Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov
At the end of the 19th century, Russia was given a unique opportunity for new development through Russian Tsar Nikolai Romanov who came to power in 1894.
Nicholas II is a truly unique person and a ruler. He is a subtle intellectual and a person of spiritual integrity. His outstanding example of moral harmony is an example of extraordinary, high and integral love for God and Russia. Everything could be taken from him and he could be put through any trials but he could not be forced to betray God and his love for the Motherland.
The appearance of such a person on the Russian throne was totally unexpected to his contemporaries, who did not manage to appreciate him or understand him.
The personality of the last tsar appears again in the focus of public interest. The knowledge of his earthly path is necessary and important for anyone who wants to understand the Russian history as the history of the development of this nation and to understand “how it happened in the past” because without this it is impossible to understand “why it resulted in today's situation.”
“The fight for the Tsar” — the restoration of the truth about him — represents a struggle for Russia and for Russian culture because culture (and Russian culture in particular) in its highest level is a reflection of the relationship between man and God. And Nicholas II imprinted forever the clearest example of the profound understanding, devotion, and significance of this relationship.
Childhood and youth
The Emperor Alexander III and the Empress Maria Feodorovan with children. Tsarevich Nikolai stands behind his father.
Nikolai Alexandrovich Romanov was born on May 6, 1868, on the day when the Orthodox Church celebrates the memory of St. Job the Long-Suffering. He attached great importance to this coincidence, experiencing a “deep conviction” that in all of his life “he is doomed to terrible ordeals.”
Nikolai was the eldest son of five children in the family of Emperor Alexander III and Empress Maria Feodorovna; he was the heir to the Russian throne.
The upbringing and education of the Tsarevich Nikolai was led by the personal guidance of his father on the traditional religious basis and in spartan conditions. The father taught his son to sleep on ordinary soldier bunks with tough pillows, pour cold water in the morning, and have ordinary porridge for breakfast.
His training sessions were organized around a carefully designed program for thirteen years. The first eight years focused on subjects requiring physical exercise in a gymnasium course, with elementary studies of mineralogy, botany, zoology, anatomy, and physiology. Particular attention was given to studying political history and Russian literature, as well as learning French, English, and German which Nikolai perfected.
The next five years focused on studying the military affairs, law, and economics necessary for a statesman. The teaching of these sciences was provided by outstanding world-famous Russian scientists.
All the teachers noted the diligence and accuracy of their highborn student. He possessed a retentive memory and had an acute power of observation. He remembered forever what he once read or heard. The same referred to people, their names and positions.
At the end of the theoretical training, his father sent him for military training in order for the future Emperor to become acquainted with military life and the order of military service. The first two years, Nikolai served in the Preobrazhensky Regiment, and then two years he served in the cavalry Hussars and in the artillery.
Nikolai was a born officer. He followed the traditions of the officers and held sacred the military regulations and expected others to do the same. The Tsarevich Nikolai took his duties seriously and conscientiously, which made him very popular among the officers, fellow soldiers, and ordinary soldiers.
Nikolai Alexandrovich valued none of his titles more than the rank of Colonel, which he was given by his father at the end of his military service. He retained this military rank even when he was Chief of the army.
Alexander III acquainted his son with the governance of the country from his youth by inviting him to participate in the affairs of the State Council and the Committee of Ministers.
The program of education of the future tsar included numerous trips to various regions of Russia, which Nikolai made with his father.
In October 1890, at the age of 22, Tsarevich Nikolai began a long period of independent travelling for the first time. He travelled to Vladivostok by land and by sea, and he visited Austria, Greece, Egypt, India, Siam, China, and Japan. The journey, which lasted nine months, completed a thirteen-year educational course for the future Russian Emperor. This enabled the heir to establish private diplomatic relations with the ruling dynasties, both in the West and in the East, and to strengthen contacts between Russia and other countries.
Upon his return to the capital after a trip across Siberia, the Tsarevich was appointed the chairman of the Committee on the construction of the Siberian railway, whose task was not only the overall development of Siberia but also included Far Eastern possessions. Obviously, these questions had attracted his particular attention and were known to him firsthand. The future tsar had already formed an understanding of the importance of the development of this region.
At the end of 1892, the heir became the chairman of the special Committee on the delivery of aid to the population in the provinces affected by the crop failure. This Committee collected donations of more then13 million rubles, of which Nikolai Alexandrovich himself donated five million gold rubles out of his inheritance to help the starving people.
The accession to the Throne
Nicholas II ascended to the throne earlier than expected as a result of the premature death of his father.
