Reading East End 1888, by William J Fishman, I was brought up short by a sentence in the middle of page 142:
"On 10 August (1888) the Jewish Chronicle, quoting from correspondence from St. Petersburg, confirmed that mass expulsions from Southern Russia ('the outcome of Count Ignatieff's aim to make life in Russia impossible for the Jews'), affected 100,000 - 200,000 of the miserable victims."
"Shortly after the accession of Alexander III in 1881, he was appointed Minister of the Interior on the understanding that he would carry out a nationalist, reactionary policy. After a period of intense, violent, destructive antisemitic rioting, known as pogroms, which some accused Ignatyev of fomenting, he issued the infamous "May Laws" in May 1882. Other sources suggest he in fact followed a government policy (not always enforced by local authorities) of strict suppression of rioters and protection of the Jewish population:There's a gap between 1882, when Nikolai Ignatiev was in office and the 1888 Jewish Chronicle items. Can anyone enlighten me?
Nikolai Ignatiev, installed as Minister of the Interior in May 1881, decided on a policy of firm repression, although it was made difficult by the unforeseeable character of the outbreaks and his limited forces. Nevertheless, he ordered his men to fire upon rioters. In the towns of Borisov and Nezhin this resulted in fatalities. In Kiev, 1400 arrests were made. Many in the government felt this was still inadequate. The police chief of Kiev wrote apologetically to the Tsar that the local military tribunals had been too lenient with the rioters; Alexander III wrote in the margin: “This is inexcusable!”He retired from office in June 1882 .... after that time he exercised no important influence in public affairs."
I've previously blogged about Michael Ignatieff's ancestry.