Military Review

An outstanding statesman of the Russian Empire, Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov

An outstanding statesman of the Russian Empire, Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov 100 years ago, 28 January 1916, died one of the last great statesmen of the Russian Empire, Illarion Ivanovich Vorontsov-Dashkov. The last Russian Count Vorontsov-Dashkov had a special fate even in the famous Vorontsov family. One of the richest people of the Russian Empire, the largest landowner, the owner of a large number of industrial enterprises, and the personal friend of Emperor Alexander III, Count Illarion Ivanovich Vorontsov-Dashkov, for sixty years of his career, held many important military and civilian positions, had high ranks and was well known all over Russia.

Vorontsov-Dashkov was the outbuilding and adjutant-general of Russian sovereigns, a cavalry general, commander of the Hussar Life Guards regiment, head of the tsar's guard, minister of the Imperial court and of the localities, member of the Council of State and Committee of Ministers. Already during the reign of Emperor Nicholas II Aleksandrovich, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov was appointed the governor-general and commander-in-chief of the troops in the Caucasus, the army chief ataman of the Caucasian Cossack troops, the chairman of the Main Directorate of the Russian Red Cross Society. Finally, thanks to his enthusiasm for horse breeding, he was President and Vice President of the Imperial Trotting and Racing Societies, Managing State Horse Breeding. He was the last owner of the famous Alupka.

Born 27 May 1837, in St. Petersburg. The son of State Councilor, Count Ivan Illarionovich Vorontsov and his wife Alexandra Kirillovna, nee Naryshkina. Count I. I. Vorontsov-Dashkov died in the 1854 year and was buried in St. Petersburg in the Alexander Nevsky Monastery. His widow soon had a second marriage with the French baron de Goy and left for Paris with him. She passed away in 1856.

After receiving primary education in the parental home, Illarion Ivanovich entered Moscow University, but the outbreak of the Crimean War interrupted his studies. In 1856, the nineteen-year-old Vorontsov-Dashkov entered as a volunteer in the Life Guards Mounted Regiment to fight the enemies. But the war that led him to military service soon ended in the Paris world. As a result, in the first years in a military uniform, the count spent not at the front, but in the capital.


In 1858, he was promoted to cornets and transferred to the Caucasus, where the Caucasian War ended at that time. The end of the Eastern war and the conclusion of the Paris Peace Treaty allowed Russia to concentrate considerable forces against the highlanders of Shamil. Caucasian corps was transformed into the army. In 1859, Shamil surrendered, capitulated and the main forces of the Circassians, which led to the conquest of the Western Caucasus.

For five years, tested in the conditions of wartime conquest of the Western Caucasus, Vorontsov-Dashkov earned the authority of a very modest and at the same time courageous man. At the request of the Caucasian vicar of Prince A.I. Baryatinsky, he received the first awards: the Order of St. Anne 4 degree, the golden saber, as well as the silver medal "For the Conquest of Chechnya and Dagestan" and "For the Conquest of the Western Caucasus." Appointed chief of the convoy of Prince Baryatinsky and in friendly relations with him, the young officer simultaneously with the military gained experience in the administration of a new territory for Russia.

In the spring of 1864, Russian troops stormed the last center of resistance of the Circassians Kbaadu (Krasnaya Polyana). This event completed the conquest of the Western Caucasus and meant the end of the Caucasian War of 1817 — 1864 as a whole. That summer, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov returned to St. Petersburg and began to fulfill his duties as adjutant to the heir of Alexander Alexandrovich, the future emperor Alexander III. Illarion Ivanovich and Alexander Aleksandrovich became real friends for life.


At the same time, Vorontsov-Dashkov continued his military service. Produced as a colonel (4 on April 1865 of the year), the count is sent to Turkestan, where he inspects the troops. Illarion Ivanovich not only inspects the troops, but also participates in combat operations with the Kokand and then Bukhara khanates. In 1865, Russian troops took Tashkent. In the same year, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov was awarded the Order of St. Vladimir 4 degree with swords for distinction in cases under Murza-Arabatom against Bukharians, and in 1866 - one of the most honorable awards of Russian officers - Order of St. George 4 degree for distinction during the storming of the fortress of Ura-Tyube. In the same year, he was promoted to major general with the appointment of an emperor to his retinue and appointed assistant military governor of the Turkestan region.


