The Empress implored the Tsar to wear Rasputin’s cross, “even if it is uncomfortable, for the sake of my peace of mind”. That was the last letter.
At 10pm, the Empress received a telegram from the Emperor with the following message: “I hope to be home tomorrow morning.” The Tsarina passed on this news to her retinue. Everyone brightened up. The soldiers were happy. The palace announced that the Empress would emerge to see the troops. Everything was galvanised into activity. The wide doors were suddenly flung open and two elegant footmen took up position on either side of the doorway, each holding a silver candelabrum, complete with tapers, high in the air. The Empress emerged with Grand Duchess Maria Nikolaevna by her side. A quiet command was issued to the troops. See more
Holding her daughter by the hand, the calm, majestic Empress quietly descended the marble steps. There was a fairy-tale like quality to the extraordinary way in which the Russian Empress emerged to inspect the troops, at night, under the flickering light of the candelabra, in the snow-enveloped grounds... The silence was broken only by the creaking of snow underfoot. The sounds of shooting floated in from afar. The Empress slowly walked from row to row, acknowledging the soldiers with nods and smiles. The soldiers, for their part, followed her with their eyes in rapt silence. She said something or other to more than a few of the officers: “How cold it is, a serious frost…”
Legitimate power was gone. There is anarchy in the city. There is no other solution. We need to assume power. Rodzianko hesitates. He has already made many revolutionary moves but keeps repeating, “I do not wish to rebel.” Wavered in his conviction by heated arguments, tired, and stressed out, Rodzianko asked to give him “a quarter of an hour” to think it through calmly. See more
He went to a separate room. What struggle must have taken place in the soul of the former chamber page of Emperor Alexander II, former horse guardsman, the chamberlain of His Majesty’s Court…
Exiting the study and taking the chair, Rodzianko announced that “he agrees.” The Interim Committee declares itself in power. Rodzianko demands full subordination. The revolutionary government has begun to act.
The palace is deadly quiet. It is unsettling. And most importantly- his Majesty is not here. It is necessary for his Majesty to return immediately from Stavka.
They sing revolutionary songs. Chants of “Down with the government!”, “Long live the republic”, “Down with war!” can be heard. A police patrol lunges towards the crowd, it is met with a barrage of ice chunks. The cossacks stay idle, merely passing through the crowd on foot, some of them laughing. The crowd is extatric and chants “hooray!”, the cossacs meet the chants with nods and bows. The police are infuriated. One phase was passed around among groups of dispersing workers: “the cossacks support us, the cossacks support the people!”…
Globachev has reported on the increasing dissatisfaction with the lack of certain foodstuffs. He warned of the possibility of so-called "bread riots" and excesses of "the most horrible of all the anarchic revolutions." Almost every day his reports speak of strikes. The General warned that there may be an attempt to organize a march to the Tauride Palace and that the Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks and the Social-Democrats. are united in this plan.
The significance of the role played by Vyrubova over the past two months has been underestimated. In the wake of Rasputin’s murder, she has become even more intimate with the Tsarina in honouring the memory of their late “Friend” – something that the adroit Protopopov grasps all too well. He has outflanked her, of course, bewitching her by dint of his veneration of the departed “Friend” and his supposedly “spiritual” connection with him – charlatanism pure and simple. And, thanks to Protopopov, Vyrubova has become a real mediator between him, the Minister of Internal Affairs and Their Majesties.
A. Vyrubova now serves as a kind of stand-in for the Royal Family’s relatives as well. Correspondence aside, they’ve maintained close ties only with the Emperor’s brother, Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich.
Tereshchenko has arrived from Kiev, where he’s been thick with Count Dolgoruky. There, in Kiev, the two friends pleasantly whiled away the time in the Continental Hotel, discussing current events. Tereshchenko took Count Dolgoruky to one side and informed him that he was leaving for Petrograd, where calls would start to be made for the Emperor’s abdication. The Empress, meanwhile, would be confined to a monastery. He told him, too, that officers from His Majesty’s Own Regiment and Convoy were implicated in the plot, naming names and even the name of one commander. The coup had been arranged for February 21. When asked by Count Dolgoruky what would be done if His Majesty refused to abdicate, Tereshchenko replied that he would be removed… Tereshchenko departed.
The disturbing rumours had penetrated the walls of Tsarskoe Selo Palace as well. The atmosphere there was heavy. “It’s as if there’d been a death in the family,” remarked a frequent visitor. The Tsarina remained in bed almost the whole time. The children shot nervous glances at their parents. Trepidation reigned in the ranks of the closest courtiers, with certain ladies beset by presentiments of disaster. The faithful servant Admiral Nilov had long since lost faith in everything. Time and time again, he repeated to his friends, “there’ll be a revolution and we’ll all be hanged – and as for what streetlamps we shall dangle from, what does it matter?”.
ProtopopovHead of Russian Home office (December 1916 - March 1917). was such a case. Putting everything above his personal career, he ultimately did everything to please Their Majesties. In Tsarskoye SeloLiterally "The Tsars' village", a summer residence of Russian tsars near St. Petersburg., he pretended to be energetic, resolute, and a man ready for any fight. He confidently and boldly lied that he knows everything, foresees everything, and, most importantly, warns everyone beforehand. To decisively secure its position among the women, he didn’t hesitate to pretend to be an admirer in the memory of the murdered holy manRasputin.. He pretended to believe in his prayers from beyond the grave that mysteriously assured him that the Holy Man was guiding him "from beyond."