Dmitry Milyutin

Count Dmitry Alekseyevich Milyutin (Russian: Дмитрий Алексеевич Милютин[1]; 28 June 1816, Moscow – 25 January 1912, Simeiz near Yalta) was Minister of War (1861–81) and the last Field Marshal of Imperial Russia (1898). He was responsible for sweeping military reforms that changed the face of the Russian army in the 1860s and 1870s. Further, he was instrumental in creating the framework for the Circassian genocide that murdered approximately 600,000 Circassians from 1861 to 1865.

Dmitry Alekseyevich Milyutin
Дми́трий Алексе́евич Милю́тин
Дми́трій Алексѣевичъ Милю́тинъ
Milutin DA
General Dmitry Mikyutin in 1865
Minister of war
In office
16 May 1861 – 21 May 1881
MonarchAlexander II
Alexander III
Preceded byNikolay Sukhozanet
Succeeded byPyotr Vannovsky
Personal details
BornJune 28, 1816
Moscow, Moscow Governorate, Russian Empire
DiedJanuary 25, 1912 (aged 95)
Simeiz near Yalta, Taurida Governorate, Russian Empire
Military service
Allegiance Russian Empire
Branch/serviceRussian Empire Russian Imperial Army
Years of service1836-1881
RankField Marshal
Battles/warsCaucasian War
Crimean War
Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878)
Awardssee awards

Early career

Milyutin graduated from the Moscow University School in 1833 and Nicholas Military Academy in 1836. Unlike his brother Nikolai Milyutin, who chose to pursue a career in civil administration, Dmitry volunteered to take part in the Caucasian War (1839–45). After sustaining a grave wound, he returned to the military academy to deliver lectures as a professor.

In the following years, Milyutin earned a considerable reputation as a brilliant scholar. He emphasized the scientific value of military statistics and authored the first comprehensive study of the subject, which earned him the Demidov Prize for 1847. Milyutin regarded Suvorov as a model for military commanders and the Italian campaign of 1799 as the pinnacle of his career, elaborating these views in a detailed account of the campaign, published in five volumes in 1852 and 1853.

Capitalizing on his knowledge, Milyutin analyzed the causes of Russia's defeat in the Crimean War and framed some radical proposals for military reforms. His ideas were approved by Alexander II, who appointed Milyutin to the post of Minister of War in 1861. Several years earlier, Milyutin had taken part in the capture of Shamil, thus helping bring the prolonged Caucasian War to an end.

Minister of War

Milyutin was Minister of War from 16 May 1861 to 21 May 1881. The military reforms carried on during Milyutin's long tenure resulted in the levy system being introduced to Russia and military districts being created across the country. Military service was declared compulsory to all males aged 21 for 6 years instead of the previous 25 years. This applied to all males including nobles. The system of military education was also reformed, and elementary education was made available to all the draftees. Milyutin's reforms are regarded as a milestone in the history of Russia: they dispensed with the military recruitment and professional army introduced by Peter the Great and created the Russian army such as it continued into the 21st century until Anatoliy Serdyukov announced military reforms to end in 2020. (See: 2008 Russian military reform) Up to Dmitry Milyutin's reforms in 1874 Russian Army had no constant barracks and was billeted in dugouts and shacks.[2] The success of his reforms was demonstrated during the Russo-Turkish War (1877-1878). Milyutin's subtle leadership made itself felt during the peak of the conflict when the Russians failed three times in a row to take Pleven and many experts advised them to retreat. Milyutin promptly ordered the siege to be continued in a more orderly manner which brought the war to a victorious end. At the close of the war, Milyutin set up a commission in order to investigate faulty supply of provisions and other problems that had surfaced during the siege. In recognition of his services, he was made a count and received all the Russian orders, including the Order of Saint Andrew.

Later life

Milyutin DA 1912
General Dmitry Milyutin

After the Congress of Berlin, Milyutin succeeded the ailing Chancellor Gorchakov as the leader of the imperial foreign policy. Alexander II's assassination in 1881 rendered his position precarious, however, and after Konstantin Pobedonostsev, intent on reversing the liberal innovations of the previous reign, emerged as the most powerful policy-maker, Milyutin resigned his office. In 1898, when the 80th anniversary of Alexander II was celebrated, he was promoted to Field Marshal, the first man to receive this honour for many years and the last in the history of the Russian Empire. He died in Simeiz in 1912.