The Emperor was hardly known in Russia at the time of His accession to the throne. Of course everyone knew that he was 26 years old and that by his height and complexion he took after his mother Empress Maria Feodorovna rather than his father; that he had the rank of Colonel in the Russian army; that he travelled around Asia which was unusual for that time; and that he was subjected to an attempt by an Asian fanatic in Japan. Everyone also knew that he was engaged to Princess Alix of Hesse, granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and that his bride arrived to Livadia before the death of the Emperor Alexander III. Yet, the character of the new Monarch remained unclear for society.
The interaction with the young tsar was an unexpected revelation for many people. Nicholas II was able to quickly recover from the initial confusion and began to institute an independent policy that caused resentment from part of the people in his environment who expected to influence the young governor.
The basis of the state policy of Nicholas II was a continuation of his father's desire “to give Russia greater internal unity through the strengthening of Russian elements in the country.”
The reign of Nicholas II was a continuation of what was claimed by Field Marshal Munnich in 1765: “Russian state has the advantage over the other, that it is controlled directly by God, otherwise it is impossible to understand how it exists.”
Coronation: the Khodynka tragedy
According to the laws of the Russian Empire, the tsar became the ruler as soon as his predecessor died. It was his earthly designation. But there was also the sacred law. It entered into force after the act of anointing, when the ruler prayed to God at the altar asking God to reveal to him wisdom in the governance of the empire. It is then that the tsar received the highest blessings. Therefore, the coronation was a great national event that took place one or two years after the accession to the throne, and everyone always prepared for this day for that long.
The coronation of the Tsar Nicholas II took place at the Assumption Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin on May 14, 1896.
From that exclusive and glorious moment, the Emperor felt himself to be the true anointed of God and the rite of coronation was full of deep meaning for him. The tsar wrote in his diary: “Everything that happened in the Assumption Cathedral, though it seems a real dream, but it will not be forgotten all my life.” Nicholas II, being “betrothed” to Russia from his childhood, “married” it on that day.
On the fourth day after the coronation, according to the tradition, the festivities for the people should be held and huge tables were set at the Moscow city walls, at the Khodynka Field. The townspeople and peasants were invited to the lavish holiday meal as guests of the Emperor, and then they were dancing and singing in a meadow the whole day. The tsar and his family were to arrive in the afternoon to participate in the festival. Early in the morning, before the dawn, more than half a million people gathered at the Khodynka. Someone passed a rumor that presents will be given away but there would not be enough of them for everyone. People rushed forward and began to trample each other. There arose a savage panic, thousands of people were maimed, and many were crushed to death. The police were powerless over such crowds of people.
Nikolai Alexandrovich and his wife Alexandra Feodorovna were deeply upset over the incident. Their first impulsion was to cancel the coronation ball, which was planned to take place at the French Envoy, and their feelings were also applicable to all the other festivities. However, the tsar is a pawn of etiquette and protocol. The Emperor was told that the cancellation of the festivities would be an insult from the diplomatic point of view, and that the ball in honor of the coronation is necessary to strengthen the relations between the states. Nikolai Alexandrovich reluctantly agreed, yet he, Alexandra Feodorovna, and the entire Royal family spent the whole day in Moscow hospitals visiting the wounded people, many of whom felt stressed and tearfully begged the tsar to forgive the “mindless” ones who spoiled the festival.
Nikolai Alexandrovich did not blame ordinary people. He ordered the paying of 1,000 rubles (quite a considerable sum in those days) to each family of those deceased on the Khodynka Field, and granted personal pensions to the families of those killed and maimed. He also established a special shelter for orphaned children; and all funeral expenses were financed by him.
A thorough investigation of the events was launched and perpetrators of the tragedy were punished.
Personality of the Emperor
There is much evidence from contemporaries of Nicholas II, diary entries and extensive correspondence of the tsar, that show us a person with a strong spirit, wonderful spiritual qualities, and certain character traits necessary for the ruler.
Nicholas II had an exceptional composure and was extremely persistent and internally unwavering. The degree of his self-control can be judged from the fact that he was never seen violently angry or emotionally joyful, or even in a state of heightened excitation.
Once, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, S. D. Sazonov, expressed his surprise at the calm reaction of the Emperor against a morally unattractive person and the absence of any personal annoyance toward him from the Emperor. The Emperor replied to him, “I have already managed to make this string of my personal irritation completely silent long ago. Irritability cannot be helpful in anything and also the harsh word from me would sound more offensive than from someone else.”
