“An unrestrained bacchanalia, а certain sadism of power exercised by the government officials appointed one after another by Rasputin, led to a situation in which by the beginning of 1917 the Tsarist government was unable to count on the support of any political party, social class, or estate. Everyone considered it to be an enemy of the people.”
– General Anton Ivanovich Denikin
The myth that “the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar” is quite incompetently put together. We owe its creation to the regress in critical thinking during the post-Soviet era. Only a very uneducated person can propagate such a blatant lie. The statement that the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar is not mentioned in any documents, not even in the fake ones.
Nevertheless, the myth that “the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar” continues to exist even to this day. Politicians and the media are constantly hammering it into people’s consciousness using a trick of adding certain words to the narrative, such as “as we all know…” and the like.
For example, the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda, published an interview with Alexander Myasnikov, a writer and historian, on April 22, 2015, entitled: “Lenin overthrew the Tsar using German money, while the Decembrists used British [money]”. However, he did not mention how Lenin “overthrew the Tsar” in the interview.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky [the leader of the third largest political party in Russia – translator’s note], indiscriminately accused Lenin of the collapse of the Tsarist empire during a popular debate show The Duel, hosted by Vladimir Solovyov. He said that “Today is a joyful day. Together with millions of our citizens, we will express our strongest condemnation for Lenin’s, Stalin’s, and the Bolshevik Party’s activities for the collapse of two great states – Tsarist and Soviet Russia.”
For fairness’ sake, it should be noted that one of the reasons for creating the myth that the Bolsheviks overthrew the Tsar was the exaggeration of their role in February revolution by the Soviet officials. The myth of the Bolsheviks overthrowing the Tsar was born from a vague idea of their significant role in the events of 1917, which was formed during the Soviet era, and a general lack of education on this subject matter during post-Soviet times.
Let us examine what the Bolshevik party looked like in the days prior to and in the beginning of the revolution. And, who, in fact, overthrew the Tsar and how.
Bolsheviks and the February Revolution
The February revolution of 1917 began on February 23 in Petrograd (now St. Petersburg) with industrial workers and soldiers protesting. Anti-war (WWI) rallies, bread riots, and labor strikes turned into an armed uprising.
Undoubtedly, the Bolsheviks did not venerate the monarchy. Certainly, the rebelling workers and soldiers rose up, among other reasons, thanks to the preceding agitation and propaganda organized by the Bolsheviks and members of other parties. However, the Socialist Revolutionary Party [not the Bolsheviks – translator’s note] had much more influence among the troops. Besides, the Bolshevik party was few in number.
About 23,600 Bolsheviks left the underground after the February Revolution. However, many of the RSDLP(b) [Russian Social Democratic Labor (Bolshevik) Party] members were in prison or in exile at the time of the revolution. For comparison, the Black Hundred [an ultra-nationalist movement in Russia in the early 20th century] had 45,000 members in 1916.
The Bolsheviks did not become the organizing force of the February revolution in 1917. In its beginning, the key leaders of the Bolshevik Party were not in Petrograd. Lenin was in emigration in Switzerland. Trotsky was in the US. Stalin, Kamenev, Sverdlov, Ordzhonikidze, and several other Bolshevik leaders were scattered around the country in exiles.
The Russian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP(b), headed by A. Shlyapnikov, V. Molotov, and P. Zalutsky, was operating in Petrograd. The task of leading the rebellious masses was far beyond what they could accomplish.
When Lenin learned about the revolution from Swiss newspapers, he wrote, “One may evaluate the [current] situation only with great care”. The head of the RSDLP(b) noted that the Provisional Government “seized power in Petersburg,” wresting it from the workers’ hands.
“Very few people knew about the Bolsheviks in the beginning of ”, later said Trotsky. He also said that the Bolsheviks did not prepare for the revolution; moreover, they kept the workers from striking. Trotsky described the party’s actions at the beginning of the revolution as follows, “The central Bolshevik headquarters headed by Shlyapnikov, Zalutsky, and Molotov, is strikingly helpless and lacks the initiative. In fact, the [city] districts and [the army] barracks were left to themselves .”
