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For the name Alyona, see Helen (given name).

Alyona (Erzyan: Эрзямассонь Олёна, Russian: Алёна, surname is unknown; died 1670) was an Erzyan female ataman during the Peasants' Revolt in Russia under the leadership of Stepan Razin. A peasant by birth from the Vyezdnaya sloboda of Arzamas, she was an elderly nun ("старица") before becoming an ataman. She commanded a detachment of about 600 men and participated in the capture of Temnikov in 1670. She was burned at the stake.


Alyona was a peasant by birth from the Vyezdnaya sloboda of Arzamas and married a peasant. She became a nun as a widow and learned to read and studied medicine. In 1669, she left the convent and joined the Peasants' Revolt of Stepan Razin as the leader of circa 300-400 people whom she had convinced to join the rebellion. In 1670, she participated in the capture of Temnikov as the leader of her own troops. On 30 November 1670, Temnikov was re-taken by Tsarists troops under Yu A. Dolgorukov. According to a description from 1677, she hid in a church and shot several soldiers before she was taken, embracing the altar, on 4 December. She was accused of sorcery and heresy and sentenced to be burned at the stake. The stake was formed as a small cottage with a hole in the "roof", in which she would be burned. She was to have climbed to the stake in silence, performed her rites, jumped down and closed the hatch without a word, and burned in silence. Alyona is described as an amazon with great physical strength and courage greater than most men.



Степан Разин и его соратники, «Мысль», 1988 г.