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The subject index / February Revolution of 1917

February Revolution of 1917

Categories / Social Life

FEBRUARY REVOLUTION OF 1917 is the Second Russian Revolution, which dethroned the Monarchy. Decisive events developed in Petrograd. On 23 February (8 March) 1917, anti-military mass-meetings devoted to the Day of Women Workers began to grow spontaneously into strikes and demonstrations. The strike movement began in industrial factories on the Vyborgskaya Side (Torshilovskaya Factory, several plants including the Old Parviainen, the New Parviainen, the Lessner, and the Aivaz plants), then spread to other districts. On 23-24 February (8-9 March), separate groups of demonstrators penetrated the centre of Petrograd through the Liteiny and Troitsky bridges, and organized mass-meetings on Znamenskaya Square shouting the slogans "End the War!", "Down with Autocracy!", and "Bread!". Cossacks refused to act against the demonstrators. The commander of the Petrograd Military District, General S.S. Khabalov, gathered various reserve guards regiments at the city centre to enforce the security of bridges, governmental buildings and the telegraph system. On 25 February (10 March), a general strike started (approximately 305,000 workers from 421 industrial factories). On the evening of 25 February, Khabalov received a telegram from Emperor Nicolas II with a demand to halt the "disturbances" immediately. The troops were given an order to shoot at demonstrators. The police conducted mass arrests of members of different public organizations and left wing parties. On 26 February (11 March), bloody clashes occurred between demonstrators, police and troops; demonstrations were shot upon on Znamenskaya Square (40 killed and 40 wounded), at the corner of Nevsky Prospect and Sadovaya Street, and at the corner of the First Rozhdestvenskaya Street and Suvorovsky Avenue. The government's actions caused indignation and unrest among soldiers. During the second half of the day, the 4th Company of the Pavlovsky Reserve Regiment rebelled when soldiers opened fire on policemen; they were disarmed and arrested (their barracks were at 1 Konyushennaya Square; memorial plaque installed). On 27 February (12 March), an armed rebellion broke out in Petrograd. In the morning, soldiers from the Volynsky Regiment rebelled; they were followed by reserve soldiers from the Litovsky and Preobrazhensky regiments (their barracks were at 37/1 Kirochnaya Street; memorial plaque installed). On 27-28 February 1917, other units from the Petrograd Garrison joined them (on the morning of 27 February, 10,000 soldiers rebelled; during the course of the day, there were over 25,000; by evening, there were over 67,000; on 28 February, there were 127,000). The Main Arsenal, the Telegraph Service, the Central Post Office, and various railway stations, bridges, and governmental buildings all passed into the hands of revolting soldiers and workers. Police stations were looted; the Kresty (Crosses) Prison and the Temporary Confinement Building were captured; the Circuit Court buildings on Liteiny Avenue and the Lithuanian Prison Castle (on Kryukov Canal) were burnt; all prisoners were set free, and arrests began of the Tsar's ministers. General Khabalov and A. P. Balk, the Petrograd Chief of City Administration, together continued their resistance from the city administration building (2 Gorokhovaya Street), but to no avail. On 27 February, they sent a combined detachment headed by Colonel A. P. Kutepov with the purpose of "installing order", only to have the soldiers "disperse" among the rebels. Khabalov and all troops loyal to the government tried to consolidate at the building of the Main Admiralty, but by 28 February (13 March) 1917 the had to surrender. On 27 February (12 March), a new political organ of power was created at Tauride Palace, called the Provisional Committee of the State Duma (headed by M.V. Rodzyanko), which became the revolutionary forces' centre. At the same time, leaders from the State Duma's socialist factions, as well as representatives of soldiers and workers, all proclaimed the creation of a Temporary Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet of Workers' Deputies (from 1 (14) March, the Petrograd Soviet of Workers and Soldiers' Deputies). On 2 March (15 March), Emperor Nicolas II abdicated in Pskov in favour of his brother Prince Mikhail Alexandrovich, who on 3 March (16 March), in Petrograd at the apartment of Prince P.P. Putyatin (12 Millionnaya Street), refused to accept the highest power. On 2 March (15 March), the Provisional Government was formed (Prince G.E. Lvov became its head), receiving all governmental power and authority. The February Revolution was accompanied by numerous massacres and lynchings, murders of officers, particularly at the Kronstadt Rebellion on 1 (14) March. Over the course of the February Revolution, over 300 people were killed; on 23 March (5 April), 184 of those who had died were solemnly buried at the Field of Mars. In memory of the events of the February Revolution, Znamenskaya Square was renamed Vosstaniya Square (Uprising Square). A memorial plaque was erected on the facade of the Moskovsky Railway Station; a memorial plaque was also installed on the Crew Guards' barracks building at 22 Rimskogo-Korsakova Avenue.

References: Бурджалов Э. Н. Вторая русская революция: Восстание в Петрограде. М., 1967; Старцев В. И. 27 февраля 1917. М., 1984; 1917 год в судьбах России и мира: Февр. революция: от новых источников к новому осмыслению. М., 1997.

A. M. Kulegin.

Balk Alexander Pavlovich
Khabalov Sergey Semenovich
Kutepov Alexander Pavlovich
Lvov Georgy Evgenievich, Duke
Mikhail Alexandrovich, Grand Prince
Nicholas II, Emperor
Putyatin P.P., Duke
Rodzyanko Mikhail Vladimirovich

1st Sovetskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Gorokhovaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 2
Kirochnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 1/37
Konyushennaya Square/Saint Petersburg, city, house 1
Liteiny Ave/Saint Petersburg, city
Millionnaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 12
Nevsky prospect/Saint Petersburg, city
Rimsky-Korsakov Ave/Saint Petersburg, city, house 22
Sadovaya St./Saint Petersburg, city
Suvorovsky Ave/Saint Petersburg, city
The Field of Mars/Saint Petersburg, city
Vosstaniya Square/Saint Petersburg, city

Бурджалов Э. Н. Вторая русская революция: Восстание в Петрограде. М., 1967
Старцев В. И. 27 февраля 1917. М., 1984
1917 год в судьбах России и мира: Февр. революция: от новых источников к новому осмыслению. М., 1997

The subject Index
Karl Marx Machine-Building Association (formerly Novy Lessner)
Pavlovsky Life Guards Regiment
Preobrazhensky Life Guards Regiment
Post Office, Central
Post Office, Central
Kresty Prison.
House of Preliminary Detention, prison
District Court
Lithuanian Castle.
Tauride Palace
State Duma
Petrograd Soviet of working people' and soldiers' deputies
Provisional Government of 1917
Field of Mars (Marsovo Pole), ensemble