Nikita Pustosvyat

Nikita Pustosvyat (Russian: Никита Пустосвят, real name Nikita Konstantinovich Dobrynin (Никита Константинович Добрынин)) (? – June 11, 1683) was one of the leaders of the Russian Old Believers during Raskol.

Old Believer Priest Nikita Pustosvyat Disputing with Patriarch Joachim on Matters of Faith by Vasiliy Perov, 1880-81.


The year of his birth is unknown. He was dubbed Pustosvyat by adherents of Patriarch Nikon. Nikita was a priest in Suzdal and participated in editing of church books under Patriarch Joseph.

In 1659, Nikita arrived to Moscow and lodged a complaint about Stefan, Archbishop of Suzdal, accusing him of digression from Orthodoxy. When Stefan was acquitted, Nikita denounced him to Tsar Aleksey Mikhailovich.

The church council of 1666–1667 found him guilty and expelled him from the priesthood. The supporters of the old faith played an important role in the Moscow uprising of 1682, and the Old Believers gained support among the streltsy (praetorian guard).[1] Pustosvyat achieved a July 5, 1682 church debate in the presence of the tsar. The debate, however, ended in vain for him. The streltsy betrayed Nikita, who was subsequently beheaded.[2]


  1. ^ Melton, J. Gordon. Faiths Across Time, p. 1250, ABC-CLIO, 2014 ISBN 9781610690263
  2. ^ ""Nikita Pustosvyat. Dispute on the Confession of Faith", The State Tetyakov Gallery". Archived from the original on 2016-04-14. Retrieved 2016-04-02.

Further readingEdit

  • (in Russian) "Великая челобитная" (Субботин, Н. И. Материалы для истории раскола за первое время его существования. М., 1878, IV т.)
  • (in Russian) Румянцев, И. Н. К. Добрынин («Пустосвят»). Сергиев Посад, 1916