Effective immediately, I'm now accepting suggestions! What areas of Place In the Sun, too tangential to merit five thousand words and distract from the narrative, but still interesting, would you like to know more about? It can be literally anything- an election, a political figure... whatever! Tell me below and I'll include it of a week!
I'd like to see something happen in Persia where the Qajars are overthrown and replaced with a uniquely Persian dynasty that brings back some glory to the land of my ancestors.
 
Chapter 50: The Aftermath
Chapter Fifty: The Aftermath
"Few recognised it at the time but nonetheless, it seems obvious in retrospect. Lavr Kornilov and Vladimir Lenin had no place in the same political programme. Their differences were so profound in every respect- their ideologies polar opposites- that a fallout was bound to occur. Throughout the forthcoming fight for survival the tension between its two competing halves would greatly undermine the Russian Republic..."
-Vladimir Voinovich, Russian War and Institutions (2001)

"They must hate me greatly! What else but pure, unbridled hate could get the Bolsheviks and the liberal nobles to agree on anything? And these allies shall be punished together, make no mistake of that!"
-Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, Xenia's widower

"We must all hang together, or we shall surely hang separately."
-Benjamin Franklin

The Russian Republic started life atop a pin. When Alexander Kerensky had addressed the people at nine AM, on 9 May 1919, the country seemed on the verge of a socialist revolution. Tsarina Xenia Romanova had failed to address an eight-day general strike, while Vladimir Lenin’s Nine-Point Programme offered a nucleus for a leftist regime. Kerensky was a leftist who sympathised with the strikers but feared communism. The problem wasn’t the general strike, much less the grievances of the people, but rather Lenin. The question was not whether the monarchy would fall, but whether it would be a moderate republic or a Leninist state which replaced it.

Provisional President Kerensky appeared to have won the race.

The Russian Republic had to immediately convince the workers of Petrograd that it, not Lenin, best represented their interests. Failure would mean the mob which had ransacked the capital for the past week would turn on them, ending not just their careers but their lives. The general commanding Petrograd had already taken a major step in that direction. Lavr Kornilov (1) had ordered a cease-fire with the protestors on the evening of May 8, after receiving confirmation that Xenia and Georgi Lvov (2) were both dead. No one thought to disobey what looked like a perfectly legitimate order (not realising what their superior had been involved in), and an eerie quiet had descended over Petrograd on the morning of the ninth. While Kerensky was proclaiming the republic, protestors visited their families for the first time in days; soldiers discussed the Nine-Point Programme amongst themselves. The news of what Kerensky had done cut through the capital that morning like a shockwave. Anger at Xenia and Georgi Lvov had fuelled the general strike, and many felt that this obscure Kerensky, at the very least, couldn’t be worse. The Nine-Point Programme had spread like wildfire in only three days, teaching the people of the capital what a future without the monarchy might look like. Blind to ideological differences between Lenin and Kerensky, they ignored their newfound status as traitors and embraced Kerensky in the hopes that he might offer what Lenin had promised.

The Bolshevik leader was no ally of the Russian Republic but nonetheless his words brought it time to survive.

Meanwhile, the plotters secured the remaining troops in the capital. Free of the need to operate undercover, Kornilov called on the Petrograd garrison- as well as the naval units in harbour- to “congregate under the banner of and obey all orders deriving from the authority of the Russian Republic.” War Minister Guchkov issued an order a few hours later legitimising soldier’s councils. Soldiers, he said, were another type of workingman and entitled to the new Republic’s protections. Guchkov offered to meet with any “legitimate representative” of soldier’s councils. There was a risk that newly boldened councils might try and seize power for themselves, but Guchkov gambled that they’d gratefully serve the regime- after all, it was providing what they’d always wanted. By the end of 9 May, the different military units in the capital had taken an oath of loyalty to Provisional President Kerensky, and he’d recognised their right to form councils.

Getting the civilians on-side would be trickier.

