Virtuoso violinist. Engineer of the Voies et Communications, he was an artillery lieutenant at the age of 17. He left Russia for France in 1917, at the time of the October Revolution. He enters the artillery school of Fontainebleau. He takes part in the pacification campaign of Lyautey in Morocco. At the end of this campaign, he embarked for the United States to meet Thomas Edison.
On mission in Siberia, he became an interpreter for General Janin. Successively engineer in the service of the Manchurian dictator Tchang-Tso-Lin, gold prospector in Mongolia, builder of dams in Chan-Tong and Kan-Sou, he travels all over China.
In 1929, Victor Point met him in Tien-Tsin. Seduced by his courage and his dynamism, admiring this man who speaks Chinese perfectly, has a serious knowledge of China and the Chinese soul, he asks him to accompany him in his recognition of the land of the Ordos.
As soon as they return from this mission, he asks him to organize the refueling of the Citroën mission from Beijing to Sin-Kiang and to study a way of passage through this China ravaged by war, banditry, famine and the Muslim revolution.
The Citroën firm could not find a better recruit to ensure the security of its passage. At the end of November 1930, Petro, as the members of the Citroën team would call him, admirably accomplished his mission.
At the end of March 1931, he arrived in Tien-Tsin, where he welcomed the arrivals of the China group.
As a member of the China group, he was an interpreter (Chinese and several dialects) and carried out cartographic surveys.
Source - Arianne Audouin-Dubreuil
In the famous series "The Tibetan Bell", Petropavlovsky is interpreted by Philippe Leotard.