A report of the chief of the security department of St. Petersburg polkovnik (colonel) von Cotten to the Minister of the Internal Affairs of the Russian Empire states:
“In addition to the reports of November 8, I inform Your Excellency about the unrest among young students on November 9… on the occasion of the burial of the deceased Russian writer, Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy.
At 12 o’clock in the afternoon (12 AM), a requiem was served for Tolstoy in an Armenian church, which gathered around 200 people, mostly Armenians, and a few students. At the end of the service, people left, but few minutes later more students started to come to the church.
It turned out that announcements had been posted in universities stating that a requiem for Lev Tolstoy would be served on November 9 at 1 AM (13:00) in the above-mentioned church.
The Armenian clergy committed a service again, by the end of which the church could no longer accommodate everyone. A significant part of the visitors stood on the porch and in the courtyard of the Armenian church. At the end of the requiem, all those who were on the porch and at the churchyard sang the “Eternal Memory”.”
A funeral prayer for a person who had been excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church and cursed as well as the absence of communication between Russian and Armenian Churches could become a serious pretext for straining of the relations between them.
The Russian Church’s dislike of the writer has reached such an intensity that inscriptions reading “Lev Tolstoy burns in hell” appeared on a church wall in the village of Tazov, Kursk province. With the submission of the synod, the image of the writing was placed on irons for it to be constantly “roasted” and spat at.