After the appointment of von Kaufman to the Turkestan Governor General, Vorontsov-Dashkov left Central Asia and returned to St. Petersburg. 1867 the year was marked by marriage to Countess Elizabeth Andreevna Shuvalova (1845 — 1924), granddaughter of the Most High Prince Mikhail Semenovich Vorontsov. In this marriage, two branches of the Vorontsov pedigree were joined. Then the count accompanied Alexander II to the World Exhibition in Paris. On June 10, Emperor Napoleon III of France awarded the young general with the commander's cross of the Legion of Honor.

Family life has not interrupted the military service of the graph. Illarion Ivanovich was appointed commander of the Life Guards Hussar Regiment, and at the beginning of the 1870-i became a commander of the Guards Brigade, Chief of Staff of the Guard Corps, complained to the adjutant general and made a lieutenant general. At the same time he was a member of the Committee on the device and the formation of troops and the Council of the Main Directorate of State Horse Breeding. During the Russian-Turkish war 1877 — 1778. commanded the cavalry of the Ruschuksky detachment (the detachment commander was the heir to the throne). For excellent courage and stewardship in various affairs with the Turks, the earl received the Order of the White Eagle with swords, the medal "For the Turkish War" and the Romanian Iron Cross "For crossing the Danube."

In 1878, he was seriously ill and went to Europe for a health amendment. When he returned, he headed the 2-th Guards Division. Vorontsov-Dashkov did not approve of many ill-considered liberal steps of Alexander II, having his own program of action. After the tragic death of Emperor Alexander II 1 in March 1881, Count Illarion Ivanovich expressed his readiness to take over the protection of the new Sovereign. Count Vorontsov-Dashkov became one of the organizers of the so-called "Sacred Squad." It was a kind of secret society that was supposed to protect the emperor and fight the "sedition" by secret means. A number of high-ranking officials (Shuvalov, Pobedonostsev, Ignatiev, Katkov, etc.) entered the “squad”. The agent network of the Sacred Squad existed both in Russia and abroad. Inside the empire, the “squad” was engaged primarily in the protection of Emperor Alexander III in the capital and trips to Russian cities, as well as members of the imperial family. About half of the personnel of the "squad" were military, among them 70% of officers who had the highest military ranks. It also included a large number of representatives of Russian aristocratic families. However, the organization only existed until the end of 1882. Equipment, newspapers and a significant number of cadres went to the police.

Illarion Ivanovich also became the Head of State Horse Breeding, the Minister of the Imperial Court and the inheritance, the Chancellor of the Chapter of the Russian imperial and royal orders. This appointment was not only the result of a long-standing friendship with the emperor, but also recognition of the high managerial qualities of Vorontsov-Dashkova.

At the same time, the count maintained the high qualities of man and allowed himself to give advice to the emperor, whom not everyone would have dared. Thus, during the famine of 1891, he wrote to the emperor: “And if Your Majesty had announced that, in view of the general inactivity in the present year, there would be no balls, no big dinners at the Supreme Court, and the money spent on this is usually spent if you donate as the first contribution to the food fund of the Committee, this would undoubtedly make a very pleasant impression on the people. Forgive me, Your Majesty, for this letter, but believe that when comparing a peasant in a dark hut with a St. Petersburg dandy who luxuriously dine in the halls of the Winter Palace lit up like during the day, it somehow becomes unwell. ”

Count Vorontsov-Dashkov was the main horse breeder of the empire. Back in 1859, he founded a stud farm on his Tambov estate Novo-Tomnikovo for breeding trotters of Oryol horses. The buildings of the plant were built according to the best samples of the time and consisted of stables, covered arenas, an infirmary and other premises. With the money received from the development of the gold mines belonging to him in Siberia, the earl bought the elite of Oryol stallions and queens for a short time. About Vorontsov horse farm started talking very soon. From 1890, thoroughbred riding stallions and American trotters appeared at the Vorontsov-Dashkova plant. The Orlov-American horses received from them became the ancestors of breeding the Russian trotter breed. Pets of the plant were awarded gold medals of the All-Russian Agricultural Exhibition. The count was elected president of the Imperial Saint Petersburg rysy society and vice-president of the Imperial race society.

