Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Nicholas II The Last Tsar of Russia: His abdication and Assassination

Nicholas II, The Last Tsar of Russia: His abdication and Assassination
On the 15th of March in 1917, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was forced to abdicate the Russian throne.
Nicholas II was the last Tsar of Russia and was also known as Nicholas the Bloody, due to a strange ritual of covering himself with hedgehog blood before he defecated.
Although his name Nicholas the Bloody mainly referred to him killing anyone who had a bad word to say about him. Anyone who looked at him funny. And anyone who mocked his hedgehog-blood-defecation ritual. It included an awful lot of people. That hedgehog thing is just weird.
Nicholas abdicated after the February Revolution, held in 1917, in February. The February Revolution was followed later that year by a revolution in October, called, err, wait a minute, I always forget the name of that one. The October Revolution. Yes, The October Revolution.
Anyways, the February and October Revolutions brought with them the downfall of Nicholas II and three hundred years of Romanov rule.
It also led to the total reorganisation of Russia's social
structure which brought about the start of the Soviet Union.
After the February Revolution, Nicholas II had no choice but to abdicate. It was agreed that he would hand control over to his brother, Grand Duke Michael, who would become the next Emperor of Russia.
He didn't.
A provisional government was set up and America, being quite dead-set against Royalty, became the first foreign power to recognise the new regime.
Former Tsar-Nicholas II wanted to go into exile in the United Kingdom.
At first the British government was happy for the Not-Tsar-No-More to come live in Britain and offered him asylum. However, the offer of asylum was withdrawn after objections from King George V.
The King was worried, as were his personal advisors, including his private secretary, Lord Stamfordham, that the presence of the de-Tsar'd Nicholas could provoke an uprising, similar to the previous years' Easter Rising in Ireland.
No one else wanted Nicholas or his family, so they were shipped off to Tobolsk in the Urals. For a time, they lived in the former Governor's mansion in reasonable comfort.
Then came October. And the October Revolution. Which was in October.
The Bolsheviks took control and Lenin, not a beetle, ordered stricter controls on the living conditions the Romanovs.
On March 1st, 1918, Nicholas and his family were placed on a soldier's ration. Times were harsh, but Nicholas was under the belief there was a plot to rescue them and restore his family to power.
Oh boy, when you get it wrong, you really get it wrong.
Instead of being smuggled to safety, on the 30th of April, 1918, the Romanovs were transported to Yekaterinburg, and the House of Special Purpose."
At 2:00am on the 17th of July, 1918, Nicholas and his wife, Alexandra, and their son and four daughters, were woken by their guards.

"Get dressed," the guards told Nicholas and his family, "The Bolshevik forces are coming. We need to move you into the basement for your safety."
In the dim candlelit room, their breath visible in the air, the family dressed quickly.
"Daddy," his young son cried, shivering as he pulled on his coat. "What's happening?"
"Wrap yourself tight, Son, it'll be all right. These guards are going to protect us from the Bolsheviks."
Along with their doctor and three servants, who had chosen to remain with them, the Romanov family were taken downstairs to a half-basement at the back of the Ipatiev house.
They hurried along a corridor lit by three candles. As they passed a closed door, the young son of the Tsar paused, "What's in there?"
"Nothing," shouted a guard, and pushed him on.
Behind the door were seven Communist soldiers and three local Bolsheviks: a firing squad, preparing their weapons.
They arrived at the basement, Nicholas carrying his son in his arms.
"There are no chairs in here," the Empress complained.
Yurovsky, the commander of the local Bolsheviks, hated them. He hated them all. There was no place in Russia for people like this.

"Fetch them chairs," he snapped.
Two chairs were brought into the tiny room. The Empress Alexandra and her son, the heir to the Russian Empire, sat.
"Are you comfortable, Empress?" Yurovsky asked, his gruff voice expelling scorn with each carefully, spoken word.
"Yes, thank you for your kindne...."
"The Ural Soviet of Workers' Deputies has sentenced you to death."
The Tsar turned to him. Nothing made sense. "What? What?"
He then faced his family, his eyes showing the realisation of what was to come.
"The Ural Soviet of Workers' Deputies condemns you to death."
Yurovsky pulled out his revolver and shot Nicholas square in the chest as he reached out for his wife's hand. And then again and again.
The rest of the firing squad entered the room, pulled their own revolvers and began shooting at the Tsar's wife, his son, his daughters, and their servants.
The room filled with smoke.
The sisters - Anastasia, Tatiana, Olga, and Maria - had all survived the first volley. They had been wearing heavy clothing embroidered with diamonds and gems. It acted as a bullet-proof vest.
The guards pulled their bayonets and began stabbing the girls. Others jumped closer and shot them in their heads at point-blank range.
No one could survive such carnage.
They were dead. They were all dead.
Bonus Round
In 1979, the Bodies of Nicholas II, his wife, Alexandra, and three of their daughters were discovered by an amateur archaeologist Alexander Avdonin near Sverdlovsk, Yekateringburg.
They were identified in January 1998 as the Russian Tsar and his family. One of his daughters, and Alexei, his son, were not amongst the excavated bodies.
After all the tests were complete, the remains were transported to St. Petersburg.
Eighty years to the day after their executions, they were interned in the St. Peter and Paul Cathedral.
President Boris Yeltsin said, "Today is a historic day for Russia. For many years, we kept quiet about this monstrous crime, but the truth has to be spoken."
In July 2007, the bodies of a 13-year-old boy and a young woman, were found by Sergei Pogorelov, a member of an amateur history group.
On the 30th of April 2007, DNA tests proved the remains were of Alexei, the son and heir of Tsar Nicholas II, his sister Maria.
Nicholas II's grandfather, Alexander II, was also assassinated:

No comments: