Tsar Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias (1868 - 1918)
“What am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia?“
Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov was born on May 6, 1868, in the Alexander Palace in Tsarskoye Selo, south of St. Petersburg. He was the eldest son of his parents, Alexander Alexandrovich, the heir to the Russian throne, and Princess Dagmar of Denmark. Nicolas’s grandfather was the Tsar, Alexander II, known as the Liberator for emancipating Russia’s serfs in 1863. Their family, the Romanov dynasty, had ruled Russia for three hundred years. Nicholas would be the last emperor.
Unlike his soft-hearted, liberal grandfather, Nicholas’s father was a reactionary, whose conservative and religious values strongly influenced Nicholas’s beliefs. In 1891, Nicholas’s father acceded to the throne when Alexander II was murdered by an anarchist revolutionary. This murder convinced both Alexander III, and his son, against offering further reforms. Yet Nicholas’s education did not prepare him at all for his future role as Russian emperor.
Although he had a close relationship with his mother, Nicholas’s father believed his son to be silly and weak. Tsar Alexander III was a very strong ruler and saw no need to share a job with his uninterested heir. He refused to let him participate in any affairs of state; once, when Nicholas was twenty-five, a minister suggested that he be allowed to head a committee to supervise the completion of the Trans-Siberian Railway. Alexander III was incredulous. “Have you ever tried to discuss anything of consequence with him?” asked the Tsar about his son and heir. “He is still absolutely a child; he has only infantile judgements. How would he be able to become president of a committee?”
The Romanov family in 1893. From left to right: Tsarevich Nicholas, Grand Duke George, Empress Maria
Feodorovna (Princess Dagmar of Denmark), Grand Duchess Olga, Grand Duchess Xenia, Grand Duke
Michael, Tsar Alexander III seated.
In neither his education nor his temperament did Nicholas show much aptitude to be emperor. He enjoyed foreign languages and history, but struggled with economics and politics. In general he preferred sport to books, when older he delighted in the military and served for a year when he was nine-teen. In 1894 he married Princess Alexandra of Hesse-Darmstadt, a German noble, with whom he had four daughters and a son, Alexei. Alexandra was an assertive woman whose personality dominated the weaker Nicholas, and she strongly reinforced his belief in autocratic rule and his resistance to democratic reforms. In contrast to his political life, Nicholas’s home life was serene. He was a wonderful family man, a devout Orthodox Christian, and devoted to his wife and children.
The same year that he married, Nicholas became the Tsar when his father died of kidney disease. The newly-crowned emperor had not expected to be thrust into the role so soon, and he panicked about running the vast Russian empire all by himself. It was the moment, he wrote, that he “had dreaded all his life.” He confessed his fears to a cousin: “Sandro, what am I going to do? What is going to happen to me, to you, to Alix, to Mother, to all Russia? I am not prepared to be Tsar. I never wanted to become one. I know nothing of the business of ruling. I have no idea of even how to talk to ministers.”
Nicholas determined to uphold the status quo as Tsar, but unfortunately evens abroad and at home forced his hand. Hoping not to be left out of the imperial scramble, Russia grew its industry in the Far East, and forced concessions from China in Manchuria. Yet Russian’s expansion provoked the Japanese, who attacked Russia’s eastern border in 1904, beginning the Russo-Japanese War. Europeans were convinced that the white Russians would easily triumph over the “yellow” Japanese, but the Japanese embarked on a series of victories ending in the total destruction of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tshushima in 1905.
Nicholas and Alix’s engagement photo, 1894.
The defeat was a stunning humiliation for Russian prestige. At home it sparked outrage and crisis that turned to strikes and riots. In January 1905, Russian troops opened fire on demonstrators in front of the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg, killing many. Outrage turned to outright revolution, and eventually the Tsar was forced to grant concessions in a constitution, as well as establish an elected parliament, the Duma.
Despite some elements of democratic reform, Nicholas tightened his autocratic rule. Secret police crushed revolutionary elements in the cities, and voting laws prevented the election of radicals. A travel guide for foreigners published in 1914 warned against taking photos in rail stations - offenders would be arrested.
The Tsar’s most pressing crisis, however, was at home. His son and heir, the Tsarevich Alexei, had hemophilia, the scourge of interbred European royal families. Nicholas and Alexandra despaired for their child and sought any means to help him. They turned to an unlikely source, a disheveled mysticfrom Siberia named Grigori Rasputin. Rasputin’s monasticism belied his true character, that of a debauched womanizer and con-man. Russian noble society despised him, but Alexandra especially confided in him, and Rasputin strengthened her belief in Nicholas’s divine right to rule. His influence steadily eroded the trust Russian people felt for their Tsar.
Nicholas (left) with his cousin King George V of England. They are wearing German military uniforms while on a visit to Berlin. Despite their likeness, George refused to help Nicholas or offer him asylum during the Russian Revolution, fearing that he might be toppled as well.
Nicholas’s failing popularity received a boost in 1914, when Russia went to war against Germany and Austria. Although Nicholas was close to his cousin, the Kaiser (they wrote to each other as “Nicky” and “Willy”), Russians enlisted en masse and displayed loyalty and love for their royal family. Yet endless failures at the front burst newfound support for the Tsar, especially when Nicholas took over from his cousin as supreme commander in 1915, a position in which he demonstrated no talent. The unending string of military disaster was now firmly pinned on him. Worse, economic deprivations at home soon turned into crisis. Russia was deeply in debt and many were starving. Approval of the royal family soured; they were thought to be living in luxury while ordinary Russians died at the front or starved at home.
In March 1917 (February of the old Russian calendar), demonstrations in St. Petersburg (now Petrograd) again turned to revolution. This time, Nicholas had no army to turn to - the military was in a state of collapse, with many soldiers deserting to go back home and take part in the revolution. Helpless, Nicholas abdicated on March 15, 1917. He hoped to go to England for asylum, but the British government (fearing he might provoke the British left) refused his request. Five hundred years of Russian Tsardom ended with NIcholas.
A shaky liberal-socialist Provisional Government was set up to replace the monarchy, but the war continued to go badly. Nicholas went into house arrest in the Urals with his family. His situation worsened in the fall of 1917, when a radical communist party, the Bolsheviks, ousted the Provisional Government. Civil war began in Russia between the Bolshevik “Reds” and the “Whites”, a complex mix of warlords and political parties who opposed the Bolsheviks.
The Russian royals played no role in the Civil War, but the Bolsheviks feared that the Tsar and his family could become a symbol for the White armies to rally around. Nicholas, Alexandra, and their children were transported to a house in Yekaterinburg for safe-keeping, but in the summer of 1918 the war was going poorly for the Reds and the Czech Legion, a unit of the White army, was rapidly advancing towards Yekaterinburg.
Nicholas in captivity at Tsarskoye Selo. This is one of the last photos taken in his life.
On the night of July 16-17, as the Czechs neared, Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin ordered the execution of the royal family. What actually happened is still shrouded in some state secrecy, but what is known is that a truckload of local Bolsheviks and foreign soldiers entered the house and ordered the ex-Tsar and his family to the basement. The Empress asked for chairs for her and thirteen-year-old Alexei to sit upon. The Red commander brought in two chairs, and then informed the stunned Tsar that he had been condemned to death. “What? What?” asked the Tsar. The executioners brought out revolvers and began shooting the family. The four daughters, between twenty-two and seven-teen years old, had been hiding some of their jewels in their clothes which deflected the bullets. The Bolshevik shooters stabbed them with bayonets and shot them in their heads, and stabbed to death their maid, who had shielded herself with a pillow full of jewels.
The executioners burnt, dismembered, and buried the bodies. In 1976 a team of investigators found their grave, but did not release the information until the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rumors had long abounded that one of the daughters, seven-teen year-old Anastasia, had survived and escaped the massacre, which were put to rest. In 2000 the Russian Orthodox Church canonized the family as saints; today the place where they were buried is the site of a church.
I stg y'all langblr fuckers are ANIMALS. Some of y'all bios like “ok so I’m fluent in English, Spanish, French, Cantonese, and Chinese and I’m learning Hindu, Urdu, Ukrainian, Ancient Greek, and hieroglyphics.” Miss me with that shit. It took me 89.23 trillion years to be proficient in Spanish.
