Talk:Grigory Potemkin

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Good article Grigory Potemkin has been listed as one of the History good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
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Date Process Result
February 26, 2011 Good article nominee Listed
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Pre-January 2011 (now irrelevant) discussion


Nearly all the anecdotes related of him by Helbig, in the biography contributed by him to the journal Minerva (1797-1800), and freely utilized by later biographers, are absolutely worthless. Well I'm not a historian, but I would assume that it would be necessary to provide some corroboration for such sweeping statements? --rquinn 06:46, Jun 15, 2005 (UTC)

Dealt with substantially better in the new article, I feel. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 19:33, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Secret Husband[edit]

There have recently been letters found that prove that Catherine Ii and Potemkin were married. I'll try to find a website that supports this.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's biography of Potemkin discusses this. AllenHansen (talk) 02:27, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
Discussed in the new article. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 19:33, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

More comments by anon[edit]

disagree with this assesment of Potemkin. He was concerned about well-being of his soldiers to the end of his life, and was visibly moved by the masacres that took place, in Ochakov. See Potemkin by Montefiore page 413. He was champion of the Russian and foreigh Jews. They were under his protection during his reign.)

He encouraged them to settle in places like Odessa. AllenHansen (talk) 02:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

A note on the spelling of Potëmkin[edit]

The Romanization of Потёмкин in this article disregards Wikipedia's own policies on the transliteration of Russian. If I understand correctly, the name should be transliterated as "Potyomkin". If an exception should be made for this proper name, in consideration of the widespread use in existing literature of the form "Potemkin", I would respectfully suggest the placement of a diaeresis on top of the "e", as in "Potëmkin".

I agree, up till the insertion of the diaeresis. That would have no meaning to a non-Russian speaker, and would probably be interpreted like a German umlaut, rendering it something like "Patermkin". Better not to mislead people. Seems "Potemkin" is predominant in the literature, although "Potyomkin" is occasionally found. If we are making an exception here on that basis, then the diaresis-free spelling that's actually widely used should prevail. The pronunciation note (Patyomkin) is effective. -- JackofOz (talk) 21:36, 11 February 2008 (UTC)
I've changed it to straight off Potemkin, per sources. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 19:33, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

Plans for this article[edit]

Hey all. I just thought I'd make a note that this article is one of my WP:Wikicup targets for this year. I have, in my possession, the Montefiore biography, which I am first going to go through meticulously to expand the article to a decent length. Montefiore himself regards Potyomkin in a positive light, but his factual analysis seems sound and he often distinguishes between corroborated fact and possible myth. The next stage will be to layer in another book in my possession (a biography of Catherine the Great). After that, I will finish off with what I can glean from Google-Books sources, before putting it through a GA.

That much is certain. In later rounds, when I have more time, it would also be nice to get the article to featured status. But that's a little way off. In the meantime and beyond, any help with the article - if only copyediting and flagging up dubious/misleading sentences - would be much appreciated. Regards and a Happy New Year, - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 12:13, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Nominating for GA. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 19:33, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
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Upon reflection, my outstanding concern about this article is subheadings. They identify important elements of his life in general rather than summarizing their contents. There are also no subheadings, which would help.

Lfstevens (talk) 16:41, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Could you elaborate? I certainly wouldn't be opposed to adding some more level-4 headings, but I'm happy with the present level 2s and 3s. - Jarry1250 [Who? Discuss.] 18:44, 12 January 2011 (UTC)

GA nomination[edit]

I'm interested in this, though I have a few other things on at the moment. I'll pop back when I have more time, and if it's still untaken, then I'll do the review. SilkTork *YES! 01:32, 22 February 2011 (UTC)

Got it, SilkTork. Hope you don't mind. Jarry asked me, and I've got the time, today, as it happens. Would love you to comment in the GAR though.  Chzz  ►  14:37, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Grigory Potemkin/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer:  Chzz  ►  14:36, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Progress notes[edit]

  1. Has reliable sources Symbol confirmed.svg
  2. WP:NPOV
  3. No cleanup banners/excess tags Symbol confirmed.svg
  4. No recent edit wars Symbol confirmed.svg
  5. Not a current event Symbol confirmed.svg


Note to Jarry: Before you look at other things, please review the edits made by Greyhood (talk · contribs) today - I think they reviewed it for Wikipedia:WikiProject Russia/History of Russia task force, and xe made some edits.


