Mikhail Illarionovich Golenishchev-Kutuzov (16 September 1745 – 28 April 1813) was a Field Marshal of the Russian Empire. He served as one of the finest military officers and diplomats of Russia under the reign of three Romanov Tsars: Catherine II, Paul I and Alexander I. His military career was closely associated with the rising period of Russia from the end of the 18th century to the beginning of the 19th century. Kutuzov contributed much to the military history of Russia and is considered to have been one of the best Russian generals under the reign of Catherine II. He took part in the suppression of the Bar Confederation's uprising, in three of the Russo-Turkish Wars and in the Napoleonic War, including two major battles at Austerlitz and the battle of Borodino.
However, Kutuzov is credited most with his brilliant leadership during the French invasion of Russia. Under Kutuzov's command, the Russian army stopped the Grande Armée at the Battle of Borodino and then counter-attacked, pushing the French out of the Russian homeland. In recognition of this, Kutuzov was awarded the title of Prince of Smolensk. A memorial was built at Moscow in 1973 to commemorate the 1812 war and Kutuzov's leadership. An order of the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation is also named after him. Kutuzov was highly regarded in the works of Russian and Soviet historians.