“Triage: It would be needed on a massive scale. Even a single nuclear weapon in a major city would see at least 10,000 casualties that need medical aid, and thats for a very small device. A strategic weapon would wound 100,000 or more in a large enough city. In the first few hours, figuring out who can wait and who needs the scarce medical resources would be critical. The disposal of bodies: When I was in school, I read a FEMA report on the best use of petroleum in the post attack scenario, with regards to the burying of the dead. The question was which would be more efficient, using the fuel to start fires for cremation, or to use the fuel to run earth moving machinery for mass graves. The conclusion is one thing that stayed with me after all this time. I have never forgotten it, and the horror I felt reading it has never diminished. It has served as the basis for many terrible dreams. The conclusion was that it would be more efficient to use the earth moving machinery to bury people over the age of 14. But children, due to the greater proportion of body fat, would be efficiently burned. The fat providing enough fuel to sustain the fire until the corpses were destroyed. I remember thinking that somewhere, someone had to sit down and figure out how much heat energy a burning toddler releases. After I read that, I have always thought that if we failed in what we were doing (if we failed to deter the Soviets/Russians/whoever) the end result would be a thousand hospital parking lots with piles of burning children in it.” - A friend who works in the nuclear field, who asked to remain anonymous. He also sent the picture provided.
Not to be that guy, but please re-blog this. I want everyone to see even just one consequence of a nuclear war.
Can you tell us more about your "Austrian" grandpa? When did your family figure out that he was a Russian Jew? Was he fleeing the tsarist draft?
I’m not sure if he was fleeing the Tsarists specifically, or Russia in general.
GG had suspected he wasn’t actually Austrian, mostly from the heavy Russian accent and the fact that he barely knew anything about Austria. He had some kind of crisis of faith prior to meeting her and was always uncomfortable discussing matters of faith. Which kind of worked out fine for GG, because being a third generation agnostic was hard in the nineteen teens.
But, when a guy never eats pork “out of habit” you get an idea.
As he got on in years, he started developing dementia. He gradually lost his ability to speak English, So he started speaking German, then he started to lose that and spoke only Russian at the very end. Mom still knows a smattering of both languages form communicating
He also lost the ability distinguish what happened on TV from what happened IRL and started doing things like thinking he had lunch with the Queen of England because she was on TV while he was eating.
This sounds really tragic but Grandpa Adam quickly realized that he was losing it, and decided that it meant he didn’t have to deal with anyone else’s nonsense anymore. Also, since he was retired and could stay at home, there wasn’t much issue in indulging him.
So mom would come home from school and ask grandpa what he did that day, and would listen to how he had a political discussion with Mr. Gorbachev. Grandpa Adam had trouble with reality but DAMN if he didn’t have some great diplomatic ideas about how to end the cold war.
Tacita Dean, Beautiful Sheffield, 2001. From “The Russian Ending” series.
Each image in this series is derived from a postcard collected by the artist in visits to European flea markets, most depicting accidents and disasters. Superimposed on each are white handwritten notes in the style of film directions, with instructions for lighting, sound and camera movements, suggesting that each picture is the working note for a film. The title of the series is taken from a convention existing in the early years of the Danish film industry, when every film was produced in two versions: one with a happy ending for the American market, and the other with a tragic ending, for Russian audiences.
I was originally going to just copy-paste my other post and change the names bUT,,, this got out of my hands once again
Yuri is the little mermaid, of course
But instead of Victor being a human prince Yuri falls for, it is Victor, –merman Victor–, who falls for a human prince Yuuri
He goes to the sea witch Georgi to ask to be turned human. Georgi accepts, taking Victor’s beautiful long hair in exchange for legs. The conditions of the contract are the same. Marry the human or else he’ll perish, turning to sea foam
Victor accepts, knowing for sure he can make this human fall for him
Yuri, on the other hand, is not so happy to know Victor gave up his tail for legs. Human legs. AND HIS BEAUTIFUL HAIR.
Yuri, too, pays the sea witch a visit, hoping he’ll provide a spell that will bring Victor back
Georgi tells him there isn’t, unless the human married someone else, breaking Victor’s heart, he wouldn’t provide any spell that could give him his tail back. Not while he’s on the surface.
