Pugachov, Yemelyan (Ivanovich) biographical name
(born c. 1742, Zimoveyskaya-na-Donu, Russiadied Jan. 21, 1775, Moscow) Russian Cossack leader. He fought in the Russian army (1763–70), then wandered among settlements of the dissident Old Believers. Learning of Cossack discontent after their unsuccessful rebellion in 1772, he claimed to be Tsar Peter III and decreed the abolition of serfdom. Vowing to depose Catherine II, he gathered a large following of Cossacks and peasants in the Ural region. After initial victories against the Russian army, he was defeated, captured, and executed.
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