Ignacy Hryniewiecki

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I Grinevizky.jpg
Alexander II must die. He will die, and with him, we, his enemies, his executioners, shall die too [...] How many more sacrifices will our unhappy country ask of its sons before it is liberated? [...] It is my lot to die young, I shall not see our victory, I shall not live one day, one hour in the bright season of our triumph, but I believe that with my death I shall do all that it is my duty to do, and no one in the world can demand more of me.
~ Ignacy Hryniewiecki

Ignacy Hryniewiecki (full name Ignaty Ioakhimovich Grinevitsky) was a Polish terrorist responsible for the assassination of Russian Tsar Alexander II in an attempt to provoke a revolution against the monarchy. He was a member of the revolutionary group Narodnaya Volya, which intended to overthrow the monarchy and stop the government reforms of Alexander II.

Assassination

On 13 March 1881, the Tsar was visiting guard battalions at the Manège. Sophia Perovskaya was waiting nearby in the anticipation of assassinating him via a mine in the road. However, Alexander suddenly decided to visit his cousin Grand Duchess Catherine and turned down a different road. Seeing this, Perovskaya signalled for bombers Hryniewiecki, Nikolai Rysakov, Ivan Yemelyanov and Timofey Mikhailov to take position further up the street.

At 2:15 P.M., Alexander's car reached Rysakov's position. Rysakov threw his bomb which disabled the car, wounded several bystanders and killed one. An unharmed Alexander got out of the car to watch as Rysakov was apprehended. As he did so, Hryniewiecki threw a second bomb at his feet. The blast wounded twenty including Alexander and Hryniewiecki himself. The other two bombers made their escape without throwing their bombs.

Alexander died of his injuries back at the palace. An unconscious Hryniewiecki was rushed to the Winter Palace infirmary. After regaining consciousness, he was interviewed by police but only said "I don't know" in response to questioning. He died of his wounds at 10:30 P.M. having imparted no information to the police.

Legacy

Although Alexander was successfully killed, the revolution the revolutionaries had intended did not come to pass. Instead, the hardline Alexander III succeeded the more moderate Alexander II and initiated a greater crackdown against the revolutionaries.

As Hryniewiecki would have known the risks associated with bomb-throwing and appeared to intend to die in the bombing, he is considered by some historians to be the world's first suicide bomber.