German diplomat Count Rex considered the tsar to be a man spiritually gifted, with a noble way of thinking, prudence, and tact. The diplomat wrote: “His manners are so humble and he manifests external determination so slightly that it is easy to conclude that he lacks strong will; but the people surrounding him assure that he possesses a quite certain will so that he can implement by the most peaceful way.”
In his memoirs, the former President of the French Republic, Emile Loubet, wrote the following about Nicholas II: “Everyone talks about the Russian Emperor and says that he is vulnerable to different influences. It is deeply wrong. The Russian Emperor himself implements his ideas. He protects them with perseverance and great power. He has maturely prudent and thoroughly developed plans. He works constantly to implement them.”
Nicholas's persevering and tireless will in carrying out his plans was mentioned by the majority of people who knew the tsar. As long as the plan was not carried out, the tsar kept coming back to it, to achieve the goal. Historian S.S. Oldenburg wrote about it: “the Sovereign had an iron hand in a velvet glove. His will was not like a thunderbolt. It was not manifested with explosions or stormy clashes; rather it resembled a steady stream running from the mountain heights to the plains of the ocean. It encircles the obstacles and turns them aside, but in the end with unwavering constancy it is nearing its goal.”
Another quality of the tsar necessary for the governmental activity was that he possessed enormous working capacity. Whenever necessary, he could work from morning to late night, reading numerous documents and other materials submitted to him. He saw this as both burdensome and interesting, occupying the main performance of his duty, and did not deviate from it. “I shall never allow myself to go to bed,” the Emperor said, “until I have completely cleared my desk.”
With a lively mind and broad horizons, the tsar quickly grasped the essence of the issues. His exceptional memory helped him not only to remember the events and the main ideas of the documents but also keep in mind the faces of most of the people with whom he consorted, and these were thousands of people.
Being a prime example of gentleness and responsiveness to the needs of others, the tsar brought up his children in the same spirit. “The higher the person's position is in society,” he said, “the more he should help others, never reminding them of your position.”
Many historians and statesmen point out the extraordinary personal charm of Nicholas II. He was not fond of celebrations, loud speeches, and etiquette; to him this was a burden. He did not like the phony, artificial, and all the broadcast advertising. In a close circle, in eye-to-eye conversations, he was able to enchant speakers, whether they were high officials or visiting workers in the workshops. His large, gray, shining eyes complemented his speech, looking straight into the soul. These natural facts were even more emphasized through his careful upbringing.
The Emperor was characterized by a deep sense of responsibility and duty to Russia and the people. Already in the early years of his reign, Nicholas II ascertained the absence of these qualities in many people who, when taking important positions, gave the oath and promised to serve “His Imperial Majesty to the last drop of blood.” However, they resigned when there were problems or difficulties.
The Emperor and Empress lived their lives with humility and brought forward diligence in prayer, which was rare for that time period. They took a vital part in the development of Russian sanctity.
The personality of Nicholas II played a huge role in Church life in Russia, much more than the role of his Royal predecessors. The deep faith of the tsar and his constant pilgrimages to holy places brought him closer to the indigenous Russian people. During the reign of Nicholas II, there were more saints canonized than for the whole 19th century. The most famous case is the canonization of St. Seraphim of Sarov. Thousands of new churches were built. The number of monasteries increased from 774 in the beginning of his reign to 1005 in 1912.
Historian S. Oldenburg writes: “Faith in God and the duty of serving as the tsar were the basis for all the views of Emperor Nicholas II. He believed that the responsibility for the fate of Russia lies on him, and that he is responsible for them before the Throne of God.”
The Emperor once said about himself: “If you see me in such a calm state, it is because I have an unshakable faith that the fate of Russia, my own fate, and the fate of my family are in the Lord's hands. Whatever happens, I will bow to His will.”
For the benefit of the people
The identity of any statesman is revealed in his ideas and actions. During the reign of Nicholas II, Russia was being transformed into a major agro-industrial empire. Dynamic changes were taking place in all areas of life: economic, social, and cultural. The following sections describe two areas of activity for the Emperor.
The idea of universal peace.
The idea of general and complete disarmament belongs to Nicholas II. This historical initiative alone offers him the right to immortality.
In the summer of 1898, by the order of the tsar, an appeal was issued to all countries of the world. It stated particularly: “To put an end to those ceaseless armaments and to find means for preventing the calamities which threaten the entire world; such is the supreme duty which today lies upon all states.”
Russia had pursued the proposal to convene a general peace conference. Much work had been carried out for the organization of the conference. However, the political thinking of the majority of government officials of the countries that participated in the peace conference was connected with the doctrine of the inevitability of wars and military confrontation. The main proposals of Nicholas II were not adopted, although there was progress on some issues, namely, the prohibition to use the most barbarous methods of warfare, and the institution of the permanent court for peaceful resolution of disputes through mediation and arbitration. The latter institution has become the prototype of the League of Nations and the United Nations.