Honours and awards


  • Order of St. Anna, 2nd class
  • Order of St. Stanislaus, 3rd class



  1. ^ Transliberated to Dmitriy Alekseevich Milyutin
  2. ^ Wiesław Caban, Losy żołnierzy powstania listopadowego wcielonych do armii carskiej, w: Przegląd Historyczny, t. XCI, z. 2, s. 245.

Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainBrockhaus and Efron Encyclopedic Dictionary (in Russian). 1906.

Further reading

His memoirs have been reprinted. The early years in a volume published by Oriental Research Partners (Newtonville, Mass) in 1978 with a new useful introduction by Prof. Bruce Lincoln. A three volume set of memoirs of his later years was published by Rossiiski arkhiv (Moscow 1999-2006) Pp. 525, 557, 730.

External links

Caucasus Military District

The Caucasus Military District (Russian: Кавказский военный округ, Kavkazskiy voenniy okrug) was a military formation of the Imperial Russian Army. It was created in 1865 as the successor to the Caucasus Army, and was dissolved in 1917.

Conscription in Russia

Conscription in Russia (in Russia is known as Russian: всеобщая воинская обязанность or "universal military obligation" or "liability for military service") is a 12-month draft, mandatory for all male citizens age 18–27, with a number of exceptions. The mandatory term of service was reduced from two years in 2007-2008. Avoiding draft is felony under Russian criminal code and punishable by up to 2 years of imprisonment.

General Staff Academy (Imperial Russia)

The General Staff Academy (Russian: Академия генерального штаба, or Akademiya general'nogo shtaba) was a Russian military academy, established in 1832 in St.Petersburg. It was first known as the Imperial Military Academy (Императорская военная академия), then in 1855 it was renamed Nicholas General Staff Academy (in commemoration of Emperor Nicholas I) and in 1909 - Imperial Nicholas Military Academy (Императорская Николаевская военная академия).

The academy trained Imperial Russian Army officers with higher military education and military land surveyors. It admitted officers of all arms of military service up to the rank of stabbs-captain inclusive. The academy offered two principal courses, one additional course and had a geodesic department. Those who graduated from the additional course used to join the General Staff. The alumni had the right to an accelerated promotion to the next rank and commanding posts. The academy used to employ some of the best military theoriticians and historians, such as Alexei Baiov, Mikhail Dragomirov, Heinrich Leer, Dmitry Maslovsky, Nikolai Medem, Dmitry Milyutin, Alexander Myshlayevsky, Alexander Puzyrevsky and others. From 1832 to 1918, the General Staff Academy trained 4,532 General Staff officers and contributed significantly to the development of military theory. Some of the scientific works and charters prepared by the academy were even used during the first years of the formation of the Red Army.

Among academy's most famous alumni were Abdolhossein Teymourtash, Nikolai Obruchev, Fyodor Radetsky, Mikhail Skobelev, and Nikolai Stoletov. Many of its alumni would become leaders of the White movement, such as Aleksandr Kolchak and Pyotr Wrangel. Some others would take the side of the Bolsheviks as military experts and become prominent Soviet military leaders and politicians, such as Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich, Jukums Vācietis, Sergei Kamenev, Boris Shaposhnikov, Vladimir Egoryev, and others. Most of these commanders were executed in the 1930s. Also several Estonian military leaders, such as Johan Laidoner, Jaan Soots and Andres Larka, came from General Staff Academy. One of its graduates, Mykola Kapustiansky, would become a General in the army of the Ukrainian National Republic and later a founder of the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.

In March 1918, the General Staff Academy was transformed into the Red Army Military Academy. In the summer of that same year, the academy was evacuated to Kazan, where its staff would join the army of Admiral Kolchak. In 1921, the General Staff Academy was disbanded. The term was reintroduced in 1936, when the Voroshilov Military Academy of the USSR Army General Staff was established.

Italian and Swiss expedition

The Italian and Swiss expeditions of 1799 and 1800 were undertaken by a combined Austro-Russian army under overall command of the Russian General Alexander Suvorov against French forces in Piedmont, Lombardy and Switzerland as part of the Italian campaigns of the French Revolutionary Wars in general and the War of the Second Coalition in particular.

