The acts of Nicholas II and Mikhail Alexandrovich were followed by public statements refusing their rights to the throne of other members of the Romanov dynasty. At the same time, they referred to the precedent created by Mikhail Alexandrovich: to return their rights to the throne only if they were confirmed at the All-Russian Constituent Assembly. The Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich, who initiated the collection of "statements" from the Romanovs: "Regarding our rights and, in particular, my succession to the throne, I, passionately loving my homeland, fully associate myself with the thoughts expressed in the act of refusal of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich."
Having learned about the refusal of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich from the throne, Nikolai Alexandrovich (former Tsar and elder brother of Mikhail) wrote in his diary from 3 (16) in March 1917: “It turns out that Misha denied. His manifesto ends with a four-tail for elections through the 6 months of the Constituent Assembly. God knows who advised him to sign such disgusting! In Petrograd, the riots ceased - if only this continued further. ”
Other contemporaries noted the fatal essence of this act. The Chief of Staff of the Supreme Commander, General M. V. Alekseev, learning about the signed document in the evening of March 3 from Guchkov, told him that “at least a brief entry to the Throne of the Grand Duke would immediately introduce respect to the will of the former Emperor, and the readiness of the Grand Duke to serve his Fatherland in the hard days he was experiencing ... it would have made the best, invigorating impression on the army ... ”, and the grand duke’s refusal to accept the supreme power, from the point of view of the general, was a fatal mistake, the disastrous consequences of which for the French NTA began to tell in the first days.
Prince S.Ye. Trubetskoy expressed a general opinion: “In essence, the point was that Mikhail Alexandrovich immediately accepted the Imperial Crown transferred to him. He did not. God is his judge, but his renunciation in its consequences was far more menacing than the renunciation of the Sovereign - it was already a rejection of the monarchical principle. Mikhail Alexandrovich had a legal right to refuse the accession to the Throne (whether he had a moral right to do so was another question!), But in his act of abdication he did not pass the Russian Imperial Crown to the legitimate successor, quite lawlessly ... The Constituent Assembly. It was terrible! ... Our army survived the abdication of the Sovereign emperor relatively calmly, but the rejection of Mikhail Alexandrovich, the rejection of the monarchical principle in general, made a stunning impression on her: the main rod was taken out of the Russian state life ... From this time on, there were no longer any serious obstacles in the path of the revolution. There was nothing to cling to the elements of order and tradition. Everything went into a state of formlessness and decomposition. Russia was plunging into the swamp of a dirty and bloody revolution. ”
Thus, the power of the Romanovs, which existed since 1613, and the dynasty itself collapsed. The “White Empire” project has fallen “into the sucking swamp of the dirty and bloody revolution”. And the autocracy and the Russian empire were crushed not by the Bolsheviks, but by the leaders of Russia of that time, the Februaryists - Grand princes (almost all of them renounced Nicholas), the highest generals, leaders of all political parties and organizations, deputies of the State Duma, the church, which immediately recognized the Provisional Government, representatives of financial and economic circles, etc.
2 (15) March
On the night of 1 on 2 (15) in March, the garrison of Tsarskoye Selo finally went over to the side of the revolution. Tsar Nikolai Alexandrovich under pressure from the generals of Ruzsky, Alekseyev, the chairman of the State Duma Rodzianko, representatives of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma Guchkov and Shulgin decided to abdicate the throne.
The highest generals and grand dukes surrendered the tsar, thinking that Russia would follow the path of Western “modernization”, which is hindered by autocracy. At Stavka, Rodzianko generally favorably accepted the arguments in favor of renunciation as a means to end revolutionary anarchy. So, General Quartermaster General Headquarters General Lukomsky in a conversation with Chief of Staff of the Northern Front General Danilov said that he was praying to God that Ruzsky could convince the emperor to renounce. All front commanders and Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich (governor in the Caucasus) in their telegrams asked the emperor to abdicate "for the sake of the unity of the country in the terrible time of war." That same evening, the commander of the Baltic fleet A. I. Nepenin, on his own initiative, joined the general opinion of the respondents (on March 4, he himself would become a victim of his stupidity - they would kill him). As a result, everyone denied Nicholas II — the highest generals, the State Duma, and about 30 grand dukes and princesses from the Romanov family and the church hierarch.
