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General-Governor Nikolay Ivanovich Bobrikov

Nikolay Ivanovich Bobrikov (Russian: Никола́й Ива́нович Бо́бриков); born on January 27 [O.S. January 15] 1839 in St. Petersburg – June 17, 1904 in Helsinki, Finland) was a Russian soldier and politician.[1]

Bobrikov became an officer in the Russian army in 1858 after which he served in the Kazan military district and as divisional chief-of-staff in Novgorod. He became a colonel in 1869. A year later he was transferred to Saint Petersburg for special duties in the Imperial guard. This gave Bobrikov access to the Imperial court. In 1878 he became a Major General.

In 1898, Tsar Nicholas II appointed Bobrikov as the Governor-General of Finland. Bobrikov was both hated and feared by the Finnish population as he thought that Finland was still a foreign country that threatened Russia. In 1899, Nicholas II signed the "February Manifesto" which marks the beginning of the first "Years of Oppression" (sortovuodet). In this manifesto the Tsar decreed that the laws of the Empire take higher order of precedence than the laws of Finland. Half a million Finns signed a petition to Nicholas II requesting to revoke the manifesto. The Tsar didn't even receive the delegation bringing the petition.[1]

In 1900, Bobrikov issued orders that all correspondence between government offices was to be conducted in Russian and that education in the Russian language was to be increased in schools. The Finnish army was abolished in 1901, and Finnish conscripts could now be forced to serve with Russian troops anywhere in the Russian empire. To the first call up in 1902, only 42% of the conscripts showed up. In 1905, conscription in Finland was abolished since Finns were seen as unreliable.[1]

In 1903, Bobrikov was given dictatorial powers by the Tsar so that he could fire government officials and abolish newspapers. On June 16, 1904 Bobrikov was assassinated by Eugen Schauman in Helsinki. Schaumann shot Bobrikov three times and himself twice. Schauman died instantly and Bobrikov died later that night in the hospital.[1]

Bobrikov's assassination took place on the same day that is described in James Joyce's novel Ulysses, and is briefly mentioned in the book.

References

Political offices
Preceded by
Frederick Heyden
Governor-General of Finland
1898-1904
Succeeded by
Ivan Mikhailovich Obolensky
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