Sergey Genadievich Nechayev (Sergei Netsajev) was a man so feared by the Czar
and the aristocrat
, ruling class
es, he became the Czar's special prisoner
. The Czar received weekly special reports on Nechayev's prison activities.
Nechayev was born September 20, 1847. He died at age 35 in prison, on December 3, 1882 -- from dropsy complicated by scurvy.
He was convicted for the murder of a fellow student, but his real crimes were political. He frightened the state because he claimed to head a secret society four million strong. In truth, it was a small group, maybe a few hundred, mainly of St. Petersburg students. However, this group was part of the Narodniks which was relatively strong movement in Russia. One must also remember that nihilists like Nechayev were sons and daughters of elite classes. They were supposed to behave decently, in the manner you are supposed to behave in Czar's court but they were worse than the most barbarous landslaves.
The trial sentenced him to 20 years in Siberia. The Czar intervened and ordered him to be retained for the rest of his life. He was kept in Cell #1 of the notorious Alexis Ravelin of the Peter and Paul Fortress.
As a human being, he left much to be desired -- he lied, cheated, blackmailed, murdered. Of course, he would defend his actions based on the principles laid out in The Revolutionary Catechism. Regardless his personal attributes, he rejected the authority of the state to his dismal end and, for that, gained legendary status in Russia.