Grigory A. Potemkin



Grigory Alexandrovich Potemkin

was born in 1739 in the family of a poor landowner. For a long time historians argued about the date of his birth: they were called 1736, 1739 and 1742 years. In 1757, Gregory was enrolled in the Moscow University. Here he showed himself very unordinary: he could go to the study of sciences with his head, and could become so indifferent to them that he stopped going to classes. For the last Potemkin and was expelled from the university. Grigory Alexandrovich decided to seek success in the military field. This, however, was preceded by the posts of assistant chief procurator of the Synod (since 1763) and the court service chamberlain (since 1768). Potemkin was not satisfied with the service he was carrying, so he asked Catherine the Great to send to the theater of military operations – and at that time in the south was a war with the Ottoman Empire. After Potemkin distinguished himself in the battles at Focsani – 1770, and a year earlier in the assault of Khotin, he was summoned by Catherine II to the court. Since then, he became her favorite.

Gregory is the son of a poor landowner.

The person who left such a notable mark in history was born in the family of the Smolensk landowner. For this status, the best option was to rise to the rank of colonel. But Potemkin fate cast another role.


Potemkin was particularly distinguished in the coup of 1762. But Ekaterina Alekseevna still noticed a tall officer. Grigory Alexandrovich was awarded ten thousand rubles and 400 serfs. Since that time, the empress has watched his career. And Potemkin himself occasionally reminded her of his existence.

Potemkin was the only favorite, which Catherine II trusted for the rest of her life.

Actually the favorite Gregory Alexandrovich was only two years old, then he acted as an outstanding statesman.

There are several versions of how Potemkin in 1762 lost one eye.

According to one of them, it happened in a duel, the second says about a certain fight between Potemkin and Orlov. More likely is the description of Grigory Alexandrovich’s nephew – Count Samoilov. He told about the illness of Potemkin’s eyes, which, most likely, became a victim of a medicine man. He recommended him a special lotion. But it was from her that Potemkin became worse – an outgrowth was formed on his eye. Grigory decided to remove it with a pin because of this and lost an eye.

Potemkin very quickly became an influential man at court.

When the Empress expressed her desire at the end of 1773 that Potemkin should come to St. Petersburg (he served in the military field at that time), he immediately, full of joy and hope, fulfilled her demand. In March 1774, he already had the rank of Adjutant-General. Catherine the Great could not get enough of him: Potemkin possessed tremendous energy, he grasped everything on the fly. He was appreciated not only by Catherine II, but also by many diplomats.

Catherine II called Grigory Alexandrovich his disciple.

Those two years, during which Potemkin was a favorite, played for him the role of the school. Here Grigory Alexandrovich gained experience in the civil service.

Catherine II was satisfied with the activities of Potemkin.

The awards and awards that the Empress bestowed on Potyomkin are evidence of her benevolent attitude towards him. It is interesting that in the two years of his stay as a favorite, he was awarded all the famous orders of Russia and many foreign orders. For example, in 1775, in honor of the conclusion of the Kyuchuk-Kainarji Peace Treaty, Potemkin was awarded one hundred thousand rubles, a gold sword (which was also strewn with diamonds), and the Order of St. Andrew. Grigory Alexandrovich received a count’s dignity.

Grigory Alexandrovich was secretly married to Catherine II.

It is not known exactly about this fact, but this assumption has the right to exist. Moreover, Catherine the Great herself in letters called Potemkin “dear husband” and “gentle husband.”

Parting with her favorite, the Empress gave him generous rewards.

March 21, 1776 Catherine II told Grigory Alexandrovich about the award of the princely dignity of the Roman Empire – he became known as the most brilliant prince. And already in May of the same year Catherine the Great sent a note to Potemkin, which referred to the termination of their close relations. However, the correspondence between them continued for the next fifteen years. Only letters in the majority became official.

Potemkin had outstanding organizational skills.

They fully manifested themselves in the economic activities of Potemkin in the south of Russia. Its main task was the economic development of the Northern Black Sea Coast. It included the founding of new cities, their settlement, the development of agriculture, etc. And the territory itself was large – in 1775 Grigory Alexandrovich became governor of Novorossia, which included the Novorossiysk and Azov gubernias. The territory of the latter went to Russia in the Kyuchuk-Kainarji world in 1775.

Potemkin very quickly achieved significant results in the resettlement policy.

This is evidenced by the following statistics: in 1774 the population of Novorossiysk province barely reached 200 thousand people, then by 1793 it was equal to about 820 thousand people – that is, in just two decades the population of this province increased more than 4 times .

