sent away from Odessa. In 1873, Zhelyabov lived in a town of Gorodische (now Cherkas'ka oblast' of Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) and maintained close ties with revolutionaries from Kiev
Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and the largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population as of the 2001 census was 2,611,300. However, higher numbers have been cited in the press....

 and activists of the Ukrainian
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

Gromada is a Polish word meaning "gathering", "group", or "assembly". In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the term referred to a village organization which embraced all the inhabitants of a village and acted as a local authority, as well as overseeing tax payments. In this sense the gromada...

”. After his return to Odessa, Zhelyabov became a member of the revolutionary Felix Volkhovsky group (the Odessa affiliate of “Chaikovtsi”) and conducted propaganda
Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position so as to benefit oneself or one's group....

 among workers and intelligentsia
The intelligentsia is a social class of people engaged in complex, mental and creative labor directed to the development and dissemination of culture, encompassing intellectuals and social groups close to them...

. He was arrested in late 1874 and then released on bail
Traditionally, bail is some form of property deposited or pledged to a court to persuade it to release a suspect from jail, on the understanding that the suspect will return for trial or forfeit the bail...

. Nevertheless, he continued his illegal activities. Zhelyabov was one of the suspects in the “Trial of 193”. After his acquittal
In the common law tradition, an acquittal formally certifies the accused is free from the charge of an offense, as far as the criminal law is concerned. This is so even where the prosecution is abandoned nolle prosequi...

 in 1878, he moved to Podolsk
Podolsk is an industrial city and the administrative center of Podolsky District of Moscow Oblast, Russia. It is located on the Pakhra River...

 province for the purpose of spreading revolutionary propaganda among peasantry.

Zhelyabov gradually came to believe in the necessity of political struggle and terror
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...

. He participated in the Lipetsk
Lipetsk is a city and the administrative center of Lipetsk Oblast, Russia, located on the banks of the Voronezh River in the Don basin, southeast of Moscow.-History:...

A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different nations, constituent states, independent organizations , or groups....

 of political terrorists in June 1879. Zhelyabov was accepted in “Zemlya i volya” at the Voronezh
Voronezh is a city in southwestern Russia, the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is located on both sides of the Voronezh River, away from where it flows into the Don. It is an operating center of the Southeastern Railway , as well as the center of the Don Highway...

 Congress of its members and came forward as one of the chief defenders of terrorism. After the split of “Zemlya i volya”, he was one of the main organizers of “Narodnaya volya” and its newspaper “Worker’s Gazette” (fall of 1880). Zhelyabov took active part in devising a few of the most important documents of the party’s Program. Also, he was one of the chief organizers of the assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 of Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II , also known as Alexander the Liberator was the Emperor of the Russian Empire from 3 March 1855 until his assassination in 1881...

 on March 1, 1881. However, he had been arrested a few days before it actually happened. Zhelyabov demanded that his case be considered together with the case of the Pervomartovtsi
Pervomartovtsy were the Russian revolutionaries, members of Narodnaya Volya, planners and executors of the assassination of Alexander II of Russia and attempted murder of Alexander III of Russia .The assassination in 1881 was planned by Narodnaya Volya's Executive Committee...

. He was executed on April 3, 1881 with the rest of his comrades.

In admiration of Zhelyabov’s dedication to his revolutionary cause, Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 went as far as to compare him with other great revolutionaries, such as Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre is one of the best-known and most influential figures of the French Revolution. He largely dominated the Committee of Public Safety and was instrumental in the period of the Revolution commonly known as the Reign of Terror, which ended with his...

 and Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi
Giuseppe Garibaldi was an Italian military and political figure. In his twenties, he joined the Carbonari Italian patriot revolutionaries, and fled Italy after a failed insurrection. Garibaldi took part in the War of the Farrapos and the Uruguayan Civil War leading the Italian Legion, and...


  • Croft, Lee B. Nikolai Ivanovich Kibalchich: Terrorist Rocket Pioneer. IHHS. 2006. ISBN 978-1-4116-2381-1. Appreciable content on Zhelyabov.
  • Footman, David. Red Prelude:The Life of the Russian Terrorist Zhelyabov. Yale University Press. 1945, 1974 revised.
  • Seth, Ronald. The Russian Terrorists: The Story of the Narodniki. Barrie and Rockcliff. 1966.
  • Trifonov, Yuri. Translation from the Russian by Robert Daglish. The Impatient Ones. Progress Publishers. 1978.
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