Yuri’s getting frustrated. “So why don’t you give me the same spell you gave him and give me a pair of legs? I’ll drag him back into the ocean myself!”
“honey… I don’t think you understand. A pair of legs comes with a great deal of pain, though you’ll dance beautifully it’ll feel as if you’re stepping on glass. Victor was able to accept these conditions because he was in love. And you, darling, have only rage in you.”
Victor’s decisions suddenly make even less sense. But fuck if he cared, what did it matter what he felt? All he knew is he wanted Victor back. Pain? Can’t be worse than having to live the 280+ years he has left without Victor. The fuck did this guy know about him anyway.
They make a deal. This time it’s Yuri’s voice he trades for legs. On the promise that he’ll make Victor return.
He doesn’t have to look for him much. There’s a kingdom by the sea where a prince with the same name as him lives. As Yuri is getting out of the water with his newly-acquired legs, he finds Victor’s out for a walk on the beach.
“Yuri!” He calls out, arms wide open. But no, not to him. Because out of the corner in comes another human, wearing a fancy blue suit, dark hair slicked back. And his eyes… soft as they fixate on Victor. Yuri can’t blame him, really. Victor takes the stranger in his arms, and they spin around, laughing. This is what humans called dancing, right? Where had he heard about it, again? Georgi… he’d said dancing hurt your feet like walking on glass. Was Victor that stupid?
He tries to call out to him, but his voice gets stuck in his throat, no sound comes out. Fuck, he wasn’t used to this walking thing, but he found himself running towards them.
After this it plays out mostly like the first three episodes. Both Yuri’s are to compete in a dance-off. Victor refuses, knowing it wouldn’t be fair for Yurio (he got nicknamed Yurio in the palace because he shouldn’t have the same name as the prince). But Yurio stops him, agreeing to the dance-off with a nod of his head.
And, Victor was going to be the judge, as anyone else in the palace would be biased to choose Yuuri as the winner
there! It’s super cool to play ocs with an ethnicity different than
English/American. It really is. However, there are specs you need to know to be
as realistic as possible. Plus, there’s also a chance you’ll run into a person
familiar with said culture, and that can cause an awkward situation. I grew up
in a post-Soviet country where nearly 50% of the population is Russian, and
every adult I know is fluent in the language.
Now, I’m not claiming I know everything, however, it irks me when I see
common mishaps again and again in the rpc. (E.g. naming your character “Natasha”
when it’s actually supposed to be the nickname for “Natalya”). So, here’s a
list that includes tips on how to properly name your Russian oc, a list of
popular Russian male and female names that include the most typical nickname if
there is one, and a list of Russian last names that I have encountered in my
life. I hope this helps! Likes and reblogs are appreciated!
“What?” Oliver demanded of Rene, He’d finally been given the green light to storm the
buildings in front of him and Rene was telling him to wait?
“I found pills over by the glass cases. And—“ Rene stopped.
“Wild Dog, just spit it out.”
Instead his phone chirp, indicating he’d gotten a picture
The photo was slightly blurry, but Oliver knew what it was. Two
tone glasses frames, with a cracked lens and a broken frame were roughly placed
on the floor. They were Felicity’s.
“I went downstairs to search, just in case you missed something.
I found these, with a bag of pills. It looks like the smack that the—“
“Bratva.” Oliver had gotten to the same conclusion. Anatoly
wouldn’t dare. They might not be friends or brothers anymore, but Anatoly
wouldn’t have touched Felicity. It was unthinkable.
“Keep looking, Rene.” He tapped Dinah on the shoulder, gesturing
with his hand to the warehouse, apartment building, and a business in front of
them. He then held his finger to his lips, indicating he wanted to keep this
quiet. She headed towards the business.
Ducking around a corning in an alcove, he called up Anatoly,
changing into the green leather while it dialed.
By the fifth ring almost to the voicemail phase, the Pahkan
“What do you want.” Came the flat response.
“What I want to know, Anatoly, is why there is smack in my
bunker’s basement, right next to where I last saw Felicity Smoak. Did you take
her? Have you betrayed me that far?”
“No, Oliver. We might be monster, but that line I don’t cross.
It was nothing I ordered. False accusations do not heal what is broken, Oliver
Queen. I don’t know why there are pills but it wasn’t me or my men—“
A flurry of Russian on the other end had Anatoly breaking off.
