Vorontsov, Mikhail

Vorontsov, Mikhail [Воронцов, Михаил; Voroncov, Mixail], b 30 May 1782 in Saint Petersburg, d 18 November 1856 in Odesa, Kherson gubernia. Russian statesman and military figure. He was raised in England (educated at Cambridge University) and possessed huge tracts of land in Cherkasy county and the Crimea. He attained the rank of major general in 1812 and commanded the Russian troops occupying France in 1815–18. He was governor-general of New Russia (from 1823) and Bessarabia (from 1828) until 1844. Although he opposed the revolutionary movement, he maintained an effective liberal bureaucratic structure. During his tenure the population of Odesa nearly doubled, agricultural development in Southern Ukraine increased dramatically, and a host of public institutions and civic societies were established in the region. In 1844–54 Vorontsov was vicegerent of Caucasia. His grandiose palace at Alupka, in the Crimea, was turned into a museum. A. Rhinelander published a full account of his life and career in Prince Michael Vorontsov: Viceroy to the Tsar (1990).

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 5 (1993).]

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