Having received the answers of the commanders-in-chief of the fronts, Nicholas II, at about three o'clock in the afternoon, declared renunciation in favor of his son, Alexei Nikolaevich, under the regency of Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich. At this time, representatives of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma A. I. Guchkov and V. V. Shulgin arrived in Pskov. The king, in conversation with them, said that he had decided in the afternoon to renounce in favor of his son. But now, realizing that he cannot accept separation from his son, he will deny both for himself and for his son. In 23.40, Nikolai conveyed to Guchkov and Shulgin the Act of Renunciation, which, in particular, read: “... We command our brother to rule the affairs of the state in complete and indestructible union with representatives of the people in legislative institutions, on the principles that they will establish, bringing in unbreakable oath. " At the same time, Nikolay signed a number of other documents: a decree to the Senate governing the dismissal of the former Council of Ministers and the appointment of Prince G. E. Lvov as chairman of the Council of Ministers, an order by the Army and Navy to appoint the Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich as Supreme Commander.
3 (16) March. Further events
On this day, the leading Russian newspapers came out with an editorial specially written for this day by the poet Valery Bryusov, which began like this: “Liberated Russia, —What wonderful words! In them, the awakened element of People’s pride is alive! ”Then there were reports of the collapse of the 300-year monarchy of the Romanovs, the abdication of Nicholas II, the composition of the new Provisional Government and its slogan -“ Unity, Order, Work ”. In the armed forces, on the other hand, "democratization" began, lynching officers.
Early in the morning, during a meeting of members of the Provisional Government and the Provisional Committee of the State Duma (ICCL), when a telegram from Shulgin and Guchkov was read with information that Nicholas II had denied in favor of Mikhail Alexandrovich, Rodzianko stated that the latter’s accession to the throne was impossible. There was no objection. Then the members of the All-Union State Committee of Civil Rights and the Provisional Government gathered to discuss the situation in the apartment of the princes Putiatins, where the Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich was. Most of the conference participants advised the Grand Duke not to accept the supreme power. Only P. N. Milyukov and. I. Guchkov urged Mikhail Alexandrovich to take the All-Russian throne. As a result, the grand duke, who was not distinguished by his strength of mind, signed the act of not accepting the throne around 4 in the afternoon.
Almost immediately, the Romanov family, which in its mass participated in the plot against the autocracy, and apparently hoped to maintain high positions in the new Russia, as well as capital and property, received an appropriate response. 5 (18) March 1917, the executive committee of the Petrograd Soviet decided to arrest the entire royal family, confiscate their property and deny civil rights. 20 March The Provisional Government adopted a decision to arrest the former emperor Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna and deliver them from Mogilev to Tsarskoye Selo. A special commission headed by the commissar of the Provisional Government A. A. Bublikov was sent to Mogilyov, which was supposed to deliver the former emperor to Tsarskoye Selo. The former emperor went to Tsarskoye Selo in the same train with the Duma commissars and with a detachment of ten soldiers, which General Alekseev gave to their superiors.
8 March, the new commander of the Petrograd Military District, General L. G. Kornilov personally arrested the former empress. 9 March Nikolay arrived at Tsarskoye Selo already as a “colonel Romanov”.
Before leaving for Tsarskoye Selo, Nikolai Aleksandrovich issued his last order for the troops in Mogilev on 8 (21) in March: ““ I’ll appeal to you for the last time, soldiers so dear to my heart. Since I gave up on my own behalf and on behalf of my son from the Russian throne, power has been transferred to the Provisional Government, formed on the initiative of the State Duma. May God help this government lead Russia to glory and prosperity ... May God help you, valiant soldiers, to protect your homeland from a cruel enemy. For two and a half years, you have taken out tests of heavy duty every hour; much blood has been shed, tremendous efforts have been made, and the hour is already close when Russia and its glorious allies will work together to break the last resistance of the enemy. This unparalleled war should be brought to a final victory. Who thinks about the world at this moment is a traitor to Russia. I firmly believe that the endless love that inspires you for our beautiful homeland has not been extinguished in your hearts. God bless you and may the Great Martyr George lead you to victory! Nikolai.
The Provisional Government took a number of measures that did not stabilize the situation; on the contrary, they were aimed at destroying the tsarist legacy and increasing chaos in the country. 10 (23) March, the Provisional Government abolished the Police Department. Instead, it was established "Temporary Office for Public Police and to ensure the personal and property security of citizens." Police officers were subjected to repression, and they were prohibited from working in the newly created law enforcement agencies. Archives and card files were crushed. The situation was aggravated by universal amnesty - it was used not only by political prisoners, but also by criminal elements. This led to the fact that the police were not able to prevent the criminal revolution that had begun. The criminals took advantage of the favorable situation and began en masse to join the militia, in various detachments (workers, national, etc.), they simply created gangs without political overtones. The high crime rate was a traditional feature of unrest in Russia.
On the same day, the Central Committee of the Council of Workers 'and Soldiers' Deputies adopted a resolution in which it established its main tasks for the near future: 1) Immediate opening of negotiations with the workers of hostile states; 2) Systematic fraternization of Russian and enemy soldiers at the front; 3) Democratization of the army 4) Rejection of any plans of conquest.
