April 01, 1997

Reforming Russia: Stolypin's Legacy

The leading Russian Political Scientist Fyodor Burlatsky said in a recent interview that Pyotr Stolypin (photo left) “was probably the greatest Russian reformer of the century... The success of his reforms would have prevented the October Revolution and all subsequent, tragic trials. It is scary to say, but a simple act — the assassination of Stolypin — crossed out Russia’s history.”

While some may interpret this as hyperbole, it is without a doubt that Pyotr Stolypin played a significant role in Russian history, and would have played a larger role, had an assassin’s bullet not caught him in 1911. In light of current debates over land reform in Russia (and the 135th anniversary of his birth this month), Russian Life asked noted historian Konstantin Shatsillo to offer a look back at Stolypin and his legacy. Archival photos from Great Encyclopedia of Russia.


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