On this day: Emperor Alexander I banned secret Masonic societies
The first Masonic lodges in Russia appeared in the early 1730s. Masons included many well-known Russian figures including Alexander Suvorov, Mikhail Kutuzov, and Alexander Griboedov.
Initially, the government of Alexander I allowed the Masonic societies to exist but the Freemasonry movement soon became linked with revolutionary ideas.
On Aug. 13, 1822 Alexander I issued an order "On prohibiting secret societies and Masonic lodges." However, Masonic lodges in Russia continued to operate secretly until 1918, when they were abolished by the Soviet government.