Elizabeth I, b 29 December 1709 in Moscow, d 5 January 1762 in Saint Petersburg. (Portrait: Elizabeth I.) Russian empress in 1741–62, daughter of Peter I and Catherine I. Elizabeth seized the throne through a palace coup, overthrowing the regent for Ivan VI, Anna Leopoldovna. Her policies were aimed at broadening and strengthening the privileges of the nobility at the expense of the serfs. Having secretly married a member of the court choir, the Ukrainian Cossack Oleksii Rozumovsky, in 1744 she approved the request of the Ukrainian Cossack starshyna to restore the office of hetman. According to her instructions, the Hlukhiv Council of 1750 elected her husband's younger brother, Kyrylo Rozumovsky, as the new hetman of Ukraine (see Hetman state.). Elizabeth was succeeded by her nephew, Peter III.
[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 1 (1984).]