In Russia, Tsar Nicholas has assumed personal command of the army. He is increasingly convinced that he must rule in the autocratic rule of his predecessors. Concessions to liberalism have been a mistake, he feels. Russia’s parliament, the Duma, was convened in August in the hope that this would reinvigorate popular support for the war. Instead the Duma has become a troublesome hotbed of dissent and grumbling, with the Progressive Bloc of deputies seeking to chip away at the Tsar’s authority. Nicholas has had enough of this nonsense. He orders the suspension of the Duma. He will rule without it.
The Tsar’s loyal prime minister, Ivan Gormeykin, informs the cabinet of the Tsar’s wishes. They are aghast, seeing the Duma as necessary to provide some popular support for the regime. Foreign minister Sazonov makes the unguarded comment that the Tsar has lost his mind.
In Petrograd (as St. Petersburg has been renamed) there is a short-lived general strike in support of the Duma, but generally there is little popular reaction to the assembly’s closure. Perhaps the Tsar is right to think that he does not need any body mediating between his royal self and the Russian people.
Ivan Goremykin (Wikipedia)