The first female terrorist in Russia: a crime without punishment
The first female terrorist in Russia: a crime without punishment
Vera Zasulich - the first woman in Russia to commit a terrorist attack

Vera Zasulich went down in history as the first woman in Russia to commit a terrorist attack - an attempt on the mayor's life. Despite the fact that the woman shot at point-blank range, and it was not difficult to prove her guilt, the jury ruled to pardon the criminal. The argument in her favor was that she stood up for the offended and offended, and therefore, did not go against her conscience, but wanted to punish the guilty …

Vera Zasulich shoots the mayor Fyodor Trepov

The life story of Vera Zasulich is a story of struggle and public service. She suffered a lot because of her civic position: she was an accomplice in the high-profile murder of student Ivanov (the murder was committed by revolutionary-minded members of the People's Massacre circle), and she was serving time for distributing illegal literature. For more than 12 months she served her sentence in various prisons - in St. Petersburg (in the Peter and Paul Fortress and in the Lithuanian Castle), in Tver, Novgorod, Kostroma, Kharkov. Zasulich was always under the supervision of the police, but still did not abandon revolutionary ideas: she even tried to organize a peasant uprising in one of the villages, which, at the same time, was immediately suppressed.

The decree on the search for Vera Zasulich

Zasulich committed the terrorist attack in 1878, the reason was offended feelings and a desire to avenge the humiliation inflicted on one of the participants in the populist movement - Bogolyubov. The student was serving a temporary sentence for participating in a youth demonstration, and when the mayor Fyodor Trepov appeared, he did not take off his headdress as a sign of respect. Trepov, furious, gave the order to bring the wayward young man to a public flogging.

Vera Zasulich in exile

The information about this incident was eagerly circulated by newspapers and magazines, having learned about the incident, the members of the "Narodnaya Volya" decided to kill the mayor. There is an opinion that they allegedly even cast lots on who to kill, and, by the will of fate, Vera Zasulich got this role. True to revolutionary ideas, she, without a moment's hesitation, took a desperate step: she achieved a personal audience with Trepov, and, entering the office, fired a shot. The wound was not fatal, but nevertheless the terrorist was brought to trial.

Portrait of Vera Zasulich

The trial in the Zasulich case has become one of the textbooks. In defense of the revolutionary, the lawyer Aleksandrov spoke out, his speech is considered one of the samples of judicial eloquence. The jury was presided over by the famous lawyer Anatoly Koni. While instructing the judges to pronounce the verdict, he did everything possible to get the verdict not guilty. And so it happened, and Vera Zasulich was immediately released.

On the same evening, after the trial, she managed to escape, and by the time the prosecutor's office protested the court's decision, Zasulich had already managed to go abroad. There she lived a long and calm life, studied philosophy, wrote works on the socialist system, condemned any violence. For his liberality in the Zasulich case, Koni lost his position as chairman of the court.

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