возник The appearance of many new cities is associated with the name of Grigory Alexandrovich.

In 1778 the city of Kherson was laid. The significance of this city can not be overemphasized: it had to play the role of the most important center of the Black Sea fleet under construction and the main port that would link the Russian Empire with the countries of the Mediterranean. In the same year, the city of Ekaterinoslav was founded – in honor of the efforts of Empress Catherine the Great in the development of this region. Thanks to Potemkin, the cities of Pavlograd, Nikolaev, Nikopol and others arose.

Grigory Alexandrovich actively participated in the annexation of the territory of the Crimea and the Russian Empire.

Although it remained cut off from the Ottoman Empire (communication with the outside world was possible only by sea, and the Crimean fleet had no fleet), it took several years to wait for its accession. Potemkin was very supportive and even warmed up the Empress’s desire to join the Crimea with Russia. When Potemkin told Catherine II about the importance of the Crimea, he mentioned the glory that the Empress will have, having obtained Crimea along with the domination of the Black Sea. On April 8, 1783, a decree on the annexation of the Crimea was published.

Economic development of the Tauride region lay on the shoulders of GA. Potemkin.

The Taurian region is the former Crimean Khanate. After the annexation of the Crimea, about a third of the population stayed on this territory, which was due to the relocation of some of the Christians to the Russian empire, and the Tatars to Turkey.

To increase the population of the Taurian region Potemkin in 1785 ordered recruitment wives to move to this territory.

Also replenish the ranks of local residents were retired soldiers, state and runaway peasants. In relation to the latter, it can be said that, along with the Empress, Potemkin appreciated the interests of state significance more than the landlord. That is why fugitive peasants could live in the Taurian region.

Trud Potemkina Catherine II personally checked in 1787.

This was the Empress’s famous trip to the Crimea. Grigory Alexandrovich’s work was pleased with her, which she often spoke about to Potemkin himself, and publicly.

Contemporaries were not satisfied with Potemkin’s activities as President of the Military Collegium.

They did not particularly like the way he builds the fortresses, which he does for the army. In part, this was due to the fact that the Military College was located in St. Petersburg, and Grigory Alexandrovich was there quite rarely – by rides.In addition to this, Potemkin did not like the whole of this routine office, he was striving for a living cause. But despite all this Grigory Alexandrovich deserved good words from the soldiers who were grateful to him for introducing a new form of clothing. After all, the old form hampered their movement, it was not very comfortable in bad weather, it was even difficult to keep it in the established order.

Grigory Potemkin is the founder of the Black Sea Fleet.

Already in 1781 the first ship was launched, which was named in honor of the Empress – “Glory of Catherine”. In the shortest time, a powerful fleet consisting of battleships and frigates was built at the shipyards of Kherson, Sevastopol and Taganrog. The city of Sevastopol, which Grigory Alexandrovich began to strengthen from the moment of the annexation of the Crimea, became a parking lot of the Black Sea Fleet.

Potemkin is a commander. This man was famous for many of his affairs, including in the role of commander-in-chief of the Russian army.

This post was very uncommon for him, and if in the years of the Russian-Turkish war (1787-1791) – near Potemkin there were no such remarkable generals as Suvorov and Rumyantsev, then it would be very difficult for Grigory Alexandrovich. Of course, the Empress Catherine the Great helped him in everything and with all his might.


For the capture of Ochakov Catherine II generously awarded Potemkin.

Although she had to wait a very long time for this moment. December 6, 1788 the fortress was taken. This victory was worth a lot of sacrifices. In spite of all this, Catherine the Great granted Grigory Alexandrovich a field marshal’s staff (by the way, he was covered with precious stones), a gold sword, one hundred thousand rubles, awarded him the Order of George of the 1st degree, and also ordered to knock out in honor of Potemkin a medal on which there should have been an inscription “Diligence and courage”.

February 28, 1791 G.A. Potemkin came to Petersburg for the last time.

In honor of his arrival, a grand triumphal procession was organized (more magnificent than after the capture of Ochakov). All his way to the capital was covered at night. To see him gathered all know. Never before had Grigory Alexandrovich had such an influence on Empress Catherine the Great. July 24, 1791, Potemkin went to the army in order to conclude peace with the Ottoman Empire. But the prince did not manage to complete this matter – on October 5 this year he died of a serious illness. It remains to be wondered what a great trace this man left in the history of our country.



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