Military districts of the Russian Empire

In the Imperial Russian Army, a military district (Russian: вое́нный о́круг, voyenny okrug) was a territorial association of military units, formations, military schools, and various local military establishments. This territorial division type was utilized to provide a more efficient management of army units, their training and other operations activities related to combat readiness.


Milyutin (Russian: Милютин) is a Russian last name and may refer to the following:

Dmitry Milyutin (1816-1912) - Russian war minister in the reign of Alexander II, notable for introducing conscription in the Russian army and other reforms, brother of Nikolay Milyutin

Nikolay Milyutin (1818-1872) - Russian statesman in the reign of Alexander II notable for the emancipation of serfs and zemstvo reforms, brother of Dmitry Milyutin

Nikolay Alexandrovich Milyutin (1899–1942) - Bolshevik and Soviet Urban Planner

Ministry of War of the Russian Empire

Ministry of War of the Russian Empire, (Russian: Военное министерство, Military Ministry) was an administrative body in the Russian Empire from 1802 to 1917.

It was established in 1802 as the Ministry of ground armed forces (Russian: Министерство военно-сухопутных сил) taking over responsibilities from the College of War during the Government reform of Alexander I. It was renamed to the Ministry of War in 1815.

Nikolai Obruchev

Nikolai Nikolayevich Obruchev (1830–1904) was a General Staff Officer in the Imperial Russian Army, imperial Russian general staff officer, military statistician, planner and chief of the Main Staff.

Nikolai Sukhozanet

Nikolai Onufrievich Sukhozanet (Russian: Никола́й Ону́фриевич Сухозане́т) (1794 – 22 July 1871) was an Imperial Russian Army general and statesman.

Nikolai Sukhozanet was born in a noble family of Vitebsk guberniya. During the Napoleon's invasion of Russia he bravely fought in numerous battles and finished the campaign in Paris in the rank of lieutenant of artillery. His awards included Order of St. Vladimir of 4th degree and Order of St. Anna of 2nd degree.

After the war he occupied different positions in the 1st Army and in 1824 was promoted to Major General. When the November Uprising began he led the Staff of artillery in the acting army. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Ostrołęka and received the Order of St. George of 3rd degree. From 1836 to 1849 he commanded the 4th artillery division. From 1849 until the Battle of Chernaya River of Crimean War he commanded the artillery of the acting army, after that Sukhozanet got the 3rd Corps and the Southern Army the next year.

On 17 April 1856 he became the Minister of Land Forces. Emperor Alexander II has put him two main tasks: the reduction of army's expenses and the deep reform of the army. The first task was solved but the second was completely abandoned by Sukhozanet.

During his minister's term he two times acted as a Namestnik of Kingdom of Poland – first time during the illness of Prince Mikhail Gorchakov and second after resign of Karl Lambert. Because of bad health he left on 6 October 1861 the army and on 9 November resigns his post of minister.

Pavel Kiselyov

Count Pavel Dmitrievich Kiselyov or Kiseleff (Па́вел Дми́триевич Киселёв) (January 19 [O.S. January 8] 1788, Moscow – November 26 [O.S. November 14] 1872, Paris) is generally regarded as the most brilliant Russian reformer during Nicholas I's generally conservative reign.

Petersburg Military District (Russian Empire)

The Petersburg Military District (Питербургский вое́нный о́круг) was a Military District of the Russian Empire originally created in August 1864 following Order B-228 of Dmitry Milyutin, the Minister of War of the Russian Empire. The order, signed on 10 (22) August established that "for local control of the Ground Armed Forces and military establishments, are formed ... Military-regional administrations in the following ten military districts" of which one was Petersburg. The District’s forces gained combat experience in the Russo-Turkish (1877–1878) and Russo-Japanese (1904–05) wars. Finland Military District was merged into the Petersburg District in 1905.

By a decision of Emperor Nicholas II on 24 August 1914, the names of units and establishments within the District were changed to Petrograd Military District. This District was established as a part of the RKKA by order в"– 71 of the Highest Military Council of 6 September 1918. On 1 February 1924, by the order в"– 126 the Revolutionary Military Councils of the USSR the Petrograd military district was renamed the Leningrad Military District.

