To Bury Monarchy Under a Mountain of Words. Petrograd and Moscow Newspapers About the Destiny of the Abdicated Emperor Nicholas II and His Family Members

Limanova S.A.


The article analyzes the publications in the metropolitan's press in 1917– 1918 about the abdicated Emperor Nicholas II and his family members. Reviewing such newspapers as «Pravitelstvenny vestnik» («The Government Gazette»), «Utro Rossii» («The Morning of Russia»), «Rech’» («The Speech»), «Petrogradsky listok» («The Petrograd Leaflet»), «Pravda» («The Truth»), satirical weekly «Bich» («The Scourge») and others, the author argues that the press not only served as a mirror of many social and political processes that took place in the country but at times also began to reflect immediate changes in the public sentiment. The article follows the trajectory from the «information vacuum» of the first days of the revolutionary events to the subsequent flow of contradictory information, which was later often corrected according to the socio-political orientation of the publications. Occurring as a result of the struggle for the «information field», there were significant changes in the presentation and interpretation of the unfolding developments. Also highlighted is the reaction of contemporaries to occasional news about the family of the ex-Emperor. As the author shows, the press of the time strove, by all possible means, to strengthen the negative image of the Russian autocracy, to desacralize it. «Humiliating» news in the press appeared in parallel with other events: the mocking theatrical and cinematic presentation of the episodes from the imperial family life, the destruction of imperial monuments, etc. At the same time, these campaigns served the interests of new ideology and the ways to represent power in the new state. Tracing the evolution of interest in the «imperial topic» in Russia after 1917, the paper concludes that the «newspaper facts» were a major influence on the immediate and long-term public attitudes towards the destiny of the executed tsar’s family and the perception of the monarchy in general.


Nicholas II; abdication; metropolitan press; destiny of the Romanovs; representation of power; desacralization.

DOI: 10.31249/rsm/2020.01.02

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