I asked several young people about the revolution, how it all started. And their common opinion was that the dramatic turn in the Russian history happened in October 2017 when communists took power and overthrew the tzar governance. And I understood how strong the myth is!
Because actually by the time of the October revolution the Tzar (at that time the Emperor Nikolai II) was out of power for 8 months, the country was in chaos and disintegration. The governance was lying on the floor, and Bolsheviks led by Lenin, just picked it up.
Thus there were TWO Russian revolutions, and the first one happened right at the current dates, i.e at the end of February 2017.
By that time Russia was in the state of war for 2,5 years. Russian success in the war was variable, from very successful episodes to quite contrary. But in general situation was far from optimistic : a large part of Russian territory was occupied by the enemy. At the same time, Russia managed in general switch the economy to military needs and provide enough resources for the war. And situation in Germany was even worse: the country could hardly afford the war on two fronts. Thus, Nikolai II at the end of February went to the front to prepare a spring offensive campaign, which was supposed to be a dramatic change in the military situation. Russia was considered to be one step from victory, but she has never made the step.
On one hand, revolution came out of the sudden, both those who won and those who lost never expected it to happen that fast. It is obvious that tension in the society was growing for decades, but nobody guessed that collapse can come that quickly. Within 4 days the established rules were swept away by the force of the crowd. During that days no political force was directing the revolution, it was driven by Her Majesty Crowd-in-the-Street.
At this moment Tzar took a decision to abdicate in favor of his brother who refused to accept the throne. For me the decision is difficult to explain. It is obvious that Nikolai II was trying to gain a national consensus, it is obvious, that he was extremely family oriented. But this qualities, perfect for a common man, turned out to be fatal for a leader of the nation. It any case, the dynasty of Romanov’s which ruled the country for centuries was swept away in several days.
Liberal politicians were seeking power for decades, but when all of a sudden it fell into their hands, they turned out to be unaware what to do with it.
And the country started to be sinking into chaos. Army became unruled due to the decree that the main governing body in army is the elected council of soldiers which has the right to decide which orders should be fulfilled (imagine – in a state of active military operations!). Economy, finances were in a state of disorder. Parts of the country tended to split off. As put one of the leaders of the revolution who headed Petrograd Soviet in 1917, Nikolai Tcheidze: “instead of jumping into the kingdom of freedom, we have jumped into the kingdom of anarchy”.
In that situation Lenin took the power and managed by blood and terror put the country together. I am far from saying that communists were saint saviors of the country, especially because that conditions of the country was due to their efforts as well. But in any case the fact is, that without them the country could cease to exist back in 1918.
And then deja vu … Year 1991 … Liberal politicians not knowing what to do with the power which has fallen in their hands … Instead of jumping into the kingdom of freedom we have jumped in the kingdom of anarchy …
And again that awful SURPRISE: how quickly can collapse something what you consider to be stable, undestructible and adamant!
Do you still think that you live in a stable world?
You can read more in Wikipedia about Nikolai II https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_II_of_Russia and the February revolution https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/February_Revolution