On 5 March 1917 the newspapers of the capital of the Russian Empire published their first issues for seven days. So news-hungry was the population of Petrograd after this unprecedented period of silence that a profitable lottery was held for the first copy off the presses. The eager reading public was not disappointed in the first editions: the headline news featured the abdication of the Tsar Nicholas II, the renunciation of the crown by his brother Grand Duke Michael and the announcement that Russia now had a ‘Provisional Government’. The official statement on the creation and identity of the new government was terse to the point of being uninformative:1

The Provisional Committee of members of the Duma, with the help and support of the army and inhabitants of the capital, has now secured such a large measure of success over the dark forces of the old regime that it is possible for the Committee to undertake the organisation of a more stable executive power.


October Revolution Political Police Party Congress Headline News Dark Force 
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© Raymond Pearson 1977

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  • Raymond Pearson

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