Stepan Balmashov

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Stepan Balmashov

Stepan Balmashov, born in Pinega, Arkhangelsk Oblast, was the assassin of Russian Minister of Internal Affairs Dmitry Sipyagin, whom he shot on April 2, 1902 (O.S.) in the Mariinsky Palace in St. Petersburg. He was hanged in the fortress of Schlisselburg on May 3, 1902.

University life[edit]

In January 1901, he was arrested along with 183 other students at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev for participating in a student strike. Upon returning to the university in the autumn of that same year, he became interested in the Kiev Union of Socialists, of which he eventually became a member.

Assassination of Sipyagin[edit]

Balmashev Stepan.jpg

On April 15, 1902, Balmashov arrived disguised as an employee to the Mariinsky Palace, where the Minister of Internal Affairs was supposed to be. However, the minister had not yet arrived. He returned somewhat later and told the doorman that he had some documents from the Grand Duke Sergio Aleksandrovich. He then positioned himself behind the minister and shot him several times, leaving him with serious injuries that resulted in his death an hour later.

Investigation, trial, and execution[edit]

During his questioning, Balmashov stated that, "the method of combating a terrorist seems to me inhumane and cruel, but it's inevitable with the current regime", and refused to say anything else. A military tribunal sentenced him to death by hanging. Even though various people recommended that he request a pardon, he refused to do so. The execution took place in the fortress of Shlisselburg in May 1902.