The last lover of the Empress – Іван Корсак

1777 – plan of eviction of the Crimean Tatars from the Crimea, Ukrainians from Ukraine, and resettlement of Muscovites from Moscow to their habitable places. A. Suvorov evicted from the south of Ukraine 32 000 men for a few days to implement the plan.

1777 – after the death from persecution and poverty of great Ukrainian composer, academician of Bologna Academy of Music Maxim Berezovsky (was born in 1745 in Sluhov), government of Catherine II prohibits the discharge of his works and eliminates many of his manuscripts.

1780 – burning of the library of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy which had been collected for more than 150 years and it was one of the richest libraries in East Europe.

1781 – destruction of the remnants of the Cossack government on the Left Bank and the introduction of Russian control in 1783.

1782 – Catherine II created commission for the establishment of public schools in Russia, their task was introduction of a single form of learning and teaching exclusively in Russian in all schools of the empire.

1783 – enslavement of the peasants of Left-bank Ukraine.

1784 – there were 866 Ukrainian schools on the territory of the seven regiments of Hetman in 1747 (information about three of them is not preserved), that is one school per every thousand of population. Population tripled at the end of the century, and the number of schools decreased by half, not a single Ukrainian school was among them.

1784 – the Synod ordered Samuel, metropolitan of Kiev and Galich, to punish students and to dismiss teachers of the Kiev-Mohyla Academy for deviation from Russian language.

1785 – order of Catherine II to say a service in Russian in all churches of the empire. Russian language is implemented in all schools of Ukraine.

1786 – the Synod ordered metropolitan of Kiev to control printing of Lavra, that there was no difference from Moscow editions, and to inroduce education system, licensed for the whole empire, in the Kiev-Mohyla Academy.

1789 – “A comparative dictionary of all languages” was published at the initiative of Catherine II in St. Petersburg, Ukrainian language was defined as Russian language distorted by Polish.

1793 – Muscovites suppressed an uprising in the village of Turban and severely punished the peasants: more than twenty peasants died, unable to withstand torture, or were shot, the rest were exiled to Siberia or to other provinces after flogging.

(Newspaper “Day”, № 159, 21.09.2006)


V. Belinsky, author of “The Country Moksel”,

I have higher education. I am a civil engineer by profession, as well as the author of this novel study. I graduated from Odessa Institute of Civil Engineering. Now I’m a teacher of this Institute. I’m not so naïve as it could seem. I knew something and guessed that not everything was so simple and uniquely in our common history. I knew that Peter I had stolen the old name of our country from us and ordered to call Moscow state as Russian. But it was a discovery for me that Catherine II had destroyed all the ancient chronicles. That’s why, maybe, they can’t find a famous library of Ivan the Terrible? If Catherine II really had destroyed all documentary curiosities of the past, it would have been a crime before later generations. I feel sorry for the Russians. In my opinion, it’s better to be the heir to the Great Tartar-Mongol Empire than to be rootless Ivans with falsified history and with a stolen name of the country.


Characterization by A. S. Pushkin,

“Catherine knew tricks and robberies of her lovers, but she kept silent. They were incited by such indulgence and their covetousness was measureless, and the most distant relatives of the temporary worker enjoyed his brief reign with greediness. All were stealing, from chancellor to a simple recorder, and everything was bribable.”


A. M. Turgenev,

“After examination of a man (designed to the highest rank for the empress) by Surgeon in Ordinary Rogerson, and after recognition him available-for service concerning health, he was brought to Anna Stepanovna Protasova on trial for three nights. When he satisfied the requirements of Protasova, she reported the Most Gracious Majesty about his reliability. Next day after the first date with the empress, new lover was brought to his rooms and reported about assignment to a position of adjutant; they gave him coat with diamond agraphia and 100,000 rubles of pocket money. Metropolitan came to a favorite on the next day for consecration and he was blessing him with holy water.”


Prussian envoy Solms reported in Berlin,

“I can not hold back any longer, and I can’t help reporting Your Majesty about an interesting event which has just happened in the court. The absence of count Orlov found very natural, but, nevertheless, an unexpected circumstance: Her Majesty found it possible to do without him, to change her feelings for him and to focus on a different subject. Horse Guards cornet Vasilchikov, who was accidentally sent with a small detachment to Tsarskoye Selo to bear the guard, attracted the attention of the empress, quite unexpectedly for everybody, because there wasn’t anything particular in his appearance, and he had never tried to succeed in life and he was known very little in the society. Her Majesty first showed sign of her attention during the movement of the court from Tsarskoye Selo to Petergof, presenting golden snuffbox for correct bearing the guard. Nobody attached any importance to this case, but frequent Vasilchikov’s visits to Petergof, her care to distinguish him from others, her more relaxed and cheerful spirit since removal of Orlov, displeasure of Orlov’s relatives and friends, and many other minor circumstances opened courtiers’ eyes. Although so far everything is kept secret, nobody doubts that Vasilchikov is in full favor with the empress; all have seen this especially since the day when he was appointed a bedchamber.”


Gelbich tells that Catherine went to the reception when there were all three applicants, appointed to the audience. Each of them stood, holding a bouquet of flowers, and she was speaking graciously to Bergman, then to Rontsov, and to Korsakov at last. His extraordinary beauty and elegance captivated her. Catherine smiled graciously at all, but she sent Korsakov with a bouquet of flowers to Potemkin, Korsakov became the next favorite. It is known from other highest quarters that Korsakov reached the desired position not immediately. In general, Catherine experienced a kind of moral breakdown in 1778, and she liked several young people at the same time. Englishman Harris notes Korsakov’s rising in June, and in August he already tells about his rivals, who try to take away the grace of the empress; they are supported by Potemkin from one side, and by Panin and Orlov from the other side; Strahov, “buffoon of the lowest level”, gains the upper hand over all in September, in four months major of the Semenov regiment Levashov takes his place, young man sheltered by countess Bruce. Then Korsakov returns to his position, but now he fights with Stoyanov, Potemkin’s favorite. In 1779 he wins a complete victory over rivals at last; he became a chamberlain and adjutant-general. Catherine wrote to Grimm, who considered his friend’s interest to be an usual whimsy, “Whimsy? Do you know what this is: this word isn’t proper here when they talk about Pirr, King of Epirus (so Catherine called Korsakov), and about this subject of seduction and despair of all the artists of all sculptors. Excitement, enthusiasm, but not whimsy promotes such ideal creations of nature… Pirr had never done any ignoble or graceful gesture or movement… But this is not effeminacy, but vice versa, courage, he is how you would like him to be…” Besides his amazing appearance, Korsakov charmed her with his wonderful voice. Reign of a new favorite makes the era in the history of Russian music. Catherine invited first actors of Italy in order Korsakov could sing with them. She wrote to Grimm, “I have never met anybody able to enjoy harmonic sounds as Pirr, King of Epirus.” Unfortunately for himself Korsakov couldn’t stay on the reached height. Once at the beginning of 1780 Catherine saw her favorite in the arms of her friend countess Brus. It strongly cooled her ardor, and soon twenty two year-old Horse Guards Alexander Lansky took Korsakov’s place.

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