Abdication Manifesto

Nikolai II, Abdication Manifesto. March 2, 1917


Original Source: Izvestiia komiteta petrogradskikh zhurnalistov, 3 March 1917.

In the midst of the great struggle against a foreign foe, who has been striving for three years to enslave our country, it has pleased God to lay on Russia a new and painful trial. Newly arisen popular disturbances in the interior imperil the successful continuation of the stubborn fight. The fate of Russia, the honor of our heroic army, the welfare of our people, the entire future of our dear land, call for the prosecution of the conflict, regardless of the sacrifices, to a triumphant end. The cruel foe is making his last effort and the hour is near when our brave army, together with our glorious Allies, will crush him.

In these decisive days in the life of Russia, we deem it our duty to do what we can to help our people to draw together and unite all their forces for the speedier attainment of victory. For this reason we, in agreement with the State Duma, think it best to abdicate the throne of the Russian State and to lay down the Supreme Power.

Not wishing to be separated from our beloved son, we hand down our inheritance to our brother, Grand Duke Michael Aleksandrovich, and give him our blessing on mounting the throne of the Russian Empire.

We enjoin our brother to govern in union and harmony with the representatives of the people on such principles as they shall see fit to establish. He should bind himself to do so by an oath in the name of our beloved country.

We call on all faithful sons of the Fatherland to fulfill their sacred obligations to their country by obeying the Tsar at this hour of national distress, and to help him and the representatives of the people to take Russia out of the position in which she finds herself, and to lead her into the path of victory, well-being, and glory.

May the Lord God help Russia!

March 2, 1917, 3 P.M. City of Pskov.
Countersigned by the Minister of the Imperial Court, Adjutant-General, Count Fredericks

Source: Frank Golder, ed., Documents of Russian History, 1914-1917 (New York: The Century Co., 1927), pp. 297-98.

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