Please mark {{done}} if fixed, or explain why it doesn't need fixing;

  • Disambiguation links; Yes check.svg Done
  • White Eagle
  • plague
  • Joseph II
  • If possible, please add alt text for images (including the infobox image). This is not a GA requirement, but it is a nice thing, and easy enough
  • Add cite tag to the ref? (just for consistency)X mark.svg Not done
  • known almost universally in English as Potemkin or Potyomkin - a) "Potyomkin" is not mentioned elsewhere (and the lede summarizes the rest), but b) probably that part - the "Potyomkin" - could be left out of the lede anyway, and put into the body-text. The 'names' stuff is a bit wordy, for the lede. If he's mostly known as "Potemkin" in English, that'll do; I don't think the other variant is needed in lede Yes check.svg Done, kind of - I made it less wordy, and hence a less offensive addition.
  • (October 11 - no closing bracket Yes check.svg Done
  • [O.S. September 30] 1739[nb 1] - is all this really necessary in the lede? can it be shifted, all this detail, into body - to keep the lede "cleaner"? Same for October 16 [O.S. October 5] 1791 - how about if there was just one [nb] thing, on the date, and the alternative-format dates were in body? ie, lede would become just ...October 11 1739 in Chizhovo, Russian Empire – October 16 1791,[nb 1] - and, actually, maybe re-order that to move the "in Chizhovo, Russian Empire " part outside the span of date - that'd be clearer. X mark.svg Not done
  • commander in Russia's war with Turkey of 1768 to 1774 - I think, possibly, it is clearer to say commander in the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774? Yes check.svg Done
  • Catherine's lover, favorite and possibly her husband and consort - "consort" means spouse, so this is tautalogical (ie "husband and spouse" == "husband and husband") - remove one or the other Yes check.svg Done
  • Gavrila Derzhavin (and the other one) is mentioned in lede but not in the body Yes check.svg Done
  • "Let the thunder of victory sound!." needs quotes, I think, not italics? (please check) Yes check.svg Done
  • Nikolayev (Mykolayiv) - do we need the alt name? I think a piped link would be fine Yes check.svg Done
  • associated with the "Potemkin village" - should that be plural, ie associated with "Potemkin villages"? X mark.svg Not done
  • based on a largely fictional tale about a practice of constructing building façades to mimic proper villages better, based on the largely fictional tale about the practice of constructing building façades to mimic real villages (I think. Or you can otherwise improve the sentence) Yes check.svg Done attempted rewrite
  • known for his love to women should be love of women... Yes check.svg Done
  • many magnificent buildings can you think of another word, other than "magnificent"? It's just that, coupled with "many", it all sounds a bit POVvy, if you know what I mean.Yes check.svg Done I went with "historically significant", which I feel is uncontroversial here
  • Potemkin's name was given to the Battleship Potemkin can you rephrase to avoid the repetition? Yes check.svg Done a little bit, might need more
  • (skipped to 'legacy' here, and spotted...) link on "greatest film of all time" seems unnecessary?
  • Section name "Catherine II's lover" would that perhaps be better as "Lover of Catherine II"? Yes check.svg Done Favorite of Catherine II
  • (back up to bio) quoted in Soloveytchik's Potemkin, p. 40. - can that be referenced (footnote) to the book, with details of the book? X mark.svg Not done Already in bibliography. Is a footnote really justified? I'm tempted to suggest not, but it's not a biggie.
  • Grigory became the centre of attention, his father's only son among six children and heir to the village. - grammar allows for potential misreading as "Grigory [was] his father's only son / among six children and heir to the village" ie he was amongst six kids and an heir - try to rephrase to fix Yes check.svg Done
  • I think "gymnasium school" would be better as "gymnasium school" to make it clearer the wikilink is about these schools - because it currently looks like it'd be a link to info on gyms in general (and thus I'd have not bothered looking at it) Yes check.svg Done
  • placed him in the Horse Guards, an elite regiment. maybe better placed him in the elite Horse Guards regiment. ? Yes check.svg Done
  • one of the first students to enroll at the University proper - not quite clear on why we're mentioning 'University proper' - maybe you can elaborate / clarify? Footnote if necessary e.g. nb -> Another student had enrolled in XXX which was not an official part of the University -or whatever the reason is Yes check.svg Done See new text for explanation of what I meant here
  • equivalent to that of the poorer gentry maybe remove 'the' ? X mark.svg Not done I prefer the "the" for keeping the sense I intend. Open to complete rewording, naturally.
  • Potemkin's horse then (appeared to) refuse to leave her side for several minutes before he finally returned to the ranks - "he" is a little bit ambiguous, because it is unusual to use "he" for a horse. How about, before returning to the ranks (and losing the "finally" because it doesn't really add anything)? Yes check.svg Done sort of, a fudge. May need revising.
  • and her influence got him promoted - can this be improved, for grammar? Yes check.svg Done
  • promoted him again to Kammerjunker - does that really need cap K? X mark.svg Not done It's a German noun left untranslated or absorbed into English. Dubious, I guess.
  • Confidence shattered, he withdrew from court - needs to begin "His confidence shattered," I think Yes check.svg Done
  • Though Orlov was replaced as her favourite, it was not Potemkin who benefited but another Horse-Guardsman, one Alexander Vassilchikov. clumsy sentence; try to refactor Yes check.svg Done