Vladimir Lenin had ended five days of chaos. After issuing his Nine-Point Programme hours after reaching the capital, he’d met with his ally Grigory Zinoviev. The two had agreed to spread Lenin’s manifesto and formed a worker’s group, what Zinoviev called “a union of unions.” The Petrograd Soviet (3) was designed to unite the strikers of the capital around Lenin’s vision, and hopefully to encompass the people of the entire empire. However, its power rested not with Lenin and Zinoviev, but with individual union leaders. One or two men might represent the dockworkers of the Neva River, another might stand for street-sweepers. These men, hailing from varying backgrounds, had been elected by their peers to represent them in the first days of the General Strike, and had been won over by the Nine-Point Programme. The average politically ignorant striker in the street would’ve said on 9 May that Leninism was about letting workers like him run the country and decide their own fates. Lenin and Zinoviev papered over the abolition of private property and government control over all aspects of life because it wouldn’t sell. Thus, Kerensky’s promise to “march in step with the people” seemed as good as anything Lenin offered.

The people now had two revolutionary governments competing for their support.

Vladimir Lenin was livid at Kerensky for stealing his thunder. Though the Nine-Point Programme painstakingly conceded that a parliamentary republic might be an appropriate first stage in the revolution, Lenin privately admitted he’d just thrown that in as an expedient. “It is hardly any good having Xenia’s ashes scattered in a forest”, he fumed, “if it is not the people who did the deed!” Watching the General Strike break out had induced dreams of red banners toppling the monarchy. Proclaiming the Nine-Point Programme to that crowd in the capital was supposed to be the start of a long march which would end with a red star over the Motherland. He was going to redeem himself after the failure of 1905, succeed where Julius Martov had failed in September 1916, and prove his supporters at Duck Bay and Toulon right- as well as join Georges Sorel in the ranks of great Marxist revolutionaries.

And now Alexander Kerensky had jumped the gun.

Lenin’s first instinct was to flee. That the crowd curiously proceeding to the Tauride Palace was moving peacefully and not being set upon by soldiers was interesting but not necessarily concerning. If the city garrison had formed a massive soldier’s council and refused to fire on civilians, that could be the spark needed to turn the General Strike into a full revolution. Xenia or Lvov offering a cease-fire would’ve drained the energy and strife Lenin needed, but might’ve offered opportunities yet. But the pamphlets announcing a change of government painted a dreadful picture. The pamphlet made no mention of the Tsarina, who at the height of such a crisis ought to have taken the lead. Announcing that this new government sat “with Her Majesty’s blessing” or something similar would’ve sent a powerful message that though Lvov might be down, the monarch was by no means out. Xenia hadn’t failed to do this because she was busy playing chess and eating scones. Furthermore, the name “Alexander Kerensky” meant something to Lenin. Alexander Kerensky saw the same political chessboard as Lenin. Despite their wildly divergent political careers, both shared some traits. Both had been childhood friends who’d entered leftist politics and criticised the excesses of the Romanov system to the man in the street. Yet the similarities stopped there. Whereas Lenin had sworn his life to Marx at twenty-three, Kerensky had entered politics via law. Lenin wanted to burn down the system; Kerensky wanted to make it “equitable”. Nothing good, Lenin was sure, could come out of having such a man ordering troops about atop a government.

Lenin was reading a report from a union leader an hour later with Zinoviev when a ruckus erupted outside. He went to tell the sentry from the Petrograd Autonomous Company (4) to tell the crowd to shut up so he could focuss, but two words stopped him in his tracks. “Russian Republic!” What? “Long Live the Russian Republic! Long Live Provisional President Kerensky!”

Both Lenin and Zinoviev knew what to do. Their plans had been undermined and they feared for their lives. Fleeing would surely unravel the Petrograd Soviet, leave the Bolsheviks defenceless against accusations of cowardice, and wreck Lenin’s career. Coming back from one failed revolution was impressive; coming back from two would be impossible. Nicholas II or Ivan the Terrible, if faced with a similar predicament, would’ve acted no differently. After telling the sentry to admit no one, Grigory Zinoviev retrieved a bottle of vodka. Before they could drown their sorrows, there came a knock on the door. Panic took over. Was Kerensky sending hitmen? Surely he’d want to nip two potential threats to his regime in the bud.

“Come with me”, said Zinoviev. He pulled up a floorboard to reveal a secret cellar. “Must make the Okhrana welcome, eh?” Lenin had just pondered what a good grave it’d make when the knock came again. “It is me, Comrades!” It was the sentry from the Petrograd Autonomous Company. “I have a message from none other than Alexander Kerensky, delivered by a government agent.”