The fight against alcoholism.
From his youth, the Emperor was imbued with the belief that drunkenness is a vice dividing the Russian people, and that it is the duty of the tsar’s authorities to join the fight against this disease. At the end of the 19th century, the tsar began to carry out reforms aimed at the eradication of alcoholism.
The so-called “guardianships of national sobriety” were established for this purpose. The purpose of these societies was “the fight against alcoholism, the spread of Christian morality, and piety among the military ranks.”
The guardianships included representatives of the clergy, administrative and judicial authorities, public institutions, and private individuals. The guardianships were given cash grants from the Treasury for the implementation of its tasks.
The Emperor paid special attention to sobriety in the army.
At the end of 1908, vodka was outlawed in the army. Vodka was replaced by a light grape wine under the orders of military institution.
In 1914, shortly before the outbreak of the First World War, a new order called “Measures against the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the army” came into force. A strict prohibition was being established in the armed forces.
In no country, neither before nor after 1914, had such a drastic measure been taken against alcoholism. It was a grandiose, unprecedented experience.
In January 1915, the State Duma (elected legislative assembly) approved without objection the budget for that year, which did not include income from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
The burden of the Monarch
Since 1904, Nikolai II rarely had a day when there was a reason to rejoice.
In February, the war between Russia and Japan for control of Manchuria and Korea began. The Russian army suffered heavy losses.
At first, the war had united all parties, all the people, but as soon as the reports from the front about the failures were received, the situation began to change. All, almost without exception, began to complain and demand changes.
The tsar often thought about the introduction of the Constitution and came to the conclusion: “With the low culture of the people, with our suburbs, with the Jewish question, etc., it is only the monarchy that can save Russia. The peasant won't understand a constitution, but he will understand only one thing: that the tsar's hands have been tied.”
On January 9, 1905, the massacre known as “Bloody Sunday” took place in St. Petersburg. Although the tsar was not informed of the events in a timely manner, he did not wish to throw off his responsibility to others. He instructed the Ministers to gather a delegation of workers from various factories, which he received on January 19th in Tsarskoe Selo, and expressed his attitude to the past events in his speech. “You allowed yourselves to be drawn into error and deception by traitors and enemies of our Motherland,” said the tsar. “The strikes and rebellious gatherings only excite the crowd into riots, that always forced and will force the government to resort to military options, and this inevitably causes innocent victims. I know that the life of a worker is not easy. Much should be improved and sorted out. But to announce your needs to me through a mutinous crowd is criminal.”
At the same time, the Emperor ordered payment of 50,000 rubles for benefits to the families who suffered on January 9th.
Demonstration On October 17, 1905 (Ilya Repin)
Another event that shocked the Emperor happened in summer. The sailors on the battleship Knyaz Potemkin-Tavricheskiy rebelled. The sailors attacked the officers, gained control of the ship, and threatened riots in the town.
The public figures openly pleaded for a constitution and soon a delegation from the liberal circles presented their demands to the tsar. By this time, the monarch was ready for the introduction of the representative body through elections. He addressed to the delegation with the words: “I deplored and I deplore the disasters that the war brought to Russia, and which should be anticipated, and all our internal troubles. Leave all doubts: my will — the will of the tsar to summon elected representatives from the people is adamant. Let there be, as it was in past times, the unity between the tsar and the whole Russia, the communication between me and the rural people, which will form the basis of the order that will meet original Russian principles. I hope you will support me in this work.” The Manifesto of October 17, 1905, was the expression of the Royal decision.
The elections to the First State Duma took place in March, 1906. The new edition of the “Fundamental laws of the Russian Empire” did not have the provisions that the privileges of the Autocrat are unrestricted. No draft law developed by the government could become the law without the approval of the Duma and the State Council. “I clearly realize that I create not an assistant for myself but an enemy,” said the tsar to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Sergei Y. Witte, “but I take consolation in thinking that I will manage to raise the state power, which will be useful to provide the path of peaceful development for Russia in the future without a drastic breach of the principles on which the country has been living for so long.” These hopes did not come true.
When Austria-Hungary declared war against Serbia in 1914, Russia stood up for this small Slavic nation. Thus, the First World War began.
The beginning of the war brought successes to the Russians at the front, and the country was gripped by patriotic fervor.
