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The February Revolution 1917
The February Revolution, which removed Tsar Nicholas II from power and saw the provisional government ascend to power, developed spontaneously out of a series of increasingly violent demonstrations and riots on the streets of Petrograd (present-day St. Petersburg), during a time when the tsar was away from the capital visiting troops on the World War I front. Breakdown: February 22 Nicholas II leaves Petrograd to visit troops. February 23 International Women’s Day demonstration in Petrograd. February 24 Massive strikes and demonstrations occur throughout the capital. February 25 Unrest continues; Mensheviks meet and set up a “Workers’ Soviet” Nicholas II orders military to stop riots. February 26 Troops fire on demonstrating crowds. Mass mutiny begins in local army regiments. Firefights break out between troops and police. February 27 More than 80,000 troops mutiny and engage in widespread looting. February 28 Duma and Workers’ Soviet gather separately and begin making decisions about restoring order and establishing a new state. March 2 Nicholas II abdicates the throne; provisional government formed.
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