Under Vorontsov-Dashkov, 8 was opened to new factory stables, all state-owned factories were improved, many new producers were acquired, the withdrawal of Russian horses abroad doubled (1881 was withdrawn in 23642, and over 1889 was taken in 43000); the activities of trot and race societies have been expanded, measures have been taken to more correctly issue certificates to trot horses; the beginning of the protective vaccination of infectious diseases in domestic animals; agriculture was established at the Belovezhsky and Khrenovsky factories, and a large amount of land was cultivated and sown; at the Khrenovsky factory, a school of riders was established, on the initiative and with his personal funds.

Under the leadership of Vorontsov-Dashkova, the management of imperial property was improved. Vorontsov-Dashkov also engaged in the development of winemaking in the imperial specific estates. In 1889, his department acquired the estates Massandra and Aidanil, thus, the area of ​​imperial lands in the Crimea and the Caucasus, which are occupied by vineyards, reached 558 tithes.

The experience and merits of Count Illarion Ivanovich were also evaluated by Nicholas II. He was still assigned responsible posts and at the same time offered honorary positions. But in 1897, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov was dismissed from his post as Minister of the Courts and the destinies, Chancellor of the Russian Orders and Chief Superintendent of State Horse-Breeding. Whether this was a consequence of the Khodyn events (one in the first place among the guilty was set by the Governor-General of Grand Duke Sergei Alexandrovich, others by the Minister of the Court Count Vorontsov-Dashkova) or the result of dislike by the new Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, is unknown.

However, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov retained his position in the highest echelon of the Russian Empire. In 1897, he was appointed a member of the Council of State, leaving the rank and position of adjutant general, and in 1904 — 1905 he was chairman of the Main Directorate of the Russian Red Cross Society, the Society for helping prisoners of war, sick and wounded soldiers. Vorontsov-Dashkov was actively involved in charity work, generously spending his huge fortune on it. Thus, on the eve of the First World War, Vorontsov-Dashkov, together with his wife, owned starch, sawmills, distilleries, oil mills, a cloth factory, the South-Kamsky iron-making plant and a wire-nailing plant. At the beginning of the twentieth century. with the help of the oil corporation, Branobel organized oil production near Baku. Consisted of the chairman of the board in mutual sugar-factory partnerships: Cuban, Sablino-Znamensky, Golovschinsky and Kharkov.

Caucasus again

Large role Illarion Ivanovich played in the development of the Caucasus region. When the revolution began, the emperor needed an experienced person in such a difficult region as the Caucasus. In 1905, Vorontsov-Dashkov was appointed viceroy of the tsar in the Caucasus to obtain the rights of the commander-in-chief of the troops in the Caucasus and the military ataman of the Caucasian Cossack troops, that is, he became in fact the head of the administration in the Caucasus. In this post, 25 March 1908, he celebrated fifty years from the beginning of his military service. The Earl was awarded the Orders of Saints Andrew the First-Called and George of 3.

In the Caucasus, the revolution took on particularly extreme forms, moreover, as always, with the slightest weakening of Russian power, a general massacre began in the region. Under these conditions, the 68 summer governor was at the height of the situation. Count Vorontsov-Dashkov stopped the riots with an iron fist, but at the same time he carried out a number of reforms that calmed the region. Thus, he abolished the sequester of property of the Armenian-Gregorian Church, eliminated all remnants of serfdom (temporarily obliged state, debt dependence, etc.), put forward a bill on land management of state peasants, which provided for the allotment of allotment to peasants, conducted a "cleansing" corrupt and unreliable officials. In the province of Vorontsov-Dashkov in the Caucasus, entrepreneurship developed, there was a wide railway construction, the introduction of local institutions, the creation of higher educational institutions. Baku, Tiflis and Batum quickly turned from dirty eastern slum cities to comfortable European cities with all the attributes of civilization. Commanding the troops of the Caucasus region, the old general prepared both personnel and infrastructure for a possible war with Turkey. 1914 — 1917 campaigns showed how effectively he trained the troops of the Caucasus region. on the Caucasian front, on which the Russian troops scored constant loud victories.