“How the hell does he know where we live?” fumed Lenin. That was a threat if ever he’d seen one and clearly Zinoviev’s house was no longer safe. The sentry handed Lenin a piece of paper with Kerensky’s signature on the bottom. Lenin smiled- that was his childhood friend’s writing, all right. Whatever this was, it was legitimate.

“He wishes to meet with you, Comrades.” Lenin took a moment to let that sink in. Then he reached for the vodka bottle again.

* * *

Lenin and Zinoviev debated Kerensky’s offer the next day. Lenin had no intention of meeting him and argued that they were already in danger remaining in the capital. If there was one thing a lifetime in revolutionary politics had taught him, it was that you couldn’t trust anybody. You certainly didn’t want to enter a rival’s stronghold if you couldn’t win a shoot-out, and Lenin knew that nothing less than a rifle division could conquer the Tauride Palace. Luring the revolutionaries into his fortress with a hand-signed note and quickly filling them with lead would be ideal for Kerensky. Decapitating the Petrograd Soviet would make his regime the only viable alternative to the monarchy; adopting the Nine-Point Programme would win the people to his side. Like all revolutionaries, Kerensky had left his scruples at the door, so why wouldn’t he try such a thing? Lenin’s mind was too Machivaellian to imagine anything less.

Grigory Zinoviev saw things differently and urged Lenin to go. Kerensky, he pointed out, was a politician dressed up as a revolutionary. He was a cautious man who preferred making allies to foes. The Petrograd Soviet was a potential future threat, true (an admission that he and Lenin were planning to overthrow the Republic), but they also aided Kerensky’s regime. Assassinating Lenin would expose Kerensky as a reactionary and cost him popular support, without which his regime would collapse.“That might be so, Grigory Yevseyvich”, Lenin retorted, “but it will not do me much good if I am not there to witness it! You speak with the man yourself if you so choose.”

It wasn’t immediately apparent, but this was the greatest blunder of Lenin’s career.

Escorted by the men of the Georgievsky Unionised Company- a unit operating under a soldier’s council named after the neighbourhood from which its men all hailed- Zinoviev entered the Tauride Palace at dawn on 11 May. Though the violence had been over for two days, the palace was as heavily defended as ever. It was, Zinoviev remarked later, like entering a battleship through the bilge. Soldiers of the 79th Rifle Division (4) patted Zinoviev down while their attack dogs snarled at him. Artillery pieces, barbed wire, and sandbagged machine-guns evoked a Great War pillbox. A shiver shot up Zinoviev’s spine as he realised Lenin may have been right. If Kerensky wanted to take out half the leadership of the Petrograd Soviet, now would be an ideal time to do it.

“You’re clear.” A captain jerked his thumb, his breath reeking of tobacco. “I will escort you to the Provisional President’s office.” The gates to the fortress opened.


They could protect the Tauride Palace from outside invaders, but can they protect it from further intrigue?
tauride defences.jpeg


* * *

“The Provisional President will see you now”, Kerensky’s secretary purred. Zinoviev’s eyes followed her as she strolled from her desk to Kerensky’s door. Even the guards were clearly fighting to keep their eyes straight forward. She rapped on the knocker. Seconds drifted by, and Zinoviev smiled awkwardly at her. She threw her long black hair over her shoulder and he adjusted his tie. Ten seconds had elapsed.

“Come!” Zinoviev walked in, the secretary closing the door behind him.

"Aah, Grigory Yevseyvich! Come in, come in, and have a seat.” Alexander Kerensky grinned from behind his republican throne. The silver placard on his desk read ‘Provisional President of the Russian Republic’, not ‘Prime Minister of the Russian Empire’, and portraits of long-deceased Romanovs were replaced by images of Kerensky on fishing trips, but other than that the office was no different to when Georgi Lvov had ruled. Zinoviev stepped over a peculiar dark stain on the carpet (6) and sat down.

“Cigar, old chap?”

Nyet, nyet. Bad for the lungs, sir.” Kerensky shrugged and lit up. “Quite a nice office you have here, sir.”