12 (25) March issued a decision of the Provisional Government to abolish the death penalty and the abolition of military field courts (this is in a war!). On the same day, the Provisional Government adopted a law on the state monopoly on bread, which was prepared during the reign of the king. In accordance with it, the free grain market was abolished, the "surplus" (above the established norms) was subject to withdrawal from the peasants at firm state prices (and in the case of concealed stocks, only half of this price was found). It was supposed to distribute bread by cards. However, the attempt to introduce a grain monopoly in practice failed, faced with fierce resistance from the peasants. Grain procurement amounted to less than half of the plan, in anticipation of an even greater unrest, the peasants preferred to hide their supplies. The peasants themselves at this time began their own war, taking out the age-old hatred of the "masters". Even before the Bolsheviks took power, the peasants burned almost all landlord estates and divided the landlords' land. The lingering attempts of the Provisional Government, which in fact, no longer controlled the country, to restore order, did not lead to success.
On the whole, the victory of the liberal-bourgeois revolution led to the fact that Russia became the freest country of all the warring powers, and this was in the context of waging a war that the Westernizers-Februaryists were going to "lead to a victorious end." In particular, the Orthodox Church was freed from the tutelage of power, convened the Local Council, which eventually allowed the restoration of the patriarchate in Russia under Tikhon. And the Bolshevik Party had the opportunity to get out of the underground. Thanks to the amnesty for political crimes proclaimed by the Provisional Government, dozens of revolutionaries returned from exile and political emigration who immediately joined the political life of the country. 5 (18) March, Pravda began to appear again.
The collapse of the autocracy, the core of the then Russia, immediately caused a “stirring” on the outskirts. In Finland, Poland, the Baltic states, in the Kuban and in the Crimea, in the Caucasus and in Ukraine, nationalists and separatists raised their heads. In Kiev, the 4 (17) March created the Ukrainian Central Rada, which has not yet raised the question of the “independence” of Ukraine, but has already started talking about autonomy. At the beginning, this body consisted of representatives of Ukrainian political, social, cultural and professional organizations, which had practically no influence on the huge masses of the South and West Russian population. A bunch of professional "Ukrainians" could not tear off Little Russia - one of the ethno-cultural cores of Russian civilization, from Great Russia at the usual time, but unrest became their time. Since they were interested in external enemies of Russia (Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Entente), who relied on the split of the Russian superethnos and the creation of a “Ukrainian chimera”, which led to a clash of Russians with Russians.
5 (18) March in Kiev was opened the first Ukrainian gymnasium. 6 (19) March, a multi-thousand-day demonstration was held under the slogans “Autonomy for Ukraine”, “Free Ukraine in Free Russia”, “Long live free Ukraine with the hetman at the head”. 7 (20) in Kiev in March, the famous Ukrainian historian Mikhail Hrushevsky was elected chairman of the Central Rada (and in absentia, the scientist was in exile from 1915, and only 14 in March returned to Kiev).
In this way, began the collapse of the empire, caused by discredit and destruction of the central government. Despite the declared policy of the Provisional Government to preserve the “united and indivisible” Russia, its practical activity contributed to the decentralization and separatism of not only national margins, but also Russian regions, in particular, the Cossack regions and Siberia.
5-6 (18-19) March, notes on the recognition by the United Kingdom, France and Italy of the Provisional Government de facto arrived in Petrograd. 9 (22) March The Provisional Government was officially recognized by the United States, Britain, France and Italy. The West quickly recognized the Provisional Government, since it was interested in liquidating the Russian autocracy, which under certain circumstances had the opportunity to create a Russian globalization project (new world order) alternative to the Western one. First, the masters of England, France and the United States themselves took an active part in the February coup, supporting the organization of a conspiracy through the Masonic lodges (they were subordinate to the Western centers on the hierarchy). Russia should not have become a winner in the First World War; they were not going to share the fruits of victory with it. From the very beginning, the masters of the West hoped not only to crush Germany and Austria-Hungary (the struggle within the western project), but also to destroy the Russian empire in order to solve the “Russian question” - a thousand-year confrontation between Western and Russian civilizations, which were necessary for the construction of a new world order.
Second, the The power in Russia was seized by Westernists-Februaryists, who planned to finally direct it along the Western path of development (capitalism, “democracy”, which in reality hid the construction of a global slave civilization). They focused primarily on England and France. This completely suited the hosts of the West. The new bourgeois-liberal Provisional Government of Russia hoped that "the West would help," and immediately took a subordinate, lackey position. Hence the "war to the bitter end", that is, the continuation of the policy of supplying the "partners" with the Russian "cannon fodder" and the refusal to solve the most pressing, fundamental problems of Russia.