Mikhail Tereshchenko

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Mykhailo Tereshchenko
Михайло Терещенко
First Finance Minister of Russian Provisional Government
In office
30 March 1917 – 17 May 1917 (N.S.)
Foreign Minister of Russia
In office
18 May 1917 – 7 November 1917 (N.S.)
Preceded byPavel Milyukov
Personal details
Born(1886-03-18)18 March 1886
Kyiv, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Died1 April 1956(1956-04-01) (aged 70)
Spouse(s)Margaret Noe (?-1923)
Ebba Holst (1926-?)
Childrena daughter
a daughter
Petro Tereshchenko (1917-?)[1]

Mykhailo Ivanovych Tereshchenko (Ukrainian: Михайло Іванович Терещенко; Russian: Михаи́л Ива́нович Тере́щенко; 18 March 1886 – 1 April 1956) was the foreign minister of Russia from 18 May 1917 to 7 November 1917 (N.S.). He was also a major Ukrainian landowner, the proprietor of several sugar factories, and a financier.


Born to a rich Tereshchenko family of sugar factory owners, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and art patrons of Ivan Tereshchenko (1854–1903) and Elizabeth Mikhailovna. Mikhail had a younger brother Mykola (1894–?). His uncle Oleksandr Tereshchenko (1856–1911) worked in Saint-Petersburg. Mykhailo Tereshchenko graduated from Kyiv University and Leipzig University. In 1910, he joined the Freemasonry and became one of the five prominent Masons in Russia (the other four being Aleksandr Konovalov, Alexander Kerensky, Nikolai Nekrasov, and Ivan Yefremov). Mikhail Tereshchenko was a member of the Fourth State Duma (he shared the views of the Russian Progressive Party). In 1912–1914, Tereshchenko was the owner of a private publishing house Sirin in St Petersburg, which published Andrey Bely's pioneering novel Petersburg in three installments in 1913–1914. During World War I, he took part in organizing the Red Cross hospitals. In 1915–1917, Mikhail Tereshchenko was the chairman of the Military Industry Committee of the Kyiv district and deputy chairman of the All-Russian Military Industry Committee.

After the February Revolution of 1917, Mykhailo Tereshchenko was appointed Minister of Finance of the Provisional Kerensky Government. In April 1917, Tereshchenko (together with Kerensky and Nekrasov) was actively seeking to create a governmental interparty coalition with the Socialists. On 5 May 1917, he was appointed minister of foreign affairs after the resignation of Pavel Milyukov. Tereshchenko continued his foreign policy course, which led to his conflict with Minister of War Alexander Verkhovsky, who had considered Russia to be unable to continue the war. He was a member of the Directorate in September 1917. Tereshchenko was known to support the Ukrainian government which led to the establishment and recognition of the General Secretariat in Ukraine 1917.

On the night of 26 October, Mykhailo Tereshchenko was arrested in the Winter Palace with other ministers of the Provisional Government and placed into the Peter and Paul Fortress while his office was temporarily held by Anatoly Neratov. In the spring of 1918, Tereshchenko escaped from prison and fled to Norway with the Tereshchenko blue diamond, sold in 1984 for $4.6 million, by Christie's later on, to Robert Mouawad, a famous Lebanese jeweller. Tereshchenko was one of the supporters of allied intervention in Soviet Russia. In 1920s and 1930s, he was engaged in financial activities in France and Madagascar.

Personal life[edit]

Tereshchenko was an active member of the irregular freemasonic lodge, the Grand Orient of Russia’s Peoples.[2] Along with Kerensky, Alexander Galpern, Yefremov, Kolyubakin and Nekrasov, he was a member of the lodge "La Petite Ourse" (Ursa Minor), which was founded in 1910 in St. Petersburg. This lodge was considered the coordinating lodge of the entire Grand Orient of Russia's Peoples.


  1. ^ Genealogy of Tereshchenkos
  2. ^ "Noteworthy members of the Grand Orient of France in Russia and the Supreme Council of the Grand Orient of Russia's People". Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon. 15 October 2017.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Foreign Minister of Russia
5 May 1917 – 26? October 1917
Succeeded by