It should be noted that Vorontsov-Dashkov achieved pacification of the Caucasus, and then provided him with socio-economic prosperity not only with administrative measures, but also managed to influence Caucasians as an individual. In particular, Witte, whom Vorontsov-Dashkov treated rather coldly, nevertheless not without envy noted: “This may be the only one of the regional leaders who, during the whole revolution, while somebody was killed in Tiflis every day or they threw a bomb at someone, calmly drove around the city both in a wheelchair and on horseback, and during all this time an assassination attempt was not only made on him, but even no one had ever offended him in word or gesture. ”

The governor of the Caucasus pointedly neglected the protection of his person. Of course, with all his personal courage Vorontsov-Dashkov was far from senseless distance. Just from the time of participation in the Caucasian and Turkestan wars in the days of his youth, he well learned the psychology of the peoples of the East. He ruthlessly fought against terrorism and banditry, which was often combined in the Caucasus, and all the criminals knew about the inevitability of punishment. In this case, Vorontsov-Dashkov could show mercy to the defeated enemies. Vorontsov-Dashkov, with his whole appearance, made it clear that he represented the “White Tsar” in the Caucasus, the whole power of the empire. Therefore, he was respected.

Since the beginning of the First World War and the formation of the Caucasian army, Count Vorontsov-Dashkov became its nominal commander, but due to his age he could not show due activity, therefore Myshlayevsky and then Yudenich led the army. In September, 1915. 78-year-old Vorontsov-Dashkov left his post, resigning. Illarion Ivanovich did his best to strengthen the empire: he left a peaceful land and a victorious army that beat the Turks on foreign territory. Who lived all his life in hard work, Vorontsov-Dashkov lived quite a bit in retirement. He passed away on 15 (28) on January 1916. He was a real aristocrat and statesman who faithfully served the empire almost until his death.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. V.ic
    V.ic 28 January 2016 07: 07
    The state lives and develops as long as there are individuals pursuing a policy aimed at its development.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 28 January 2016 07: 54
    In 1908, the question of the activities of the Caucasian governor at the initiative of the right began to be actively discussed in the State Duma. In a letter to Sheremeteva dated December 19, 1908 in connection with the discussion of the Caucasian issue in the Duma, Vorontsov-Dashkov noted, “... what Messrs. Purishkevichi and Co. say, I do not care .. What disgusts me is the attitude to this matter of the St. Petersburg authorities, as if stealthily supporting the extreme right. Over time, everything pops up .. I think that the Petersburg tops will not want to bring the slanderer to clean water. They are fools who will cry with the Caucasus if I leave. ” In a draft letter to Nicholas II, he also formulated his attitude to what is happening:
    “All personal attacks of Mr. far right and left worry me little. They look at me as an enemy and are absolutely right. They preach the persecution of foreigners and see this as the best way to Russify the Caucasus, for me the only way to achieve lasting Russification is to recognize everyone as equal before the law and the same care for all ”
    1. Heimdall47
      Heimdall47 28 January 2016 10: 59
      they preach the persecution of foreigners and see this as the best way to Russify the Caucasus, for me the only way to achieve lasting Russification is to recognize everyone as equal before the law and the same care for everyone

      The key phrase here is "solid Russification." Nobody has been doing this for a hundred years. As practice has shown, there is no way to make everyone in the Caucasus equal before the law. This is also difficult on the scale of Russia. So it would be nice to check the first way
  3. semirek
    semirek 28 January 2016 07: 56
    Interesting article.
    "The commander of the detachment was the heir to the throne ..." We, who lived in the Soviet system, do not understand the motives and meaning of serving the monarchy and the homeland by people like the count --- this is another world, a world that we have lost.
  4. Heimdall47
    Heimdall47 28 January 2016 10: 53
    Sensible was a man.
    Instead of Vorontsov in the Caucasus, the Kadyrovs and Abdulatipovs are sitting here now smile Without a doubt, these figures will ensure there a lasting order and the strengthening of statehood for a carrot conspiracy.
    as always, with the slightest weakening of Russian power in the region, a general massacre began.

    It could not be who would have thought ... request
  5. Aleksander
    Aleksander 28 January 2016 11: 52
    He was a true aristocrat and statesman who faithfully served the empire almost until his death.