Oliver only caught a bit of it, some of it including ‘man’, ‘missing’, and ‘not
“Oliver, one of my Starling men has not checked in. Name of
Makar Kotelysesky. Been suspicious of late. That is all I have for you. Do not
contact me again. “
Oliver hung up without prompting.
“Curtis, find out who Makar Kotelysesky is, and run facial
recognition. If you have to, use Pandora, do you understand me?”
Dinah broke in. “Clear.”
Tugging up his hood, making sure his mask was in place, he
headed towards the office building. Running, he started from the bottom and
worked his way up, kicking open every door.
The entire place was abandoned, the FOR SALE sign out front
hanging crooked and faded. The building was very familiar, Oliver felt, as he
made it to the top.
The CEO’s office, the hallway in front of it, and the elevators,
where covered in bullet holes. Dark stains that were spattered or pooled on the
carpet, long since dried and set. More than half the carpet was covered in
It wasn’t until he noticed an arrow, dark green, hidden slightly
behind the secretary’s desk that he finally figured out where he was.
Lucas Bradshaw, of Bradshaw & Johnson, CEO of a large
manufacturing company, had died in this room when the Hood had demanded
repayment to his worker’s he’d laid off to cut corners of ill-made household
cleaners. Not only had he’d fired the ones that had refused to remain silent,
he’d killed civilians with traces of Ammonium in bleach.
A mother and her three kids had died after she’d purchased Lickety-Split
Shiner, to clean their bathroom. They’d died in less than three hours.
And Lucas Bradshaw had gotten off free.
So the Hood, with his list, had murdered him right here in this
Just as Oliver was supposed to turn around, he caught sight of
something fluttering on the wall, pinned underneath another arrow.
Cautiously, he approached it.
It was a photo of Samantha, William trudging behind her, a
Starling Rocket’s cap on his head. Written over their faces were the words: HE’S
Oliver ripped the photo off the wall. Damn you, Adrian.
“Clear.” Dinah again.
“I’m clear too.”
He shoved the photo into his suit pocket. “Chase was here
though. He left me a message.”
Oliver stormed out of the office building, letting the door slam
“It might not be Prometheus,” Dinah said calmly, her voice double
as she came around the corner.
“Of course it is! He left me a mess–.“ A door off the side of
the building caught his eye. Jerking his head towards it, he took point, Dinah
on his heels.
Curtis came online just as he reached for the handle. “Oliver, I
found Makar and there’s something you should really see. You’re not gonna
“Save it Curtis. There’s something I need to investigate.”
“But Oliver! Makar is found with—“ Oliver turned off his comm to
Curtis and the team, leaving only him and Dinah.
The door was eerily unlocked, opening easily under his touch.
He opened it up, a squeal with rusty hinges.
Shuffling came from inside, followed by a groan.
Absolutely silent, he stayed in the shadows, hugging the wall.
Dinah took the other wing, naturally following his lead.
The shuffling continued, then a word came that froze his heart.
Abandoning caution, Oliver ran forward.
Under a bright spotlight, hands tied behind her back, tears
streaking her face, curled in a tight ball as much as she could, was Felicity.
Her ponytail was ragged, half of her hair was falling out, and she had her eyes
“Felicity.” Her name whispered from his lips.
She jerked up, frantically looking around. “Oliver?” The timid
hope in her voice about made him collapse.
He ran to her side, crouching next to her, and pulling out a flechette.”I’m
here, Felicity, I’m right here.”. Oliver cut her bonds, then pulled her to him,
nose in her hair, inhaling her sweet unique scent of flowers and honey, and
Felicity fought against him though. It took him a second to
realize it and reluctantly release her.
“No. no no no nooo. You weren’t supposed to be here. Why did you
come? You were supposed to leave. Oliver you can’t be here. Leave! Please!”
“What, Felicity no. You’re coming with me. I’m going to get you
out of here.”
“No! That’s what she wants! It’s a trap! You need to go now!”
“She made me do it! She made me send you a message. It was all a
trap. She’s not who you think she is!”
“Who isn’t? Felicity!”
But she just held on to him tightly, shaking her head.