Vasily Kayurov, one of Bolshevik activists, gave a similar assessment of the Russian Bureau’s actions, “… There was absolutely no sense of leadership from the party centers. The Petrograd Committee [of the Bolshevik Party] was arrested. It was hard to find Comrade Shlyapnikov, the representative of the Central Committee, and to receive directives for tomorrow. <…> We must take command of the future course of the revolution, yet we could not accomplish it with a very small group of worker leaders.”
The influence of Bolsheviks in the newly formed Soviets [Councils, representative bodies of workers and soldiers – Editor’s note] was also very insignificant. In his April Theses [a series of directives issued upon his return to Petrograd from his European exile], Lenin wrote, “in most of the Soviets of Workers’ Deputies our Party is in a minority, so far a small minority”. Trotsky gave a similar assessment, “At the time, Bolshevism was just a dull clamor in the depths of the revolution. Those who officially represented the Bolsheviks in the Petrograd Soviet were an insignificant minority without clearly defined objectives.” It was the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and the Menshevik Party who played the leading role in most of the Soviets from February to July-August of 1917.
It is noteworthy that both the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and the Menshevik Party did not expect the swift coming of the revolution. Sergei Maslovsky-Mstislavsky, the Socialist-Revolutionary, said that “The revolution found us, then party activists, while we were sleeping like the foolish Evangelical virgins.” Nikolai Sukhanov (Himmer), a Menshevik, noted, “Not a single party was preparing for a coup … Almost no one took what started in St. Petersburg on February 23 as the beginning of a revolution.” At the same time, both the Socialist-Revolutionary Party and the Menshevik Party, were encouraged by February [coup]; and unlike the Bolsheviks, they reacted more kindly to the Provisional Government, which had come to power.
Having discussed the insignificance of the Bolsheviks’ participation at the beginning of the revolutionary events, let us go back in time to see when and where the ideas of overthrowing the Tsar were born.
“Grand Dukes’ Fronde”
By the end of 1916, almost all political and social forces were against Tsar Nicholas II due to the unsuccessful course of the war, failing domestic policies, and especially, because of Rasputin.
The 15 Grand Dukes of the House of Romanov, who formed the so-called “Grand Dukes’ Fronde”, also joined the opposition. The main demands of the “Fronde” were: the removal of Rasputin, the “German Queen” Alexandra Feodorovna, and any Germans in general from running the state, along with introduction of a “responsible ministry”, or a government which would report to the parliament. The idea of a responsible ministry will later become the conspirators’ common idea. The Grand Dukes justified overthrowing the Tsar as necessary for the sake of “rescuing the monarchy”.
Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich Romanov, who was for his radical views nicknamed Philippe Égalité, in reference to Louis Philippe Joseph (the French prince of the House of Bourbon) who renounced his family and took the common name Égalité (French for Equality), was the unofficial head of the Fronde. On November 1, 1916, Nikolai Mikhailovich sent a letter to Nicholas II, which read, “It is inconceivable to rule Russia further this way … You trust Alexandra Feodorovna. It is understandable. But what comes out of her mouth is the result of clever fraud, and detached from reality… The revival of Russia would begin immediately if you could eliminate this constant intrusion of the dark forces into all affairs … “
On November 7, 1916, Nikolai Nikolaevich, Nicholas II’s uncle, wrote a similar letter to him. On November 11, 1916, the Grand Duke Georgy Mikhailovich and Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich, Nicholas II’s brother, wrote similar letters to the Tsar. At that time, Mikhail also publicly declares that he “sympathizes with the English order”, meaning parliamentarism. On November 15, Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich writes a similar letter.
On November 28, even the mother of the Tsar, the Empress dowager Maria Fedorovna, joined the opposition, asking her son for the resignation of Prime Minister Boris Stürmer, a Russian lawyer of German descent who was considered Rasputin’s protégé.
It went so far that on December 2 Grand Duke Pavel Aleksandrovich demanded a meeting with the Emperor. Meeting on December 3, he expressed the need for adopting a constitution and the removal of Rasputin and Stürmer from the court on behalf of the family council. To this, the Tsar predictably refused.
On December 16, 1916, the Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich participates in the murder of Rasputin. After that, the “Grand Dukes’ Fronde” picks up steam.