Soon, however, the Russian offensive stopped, and the losses from their side began to rise. Further unrest started at the social summit, both at Headquarters and in the capital. The revolutionaries used the failures at the front in order to disseminate their propaganda at the front and in the rear. The Germans quickly moved to the center of Russia. In these conditions, wishing to uplift the troops’ spirits, the Emperor assumed the supreme command and moved to Headquarters deployed at Mogilev. Tsarevich Alexis went with him to the front. The enormous efforts to strengthen the army and improve the situation at the front were required. In 1916, the “deceased” Russian army responded with heavy cannonade and the greatest offensive.
The Emperor and his entourage in the area of hostilities, 1915.
The military Minister of England, Winston Churchill, noted the progress of Russia. He wrote: “Few episodes of the Great War are more impressive than the resuscitation, re-equipment, and renewed giant effort of Russia in 1916. By the summer of 1916, Russia, which eighteen months before had been almost disarmed and which during 1915 had sustained an unbroken series of frightful defeats, had actually managed, by her own efforts and the resources of her allies, to place in the field — organized, armed, and equipped — sixty Army Corps in place of the thirty- five with which she began the war.”
General N. A. Lokhvitskiy wrote about this: “It took nine years for Peter the Great to turn the defeated in Narva into the winners in Poltava. The last Supreme Commander of the Imperial Army, Emperor Nicholas II, did the same great job during a year and a half. But his work was also appreciated by the enemies, and between the Emperor with his Army and victory stood a revolution.”
“The most difficult and most forgotten heroic act of Emperor Nicholas II,” stated S.S. Oldenburg, “was that he, despite incredibly harsh conditions has brought Russia to the threshold of victory: his opponents did not let her step over that threshold.”
The events directly related to the tsar’s abdication began in February 14, 1917, when crowds of people who were dissatisfied with the paucity of life in wartime went out into the streets of Petrograd with the slogans “Down with the war!” and “Long live the Republic!” The people demanded bread that with criminal intent was not being delivered in the city nor sold in the bread shops. The stirred up populace was engaged in ransacking and looting the bread stores, and beating up and killing the police officers. The police were unable to stop the riots on their own. There was a public revolt.
Prior to that time, the Emperor Nicholas Alexandrovich could not be reproached for indecisiveness, but in those mutinous days the severity of his orders for the suppression of the traitorous revolt in the capital was truly dictatorial. He gave the orders to send some of the troops brought in from the front to Petrograd to suppress the rebellion, and he signed a Decree on the cessation of the work of the State Duma and the State Council.
The tsar’s design was to concentrate all the power in his own hands and the hands of his government, supported by the army that was loyal to the tsar.
But events developed contrary to the tsar’s will. His orders were not followed. The generals did not lead the corps into St. Petersburg. The soldiers from the St. Petersburg reserve regiments were dissuaded by the rebels, and they refused to obey the officers. The Duma resisted the Emperor’s decree and organized an interim government. The conspiracy was supported by the generals from Headquarters and the high command of the fronts, who requested the Commander-in-Chief “with persistent advice to abdicate the Throne for the good of Russia and victory over the enemy.” The Imperial train was forcibly turned from the Mogilev station to the Pskov station with the symbolic name “Dno” (Bottom). In fact, since February 28th, the Emperor was blocked by conspirators in his train.
On March 1, 1917, the tsar remained alone, practically imprisoned in the train, betrayed and abandoned by his subjects, and separated from his family who waited and prayed for him at Tsarskoye Selo. “I am surrounded by betrayal, cowardice and lies,” wrote Nikolai Alexandrovich in his diary.
There were no people around who were loyal to the oath and the tsar. All those who were close to the tsar showed themselves to be traitors — from the common servicemen of the Petersburg reserve regiments to the chief commanders of the fronts, and to the nearest relatives — the Grand Dukes. No one wanted to bear the burden of power with him in order to keep Russia on the edge of the yawning abyss.
The tsar was assured that only his abdication from the throne could save Russia. And in the face of such betrayal, the Emperor sacrificed himself, heeding these voices. After a fervent prayer in front of an icon during the night, he abdicated the throne; this took place on March 2nd. He sent a telegram to the Chairman of the Duma: “There is no sacrifice that I would not make for the true good and salvation of Russia. For this reason I am ready to abdicate the throne.”
Thus, under such conditions there appeared a document that was falsely called the “Manifesto of Abdication of Nicholas II,” and in the March newspapers of 1917, it was published with this false heading. In reality, it was only a telegram from the tsar to Headquarters, to staff commander Alekseev, and it was signed by the tsar with a pencil.
The telegram from the tsar to Headquarters was his last appeal to the Army. Only a few of the commanders took it as a call for help from the tsar and were ready to rush to his rescue.
