Nicholas II of Russia
d.17 Jul 1918 Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk, Uralsky, Russia
Facts and Events
Nicholas II ( – 17 July 1918) was the last Emperor of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and titular King of Poland. His official short title was Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias and he is known as Saint Nicholas the Passion-Bearer by the Russian Orthodox Church. He has often been referred to as Saint Nicholas the Martyr.
Nicholas II ruled from 1894 until his abdication on 2 March 1917. His reign saw Imperial Russia go from being one of the foremost great powers of the world to economic and military collapse. Enemies nicknamed him Bloody Nicholas because of the Khodynka Tragedy, Bloody Sunday, the anti-Semitic pogroms, his execution of political opponents, and his pursuit of military campaigns on a hitherto unprecedented scale.
Under his rule, Russia was defeated in the Russo-Japanese War, including the almost total annihilation of the Russian fleet at the Battle of Tsushima. As head of state, he approved the Russian mobilization of August 1914, which marked the beginning of Russia's involvement in World War I, a war in which 3.3 million Russians were killed. The Imperial Army's severe losses and the monarchy's incompetent handling of the war, along with other policies directed by Nicholas during his reign, are often cited as the leading causes of the fall of the Romanov dynasty.
Nicholas II abdicated following the February Revolution of 1917 during which he and his family were imprisoned first in the Alexander Palace at Tsarskoye Selo, then later in the Governor's Mansion in Tobolsk, and finally at the Ipatiev House in Yekaterinburg. Nicholas II, his wife, his son, his four daughters, the family's medical doctor, the Emperor's footman, the Empress' maidservant, and the family's cook were executed in the same room by the Bolsheviks on the night of 16/17 July 1918. This led to the canonization of Nicholas II, his wife the Empress Alexandra and their children as passion bearers, a category used to identify believers who, in imitation of Christ, endured suffering and death at the hands of political enemies, on August 15, 2000 by the Russian Orthodox Church within Russia and, in 1981, as martyrs by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, located in New York City.