Mikhail Rodzianko, the leader of the Octobrist party, recalled how the Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna summoned him one night after Rasputin’s murder to an urgent conversation, proposing to remove Alexandra Fyodorovna, the Empress, as the main culprit of all ills, “The Grand Duchess began to talk about the internal situation, the incompetence of the government, about Protopopov [the Minister of Internal Affairs], and the Empress. She became nervous at mentioning of her name, finding her influence and interference in all matters to be harmful, saying that she was ruining the country, and that thanks to her the Tsar and the whole royal family are threatened, and such a situation cannot be tolerated any longer, that it was necessary to change, to eliminate, to destroy (here and further highlighted by the author of the article) …”
On January 5, 1917, Maurice Paléologue, the French ambassador, wrote in his diary, “In the course of the evening I have heard that there is great excitement and agitation in the family of the Romanovs.
Several Grand Dukes, among whom I am told are the three sons of the Grand Duchess Marie Pavlovna, Cyril, Boris and Andrew, are talking of nothing less than saving Tsarism by a change of sovereign. With the help of four regiments of the guard, whose loyalty is said to be already shaken, there would be a night march on Tsarskoe Selo; the monarchs would be seized, the Emperor shown the necessity of abdicating and the Empress shut up in a nunnery. Then the accession of the Tsarevitch Alexis would he proclaimed under the regency of the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaievitch.
The promoters of this scheme think that the Grand Duke Dimitri, by his share in the murder of Rasputin, is marked out by fate to direct the plot and win over the troops. His cousins, Cyril and Andrew Vladimirovitch, went to see him in his palace on the Nevsky Prospekt and begged and prayed him to ‘persevere relentlessly with his work of national salvation.’ After a long mental conflict, Dimitri Pavlovitch finally refused to ‘lay hands on the Emperor’…”.
On January 15, 1917, the same Maurice Paléologue writes, “The conspiracy of the Grand Dukes has missed fire. Maklakov, the Duma deputy, was quite right the day before yesterday when he told Madame de Derfelden (who is my authority) that “…They want the Duma to put the match to the powder. In other words, they are expecting of us what we are expecting of them. “ These noteworthy mutual expectations of the Grand Dukes and the Duma members obviously are not random.
On January 22, Nicholas II, fully aware of the plans of his closest circle, wisely sent the Grand Dukes Nikolai (Nicholas) Mikhailovich, Andrei (Andrew) and Kirill (Cyril) Vladimirovich, and Dmitry (Dimitri) Pavlovich out of the capital under various pretexts.
This was a severe blow to the Grand Dukes’ Fronde. However, it did not cease to exist. The idea of murder had also not left the members of the House of Romanov.
Grand Duke Nikolai Mikhailovich wrote in his diary, “Rasputin’s murder is a half-measure, for it is necessary to put an end to both Alexandra Feodorovna and Protopopov [minister of the interior]. You see, the thoughts of murder are flashing in my head again [highlighted by the authors], not well defined yet, but logically justified. Otherwise, it could be worse than before.
It is still possible to get along with Protopopov but how do you neutralize Alexandra Fedorovna? It’s almost impossible. Meanwhile, the time goes by and with the departure of Yusupov, Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich and Purishkevich [Rasputin’s assassins – authors], I do not see or know others who can do it.”
On March 1, the Grand Dukes Mikhail Aleksandrovich, Kirill Vladimirovich, and Pavel Aleksandrovich signed the draft of a so-called manifesto entitled “A Complete Constitution to the Russian People”. It was assumed that the Tsar would agree to sign it.
It is noteworthy that a number of Grand Dukes recognized the Provisional Government after the overthrow of Nicholas II. On March 9, 11, and 12, telegrams from the Grand Dukes Nikolai Nikolaevich, Alexander Mikhailovich, Boris Vladimirovich, Sergey Mikhailovich, and Georgy Mikhailovich were sent to Prince Lvov, the Prime Minister. This shows that even though the members of the Royal Family did not directly influence the abdication of the Emperor, they clearly were not his supporters in the impending critical situation.
Interest of foreign powers
England and France, Russia’s allies in World War I, feared that Rasputin would persuade the Tsar and Alexandra Fyodorovna, the Empress, to start negotiations with the Germans.