The most important thing that the Emperor Nicholas II kept in his heart forever is the faith in God`s Providence and devotion to the Motherland. “I have a firm and absolute conviction that the fate of Russia — that my own fate and that of my family — is in the hands of God, who has placed me where I am. Whatever may happen to me, I shall bow to His will, with the consciousness of never having had any thought other than that of serving the country which He had entrusted to me.”
It was not the tsar that had abdicated the Throne. It was Russia that abdicated the tsar.
A farewell to the troops
General N. M. Timenew left a heartfelt description of the farewell of Nicholas II with the officials of Headquarters, the soldiers and officers of the convoy that took place in the headquarters building before the tsar's departure from Mogilev.
“The Emperor had appeared in the doorway at exactly 11 o’clock... Only one George Cross hung on his chest, brightly white against a dark background of the Chokha. He was holding his left hand with the Cossack hat in it, on the hilt of his sword. His right hand was down and was markedly shaking...
The Emperor... began to speak... He was speaking with a loud and clear voice, very descriptive, however, with much excitement and with the pauses between the parts of the sentences. His right hand was shaking hard all the time. The Emperor began to speak, ‘Today I am addressing you for the last time, this is the will of God and the consequences of my decision.’
He further reminded all those present of their duty to the Motherland and urged them to unite and defeat the terrible enemy, and to serve honestly and faithfully to the Interim Government.
The tsar finished his speech... I have never seen such a deep, complete and dead silence in the room, filled with several hundred people. He bowed to us, and he turned and went to the place where Alekseev stood. From there he began to go around the people present. Extending his hand to the senior generals and bowing to another, and speaking a few words to someone, he was approaching my place. When he was few steps away from me, the tension of the audience gathered all the time, had finally eased.
Somebody had sobbed convulsively behind the Emperor. That was enough for sobbing, which the people have been obviously unable to stop, to raise in many places at once. Many were simply crying and wiping... However, he continued to round... Approaching the officers of his escort, he did not give his hand to anyone, maybe because he saw them separately in the morning; but he shook hands with all the officers of the St. George battalion, who had just returned from an expedition to Petrograd. The convulsive sobbing and crying still continued. The officers of the St. George battalion — the people, who for the most part were wounded several times — had broken down; two of them fainted. At the other end of the room, someone from the escort of soldiers collapsed...”
Even when the defeated tsar had left the Headquarters building and was going to the car, many hundreds of convoy and soldiers had dropped to their knees, sobbing loudly. The soldiers were saying goodbye to their tsar.
That was the visible moment of unity, which has always been the subject of sarcastic ridicule in a secular society. Its authenticity was not recognized by anyone from the “heroes of February,” and many officials did not believe in this mystical commonality. When General M. V. Alekseev saw this pathetic sight, he stood spellbound...
On that last day at Headquarters, tears were seen many times on the tsar's face. In the evening, he wrote in his diary, “My heart, it was exploding!”
The final path
However, after the abdication everything turned out contrary to what the opposition was expecting — the people began to fall prey to their most base passions, moral decay set in, and with unbridled speed Russia rushed towards destruction. There was no immediate external benefit from the abdication. The tsar had been the mystic principle that had restrained the forces of evil, and now nothing prevented them from penetrating into the world.
The Royal couple, 1917
The new tests began for the Royal family with the signing of the abdication. The tsar and his entourage were kept under guard at Tsarskoye Selo. They were subjected to humiliation and mockery from the guards and the other new people who now surrounded them. On July 31st, they were taken from their Palace and sent to Siberia.
On August 6th, the Royal family arrived in Tobolsk on the ship Rus. “My heart bleeds inexpressibly for the dear homeland,” — these were the words of the Empress in a private letter describing the inner state of the entire family. But, its members were cheerful: they were fortified by their faith and God's Providence.
In the spring of 1918, the Royal family was parted. A commissar from the Bolsheviks arrived in Moscow and announced to the tsar that he would be taken away. Alexandra Feodorovna decided to accompany her husband despite great inner agony, since she would be forced to part from the sick Tsarevich Alexis. Tsarevna Maria went along with her parents. This separation was a torment for the entire family.
The Royal couple was detained by the Bolsheviks in Yekaterinburg. In early May, the other members of the family had come here along with several loyal servants. They were tormented with increasing subtlety, but even among the brutal guards there were those who bowed down before their Christian meekness and humility.
The martyrs had two and a half months to live. The time was nearing the fulfillment of the prediction of the monk Abel,  which the tsar discovered as early as 1901.
The Commission of the Interim Government, created to detect the evidence of “anti-people activities of the tsar,” found nothing incriminating the tsar. The chief investigator V. M. Rudnev finished his report with the words: “the Emperor is as pure as crystal.”
* * *
Could the tsar leave Russia and thus save his family like many of his senior subjects did?
Nicholas II himself provided an answer to this question. On the proposal of Colonel A. A. Mordvinov to go abroad soon, the Emperor said: “No, never. I would not want to leave Russia, I love her too much. It would be too hard for me abroad.” A few months later, in exile, suffering from humiliation and the mockery of the guards, he was still confident that “in such hard time no Russian should leave Russia.”
When the Emperor became aware that under the terms of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty the Germans demanded that the Royal family should be given to them safe and sound, according to P. Gilliard, he considered it as an insult, not help. And Alexandra Feodorovna added softly, “After what they have done to the Emperor, I prefer to die in Russia rather than to be saved by the Germans!”
It would seem that the Empress could wish only one thing: to escape from prison and go far away from Russia. However, in her letters to Anna Vyrubova she expressed quite different thoughts, “Lord, how I love my Motherland despite all its flaws! It is much nearer and dearer to me than any other things, and I praise the Lord daily that we have been left here and have not been sent away. How happy I am that we are not abroad, and we are experiencing all with it [the Motherland]. As we want to share everything with our lovely sick person, to survive everything together and look after with love and excitement, the same is true for the Motherland.”
The children also could not imagine their life without Russia, and they shared both joy and unhappiness with the people. They knew not only the bright side of life in the Royal chambers, but also they had to see blood, tears, suffering, death, injustice, and human callousness.
In wartime, Alexandra Feodorovna wrote to her husband, “Our girls have gone through heavy courses for their age and their souls have been much evolved... They shared all our emotion and this taught them to look at people with open eyes, so it will help them in later life. We are one, and this, alas, is so rare today.”
They always were one, even when they had to part in connection with state affairs and military actions. Could Alexandra Feodorovna leave her husband and her Motherland, whom she loved wholeheartedly and go with children abroad? Could the Emperor leave the country? He remained the captain who did not leave the sinking ship. He remained the Emperor, the father of his people who did not leave his large family. And his family stayed with him until the end.
In those days, when painfully thinking about the possibility of abdication for the sake of his people, the Emperor said, “Maybe the redemptive sacrifice is necessary for the salvation of Russia. I shall be that sacrifice. Let God`s Will be done!” And he sacrificed all the dearest he had — his family and his life.
Nicholas II and the Royal family drank the bitter cup of their earthly destiny to the dregs. They experienced inconceivable and unbelievable misfortunes and disillusions on Earth, and even their most bitter enemies would not have anything to add. According to ordinary human standards, the measure of trials experienced by them is unlikely and unbelievable.
You must oust all the darkness out of Russia
with the might of your hearts and with your own example
Ascended Master Nicholas,
April 24, 2005
I AM Ascended Master Nicholas. You know me. I AM the Russian Tsar Nicholas the Second, Romanov, now Ascended Master Nicholas.
I am very excited about today’s meeting and the opportunity to address you and everybody living in Russia and in the countries that were also called Russia not long ago.
My eyes are filled with tears while I am speaking. I want to say so much. But I want to say the most important things that you need to know at this historical moment. You do not see these things, but they are really taking place at the higher plane over Russia now.
A great number of Divine forces have concentrated their constructive efforts over this country now. An enormous power has been focused in the Heavens over Russia. And we are ready to act. Everything has been prepared; the final preparations have been completed. The Divine opportunity, the Divine plan for Russia is ready to descend into the physical plane.
Oh, this is an utterly grandiose plan! And all we need now is your help in leading this plan downwards into the physical plane. You know that in order to do this we need to have a certain number of embodied individuals, utterly and completely devoted to us and to the Will of God.
We realize how hard it is for you to withstand such a frenzied pressure of the forces who anticipate their end and thus act, showing their hands, not in the least bothering to screen their shameless actions with a mere cover of ideology or any other disguise of their shamelessness.
This is how a mortally wounded beast would behave, anticipating its near death and being ready to crush and smash everything on its way in a mad fury caused by powerlessness.
The powers ruling in Russia now are similar to such a mortally wounded beast, and it seems that nothing can stop them or bring them to reason. However, there is God’s plan for this country, and it will be implemented. A postponement of several decades or even a whole century is nothing but an insignificant historical period. You know that many members of my family and I were embodied with this dignified mission at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
But the beast was still very powerful at that time. And he found support from the people of Russia, enjoying their ignorance. Ignorance is the precise disadvantage that allows the most malicious forces to act on this planet. An ignorant person becomes a blind tool in the hands of dark forces.
