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Elizabeth A.Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Vera Zasulich

b. 1849, Mikhaylovka, Russia; d. 1919, Saint Petersburg

In 1878, Russian revolutionary Vera Zasulich shot and seriously wounded the governor of Saint Petersburg, General Fyodor F. Trepov. After her acquittal in a highly publicized trial, Zasulich fled to Switzerland where, in 1883, she helped found the Liberation of Labor, the first Russian Marxist group. Later, she served on the editorial board of Iskra, a revolutionary Marxist newspaper, which ran from 1900 to 1905. After the Russian Social Democratic Party split in 1903, Zasulich became a leader of the Menshevik faction, favoring legalistic methods of political reform. She opposed the Bolsheviks when they came to power in 1917.