The British royal family, related to the Romanov dynasty, tried to influence the Emperor through the Grand Dukes. In November 1916, Grand Duke Mikhail Mikhailovich Romanov, who lived in London, wrote to Tsar Nicolas II, “I just returned from Buckingham Palace. George (King of Great Britain George V – authors) is very upset by the political situation in Russia. Agents of the Intelligence Service, usually very knowledgeable, predict a revolution in Russia in the near future. I sincerely hope, Nikki, that you will find it possible to satisfy the people’s demands for justice, before it’s too late. “
Mikhail Rodzianko, the State Councilor, recalled that on January 8, after Rasputin’s murder, Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich, the Tsar’s brother, unexpectedly arrived at his apartment. The Grand Duke said that the government and Alexandra Fyodorovna, the Empress, “are taking Russia to a peace treaty and shame, giving us into the German hands,” that Tsar and Tsarina “are surrounded by shady, worthless and incompetent people”, that the Tsarina “is fiercely hated” and that “while she’s in power – we are heading to disaster”. “Imagine,” Mikhail Aleksandrovich added, “Buchanan said the same thing to my brother.”
George Buchanan, the British Ambassador, and Robert Lockhart, the British consul and a spy, were in constant communication with the future leaders of the February Revolution. In January, Buchanan discussed the palace coup at his embassy in St. Petersburg with the main Duma [the Lower House of the Russian legislative assembly – translator’s note] conspirators: Guchkov, Rodzianko, and Milyukov. Meanwhile in Moscow, Lockhart kept talking with Prince Lvov, M. Chelnokov, V. Maklakov, A. Manuilov, and F. Kokoshkin, all Duma members, on the topic of the country hanging above the abyss, and that the current government is incompetent.
A high-level conference with representatives of the London establishment was scheduled in St. Petersburg at the end of January – mid-February, 1917. On the eve of the conference, Buchanan questioned whether holding it was appropriate during a private meeting with Nicholas II. In the meantime, he made a harsh statement, “The political situation in Russia does not encourage me to expect any great results from its deliberations… A revolutionary language is being held, not only in Petrograd, but throughout Russia”. Buchanan even expressed doubt that “the present Russian government would remain in office.”
Following this, a British delegation that came to Petrograd also communicated the with future conspirators. Lord Alfred Milner, the British war minister and head of the mission, met with Prince Lvov. Lvov presented Milner with a memorandum stating that the absence of constitutional reform in Russia would lead the country to disaster. The starting date of the revolution was also apparently mentioned, linking it to the forthcoming State Duma meeting: in three weeks. The British mission left Russia a week before the February revolution began.
Conspiracy of the generals and the Duma members
The conspiracy of the members of State Duma was formed at the end of 1916, after the assassination of Rasputin. Alexander Guchkov and Mikhail Rodzianko, who were the leaders of the conservative liberal Progressive Bloc and the Octobrist party (representing the interests of large landowners and industrialists), as well as the prominent members of Zemgor (United Committee of the Union of Towns and the Union of Zemstva – translator’s note) and the Military Industrial Committee, led the plot. Pavel Milyukov, the leader of the Cadet party, also took part in it. The conspirators were joined by their colleagues from the State Duma (Nekrasov, Tereshchenko and others).
Various plans to overthrow Nicholas II, to get rid of the Empress, and to remove the Tsar’s close circle from power were discussed. Eventually, it was proposed to establish a constitutional monarchy in Russia. Members of State Duma, just like the Grand Dukes, argued for “saving the monarchy” by changing the monarch. The need for a conspiracy was justified by the assumption that, otherwise, the monarchy would fall by the mutiny of “plebeians” from bottom.
Alexander Spiridovich, a Major General of the Special Corps of Gendarmes, later told that on January 1, 1917, the conspirators, through A.I. Khatisov, the mayor of Tiflis, offered Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolaevich to rule the empire instead of his nephew. Nikolai Nikolayevich refused, but he did not mention anything about the proposal to the Tsar.
Then, the conspirators decided that Mikhail Aleksandrovich, the brother of Nicholas II, could become the head of state as a regent to the young heir on the throne.
Later in exile, Alexander Guchkov said, “From the conversation with Nekrasov, it became clear that he also arrived at the conclusion that … a violent coup is inevitable… Since the son of the sovereign, the heir, was to be enthroned with the sovereign’s brother as a regent for the former’s childhood, it seemed to be unacceptable to force a son and a brother to be sworn in over spilled blood. Hence, the idea of a palace coup was born where the sovereign, ultimately, would have been forced to sign an abdication with the transfer of the throne to the legitimate heir. “
It would have been impossible to organize a palace coup without the army’s support. Later on, Aleksei Brusilov, a prominent Russian general, described the mood in the army on the eve of the February Revolution as follows, “By February 1917, the entire army was prepared for the revolution on every front, some place more, some place less. The officers also hesitated, and in general, they were extremely dissatisfied with the state of affairs.”