Arbritrary break at Catherine II's lover[edit]

  • rebel army thirty thousand strong -> 30,000 WP:MOSNUM X mark.svg Not done Deliberately vauge, pretty sure that's covered under MOS.
  • His "uncouth" behavior are these Scare quotes necessary? {{done} No.
  • The frequent epistles the pair sent wikilink or wikt for 'epistle'? Yes check.svg Done Somebody changed that from plain old "letter". I've changed it back so as to not confuse readers.
  • he was appointed: Governor I don't think the colon is necessary Yes check.svg Done
  • Whether Catherine and Potemkin married is only "almost certain" maybe remove 'only', and then remove *In any case, from the next sentence Yes check.svg Done reworded
  • 1775, 1784 and 1791 have all been suggested as possible nuptial dates rephrase to avoid starting sentence with a digit ("The years 1775..." or something) Yes check.svg Done implicitly in above
  • Also re. above 2 sentences - please add an explicit ref to the end of them; I assume they're covered by ref 34, but that isn't entirely clear and they're quite bold claims Yes check.svg Done Well, added to the second sentence.
  • On January 1, 1775 - in other cases (e.g. DoB) you've used the format "1 January" - it needs to be consistent throughout Yes check.svg Done
  • An Anglophile - I don't think needs a capital A Yes check.svg Done
  • Kingdom of Georgia accepted Russian protection a few days later; the Kingdoms of Persia and Armenia initially looked - are there appropriate wiki-links for K of P. and Armenia? (I realise 'persia' redir to 'iran' was wiki-linked at the start of the para; but maybe there is some article/section explaining what the Kingdom of Persia was? Yes check.svg Done had a go at it.
  • with fifty or more clerks -> 50 X mark.svg Not done
  • I'm not sure "Builder" is an appropriate section heading...he was more..."Founder of cities?" or something Yes check.svg Done reverted to city builder. Sure it was that originally - might get complaints.
  • Akhtiar, annexed with the Crimea: it became Sevastopol. -> Akhtiar, annexed with the Crimea, which later became Sevastopol. ? maybe? Yes check.svg Done
  • grandest failure - a bit of an oxymoron? maybe just 'biggest failure' or something Yes check.svg Done
  • Potemkin's most successful city please add a ref at end of the sentence (it's a bold claim) Yes check.svg Done
  • diverted from Australia the wikilink to 'transport' doesn't make sense Yes check.svg Done
  • Certainly, Potemkin had arranged for Catherine to see the best he had to offer (naturally organising numerous exotic excursions) I don't like the POV - 'certainly' and 'naturally' and 'numerous' - rephrase? X mark.svg Not done
  • General Alexander Suvorov won an important victory at Kinburn in early October; further attack by Ottoman forces was now impossible before spring. - are those two things linked? If so, put ...which meant... or something. If not, split to 2 sentences Yes check.svg Done
  • General comment: check numbers as words, per MOS, throughout the document. WP:MOSNUM. They might be acceptable; needs checking X mark.svg Not done
  • national anthem, Let the thunder of victory sound!. quotes/italics? (as earlier) Yes check.svg Done earlier
  • Potemkin was indubitably vain and a great lover of jewelry I suggest removing links of 'vain' and 'jewelry' (common terms) and also suggest remove "indubitably" for POV / not adding to the meaning Yes check.svg Done
  • (a taste he was only hit-and-miss in paying for), bad grammar. Rephrase. Yes check.svg Done
  • He only agreed to be painted twice suggest beING, to avoid the idea he was covered in paint twice Yes check.svg Done reworded
  • his Anglophilia capital A not needed? Yes check.svg Done
  • described the French revolutionaries as "a pack of madmen") quote needs a reference Yes check.svg Done
  • sentence beginning Criticisms include "laziness has quotes, needs a ref at the end Yes check.svg Done
  • Not a military genius, he was "seriously able". is not a complete sentence Yes check.svg Done Adjusted
  • "worthless and dangerous character". quote, needs a ref Yes check.svg Done
  • As a result, the name of the giant... maybe remove "As a result, " - not really needed Yes check.svg Done

