Childhood friend ofStolypin. Worked as a legal official in various provincial towns. In May 1902, appointed director of the Police Department.
Dismissed after the assassination of Grand-Duke Sergei and appointed governor of Estland (Estonia). At the end of 1905, retired after disturbances in Reval. Exposed Azefs collaboration with the police in 1908 during a chance 6-hour talk on a train to Berlin with Vladimir Burtsev.
Later confirmed his information at a meeting with members of the Central Committee of the SR Party — Chernov, Argunov and Savinkov. After his return from abroad in January 1909, arrested and tried for divulging state secrets. Defended himself by claiming that he wanted to prevent further terrorist actions by Azef.
Sentenced to 5 years hard labour in May 1909. After his release, worked in banking. Emigrated after the October Revolution 1917.
Wrote memoirs on his work as head of the secret police and the life and activities of the revolutionaries.