Guchkov managed to convince General Nikolai Ruzsky, the Commander of the Northern Front, to participate in the plot. Ruzsky, in turn, brought several other front commanders in on the plot, including General Brusilov. General Alekseev, the Chief of the General Staff, decided the fate of the coup when he joined the conspiracy.
On February 9, a meeting of the leaders of the State Duma opposition parties took place at the office of Mikhail Rodzianko, its chairman. General Nikolai Ruzsky and Colonel Alexander Krymov were also present. The plan of the palace coup was openly discussed at the meeting.
Therefore, representatives of the State Duma and high ranking generals prepared the abdication of Nicholas II even before the beginning of the revolutionary events.
The Department for Protecting the Public Security and Order (also known as the “Okhranka” from Russian “Okhrana” or “Protection” – Editor’s note) also knew about the plot. Alexander Spiridovich, a Major General of Okhranka, wrote on February 20, “Once, I got to the apartment of a friend, a serious informant, who knows anything and everything, who comes in contact with the political community, the press, the Okhrana. There, I got a full picture of the general onslaught on the government, on the Supreme Power. They hate the Tsarina; they don’t want the Emperor … They spoke about Emperor’s removal as of a removal of a minister with whom they disagree. They spoke about murdering the Empress and [Anna] Vyrubova [her best friend – translator’s note] as of a surgical procedure. They named the officers who are supposedly ready to rise, certain army regiments; they spoke about the conspiracy of the Grand Dukes (highlighted by the authors); almost everyone called Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich the future Regent .”
The Tsar’s Abdication
The State Duma conspirators realized that it was necessary to overthrow the Tsar immediately when the armed masses poured into the streets after the February Revolution took place.
General Brusilov recalled, “I … was summoned to a direct telephone line by [General] Alekseev, who informed me that a newly formed Provisional Government announced that, in case of Nicholas II’s refusal to abdicate, he threatens to interrupt the supply of food and ammunition to the army (we already did not have anything in stock), so General Alekseev asked me and all the commanders-in-chief to telegraph to the Tsar a request for abdication. I responded that I consider this measure necessary and will immediately honor it. Mikhail Rodzianko also sent me the same urgent telegram … I replied to Rodzianko that I am fulfilling my duty to serve my homeland and the Tsar to the end; and at that time, I sent a telegram to the Tsar asking him to abandon the throne.”
On March 1, at a meeting of members of the Provisional Committee of the State Duma, the abdication of the Tsar was discussed. Vasily Shulgin, a monarchist, later talked about it, “Not everyone was there at that time. There were Rodzianko, Miliukov, myself; others I do not remember … But I remember that neither Kerensky nor Chkheidze [the left-wing politicians] were there. We were in our circle. Which is why Guchkov spoke with ease.” He said the following, “Apparently, our Sovereign can no longer reign … His highest command is not an order anymore, and it will not be honored … If this is it, can we remain calm and indifferent and wait for the minute when all this revolutionary mob begins to look for a way out on their own … and deals with the monarchy by itself …”
On the night of March 2, Alexander Guchkov and Vasily Shulgin went to the headquarters of the army of the Northern Front in Pskov to meet Nicholas II on behalf of the Provisional Duma Committee.
Here is how Shulgin, a monarchist, explained to himself that he was going to overthrow the Tsar, “I perfectly understood why I’m going. I felt that abdication would inevitably happen, and I felt that it was impossible to make the Emperor and Chkheidze meet face to face… The abdication must be handed to the monarchists and for the sake of saving the monarchy.” Thus, the abdication of the Emperor at that point in February was considered even by the monarchists as the best way out.
What Pavel Milyukov, the Foreign Minister of the Provisional Government and one of the main conspirators, said at a meeting of the State Duma on the following day, March 2, 1917, well describes the attitude of the Duma members towards the Tsar, “The old despot, who has brought Russia to utter ruin, will voluntarily give up the throne or be deposed.”
