Skip to main content

Chkheidze, Nikolai Semenovich


(18641926), revolutionary activist.

Born into a Georgian noble family in the west Georgian district of Imereti, Nikolai, or "Karlo" as he was better known, Semenovich went on to become a prominent figure in the Georgian social democratic movement and the RSDLP (the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party). He played a central role in the February revolution in Russia. His revolutionary career began with his expulsion from Odessa University (now in Ukraine) for participation in a student demonstration. On his return to Georgia, he became involved in local Marxist activities in the west Georgian town of Batumi. Prominent in the 1905 revolution in Georgia, and active in the local social democratic press, in 1907 he was elected as Georgian deputy to the Third State Duma (Russian imperial parliament). He led the RSDLP faction in the Third and Fourth Dumas where he was threatened with expulsion a number of times. He led the faction in refusing to vote war credits to the Russian government in 1914.

Chkheidze made a name for himself as a great orator and was extraordinarily popular among Russian workers. It was no surprise that in February 1917 he was elected the first Chairman of the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) Workers' and Soldiers' Soviet. Given the Soviet's powerful role in the revolution, Chkheidze was a key figure in Russian government policy during 1917. A menshevik, he became increasingly disillusioned with the path of Russian politics, as well as the ineffectiveness of his own Menshevik colleagues and the provisional government. On the eve of the October Revolution in 1917, Karlo returned to Georgia where he became, in 1918, Chairman of the Transcaucasian Seim (parliament). From 1919 to 1921, he was a member of the Georgian Constituent Assembly. After the Red Army invasion of Georgia in February of 1921, Karlo was forced into exile in Paris. He left behind two of his elder daughters; his only son had died in 1917. Unable to bear the petty politics of emigré life, he committed suicide in 1926.

See also: georgia and georgians; mensheviks


Brovkin, Vladimir N. (1987). The Mensheviks after October: Socialist Opposition and the Rise of the Bolshevik Dictatorship. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Stephen Jones

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chkheidze, Nikolai Semenovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . 24 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Chkheidze, Nikolai Semenovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . (April 24, 2019).

"Chkheidze, Nikolai Semenovich." Encyclopedia of Russian History. . Retrieved April 24, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.