In the evening Gutchkov and Shulgin arrived from Petrograd, and after talking to them, I handed over the signed and recopied manifesto. I left Pskov at one o'clock at night, with a heavy heart. All around is betrayal, cowardice and deceit!
All my thoughts are with you in these unforgettable days of happiness, which our beloved and liberated Russia is going through. Send a telegram of your news.
This is a palace coup instigated by English and French diplomats to frustrate the Czar’s attempts to secure peace with Germany, this is not a revolution of the people who seek peace and rights for themselves.
Beloved, precious Light of my Life, Grammatin and Soloviev are going off with 2 letters hoping that at least they can reach you to bring you and get news. It's more than maddening not being together - but souls and hearts are more than ever - nothing can tear us apart, though they just wish this, that is why they won't let you see me until you have signed a paper of theirs - responsible ministers or Constitution. See more
The nightmare is that having no army behind you, you may be forced into it - but such a promise is 'null' when once in power again - they meanly caught you like a mouse in a trap - unheard of in history - and it kills me the vileness and humiliation: the young men will tell you clearly the whole situation which too complicated to write and I give only some letters which can be burned or easier hidden away.
But God Almighty is above everything and loves his pomazannik bozhiy and will save and bring you to your right again. Your little family is worthy of you, so brave and quite. Now the Eldest and Cow also know everything, we had to hide it, so they sure very ill indeed, such coughs, sick without end & feeling terrible.
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.
RuzskyOne of generals of the Russian army. came in the morning and read me his long telephone conversation with Rodzianko. In his words, the situation in Petrograd is such, that at present a ministry from the Duma is powerless to do anything, because they are opposed by the social democrat party in the guise of the workers' committee. See more
My abdication is necessary. Ruzsky communicated his conversation to headquarters and Alexeev to all the commanders-in-chief.
By about 2.30 answers had arrived from all. The crux of the matter is that it is necessary to take this step, for the sake of Russia's salvation and of maintaining calm in the army at the front. I agreed.The draft manifesto was sent out from headquarters.
Adjutant-General Alexeev has informed me of the unprecedented and fatal situation and has asked me to support his view, that a victorious end to the war, so vital for the well-being and future of Russia, as well as salvation of the dynasty, requires extraordinary measures. As a loyal subject, I feel it my necessary duty of allegiance, and in the spirit of my oath, to beg Your Imperial Majesty on my knees to save Russia and your heir, being aware of your sacred feelings of love for Russia and for him. Make the sign of the cross and HAND OVER TO HIM YOUR HERITAGE. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY. I ardently pray god as never before in my life to sustain and guide you.
No one shall be punished outside of the law. All will be judged openly by their peers. My comrade soldiers and citizens - all proceedings of the new government will be published uncensored. See more
Soldiers, I beseech you to offer us assistance. A free Russia has been born, And no one will again prise this freedom from our grasp.
Do not heed the calls of the agents of the former power. Heed your officers. Long live free Russia!
We here in Zurich are in a state of agitation today: there is a telegram in Zürcher Post and in Neue Zürcher Zeitung of March 15 that in Russia the revolution was victorious in Petrograd on March 14 after three days of struggle, that 12 members of the Duma are in power and the ministers have all been arrested.
If the Germans are not lying, then it’s true.
That Russia has for the last few days been on the eve of revolution is beyond doubt.
I am beside myself that I cannot go to Scandinavia!! I will not forgive myself for not risking the journey in 1915!
Ilyich has not slept for days. This night he said: “You know, I can go with a passport of a mute Swede”. I laughed. “It is not going to work; you might start speaking in your sleep. If you dream of cadets, you will start mumbling: bastards, bastards. Everyone will find out that you are not a Swede.” In any case, the plan of travelling with a passport of some mute Swede was more realistic than flying over in some aeroplane. Ilyich wrote about his plan to Ganetsky in Sweden.
We arrived into Pskov. On the train station I was greeted by some colonel who asked me to proceed into the sovereign’s train car. I wanted to first meet general Ruzskiy to get a sense of the sentiment in Pskov. Me and Shulgin proceeded to the Czar’s train car.
At 10 o’clock in the evening we arrived. The train stopped. We went onto the platform. Bluish lanterns illuminated the rails. A few tracks down stood an illuminated train… We entered the railway carriage. It was a big dining carriage. Green silk on the walls. Several tables. The Emperor appeared in the doorway. He greeted us with an outstretched hand. Guchkov began to speak. He was very worried. See more
Guchvok spoke about what was happening in Petrograd. The Emperor looked straight ahead, calmly, completely impenetrable. The only thing that, it seemed to me, could be read from his face was: “This long speech is superfluous…”. The Emperor answered. After the worried words of A.I. his voice sounded calm, simple and precise. Only the accent was a bit alien - guards-like:“I decided to abdicate. Until three o’clock I thought I could abdicate in favour of my son, Alexei. But by this time I changed my mind in favour of my brother Mikhail. I hope you understand a father’s feelings.” The last phrase he said more quietly. We agreed, if you could call it an agreement. Guchkov gave the Emperor a “draft”. The Emperor took it and went out.
After a while the Emperor entered again. He handed Guchkov a paper, saying “Here is the text.” I began to run over the text with my eyes, and something else squeezed my heart, which, it seemed, had already lost the ability to feel anything during these days. The text was written in amazing words. How pathetic, it seemed to me, the draft that we had brought with us. The Emperor brought the draft too and put it on the table.
There was nothing to add to the text of renunciation. In all of this terror for a moment a single ray of light broke through. I suddenly felt that from this moment on the life of the Emperor was in safe hands. Half of the thorns that were stuck in the hearts of his subjects were torn out by this piece of paper. So noble were these farewell words. And so it felt that he, just like us, and maybe even more, loves Russia.
In these days of terrible struggle against the foreign enemy who has been trying for three years to impose his will upon Our Fatherland, God has willed that Russia should be faced with a new and formidable trial. Troubles at home threaten to have a fatal effect on the ultimate course of this hard-fought war. The destinies of Russia, the honour of Our heroic army, the welfare of the nation and the whole future of our dear country require that the war shall be continued, cost what it may, to a victorious end. See more
Our cruel enemy is making his final effort and the day is at hand when our brave army, with the help of our glorious allies, will overthrow him once and for all.
At this moment, a moment so decisive for the existence of Russia, Our conscience bids Us to facilitate the closest union of Our subjects and the organisation of all their forces for the speedy attainment of victory. For that reason We think it right - and the Imperial Duma shares Our view - to abdicate the crown of the Russian State and resign the supreme power.
As We do not desire to be separated from Our beloved son, We bequeath Our inheritance to Our brother, the Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich, and give him Our blessing on his accession to the throne. We ask him to govern in the closest concert with the representatives of the nation who sit in the legislative assemblies and to pledge them his inviolable oath in the name of the beloved country.
We appeal to all the loyal sons of Russia and ask them to do their patriotic and sacred duty by obeying their Tsar at this moment of painful national crisis and to help him and the repre sentatives of the nation to guide the Russian State into the path of prosperity and glory.
May God help Russia!
Thank you to the Petrogradians, they’ve made the Germans happy. Those wretched home-fronters who can’t get by without their comforts.