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Grigori Grigoryevich Orlov, Count

Orlov, Grigori Grigoryevich, Count (grĭgôˈrē grĭgôrˈyəvĭch, ərlôfˈ) [key], 1734–83, Russian nobleman. One of the first lovers of Catherine II, he and his brother led the conspiracy that deposed Peter III and put her on the throne. Although the empress was deeply in love with him and owed her power to him more than to any other, he did not have a decisive voice in state affairs. He was later supplanted by other favorites, notably Potemkin. Catherine gave him high military posts but did not act on his plans for the emancipation of the serfs.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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