Nikolai Golitsyn

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N.D. Golitsyn

Prince Nikolai Dmitriyevitch Golitsyn (Russian: Никола́й Дми́триевич Голи́цын; 12 April 1850 – 2 July 1925) was a member of the Galitzine family. He was the last Imperial prime minister of Russia from January 1917 until his government fell during the revolution of March 1917, when the Tsar was also forced to abdicate.


Golitsyn was born in the Governorate of Moscow. He was a graduate of the Imperial Alexander Lyceum. He entered the Ministry of the Interior in 1871. He was Governor of the guberniyas of Arkhangelsk (1885), Kaluga (1893), and Tver (1897). He was appointed Senator in 1903.

As a plenipotentiary of the Red Cross in Turgai and Uralsk oblasts and Saratov Guberniya he organized help to the famine-stricken areas (1907-1908).

He was member of the State Council and chairman of the commission to render assistance to the Russian prisoners of war abroad (1915).

Prior to being appointed prime minister he had been a deputy chairman of one of Empress Alexandra's charity commissions. He did not want to be prime minister and asked Tsar Nicholas II to appoint someone else. His advanced years led him to regularly fall asleep during State Council meetings. On the outbreak of the March Revolution in 1917 Golitsyn left his office declaring that he had had enough. He subsequently surrendered to the Provisional Government but was freed.

After the assumption of power by the Bolsheviks, Golitsyn remained in Russia, earning his living by repairing shoes and by maintaining public vegetable gardens. Although he was not occupied with political activity, during the period from 1920 to 1924 he was twice arrested by the OGPU, on the suspicion of connection with counterrevolutionaries. After his third arrest (on 12 February 1925), on the decision of the OGPU board of 22 June 1925, he was executed on 2 July 1925 in Leningrad.

His son, Prince Alexander, in exile married the Imperial princess Maria Petrovna of Russia, daughter of Grand Duke Peter.