Sadovaya Street

Sadovaya Street or Garden Street is a major thoroughfare in Saint Petersburg, Russia, passing through the historic city center.

From east to west, it begins near the Field of Mars, crosses the Moika River at the First Sadovy Bridge, then passes over Spassky Island, the Kryukov Canal (at the Staro-Nikolsky Bridge), and Pokrovsky Island, before finally ending at the junction of the Griboyedov Canal and the Fontanka River. The section from the Moika to Gorokhovaya Street belongs to the Central District of the city, and the rest, to the Admiralteysky District. The street is 4376 m in length and about 8 m in width, and the distance between the buildings can be up to 18 m.

The street has great cultural and historical significance, passing by many historical and architectural monuments from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, including the Mikhailovsky, Vorontsov, and Moika (Yusupov) palaces. The street serves many important transportation functions, linking the central areas of the city, and is home to many markets, including Gostiny Dvor, Apraksin Dvor, and the Hay Market. Among the figures in Russian history who lived on Sadovaya are Dmitry Milyutin, Aleksey Kuropatkin, Mikhail Lermontov, Demyan Bedny, Ivan Krylov, Mikhail Petrashevsky, Yuri Lisyansky, Apollon Maykov, Yevgeny Tarle, and Sergei Prokofiev. A fictional apartment block numbered 302B Sadovaya Street serves as a prominent setting in Russian literary classic The Master and Margarita.

The street was laid out ca. 1710. It runs from Nevsky Prospekt to the Gorokhovaya Street. The street was filled with wealthy estates, with large gardens, from where the street got its name. Later on, ca. 1730, the street was being built on to the southwestern direction, and two squares were built; Hay Square and Turgenev Square.

Later on, ca. 1820, the street was being built northwards on to the Field of Mars. Garden Street was the trading center of Saint Petersburg in the 18th to the 19th century.

The Garden Street is a major transport hub. There's trolleys, tramways, buses and marshrutkas.

The street is served by three stations of the Saint Petersburg Metro: Sennaya Ploshchad, Sadovaya, and Gostiny Dvor.


Simeiz (Ukrainian: Сімеїз, Russian: Симеи́з, Crimean Tatar: Simeiz) is a resort town, an urban-type settlement in Yalta Municipality in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, a territory recognized by a majority of countries as part of Ukraine and incorporated by Russia as the Republic of Crimea. Its name is of Greek origin (σημαία 'flag' + -εις, a plural suffix). The town is located by the southern slopes of the main range of Crimean Mountains at the base of Mount Koshka, 18 kilometers (11 mi) west from Yalta. Population: 2,604 (2014 Census).

Stepan Alexandrovsky

Stepan Fyodorovich Alexandrovsky (Russian: Степан Фёдорович Александровский; (25 December 1842, Riga - 1 February 1906, Saint Petersburg) was a Russian portrait painter and watercolorist.

Turkestan Military District

The Turkestan Military District (Russian: Туркестанский военный округ (ТуркВО), Turkestansky voyenyi okrug (TurkVO)) was a military district of both the Imperial Russian Army and the Soviet Armed Forces, with its headquarters at Tashkent. The District was first created during the 1874 Russian military reform when by order of Minister Dmitry Milyutin the territory of Russia was divided into fourteen military districts. Its first commander was Konstantin Petrovich von Kaufman, who was also Governor-General of Russian Turkestan at the time.

Vilna Military District (Russian Empire)

Vilna Military District (Russian: Ви́ленский вое́нный о́круг) was a military district of the Imperial Russian Army. The district was formed in 1862 as part of Russian military reforms and was responsible for parts of modern Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland. The district was disbanded at the beginning of the First World War in July 1914, and its headquarters were used to form another district farther to the rear.

Vissarion Komarov

Vissarion Vissarionovich Komarov (Russian: Виссарион Виссарионович Комаров, 26 October 1838—4 January 1908) was a Russian journalist, editor and an Imperial Russian Army colonel who in 1876 was promoted to the rank of the Serbian army general for his victories in several battles he conducted against the Turkish army during the Montenegrin–Ottoman War, in 1876.

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