“Indeed it is, Grigory Yevseyvich, indeed it is. Inherited it directly from the ancien regime. As Napoleon sat in the Tuileries, so I sit here. Some have accused me of being a stickler for offices, but I say that the position from which one speaks matters a great deal.” (6) He smiled. “And isn’t it a marvellous position? I have all the safety in the world and the power to finally mend this poor, broken Rodina of ours- to say nothing of that lovely Natasha.” Both men grinned. “But this is not our purpose here today. We have made great strides in the last few days. When I told the crowd that the old and rotten had collapsed, I was not exaggerating, you know. Our two groups have the chance to make a new path ahead for the Motherland but we must act fast.” The Provisional President blew a smoke ring. “I don’t suppose I have to tell you how grave the threat from the monarchists is?”

“Of course not, sir. We would be in a far better place if Xenia had never married. Her twenty-five children are all potential usurpers!” Zinoviev leaned in closer. “May one ask what’s happened to them, sir?”

Kerensky smiled. “Not twenty-five, Grigory Yevseyvich, though you are not far wrong. As to your question… the answer is, unfortunately, that I have no idea. Her husband, the so-called Grand Duke, is still in Pskov with their youngest son. He is the greatest threat by far. Her daughter and granddaughter are, in fact, in our custody. Provided they behave, no harm will come to them.” Zinoviev frowned. Surely, executing a few reactionaries would set an example? “The other sons are all in the military. War Minister Guchkov has issued orders for their arrest and trial, but I could not tell you if this has been carried out. I doubt whether he could, for that matter.”

"What you are saying, sir, is that we are just one city against the rest of the empire.”

Ages passed before Kerensky smiled sourly. “Ye-es. I suppose one could say that, Grigory Yevseyvich.” His tone of voice told Zinoviev he’d touched a nerve. “Thus making it all the more important that we succeed. Now, this is where- and I say this with all due respect- this is where I wish I could have conversed with Vladimir Lenin.”

“He fears for his safety”, Zinoviev said. “He believes that you would eliminate him given the chance and reduce the threat from your left.”

"Interesting.” Kerensky’s pose suggested thoughtfulness. “And do you believe that this was my intent? Had I offered you a cup of tea in lieu of a cigar, you would have been well to follow Lenin’s advice!” The Provisional President laughed far too loudly. “But regardless, perhaps you can answer my queries. We have our differences, of course, but what is the main thing uniting us?”

“That if the monarchists catch us, we will die together?”

“Precisely. Thus, it seems to me that the best thing we can do is hold together for the moment. I have absolute confidence in our ability to force a revolution if we are united. If, however, the Petrograd Soviet moves against the government of the Russian Republic-”

“-or if you attempt to crush the working people in the streets, and if your War Minister or General Kornilov turn on the Soviet-”

“then the only winners live in Pskov.” Kerensky pretended Zinoviev hadn’t cut him off, eyeing him with a grudging respect. “As I say, Grigory Yevseyvich, our differences are profound. Nonetheless, my goal is compromise. I didn’t get where I am today without being able to compromise!”

“Very fair”, Zinoviev said. “May I propose the following, then? You agree to the Nine-Point Programme as the basis for restructuring the Russian state, and promise to let the Petrograd Soviet extend its reach across the country once we have won the war.”

“Extend its reach across the country?” Kerensky frowned. “Explain.”

“As a sort of union of unions, sir. By this I mean that its place ought to be enshrined in the Constitution and all workers and soldiers should have representation therein.”
Kerensky frowned. “We… we shall see. When we have won the war, and the time comes to draft a constitution for our new republic, the soviets will absolutely receive due representation.” The Provisional President got a faraway look in his eye. “It will be marvellous, you know. History has found a special place for men such as us.” He stood up and smiled awkwardly. “Can you keep a secret, Grigory Yevseyvich?”

“Da.” Where was all this leading?

“I am glad to be meeting with you, as opposed to Vladimir Lenin. Compromise, Grigory Yevseyvich, is my end goal, and I daresay you are more palatable to it than your ally.”

“I beg your pardon, sir? Comrade Lenin and I are allies. We stand with the majority.”

“I know that. But I have also read his Nine-Point Programme, and suffice it to say there are some things which… concern me.” Kerensky was no fool- Zinoviev gave him that. But where was all this leading? “Sir, you may rest assured that everything in the Nine-Point Programme has my full approval. We coauthored it in my flat.” And he took all the credit, the scoundrel.