I was so sorry to realize my powerlessness during the period of my abdication and the subsequent dishonorable arrest and being taken into custody. I love Russia. I love Russia with all my heart, with all my being. And I was ready to sacrifice my family and myself in order to give the people of this country an opportunity to receive their chance for the radiant future.
You know that I was aware of my destiny, of that impending martyrdom of my children and me. There were many ways of saving my life and escaping to other countries. I rejected all of them.
I took this cross upon myself sensibly, accepted this crucifixion on the cross. The hardest task was to overcome the resistance of that part of me that was trying to save the children at any cost. But I sacrificed my children exactly as Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son. Until the very last moment I hoped that God would divert the hand of fate, if not from me, then at least from my children. But no. The terrible happening took place.
The blessed innocents were committed to the martyrdom. And this moment served as a signal for the most malicious forces of darkness to creep out of their corners and rush for power. All the dark forces emerged into the light. Everything that was earlier trying to keep up appearances and hiding in the corners crept out to the light. It was an orgy of evil spirits. And this orgy has been continuing up to now. And if earlier they covered themselves with an ideological disguise, pretending to care about the needs of the people, now they do not bother themselves with any justifications of their lawless actions.
It is sad to watch the things happening in Russia. But you know that when a disease is driven inside, it undermines the organism unnoticeably until it is absolutely weak and dies.
In Russia, all the evil forces and all the diseases came to the light. And Russia has been in a fever for more than a century already. But I believe in the might of this country, I believe in its people, and I know that sooner or later the disease will be eradicated.
Before God gives this country a new opportunity, it must go through the catharsis, a process of its freeing. This freeing must be followed by repentance, and only after that a radiant path will be revealed before the peoples of Russia.
I could have resisted. I could have saved my family and all of us could have stayed alive. But what was the point of my life without Russia? My choice was to flee from the fighting and violence. I chose the path of Christ and allowed them to crucify me and all my family.
I became an Ascended Master; I obtained my ascension. But my children, my daughters, are still in embodiment. Two of them have become Messengers of the Great White Brotherhood. One is in the American territory, and the other is in Russia.
But if my life could be lived through anew I would choose the crucifixion for my family and myself yet again.
You know that Jesus, by his martyrdom, took upon himself the karma of mankind. He suffered for the people’s sins. All the saints at all times took upon themselves the sins of mankind, a part of planetary karma, so as to lighten the burden and to let mankind draw itself up to its full height and look up at the Heavens.
Now it is your turn. The responsibility for the future of Russia and for the whole planet lies on you, people who are embodied now, because Russia is to show the path to all the other countries in accordance with the plan of God.
I am trying to show you your present situation just as I see it from my ascended state of consciousness. And I see that there is not much time left to wait. But it is now that you will need all your efforts as never before.
Everything has mixed up in Russia. The grains have mixed with the weeds. Everything has turned into a medley as if deliberately. The huge beast has mixed up everything on his way and goes on crushing. However, everything has appeared in sight now and you have an opportunity to judge by the fruits. Now you can see who is who.
I ask you to give up fighting. Follow the path Jesus showed you and the path I chose in my last incarnation. Your task is to give up violence. You must oust all the darkness out of Russia with the might of your hearts and with your own example. Each of you must turn into a gigantic creator of Good and Light. And there will be no place for the forces of darkness near you.
Let them flee from Russia. Let them take all the riches they have stolen and go away. God will never leave Russia as long as there is at least one saint in embodiment there. But now there are an unprecedented number of saints staying in embodiment.
Remember that even when you sustain an apparent defeat in the physical plane you gain overwhelming victories in the higher plane. You are immortal. And you just affirm Life by sacrificing your physical body. You affirm the principles of Good and Light on this planet.
Do augment the Light! Perform good things! You will be persecuted. You will be humiliated by destitution.
I beg you to endure all this, just as you have been enduring for the entire difficult history of this country. There is not much time left, beloved. Be patient for a while. The time has changed, and I see from the level of my ascended state those things that you cannot see with your eyes.
I tell you, Russia is a great country. Its might is concentrated in the higher plane now.
You know that God’s plan will be implemented in spite of any resistance of the dark forces. No matter how long the wounded beast will rage, the end is predetermined already.
There is not much time left to wait. Be patient, beloved. I will render help to you. I will render you all the help that I will be allowed to give. Apply to me for help in your prayers. And let your hearts be filled with joy in anticipation of the near great victory!
I AM Master Nicholas,
and I am with each of the light-bearers of Russia.