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 Kuzma Minin

Born:   End of 16th century
Deceased:   21 May 1616

Russian national hero


Kuzma Minin (Kuzma Minich Ankundinov, Kuzma Sukhoruk) was a notable figure of the Russian national-liberation movement in the Time of Troubles, one of the leaders of the Second people’s volunteer corps, the colleague of prince Dmitry Mikhaylovich Pozharsky. He is one of the most popular national heroes of Russian people.

The family of Kuzma Minin was from the small town of Balakhna on Volga River and owned a salt plant. Kuzma himself was a tradesman in the Nizhny Novgorod.

In 1608-1610 as a part of the Nizhny Novgorod people’s volunteer corps under commandment of voivode A.S. Alyabyev he participated in military operations against supporters of the False Dmitry II.

On September 1, 1611 Minin was elected the head of the Zemstvo (elective district council) and headed the movement for organization of the Second people’s volunteer corps. The range of his duties included fundraising, paying salary to soldiers, and managing the household part. On the advice of Kuzma Minin military commandment was entrusted to Prince Dmitry Pozharsky. Before the convocation of the Zemstvo Assembly in 1613 Minin was a member of the Council of All Land that was founded in 1612 in Yaroslavl and performed governmental functions.
Kuzma Minin actively participated in fights for Moscow on August 22-24, 1612 and showed personal bravery. At the head of a group he crossed the Moskva River and struck a flank attack to the enemy, thus helping to defeat the armies of hetman Jan Karol Hodkevich. 
Minin participated in the Zemstvo Assembly of 1613, which called the Romanov's dynasty to reign. Next day after his coronation Mikhail Fyodorovich conferred on Minina the title of a Duma nobleman, and in 1615 ranted him an ancestral land near Nizhny Novgorod.
Minin stayed to serve in Moscow, where he was in charge of tax collection from merchants. In 1615 he was engaged in investigation of the case of rebellious Tatars and Mari in Kazan.
Minin died in the middle of 1616 and was buried in the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin. At the end of the 17th century his ashes were transferred to the Nizhny Novgorod Preobrazhenskiy Cathedral and after its demolition (1962) to the Mikhaylovo-Arkhangelsky Cathedral. In 1818 the Minin and Pozharsky Monument by the sculptor Ivan Petrovitch Martos was set up in the Red Square in Moscow.

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