Dr. Daniel Beer, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Daniel Beer is Reader in Modern European History at Royal Holloway and a specialist on Russia. He has published widely on the social and cultural history of the Russian Empire and has a particular interest in crime and punishment.
On 13 March [1 March, Old Style], 1881, Alexander II, the Emperor of Russia, was assassinated in Saint Petersburg, Russia while returning to the Winter Palace from Mikhailovsky Manège in a closed carriage.
The assassination was planned by the Executive Committee of Narodnaya Volya (“People’s Will”), chiefly by Andrei Zhelyabov. Of the four assassins coordinated by Sophia Perovskaya, two of them actually committed the deed. One assassin, Nikolai Rysakov, threw a bomb which damaged the carriage, prompting the Tsar to disembark. At this point a second assassin, Ignacy Hryniewiecki, threw a bomb that fatally wounded Alexander II.
Alexander II had previously survived several attempts on his life, including the attempts by Dmitry Karakozov and Alexander Soloviev, the attempt to dynamite the imperial train in Zaporizhzhia, and the bombing of the Winter Palace in February 1880. The assassination is popularly considered to be the most successful action by the Russian nihilist movement of the 19th century. [Wikipedia]