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Project 1917 is a series of events that took place a hundred years ago as described by those involved. It is composed only of diaries, letters, memoirs, newspapers and other documents

My dear martyr, I cannot write, my heart is too full, I love you, we love you, thank you and bless you, and admire you—we kiss the wound on your forehead and your eyes full of suffering. See more

At six o'clock we heard a drosky driven at great speed over the cobbles, and as it came in sight we saw my uncle standing up and wildly waving the papers in his hand, "Free!" he called out. "Anna Alex- androvna, you are free !" The rest is confusion in my mind. There were laughter and sobs. People kissed and embraced me. I was In the drosky driving through Petrograd streets. I was In my uncle's house. The tea table was spread. It was like a dream. See more

Within a short time the cars stopped at the Detention House in the Furshkatskaya Ulitza, and I was, carried into the office of the commissioner. He was an officer, rather short in stature, but dignified and efficient. Offering me his hand, he asked me if I would be seated while he made out the necessary papers. See more

Three times, drunk soldiers burst into my chamber threatening to rape me and I escaped by a miracle. The first time I fell to my knees, holding the icon of the Virgin Mary to my chest, and begged them to spare me, for the sake of their mothers, and my elderly parents. They left. The second time, in my fear I threw myself against the wall, hammering and shouting. Ek. V. heard me and also shouted, until soldiers from some of the other corridors came running...The third time one sentry officer came. I pleaded with him tearfully and he spat at me and left.

Twice a day a soldier brought in a nauseous dish, a kind of soup made of the bones and skin of fish, none too fresh. Sometimes, if the soldier happened to be in an especially vicious mood, he spat in the soup before giving it to me, and more than once I found small pieces of glass among the bones. Yet so ravenous was my hunger that I actually swallowed enough of the vile stuff to keep myself alive. Only by holding my nose with my fingers was I able to get a few spoonfuls down my throat. What was left I was careful to pour into the filthy toilet, for I had been told that unless I ate what was given me I would be left to starve. See more

My heart leaped and pounded in my breast and I clung desperately to my crutches lest I should fall into that unfathomed darkness. A few minutes of wild terror and then as my eyes grew ac- customed to the dark I saw ahead of me a narrow iron cot towards which I moved with infinite caution. In my progress towards the bed my feet sank into pools of stagnant water which covered the floor, and soon I perceived that the walls of the cell were also dripping with moisture. See more

I saw the sailor Derevenko, who, lounging in an armchair, ordered the Heir to give him this or that. Alexei Nikolaevich ran around with sad and surprised eyes, fulfilling the orders. This Derevenko enjoyed the love of Their Majesties: for so many years they spoiled him and his family, showering them with gifts. I felt almost sick; I begged that they would rather take me away.

Burned letters together with Lily. Dined with Nicholas, Alexei and Olga in the playing room. Went to Annushka’s and spent some time there together with everyone else. The commandant reads all our correspondence, while all our parcels undergo thorough checks, along with everything else.

I have never witnessed – and, in all likelihood, will never witness again – a degree of moral forbearance as great as that exhibited by Her Majesty and her children. “You know, Anya,” said the Empress, “it’s all over for Russia now that the Emperor has abdicated, but we must condemn neither the Russian people nor the troops: the blame does not lie with them.” The Empress knew only too well who was responsible for this atrocity.

Half-asleep I saw my parents and my sister and remember overhearing their conversations with Her Majesty about some kind of riots.

Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich paid a visit to the Emperor and set about convincing him that the army was growing increasingly discontented at his prolonged absence from the Stavka (General Headquarters of the High Command). Following this conversation, the Emperor decided to take off, regarding discontent in the army as a sufficiently serious reason to hasten to the Stavka; at the same time, however, he and the Empress learned of further developments that outraged and disturbed them deeply.

The Emperor informed me that he’d been told by a trustworthy source that the British ambassador, Sir George Buchanan, was playing an active role in the intrigues against Their Majesties, and that he and the Grand Dukes were all but holding meetings on the subject at the embassy. The Emperor spoke of his intention to send a telegram to King George and ask him to forbid the British ambassador from interfering in the domestic politics of Russia; he perceived in all this a desire on the part of Britain to foment revolution in our country, and thereby to leave it in a weaker position once we get to peace negotiations. But as for requesting that Buchanan be recalled, this, in His Majesty’s words, “would be too severe a move”.

All has been quiet on the front since mid-December, and the Tsar has felt his presence at headquarters to be superfluous. Each day he has received news over the direct line in the evening. The Tsar’s snooker room is full of military maps, so that no one, not the children, not the servants and not even the Empress, has dared enter for fear of disturbing them. The keys were last seen with the Tsar. The recent snowstorms and the danger they represent to the supply question in the capital have given Their Majesties great cause for concern.

At around 4 I went for a walk with father. It is cold, -12 degrees, and it is snowing. At 5 we four went together to Anna’s for her name day.