Revolutionary, scientist and 87-year-old sniper. Nikolay Alexandrovich Morozov

ON THE. Morozov in his youth. Photo

The struggle for freedom, scientific activity, three decades in prisons and a business trip to the front as a sniper are far from all stages in the life of the revolutionary and honorary academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences Nikolai Morozov (June 25 (July 7) 1854 – July 30, 1946). He could rightfully be called a “universal man” of our time.

The first steps

The future academician and revolutionary was born in 1854 in the Borok estate (Yaroslavl province) in the family of a landowner and a former peasant serf. Nikolai received his first training at home, but then entered the Second Moscow Gymnasium. However, he studied poorly there and was soon expelled, after which he took up self-education. In 1871 Morozov became a volunteer at Moscow University.

Morozov is the leader of “Land and Freedom”. Photo

In 1874 N.A. Morozov joined the circle of the Tchaikovsky populists. Together with his comrades, he traveled to the nearest provinces and actively communicated with the peasants. In the same year, Morozov went to Switzerland to represent the interests of the Chaikovites at international events. Then he joined the ranks of the First International.

In 1875, Morozov returned to Russia and was immediately arrested on suspicion of revolutionary activity. Three years later, the trial “Trial of the 193s” took place, as a result of which Morozov was released – the pre-trial detention fully covered the sentence.

Young revolutionary

After the conclusion and trial N.A. Morozov with renewed vigor took up revolutionary work, but already in an illegal position. Soon he joined the organization “Land and Freedom”, and then became one of its leaders and secretary of its eponymous newspaper.

Photo of the 80s of the XIX century. Wikimedia Commons

In 1879, Morozov was among the founders of Narodnaya Volya. This organization considered a radical struggle necessary and prepared appropriate “actions”. Several attempts on the life of Emperor Alexander II were carried out with the direct participation of N.A. Morozov.

However, already in 1880 Morozov disagreed with his revolutionary comrades and went abroad. The reason for this was the disagreement about the role of terror in the political struggle. Companions of Morozov considered him a last resort, which should be abandoned in the future, and he saw in forceful methods a normal tool for regular use. Soon these views were formed in the form of a concept called “tellism” – named after William Tell.

One of the cells of the Shlisselburg Fortress, where Morozov was serving his sentence. Photo Wikimedia Commons

In January 1881 N.A. Morozov and his wife illegally returned to Russia and were arrested. A year later, as part of the Process of Twenty, he was sentenced to life in prison. Morozov served his sentence first in the Peter and Paul Fortress, and from 1884 in Shlisselburgskaya. The appearance of the playful nickname “Morozov Shlisselburgsky” is associated with this period.


ON THE. Morozov did not lose heart and did not waste time. Having access to literature, he continued to educate himself. The prisoner revolutionary studied foreign languages, natural and social sciences, and even wrote his own scientific works. By the time of his unexpected release, Morozov had managed to learn 11 languages ​​and write 26 volumes (!) Of manuscripts on various topics, incl. on topical issues of various sciences.

Morozov with his wife Ksenia Alexandrovna, 1910. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

On October 28, 1905, an amnesty was declared, and Morozov was released. He took with him numerous manuscripts and voluminous knowledge in many areas. It can rightfully be argued that from the conclusion of N.A. Morozov was one of the most educated and erudite people of his time.

After his release, the future academician was mainly engaged in scientific work, but did not forget about the struggle for the freedom of the people. He made attempts to publish his scientific works, got married and even joined the Polar Star Masonic lodge. In 1909, Morozov received an invitation to become chairman of the Council of the Russian Society of Amateurs of World Studies (ROLM). He held this position until the dissolution of ROLM in 1932.

House-Museum in Bork. Morozov’s office. Photo Wikimedia Commons

In 1911-12. Morozov again had to go to prison. However, at the beginning of 1913, another amnesty took place, and the scientist was released – this time forever. By this time, out of 59 years of N.A. Morozov spent almost 30 in prison.

