Minin, Kuzma

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(d. 1616), organizer, fundraiser, and treasurer of the second national liberation army of 16111612.

Kuzma Minin was elected as an elder of the townspeople of Nizhny Novgorod in September 1611, when Moscow was still occupied by the Poles. After the disintegration of the first national liberation army, Minin began to raise funds for the organization of a new militia. Its nucleus was provided by the garrison of Nizhny Novgorod and neighboring Volga towns, together with some refugee servicemen from the Smolensk region. At the request of Prince Dmitry Pozharsky, the military commander of the new army, Minin became its official treasurer. When the militia was based at Yaroslavl, in the spring of 1612, Minin was an important member of the provisional government headed by Pozharsky. After the liberation of Moscow in October 1612, Minin, together with Pozharsky and Prince Dmitry Trubetskoy, played a major role in convening the Assembly of the Land, which elected Mikhail Romanov tsar in January 1613. On the day after Mikhail's coronation, Minin was appointed to the rank of dumny dvoryanin within the council of boyars; he died shortly afterwards. Along with Pozharsky, Minin became a Russian national hero who served as a patriotic inspiration in later wars. In early Soviet historiography, his merchant status led him to be viewed as a representative of bourgeois reaction against revolutionary democratic elements such as cossacks and peasants. By the late 1930s he was again seen as a patriot, and his relatively humble social origin made him particularly acceptable as a popular hero during World War II.

See also: assembly of land; pozharsky, dmitrymikhailovich; time of troubles; cossacks; merchants; peasantry


Dunning, Chester L. (2001). Russia's First Civil War: The Time of Troubles and the Founding of the Romanov Dynasty. University Park, PA: Pennsylvania State University Press.

Perrie, Maureen. (2002). Pretenders and Popular Monarchism in Early Modern Russia: The False Tsars of the Time of Troubles, paperback ed. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Skrynnikov, Ruslan G. (1988). The Time of Troubles: Russia in Crisis, 16041618, ed. and tr. Hugh F. Graham. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press.

Maureen Perrie