Repnin, Nikolai

Repnin, Nikolai [Репнин, Николай; né Волконский; Volkonsky], b 1778, d 18 January 1845 in Yahotyn, Pyriatyn county, Poltava region. Political and military leader in the Russian Empire; descendant of the Chernihiv Olhovych house of the Riurykide dynasty; husband of Hetman Kyrylo Rozumovsky’s granddaughter; father of Varvara Repnina. During the Napoleonic occupation he was governor-general of Saxony (1813–14). Later he served as governor-general of Little Russia, which consisted of Poltava gubernia and Chernihiv gubernia, in Left-Bank Ukraine (1816–34), and was a member of the State Council. He sympathized with Ukrainian autonomists, kept in close contact with Ivan Kotliarevsky and the Poltava circle, and defended Ukrainian interests before the Russian government. He drew up a plan for the reinstatement of the Cossack regimental system. Repnin assisted Dmytro Bantysh-Kamensky in writing Istoriia Maloi Rossii ... (A History of Little Russia ..., 4 vols, 1822), and it has been speculated that he was the author of the anonymous historical exposition Istoriia Rusov. His political leanings (his brother was Sergei Volkonsky, a participant in the Decembrist movement) and his wide popularity in Ukraine made Tsar Nicholas I suspicious, particularly in the light of the Polish Insurrection of 1830–1 and the 1832 conspiracy of Georgian autonomists. Repnin was removed from the governor-generalship, and left the empire. In 1842 he returned to live out his days on his estate in Yahotyn, where he was visited by Taras Shevchenko in 1843–4. He was buried in the Hustynia Trinity Monastery near Pryluky.

Oleksander Ohloblyn

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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