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Mikhail Rodzianko

The biggest and fattest man in Russia.


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

I would like to say what I think about Kerensky. He is an unprincipled man, who changes his convictions, does not think deeply and is extremely superficial. His empty, semi-hysterical speeches don't correspond with his inner disposition. I boldly declare that no one has done as much harm to Russia as Kerensky. He is two-faced and always flirts with all political movements. Having no will power, he patronises the Bolsheviks!

Разгромлен Окружной суд и Главное артиллерийское управление, а также Арсенал, из которого было похищено около 40 тысяч винтовок рабочими заводов, которые сейчас же были розданы быстро сформированным батальонам красной гвардии.

The Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich arrived in Petrograd, and we had a meeting with him in the company of the Chairman of the State Duma, his comrade Nekrasov, the secretary of the State Duma Dmitriyukov and member of the Duma Savich. See more

I walked along side the motorcars toward the Duma. I popped into Radzianko's office. I inspected Miliukov. He was silent. But for some reason it seemed to me that he was stuttering. I was bored an hour later. I left.

When it became evident that the government was no more, it simultaneously became apparent that it wasn’t viable to remain without a government for so much as an hour. And that the State Duma Committee, which was promptly swamped with appeals for directives, would therefore have to don Monomakh’s hat.

Rodzianko was in two minds for a long time. What would this prove to be, he kept asking – an insurrection or not?

Most humbly I report to your Majesty, that the popular disturbances which have begun in Petrograd are assuming a serious character and threatening proportions. The causes are a shortage of baked bread and an insufficient supply of flour, which are giving rise to panic, but most of all a complete lack of confidence in the leadership, which is incapable of leading the nation out of this difficult situation. In such circumstances there will undoubtedly be an explosion of events, which may be possible to contain temporarily at the price of shedding the blood of innocent citizens, but which it will be impossible to control if they persist. See more

Ну вот, события дошли до своего апогея. See more

Царь уехал. Дума продолжает обсуждать продовольственный вопрос. Но что-то сегодня оборвалось, и государственная машина сошла с рельс. Сегодня совершилось то, о чем предупреждали, грозное и гибельное, чему во дворце не хотели верить…

Your Majesty, at the grave hour of when the country faced imminent death, your ancestor did not hesitate to entrust power to a person with the public’s confidence. The country was saved, and the name of the Emperor Alexander I was not only written in golden letters on the pages of Russian history, but also world history. With all the fervor we can muster, knowing that patriotic duty rests on us all, we beseech you, Your Majesty, to follow your noble’s ancestor’s example. The midnight hour is upon us, and we’re almost at the point where any appeal to the people’s reason will be too late and useless.

The opening of the Duma went off quite peacefully. There were no workers in evidence, only a huge number of policemen posted in all the courtyards round about. In order not to fan the flames, or to make an already tense atmosphere worse, I restricted my address to comments about the army, which I praised for its uncomplaining fulfilment of its duty. Instead of more general political disputes, the session was devoted to the question of food supplies, as the agricultural minister, Rittich wanted to talk on the subject, and made a very long speech. See more

If it is unthinkable that a doctor should be entrusted with the building of a bridge, or an engineer the curing of patients, it is even more inconceivable that the economic life of the country should be taken from the direction of those who are informed as to the minutiae of its operations and handed over to those who are, at best, amateurs, and at worst – pure ignoramuses.

I had an audience with the Emperor again. He received me with such extreme coldness that I could not set out my case in the course of a conversation, as I usually do, but instead began to read out the written report. His Majesty’s reaction was not only indifferent, but even abrupt.  All the time I was reading the report, which concerned poor supply of provisions to the army and towns, the issuing of machine guns to the police and the general political situation, his mind was elsewhere. This is the way things are at the moment.

Our nation has everything it needs, but is not able to make adequate use of its resources. The census has shown that the area of land under cultivation in 1916 was approximately 20-25% more than the area required to meet the needs of the population. Russia has enough grain resources to face the future with equanimity. If all this rich potential not being exploited, it is because the country lacks the appropriate organisation.

According to the facts, the distribution of bread to the localities will proceed go on schedule throughout February; the thaw begins in March and April, and it won’t be possible to bring bread to the stations; transporting grain to mills can only be expected in late April and early May. The mills, however, lack fuel. As a result, we should expect for at least three months should expect extreme crisis in the food market, verging on a nationwide starvation. The situation with fuel is no better. Almost all of Russia is experiencing an acute shortage of liquid and solid mineral fuels, firewood, and peat.

I was told that the Petrograd police are training to use machine guns. A whole slew of machine guns due to be sent to the front from Petrograd and other cites have instead been transferred into the hands of the police.

We had hoped the murder wouldn’t be for naught – that Tsarskoye Selo would finally come to its senses, heed the warnings, or simply grow afraid. But things went in precisely the opposite direction. As if by perverse design, it was Rasputin’s supporters who were promoted.  

The time has come to speak the truth, however unpleasant it may be.

As you will have gleaned from my report, Your Highness, I believe the situation to be more perilous and critical than ever before. Sentiments across the country are such that we can expect the gravest of shocks. It is no secret that the Empress, acting in parallel with you, is issuing orders regarding the administration of the country, and that undesirables are quickly dismissed from their posts whenever she wills it – to be replaced by utterly unprepared individuals.

Age: 58
Lives in: Petrograd, Russian Empire
Interests: politics, military strategy, agriculture
Occupation: Chairman of the State Duma
Rank: State Councillor


in Petrograd
in Moscow