General Nikolai Ruzsky, the commander of the Northern Front, had already spoken of the abdication with Nicholas II prior to the arrival of Guchkov and Shulgin. The Tsar was shown telegrams with requests for abdication from the commanders-in-chief of the fronts.
Nicholas II told Guchkov and Shulgin that he had first decided to abdicate in favor of his son. However, he abdicated in favor of his brother Mikhail in order not to be separated from his son.
The abdicated Tsar was arrested on March 2 by his chief of staff, General Alekseev.
The next day, Mikhail, after a meeting with members of the Duma, also abdicated. Rodzianko recalled, “The Grand Duke Mikhail Aleksandrovich questioned me whether I can guarantee his life if he takes the throne, and I had to answer him negatively, because … I had no powerful armed force behind me …”
Therefore, the plot of Duma and generals, arranged seemingly to preserve the ruling monarchy, led to the total overthrow of the Romanov Dynasty.
The reaction of the church and leaders of the white movement to the overthrow of the Tsar
The Emperor has compromised himself so much that in his fateful hour he found support neither from the church, nor from the monarchist organizations, nor from the future leaders of the white movement who, for some reason, are also considered to be true monarchists.
The church reacted to the abdication quite favorably.
On March 9, 1917, the Holy Synod issued a statement in which the events of the February Revolution were described as an “accomplished will of God.” The statement said, “Russia has stepped onto a new path in the life of the state. May God bless our great Homeland with happiness and glory on its new path. “
The Romanovs’ abdication acts were read out in churches on March 12, 1917. From that point on, before their ordination, the priests and deacons were supposed to say, “I pledge to obey the Provisional Government, now the head of the Russian state, until the establishment of the governance by the will of the people through the mediation of the Constituent Assembly.”
Here are only some of the higher clergymen’s statements made at the time.
Archbishop Yevlogy of Volhynia in his message to the parishioners said that “the Russian Tsar was surrounded … by a tight circle of irresponsible and shady influences.”
Bishop Agapit of Yekaterinoslav and Mariupol stated that “dark forces pushed our homeland to doom,” but “God’s providence entrusted the fate of Russia to the government comprised of the representatives of the people in the State Duma, who are well aware of the modern ailments and needs of our Fatherland.”
Archbishop Vladimir of Penza, in a telegram to Vladimir Lvov, one of the leaders of the revolution and the new Ober-Procurator of the Holy Synod, said that he sees in him “a new dawn for church life.”
During his sermon, Bishop Kirion of Polotsk called to “Become an indestructible rock around the State Duma …”
Finally, in their appeal to the pastors of the diocese, the pastors of the city of Kazan glorified the State Duma, who “out of passionate love to the Motherland” committed “a great coup d’état”
As for the position of the leaders of the White movement towards the toppling of the Tsar, General Kornilov personally arrested Empress Alexandra Fyodorovna and other members of the royal family in Tsarskoe Selo on March 8, 1917.
Admiral Kolchak, according to his own testimony, was among the first to swear his allegiance and to swear his subordinates to the Provisional Government.
As for General Denikin, he described the decline of the monarchy as follows, “An unrestrained bacchanalia and а certain sadism of power exercised by the government officials appointed one after another by Rasputin, led to a situation in which by the beginning of 1917 the Tsarist government was unable to count on the support of any political party, social class, or estate. Everyone considered it to be an enemy of the people.”
Thus, the February revolution was a surprise for the Bolsheviks. The popular protest against harsh living conditions coincided with a struggle for power by big industrialists and landowners whose interests Guchkov, Rodzianko, and Milyukov represented. The Duma, the military, the monarchists, the church, and even his closest relatives turned their backs on Nicholas II. The British royal family also showed an active interest in the fall of the Russian monarchy.
The leaders of the February Revolution destroyed the Russian empire, creating a chaos which they could not manage. Though they had been cursed, it was the Bolsheviks who stopped the chaos, reunified, and restored the country, which the revolution and the Civil War had destroyed.
Source (for copy): http://eu.eot.su/2017/11/02/did-the-bolsheviks-overthrow-the-tsar/
This is the translation of the article (first published in the “Essence of Time” newspaper issue 230 on June 2, 2017) by Ivan Cheremnykh, Dmitry Kranoukhov, Dmitry Surkov, Ivan Krylov.