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  1. […] As has already been mentioned in Harold Rex, Tsar Nicholas II had expected too much of his soldiers in expecting them to take on Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire all at the same time.  The fact that such an impossible task had been placed upon them by a government that seemed oblivious to how colossally unfitted Russia was for war was, by the end of February 1917, gradually coming home.  2.3 million dead, and more than twice that number wounded, was all that the imperial government had to show for its decision to enter the war in the summer of 1914.  And what was the Tsar’s response?  To order his military commander in the capital, General Sergei Khabalov, to open fire on demonstrators.  Such a strategy had worked (if that’s the right word) before, in the Revolution of 1905, and much of Russia’s aristocracy, such as Rasputin’s assassin Prince Felix Yusupov, could be relied upon to back their Tsar.  Very soon, Russia’s head of state and his family were to discover that this popular movement against him was very different…   […]

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