He was born in Gatchina, St Petersburg Governorate. He graduated from St Petersburg University, in the Faculty of History and Philology, and was appointed to professorship, but due to his anti-monarchical activity, he was dismissed. He was a teacher in history in the secondary school, and since 1891 has lectured at the Imperial Alexandrov Lyceum (Tsarskoe Selo Lyceum).
Myakotin was follower of V. I. Semyovsky (1848–1916). His political views excluded any terrorist practices and he was an extremely charismatic speaker.
On January 8, 1905, on the eve of the events of the so-called Bloody Sunday, he was a member of a delegation of intellectuals who visited Ministers S. Yu. Witte and P. D. Svyatopolk-Mirsky demanding that no military force be used against protesters. The delegation’s efforts were not successful and after the procession was dispersed, on January 11, V. Myakotin, along with other delegation members, was arrested and imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress. He was a member of the clandestine liberal-leaning political movement Union of Liberation (St Petersburg) that had formed around the Osvobozhdenie newspaper and one of the editors of the opposition newspaper Syn otechestva. At the end of 1905, Myakotin collaborated in the Revolyutsionnaya Rossia newspaper. In May-June 1906, he was one of the most prominent critics of the State Duma, which sought to reform Russia from an autocratic state into a parliamentary monarchy. In the fall of 1906 he was one of the founders of the Party of People’s Socialists.
In 1911, Myakotin was convicted for a pamphlet published in 1906, Трябва ли да отида в Държавната дума? [Should I Go to the State Duma?]. He served a one-year sentence in 1911–1912 in Dvina Fortress (present-day Daugavpils, Latvia).
In 1917, Myakotin was elected chairman of the Central Committee of the People’s Socialist Labour Party. In 1918, he became one of the founders and leaders of the Union for the Revival of Russia. In 1920, he was arrested and sent to Butir Prison (Moscow). Sentenced to death by the Bolsheviks in 1920, he was released following the intervention of V. G. Korolenko. In 1922 he was expelled from Russia.
Myakotin has been resident in Bulgaria since 1928. He was professor at Sofia University (1928–1937). He died in Prague.
One of the early studies of V. A. Myakotin was on the biography and works of Protopop Avakum. One of the main topics on which he focused was the social history of Ukraine, and the growing serfdom of Ukrainian peasants, in particular, which he explored in his studia Прикрепление крестьянства левобережной Украины в XVII–XVIII веках [Serfdom of the peasants of the left-bank Ukraine in the 17th–18th centuries] and Из жизни украинского крестьянства в XVIII в. [On the life of the Ukrainian peasantry in the 18th century]. His major work that appeared in Bulgaria was История на Русия от IХ до ХVIII век [History of Russia from the 9th to the 18th centuries] – the first compendium on Russian history in Bulgaria. As Hristo Gandev had it, ‘this work boasts not only highly scientific qualities, but also a fascinating narration, full of details, names and dates.’
V. A. Myakotin actively participated in the work of the Bulgarian Historical Society, the Philosophical and Sociological Society and the Slavic Society in Bulgaria.
- Протопоп Аввакум : Его жизнь и деятельность. – Санкт-Петербург, 1894.
- Очерки социальной истории Украины в 17–18 в. : Т. 1–3. – Прага, 1924–1925.
- Прикрепление крестьянства левобережной Украины в XVII–XVIII веках. – Годишник СУ. Ист.–филол. фак., 38, 1932, 1–55.
- Из жизни украинского крестьянства в XVIII в. – В: Сборник Л. Милетич. София, 1933, 576–599.
- История на Русия от IХ до ХVIII век. София: Придворна печатница, 1936.
- История России в конце XVII и в первую половину XVIII столетия – Годишник СУ. Ист.–филол. фак., 34/4, 1938, 3–146.
- Алданов М.. Памяти В. А. Мякотина. – Современные записки, 1937, № 65.
- Алманах на Софийския университет : Т. 1. София, 1988, с. 398–399.
- Велева, М. Професор Венедикт А. Мякотин в България. – В: Бялата емиграция в България. София, 2001, 159–179.
- Гирич, И. Б. Венедикт М’якотiн i украiнська iсторiографiя. – Історіографічні дослідження в Україні, 2012, № 22, 541–564.
- Емельянов Ю. Н. История в изгнании: Историческая периодика русской эмиграции (1920–1940-е гг.). М., 2008.
- Иогансон Е. Н. В. А. Мякотин: Историк и политик. Диссертация. Москва, 1994.
- Мутафчиев, П. В. А. Мякотин. – Просвета, 1937–1938, № 2, с. 222.
- Мякотина, Н. В. Воспоминания [о В.А. Мякотине]. София, 1977. [ръкопис]
- Пашуто В. Т. Русские историки-эмигранты в Европе. М., 1992.
- Венедикт Александрович Мякотин в ru.wikipedia.org