Kerensky stroked his chin. “You are a real Bolshevik, are you not? You’ve spent so long running from the Romanovs that you’ve forgotten something: one can have an ally in the government.”

“With all due respect, Provisional President Kerensky, please tell me where this is leading! If you are attempting to drive a wedge between myself and Comrade Lenin, know that that will not happen.” Zinoviev’s throat tightened. If word of this leaked out and Lenin doubted his loyalty, his political career would end at the bottom of the Neva River with weights tied to his feet and his clothes on the shore. But how will he find out, you fool? Zinoviev shook his head. Things could always go wrong. “Sir, I say this to you with the utmost respect: while we share a common enemy in the Romanovs and will fight them as one, there is little else in common between us. Comrade Lenin and I will always fight on behalf of the people. You can-” Telling Kerensky that he could stand with the majority or die with the minority might be perceived as a threat and Zinoviev didn’t want to die. “You can rest assured of that, sir.”

“I understand, Grigory Yevseyvich. I will leave you with two points. First, know that once the war is won, if the Petrograd Soviet- or, indeed, future Soviets across the whole country- attempt to usurp power from the Russian Republic I will show no quarter. Yourself, Comrade Lenin, and anybody else who moves against the republic will meet a swift end. The Rodina has seen too much turmoil for me to tolerate more.” A wolf in sheep’s clothing. That’s what you are. You pretend to be a liberal but underneath you are no less reactionary than Xenia.

“And the second thing. If you cooperate with the Russian Republic after the war, I will be your greatest ally. Even if Vladimir Lenin attempts something and you side with me, we will be comrades. I do not hate revolutionaries, you understand- I am one! But there is a time to burn and a time to build, and that time will come when the Romanovs are expelled from the country. When the time to build comes, I hope you will set down your gun and help build a republic the workers can be proud to call their own.”

“We will see, sir.” Had he believed in God, Zinoviev would’ve asked Him how to explain this to Lenin. “One war at a time, Provisional President Kerensky?”

“Agreed.” The two men clasped hands. “Best of luck, Grigory Yevseyvich. I hope our next meeting will be as comrades shaking hands over the ashes of the old and rotten.”
Zinoviev left Kerensky’s office, his mind racing. He was too preoccupied with the unsightly Provisional President to notice Natasha fixing her hair in the mirror. What did the Provisional President want from him? How could he explain this to Lenin? And what did it all mean?

* * *

It was fortunate that Kerensky had his left flank secure because the monarchist threat was only growing. Though the revolutionaries had burned Xenia’s body to be on the safe side, it didn’t take long to discern her fate. When news of the proclamation of the Russian Republic reached Pskov six hours after the fact, Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich staggered as if from a blow. His wife was gone. His twelve-year-old son was motherless. Alexander turned grief into fuel, and his personal hatred of the revolutionaries made him a unique force amongst the monarchists. Entrusting his son Vasilly to the captain of his guard, Alexander left Pskov for Veliky Novgorod first thing on the eleventh. His joke of a week ago that it was bad luck for Romanovs to flee there suddenly became bitter. Nonetheless, its proximity to the capital made it the best place to lash out against the Republicans. The guards welcomed Alexander Mikhailovich and attempted to hail him as Tsar, but he refused. That title, he said, belonged to his oldest daughter (8), and it was in her name he served.

Alexander’s main interest was in subjugating Petrograd as soon as possible. He believed the current situation was nothing more than a scaled-up version of September 1916. Then, urban unrest across the empire had weakened the monarchy and Petrograd had leapt into revolt, but as soon as the capital was secure things quietened down. Strangling both the Republicans and Petrograd Soviet in the cradle, “quarantining the virus of red revolution” (as Alexander put it) would prevent the regime from falling. Thus, he asked the commander how soon he could mount a strike on the capital. The commander replied that prospects were bleak. While Veliky Novgorod was largely secure, the garrison was neither well-equipped enough to march on Petrograd nor strong enough to conquer it. The most he could do, he said, was dispatch patrols to nearby towns and take control of roads and railways to deny them to the enemy. Alexander asked him what he was bloody waiting for before dictating a telegram to all the cities of the empire. He was alive and stronger than ever, he said, and so was the Romanov dynasty. Tsarina Xenia had given her life to stop the revolutionaries, and it fell to him, to “Tsarina Irina” (9), and to the Russian people to fulfill her dying wish.