Revolutionary after revolution

The events of 1917 N.A. Morozov received with enthusiasm, although he did not share the positions of the Bolsheviks. Despite disagreements with the new government, the prominent scientist continued his work and even received new posts and titles.

In 1918 Morozov became director of the Natural Science Institute. P.F. Lesgaft. He remained in this position until the end of his life. On the initiative of the new director, the publication of scientific works on various issues in the field of natural sciences began. These books promoted progressive theories in the field of the structure of matter, astronautics, etc. Later, the main works of N.A. Morozov and his EIW colleagues were highly appreciated by the leading scientists of the country and the world. However, some of the historical research and concepts did not find support in academic circles.

1932 – N.A. Morozov was elected an honorary academician. Photo

In 1932, the Leningrad Executive Committee closed the ROLM, which was chaired by Morozov. This was preceded by an investigation that revealed a “counter-revolutionary group” in the organization. Unlike some colleagues, N.A. Morozov after that was not persecuted, although he had to move to his native village for some time. Borok. During the same period, Morozov was elected an honorary academician of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

However, even after that, the scientist continued his work. The main base for scientific activity was now the observatory, built earlier by the ROLM forces. In 1939, a real scientific center appeared in the village. Later, new organizations were created on its basis, now belonging to the Russian Academy of Sciences.


At the age of 85, N.A. Morozov became interested in shooting. In 1939 he enrolled in OSOAVIAKHIM, on sniper courses. Despite his venerable age, the revolutionary scientist mastered the art of sniping and then regularly visited the shooting range to maintain his skills.

Photo RAS /

After the attack of Nazi Germany, Academician Morozov, who was then working in Leningrad, turned to the military registration and enlistment office – he wanted to go to the front as a volunteer. Due to his age, he was refused. However, the sniper scientist continued to write letters and even threaten to go to the top.

In 1942 the military registration and enlistment office “surrendered” and accepted N.А. Morozov to the service. However, he was hired as a volunteer on a business trip as a sniper and allowed to go to the front line, but only for a month. Soon Morozov found himself in one of the units of the Volkhov Front.

Academician Morozov in nature. Photo

Despite his considerable age, the “rookie” turned out to be a real professional. The sniper regularly went to the firing position and tracked down the enemy. As befits a scientist, before each shot, he did all the necessary calculations – and hit without a miss. During the month of N.A. Morozov killed about a dozen enemy soldiers and commanders.

After a month of service, the scientist was returned from the front line to the rear and offered to again engage in scientific activities. However, after that N.A. Morozov continued to write letters demanding to return him to the front. However, now the correspondence did not give the desired result.

One of the works of N.A. Morozov, who influenced the Soviet cosmonautics. Photo

After breaking the blockade, the honorary academician Morozov was awarded the medal “For the Defense of Leningrad”. Soon he was awarded the first Order of Lenin. In 1945, the scientist was awarded the second Order of Lenin, and also received a medal “For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.”

Scientific heritage

Returning to Leningrad, N.A. Morozov continued his scientific work, and now the research of the ENI them. Lesgaft was conducted taking into account the needs of the belligerent country. New research was carried out and fresh topical scientific works were published.

The honorary academician, revolutionary and sniper passed away on July 30, 1946 at his home in Bork. Later, a museum was organized there. Streets, enterprises, a small planet and a crater on the Moon were named in memory of the scientist. Moreover, the first objects were named during the life of Morozov.

1979 postal envelope Photo Wikimedia Commons

Nikolai Aleksandrovich Morozov lived a long and turbulent life, leaving a great legacy. His writings covered many areas and made a significant contribution to laying the foundation for subsequent practical achievements. Morozov can rightfully be considered one of our main natural scientists of the 20th century and one of the founders of Russian space science.

The scientific heritage of Morozov has been preserved. Thus, the Russian Academy of Sciences has created the resource “N.A. Morozov “- 13 inventories and 135.7 thousand sheets are fully digitized and available to everyone.

“Archive of N.A. Morozov “on the RAS website:

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