Ministry of War of the Russian Empire

Ministry of War of the Russian Empire, (Russian: Военное министерство, Military Ministry) was an administrative body in the Russian Empire from 1802 to 1917.

Ministry of War
Emblem of the Ministry of the Interior of the Russian Empire.svg
Coat of Arms of the Russian Empire
Ministry overview
Preceding Ministry
Superseding agency
JurisdictionEmperor of All Russia
HeadquartersLobanov-Rostovsky Palace
Saint Petersburg
Ministry executive
  • Minister of War
Parent MinistryCouncil of Ministers of the Russian Empire

It was established in 1802 as the Ministry of ground armed forces (Russian: Министерство военно-сухопутных сил) taking over responsibilities from the College of War during the Government reform of Alexander I. It was renamed to the Ministry of War in 1815.


At the end of the 19th Century, the Ministry of War had following structure.

  • Military Council
  • War Ministry Chancellery
  • Grand Staff - personal matters, organization, instruction and economy of the army
  • His Imperial Majesty's Retinue
  • Departments:
    • Commissariat Department
    • Artillery Department
    • Engineer (Military Technical) Department
    • Military Medical Department
    • Military Education Department
    • Military Justice Department
    • Department of Cossack Troops
  • Committees
    • Committee on Military Codification - legislative questions
    • Committee on Military Sanitation


The Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence around 1900

The Ministry was initially accommodated in Count Zakhar Chernyshyov's former palace on Moika River Embankment, which was bought by the State Treasury for the Military Collegium in 1795 (later it was rebuilt and transformed into the Mariinsky Palace).

In 1824, the mezzanine and the first floor of the Lobanov-Rostovsky Residence (12 Admiralteysky Avenue) were rented for the Ministry of War for 63,000 roubles a year.[1] On 23 June 1828, the entire building was bought by the State Treasury for one million roubles, and in 1829-1830 it was renovated to meet the Ministry's needs. It housed the principal establishments of the Ministry until its dissolution in 1918. The main entrance is guarded by white marble Medici lions.[1][2]


Minister of War
Военный министр Российской империи
Longest serving
Prince Alexander Chernyshyov

26 August 1827 – 26 August 1852
Ministry of War
Member ofCouncil of Ministers
Reports toEmperor of Russia
Term lengthNot fixed
PrecursorPresident of College of War
Formation8 September 1802
First holderSergey Vyazmitinov
Final holderAlexander Guchkov
Abolished30 April 1917
SuccessionMinister of Defence (Soviet Union)

Ministers of Land ForcesEdit

Ministers of WarEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Lobanov-Rostovsky, House of". Saint Petersburg encyclopaedia.
  2. ^ "Шествие львов [Procession of Lions]". Procession of Lions. Archived from the original on 2010-02-16.

Further readingEdit

  • Statesman's Handbook for Russia. 1896.

External linksEdit