    Honor and praise be to him. Lived a long life, happy that he served the Fatherland. It was lucky that I could not see how the ashes went that he carefully built and fought for ....
  6. Jääkorppi
    Jääkorppi 28 January 2016 12: 07
    The author of the article is not an objective historian, but a convinced monarchist! Groaning on the crunch of French rolls! From the first lines we see that the protagonist of the article is the largest landowner and faithful servant of the king-father. Apparently, the Russian people did not interest him, and a service aimed at protecting the interests of the ruling class cannot be considered a merit to the fatherland.
    Emi scurvy !? Is it in an agricultural country !?
    “In 1903, there was an epidemic of scurvy in the Novgorod province. There, 18.344 people fell ill. The enormous size of scurvy was taken in Starorussky uyezd, where 16.890 cases were recorded out of all 18 with more than thousand in the province. The fact is that in 1902 there was a crop failure so strong that already in December 1902, most peasants, having exhausted their own reserves, began to buy grain. For this, “many were forced to sell everything, almost all cattle, all horses, but the money earned through this sale was barely enough only for bread, and other seasonings needed for food, such as potatoes, cabbage, onions, cucumbers, etc., - which in 1902 didn’t at all freak out, there was nothing to buy anywhere else. ”20 The peasants had to eat, "and that will not be enough", one bread, and to drink water - rarely anyone could afford tea and kvass. According to doctors, such a plight and poor nutrition of the peasants "paved the way for the widespread development of scurvy." The epidemic lasted three months, starting in March. There were villages where the patient didn’t lie sick in the rare house, and even between the peasants who considered themselves healthy, there was not a single one that examined the gums were not swollen and did not bleed. ”(Ulyanova G.N. Health and Medicine / / Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century. M., New Chronograph, 2002.)
    Here we have lost such Russia ?!
    1. semirek
      semirek 28 January 2016 18: 41
      And your Ulyanova did not write about by chance, about such a phenomenon in the beginning of the 20th century as a famine in the Volga region, in the year 21, with millions of victims - apparently this is Russia that we found to avoid Novgorod relapses.
    2. RUSS
      RUSS 30 January 2016 20: 03
      Quote: JääKorppi
      Groaning on the crunch of French rolls!

      How many times have I asked and will ask again, what is a "French bun"?
  7. bober1982
    bober1982 28 January 2016 12: 25
    This French roll was given to you, dragged it well, to the crunch.
    " The author of the article is not an objective historian, but a convinced monarchist! "is the end of your quote.
    And who can be called an objective historian? - Stalinist, Trotskyist, liberal, Turk, monarchist, German, etc., etc.?
    1. semirek
      semirek 28 January 2016 18: 57
      It's funny to watch the "indignations" of comrades or sympathizers, I personally proceed from the facts, and not from the conjectures of historians. The monarchy in Russia for hundreds of years, not counting the great princely rule of Russia, communism, lasted only 70 years --- and these are facts, with this My grandfather, Fyodor Gusev, originally from the Kursk province, moved to Altai, according to the Stolypin reform, received 15 acres of land for free, plus a lift for the arrangement, and lived well, and managed to fight for the king, father, and what did the revolution give him?
      Sickle and hammer-death and hunger, so my grandmother used to say, the land was naturally taken away, and what was acquired by hard peasant labor, everything was taken away --- these are also historical facts, this cannot be imagined.
  8. WERSTA.
    WERSTA. 28 January 2016 19: 11
    Knowledge of the history of your country is not only necessary, but also honorable!
  9. rubidiy
    rubidiy 28 January 2016 20: 26
    these are the "who served faithfully" and brought the country to revolution and civil war. Specifically, this gentleman was lucky to glue the flippers right before the revolution. good
    1. bober1982
      bober1982 29 January 2016 07: 55
      I put a minus for your comment, I didn’t like it, some kind of bossy comment. In some ways, to the great Suvorov A.V.lucky (as you put it) that managed to glue fins (as you put it), he, too, was a noble master of serfs, strangled, strangled, he not only fought. He also brought the empire to revolution, and there were a lot of them.
    2. RUSS
      RUSS 30 January 2016 20: 05
      Quote: rubidiy
      Specifically, this gentleman was lucky to glue the fins right before the revolution.

      That's how you ragged after the revolution and taxied.
  10. Pvi1206
    Pvi1206 28 January 2016 21: 18
    These people should be sought for GDP and appointed to posts, not liberals!
    1. RUSS
      RUSS 30 January 2016 20: 04
      Quote: Pvi1206
      These people should be sought for GDP and appointed to posts, not liberals!

      We do not have liberals in our power; there are random and not professional, incompetent people.