PHOTO: Revolutionaries burning a portrait of Nicholas II on 5th March 1917
Artist: Ivan Alekseevich Vladimirov (1869-1947)
On 23rd February (O.S.) 1917, workers unrest and mass demonstrations began in the capital of the Russian Empire, Petrograd. Thus began the February Revolution, which brought an end to the monarchy and lead the country into chaos.
On 2nd March (O.S.) 1917, Russia’s last emperor Nicholas II, betrayed by the elites, members of his inner circle, generals and even members of his own family abdicated the throne. Although historians continue to argue about the authenticity of the renunciation manifesto, it was then, at the Pskov railway station, that the Imperial Family’s journey to Golgotha began.
On the recent 104th anniversary of the events which proved fatal for Russia, Metropolitan of Pskov Tikhon (Shevkunov)¹ talked about the drama and lies of the Russian Revolution during a discussion on the YouTube channel “Seraphim”.
Metropolitan Tikhon said that the last Russian emperor Nicholas II was responsible for the February Revolution of 1917, since he was the supreme ruler of the country and failed to discern the impending threat.
“The first person is always to blame for the troubles that befall the country. Always!” – said Tikhon. He explained that Nicholas II was glorified in the person of the saints in a special way – as a passion-bearer², in connection with the tragic circumstances of the deaths of the Imperial family.
At the same time, Tikhon recalled an article by Winston Churchill (1874-1965) in the Illustrated Sunday Herald about the revolutionary events in Russia, where the British politician spoke positively about Nicholas II and emphasized the inevitability of the victory of the Russian Empire in World War I, if not for the revolutionary events.
PHOTO: Metropolitan of Pskov Tikhon (Shevkunov)
“Nicholas II was one of the most successful and yet one of the most tragic leaders of our state,” said Metropolitan Tikhon, referring to the rapid growth of the empire’s population, the economic and industrial boom during the reign of the last emperor. “This is evidence of his caring for the Russian people and the ever-increasing standard of living,” he added.
According to Metropolitan Tikhon, during his 22 year reign, although he was a decent and even selfless person, Nicholas II “bored” Russian society, and “could not see the terrible situation which was developing”. He went on to say that “the aristocratic and noble monarchy,” played a fatal role in the fate of the Russian Empire.
¹ Tikhon is the Metropolitan of Pskov and Porkhov and Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church. He is often referred as the personal confessor of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
² Nicholas II was glorified as a saint by the ROCOR in 1981, and as a passion-bearer by the Moscow Patriarchate in 2000
© Paul Gilbert. 23 March 2021
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