Butyrka prison

From Academic Kids

Butyrka prison (Russian: Бутырская тюрьма, Butyrka Бутырка is a colloquial term) was the central transit prison in pre-revolutionary Russia, located in Moscow.

The first references to the Butyrka prison may be traced back to the 17th century. The actual building of the Butyrka prison was erected in 1879 near the Butyrsky outpost (Бутырская застава, or Butyrskaya zastava) on the spot of a prison fortress, built by an architect Matvei Kazakov during the reign of Catherine the Great. The towers of the old fortress once housed the rebellious Streltsy during the reign of Peter I and later on hundreds of participants of the January Uprising of 1863 in Poland. Members of Narodnaya volya were also prisoners of the Butyrka in 1883, so as the participants of the Morozov Strike in 1885. The Butyrka prison was known for its brutal regime. The prison administration resorted to violence every time the inmates tried to protest against anything.

Among its famous inmates were the influential revolutionary poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, a Russian revolutionary Nikolai Bauman, the founder of the KGB Felix Dzerzhinsky (who was one of the few individuals to stage a successful escape from the prison), and the writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

During the February Revolution, the workers of Moscow freed all the political prisoners from the Butyrka. After the October Revolution Butyrka remained a place of internment for political prisoners and a transfer camp for people sentenced to be sent to Gulag.

Famous inmates

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