1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Stürmer, Boris Vladimirovich

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STURMER, BORIS VLADIMIROVICH (1849-1917), Russian politician, was born in 1849, the son of an emigrant—his father being captain of a fire brigade at Tula. He studied at the university of Petrograd, and there made friends with Count Bobrinsky, a member of one of the leading Russian families, who introduced him into the upper circle of Petrograd society. His affable manners and his ability to win the confidence of important people are the only explanation of his brilliant success in a circle to which he did not belong by birth or fortune. He started his career in the Chamberlain's department of the Imperial Court, but he held at the same time different situations in the Senate, the Ministry of Justice and elsewhere. When in 1892 the Government rejected the candidate nominated to the presidency of the executive board of the Tver Zemstvo, Stürmer, whose name was on the list of the Tver gentry, was appointed to this office. It was the first case of a president of the Zemstvo being appointed instead of being elected. In 1894 Stürmer was appointed governor of the Novgorod, and later of the Iaroslavl province. Subsequently he was in charge of a department of the Home Office. In 1904 he was created member of the State Council, but he never took an active part in the legislative work. Meanwhile he won the confidence of the Court, and he was made prime minister in Jan. 1916, at a period when the Emperor, avoiding strong personalities, wished to secure the fulfilment of his orders by devoted servants. As prime minister Stürmer's reactionary attitude provoked a strong opposition in liberal and patriotic circles; rumours accusing him of connexions with Germany were widely spread without real proof. These accusations were finally brought to the tribune of the Duma by M. Milyukov and resulted in Stürmer's resignation in November. After Sazonov's dismissal Stürmer took the portfolio of Foreign Affairs, and his activities in this department resulted in the premature declaration of war by Rumania, so disastrous for that country and for Russia. He was arrested after the revolution, and he died in prison of disease in Sept. 1917.