Zakhar Chernyshyov

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Marble bust by Fedot Shubin, 1774

Count Zakhar Grigoryevich Chernyshov or Tchernyshov (Russian: Захар Григорьевич Чернышёв; 1722 - 1784), best known for the 1760 raid on Berlin, rose to become Minister of War to the empress Catherine the Great of Russia. He left no children and the Tchernyshov majorat, instituted by him, passed to a younger brother, Ivan Tchernyshov.

Zakhar, the eldest son of Grigory Chernyshev, the first count Chernyshev and one of Peter the Great's generals, was enlisted in the Russian military service since 1735. After a diplomatic mission to Vienna and a period at court, he held the command of a Russian corps of approximately 20,000 soldiers in the Seven Years' War. It was one of his officers, Gottlieb Heinrich Totleben, who took hold of Berlin, the capital of Frederick the Great, in 1760.

With the accession of Peter III of Russia he received instructions (May 1762) to join his forces with the Prussians. Along with Frederick, Chernyshov came upon the Austrian forces of Field Marshal Daun near Burkersdorf. King Frederick had already decided to attack the Austrians when Chernyshev received orders to disengage from the Prussians. But at Frederick's request the Russian commander suppressed the order and participated in the Prussian victory of Burkersdorf (21 July 1762).

Under Catherine the Great, Chernyshev became President of the War College (1773) and Imperial Field Marshal (1773). His success as an administrator provoked the jealousy of almighty Prince Potemkin, upon whose insistence Chernyshev was sent away to govern Belarus, which had been snatched from Poland during the first partition several months prior to that. He was responsible for the 1775 reform of the regional administration across the empire and became the first governor of the re-established Moscow guberniya.