by 1938 in reference to Grigory Aleksandrovich Potemkin (1739-1791), favorite of Catherine II of Russia, especially in reference to the sham villages supposedly erected under his orders for the empress' tour of Crimea (1787) to create an impression of prosperity and progress. The silent film "Battleship Potemkin" dates from 1925, depicting (with elaboration) events of 1905 and the mutiny aboard a Russian battleship named for the Tsarist minister.

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Definitions of Potemkin

Potemkin (n.)
a Russian officer and politician who was a favorite of Catherine II and in 1762 helped her to seize power; when she visited the Crimea in 1787 he gave the order for sham villages to be built (1739-1791);
Synonyms: Potyokin / Grigori Potemkin / Grigori Potyokin / Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin