"And this is my friend Constantine Dmitrich Levin, an active member of the Zemstvo"

Portrait of Alexander II, the Tsar
Public DomainPortrait of Alexander II, the Tsar
Zemstvo refers to a county council. The councils were founded by Alexander II in 1864. The description of Levin that follows points closely to Tolstoy the man. Like Levin, he was strong, a cattle and horse breeder and a sportsman.