His was the last chance to save his empire, people, and way of life. Victory meant saving the Tsarist throne, avenging his wife, and preserving the House of Romanov. Failure meant chaos and revolution. All this hung on the shoulders of Alexander Mikhailovich Romanov.


The last best hope of Russian monarchism: the Grand Duke Mikhailovich
granddukemikhailovich.jpeg

Comments?

  1. Hey, he happily served the Provisional Government in our world!
  2. Her right-hand man; read the preceding chapter.
  3. Substantially different to our world’s.
  4. A unit led by a soldier’s council which agreed to act as Lenin’s bodyguards.
  5. The one which pulled off the coup in the preceding chapter.
  6. See the last chapter… this is foreshadowing….
  7. Yes, this is inaccurate, but Kerensky gets the point across.
  8. Whom he didn’t realise was in revolutionary captivity.
  9. The aforementioned daughter. Most people hadn’t ever heard of her, let alone knew that she was in prison.
 
Wow. What a tangled web you weave. A real monarchist opposition to the revolution, sowing the seeds of conflict amidst the Bolsheviks...
 
Good to see Lenin shoot himself in the foot. Also may I say, my brain has me with the Republicans but my heart is giving a salute to the Monarchists. Guess it’s mainly because of just how shady the Republicans are acting, and the righetous anger of Mikhail. Makes you wonder what would of happened if Guchkov hadn’t been such a idiotic asshole and shot Xenia (If you’d failed, don’t you think it be better to have the Tzar alive to maybe give you abit of leniency instead of the automatic bullet for Regicide). The entire story could of gone a lot more smoothly if you had Xenia give a totally not forced abdication speech, abolishing the Tzardom. Sure it would not of been any more legitimate but it would of confused the rest of the country and could of been leveraged to take over the country (also make sure that you don’t have Mikhailovich the Punisher coming after you, if only to keep his wife safe)
 
My heart is with Lenin, but my mind is with Kerensky, who is probably the best for Russia.

The monarchy is a pathetic collection of arrogant fools and Lenin, while being my favorite character, its too extreme.

A more moderate leftist Russia may be more pragmatic since the start, maybe adopting Denguist-like policies as a end on itself, without having to sell ideological reasonings.

Also, considering its more sober make up, the Russia Republic will have it easier in regard to keeping the military officers on board without the need to do extensive purges, like the USSR did. This is a factor which may prove crucial in the next war against the Reich.

The lack of the Holodomor also comes to mind. It would do wonders for the Russian-Ukranian relationship in the future.

What do you guys think?
 
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Ah, how's Russia doing?

Yep. Sounds about right. Bluntly, this makes what is happening in France look like a leisurely stroll between Point A and B.

I've always struggled a lot with the morality of the Russian Revolution. Understanding that the Tsar had completely screwed the country up, even if one believes in monarchy as a superior form of governance (Which I don't) he had foresaken a lot of his duties, and also why Lenin was so popular and did march against him, I've always found myself cold to the man himself. Even in the excellent BBC series 'Eagles of War' which covers a lot of the same time period yourself have examined, Patrick Stewart is excellent as Lenin in a series that is I think charitable towards him. Even then, Lenin's never really...had me on side, per say. I'm on the left somewhere, can't tell you what the name is for what I am because I'm not sure there is one. And still, I've never really found Lenin all that inspiring in what he said and thought. I understand that in those days it was different, but it's near impossible for me to separate the man from the events from which he brought about. There is a curious bit of me that is enjoying that he is struggling here? And I say that as someone who thinks Kerensky is as trustworthy as...well, as anyone, I suppose. All of them are worrisome snakes in the grass, the horse I was tentatively backing was set on fire a while back, and it's all going to be hell.

And poor Alexander. I get a nasty feeling he'd have been better off if he'd have stuck to his archaeology.

Suffice to say, this is a grand chapter. I like that we've had several focusing on France, now on Russia, who knows where next? Hopefully the UK gets a look in at some point!