Arb break 2[edit]

  • Needs PERSONDATA Template:Persondata
  • Book references - please specify the language if not English Yes check.svg Done
  • For book by "Łojek, Jerzy" please change to ISBN13 for consistency Yes check.svg Done
  • Infobox Wife Catherine II of Russia (possible) - I don't like (possible) - I'd rather see a footnote X mark.svg Not done Needs to be stressed immediately. Might there be a third way?
  • Infobox Born 11 October 1739(1739-10-11) (N.S.) - add the link to NB1 Yes check.svg Done


I've fixed a number of NPOV issues in the article, and I think it passes by this criterion in the present state. The issues mostly included the statement of fictional character of the Potemkin Village story, and the usage of dubious claims by Polish underground opposition historian Jerzy Łojek, contradicting both Montefiore and Russian sources. GreyHood Talk 17:12, 26 February 2011 (UTC)


1. Well-written:

  • (a) the prose is clear and the spelling and grammar are correct
    • After the changes noted above, and other work on the grammar, I think it generally reads well now. Scope for future improvement to prose, but points are clear, spelling and grammar checked.
  • (b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, jargon, words to avoid, fiction, and list incorporation.
    • Checked and edited for MOS; good clear lede, logical layout, POV queries have been addressed.

2. Factually accurate and verifiable:

  • (a) it provides references to all sources of information, and at minimum contains a section dedicated to the attribution of those sources in accordance with the guide to layout;
    • Refs all check out; citations include sufficient details and are consistent.
  • (b) at minimum, it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons
    • Well referenced with RS. Balanced and neutral, multiple sources as much as possible (although accepting there are few good sources; some older works are now directly challenged in Montefiore).

(c) it contains no original research.

  • Does not contain OR; book refs accepted in good faith

3. Broad in its coverage:

  • (a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic;
    • Life and achievements are treated with reasonable balance; does not overly concentrate on any areas. Seems to have comprehensive outline of of lifespan, and appropriate coverage of death/legacy.
  • (b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).
    • Good level of detail

4. Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias.

  • Several edits during the GA process have corrected problems with non-neutral phrasing; now appears to present facts in appropriate tone.

5. Stable: it does not change significantly from day-to-day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.

  • Check; no edit-warring

6. Illustrated, if possible, by images:

  • (a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content
    • No fair-use images used; all images have appropriate licencing
  • (b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.
    • All in sensible places and appropriate captions
Symbol support vote.svg

This article has passed the GA review process, and I will promote it to GA status  Chzz  ►  23:47, 26 February 2011 (UTC)