Pyotr Grigoryevich Kakhovsky (Russian: Пётр Григо́рьевич Кахо́вский, 1797 – July 25 N.S. 1826) was a Russian officer, active participant of Decembrist revolt, killer of Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich and colonel Sturler.
Pyotr Kakhovsky was born in Smolensk Governorate in 1797. His parents were of impoverished nobility. Peter inherited 250 serfs, but when he died, his brother found only seventeen; the others either had been sold without land, or had run away, or had died.
He studied at Moscow University Boarding School (Московский Университетский Пансион). He started his military career as a Junker at Leib Guard Ranger Regiment in March 1816. In December 1816 he was demoted to Private by the order of Grand Duke Konstantin Pavlovich for rude behavior in the house of Mrs Vangersgeim (коллежской ассесорши Вангерсгейм), not paying his debt to a candy shop, and laziness in military service.
Kakhovsky was sent to war in Caucasus to 7th Ranger Regiment, there he made a fast career: in November 1817 he became a Junker, in 1819 he became a poruchik, in 1821 he retired from army because of an illness. In 1823 he traveled for medical treatment to Dresden, then Paris and Switzerland, Italy and Austria. After returning to Russia he settled in Saint Petersburg (1824).
At that time, he was very enthusiastic about Roman history, especially Brutus killing of Julius Caesar and pronounced that he sought a similar fate. The decision may have been prompted by the rejection of his hand by S.M. Saltykova.
Kakhovsky became an active member of Decembrist North Society and an assistant to Kondraty Fyodorovich Ryleyev. He was the founder of the Decembrist section in Grenadier regiment. At the North Society meeting December 13 O.S. 1825 he was charged with killing of emperor Nicholas I of Russia and the Imperial family in the Winter Palace. However, the next day, the actual day of the revolt, Kakhovsky hesitated and decided that the religion did not allow him to kill the emperor. Instead he went to Senate Square with the rest of Decembrists. He shot and fatally wounded Saint-Petersburg Governor and popular hero of Napoleonic Wars, General Mikhail Andreyevich Miloradovich who attempted to pacify the Decembrists troops and prevent the bloodletting. Kakhovsky also killed the commander of Grenadier regiment colonel Ludwig Niklaus von Stürler who went to the Senate Square to persuade his soldiers not to take part in the uprising, and wounded another officer Gastfer.
Kakhovsky was arrested at his own apartment on December 15 O.S. (the day after the revolt). He was one of the five, sentenced to death by quartering, but later this sentence was replaced with hanging. He was executed (at the second attempt) in Peter and Paul Fortress on July 25, 1826 and interred with the rest of the five in a secret grave on Goloday Island in Saint Petersburg.
- (Russian) Biography of Kakhovsky