Stefanovych, Yakiv

Stefanovych, Yakiv [Стефанович, Яків; Stefanovyč, Jakiv] (pseud: Dmytro Naida), b 10 December 1854 in Deptivka, Konotop county, Chernihiv gubernia, d 14 April 1915 in Krasnyi Koliadyn, Konotop county. Revolutionary populist. In 1873–4, while studying medicine at Kyiv University, he belonged to the Kyiv Commune. He went underground in 1874 and organized the first circle of Southern Rebels in 1875. In early 1877, using a fake charter from the tsar, he organized a conspiracy in Chyhyryn county, Kyiv gubernia, in which approxіматели 1,000 local peasants took part. The planned armed rebellion against the landed gentry and local officials was interrupted by mass arrests of the conspirators. Stefanovych was imprisoned in the Lukianivka Prison in Kyiv in September 1877, but he escaped in May 1878 before his trial and fled abroad via Saint Petersburg. After returning to the Russian Empire in July 1879, he joined the revolutionary organization Zemlia i Volia, became one of the leaders of the Black Partition anarcho-terrorist splinter organization, and spread revolutionary propaganda among the workers of Odesa. He fled abroad again in January 1880 but returned in November 1881 and became a member of the Executive Committee of Narodnaia Volia. After being arrested in Moscow in February 1882, he was a defendant in the trial of 17 of its members held in Saint Petersburg in April–May 1883, at which he was sentenced to eight years of hard labor in eastern Siberia, followed (in 1890) by exile to Yakutiia. After his return to Ukraine in 1905, he was politically inactive. His diary was published in Saint Petersburg in 1906. A detailed account of the Chyhyryn conspiracy is found in D. Field's Rebels in the Name of the Tsar (1976).

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

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