EDIT: Something I'd like to add here. My reading of your work thus far indicates you have a somewhat cynical view of revolutions on the whole, which I can understand, certainly the reason why I'm not sure as to what part of the spectrum of the left I fall upon is that I have no desire to ever see the bloodshed of an actual revolution that a lot of the leftier-than-thou people on the internet speak of. You have, however, always taken strides to show the generally miserable conditions that the people who have gotten swept up in these movements live in. Their lives and struggles and often bitter injustices that are done to them. They are not wrong for wanting things to change, indeed there must be a change of some sorts is the idea that I get from reading this, which is I think the reason it's so good. Just thought I'd put that out there.
 
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Personally, I'm hoping in the event of a Republican victory that they demand the Germans hand Nicky over for trial over his misrule as Tsar. Followed by the Russian Ambassador getting dragged - so to speak - in front of a raging Kaiser Wilhelm II who a) gives a lecture on the rights of asylum (like Wilhelmina of Orange did IOTL for his sake to the Entente representatives), and then b) declares the ambassador persona non grata for presuming to dictate German internal affairs.

I'm sure the German government won't be too happy about Willy burning bridges (again), but if the Russians did this, well, considering Germany's dominant role in Central Europe, the government would also probably conclude that Willy could just have been more diplomatic about it. Besides, giving in to Russian demands would cause unrest in Germany's satellites, with the Poles and others looking fearfully at a potentially resurgent Russian Bear over their eastern borders. Sure, the Germans are overbearing, to say the least, but at least they have formal independence under Berlin's hegemony, and more than a passing semblance of self-government. That's already more than what they'd get from Moscow/Petrograd.
 
How long before the German intervene in Russia or at minimum undermine the new Russian government and support Russian monarchist monarchist with military supplies such as surplus rifles and amunitions, volunteers and money?will we see a UK or Japanese intervention in Russia in TTL in support of Russian monarchist?
 
Ah, how's Russia doing?

Yep. Sounds about right. Bluntly, this makes what is happening in France look like a leisurely stroll between Point A and B.

I've always struggled a lot with the morality of the Russian Revolution. Understanding that the Tsar had completely screwed the country up, even if one believes in monarchy as a superior form of governance (Which I don't) he had foresaken a lot of his duties, and also why Lenin was so popular and did march against him, I've always found myself cold to the man himself. Even in the excellent BBC series 'Eagles of War' which covers a lot of the same time period yourself have examined, Patrick Stewart is excellent as Lenin in a series that is I think charitable towards him. Even then, Lenin's never really...had me on side, per say. I'm on the left somewhere, can't tell you what the name is for what I am because I'm not sure there is one. And still, I've never really found Lenin all that inspiring in what he said and thought. I understand that in those days it was different, but it's near impossible for me to separate the man from the events from which he brought about. There is a curious bit of me that is enjoying that he is struggling here? And I say that as someone who thinks Kerensky is as trustworthy as...well, as anyone, I suppose. All of them are worrisome snakes in the grass, the horse I was tentatively backing was set on fire a while back, and it's all going to be hell.

And poor Alexander. I get a nasty feeling he'd have been better off if he'd have stuck to his archaeology.

Suffice to say, this is a grand chapter. I like that we've had several focusing on France, now on Russia, who knows where next? Hopefully the UK gets a look in at some point!

EDIT: Something I'd like to add here. My reading of your work thus far indicates you have a somewhat cynical view of revolutions on the whole, which I can understand, certainly the reason why I'm not sure as to what part of the spectrum of the left I fall upon is that I have no desire to ever see the bloodshed of an actual revolution that a lot of the leftier-than-thou people on the internet speak of. You have, however, always taken strides to show the generally miserable conditions that the people who have gotten swept up in these movements live in. Their lives and struggles and often bitter injustices that are done to them. They are not wrong for wanting things to change, indeed there must be a change of some sorts is the idea that I get from reading this, which is I think the reason it's so good. Just thought I'd put that out there.
you know what? I agree with all of this...this is a really good analysis imo, and I agree with it!
 
I can't imagine Kerensky winning this in the end. Nor do I think a russian 'republic' would be stable.

But I suppose we'll see
 
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