By 1916, the figure of Grigory Rasputin gets demonized in the nation. There are even rumors of him being the Antichrist. Because of her German origin, the wife of Nicholas II Alexandra Fedorovna is believed to be a spy by many people (the search for proof of this theory after the overthrow of the monarchs provided no reliable evidence). Popular protests against the first persons of the state are even joined by the Grand Dukes: the so-called Grand Ducal opposition demands that Nicholas remove Rasputin from power and adopt the constitution.

On December 16, a group of monarchist conspirators, whose leaders include one of the great princes, Dmitry Pavlovich, commits assassination of Grigory Rasputin. Three shots — in the head, back and liver, the last being the fatal one — interrupt the life of the mysterious old man”.

 In the late February and early March, soldiers join the movement of many thousands of workers in the capital city. In the absence of military camps, all reserve troops and hospitals were located in large cities, in particular, in Petrograd. Those who did not want to take part in the long war and were greatly demoralized by the opposition moods, contribute a lot to the anti-monarchist attitude. After bread riots, anti-war rallies break out. On February 27, the February Revolution takes place and Petrograd passes under the control of the Provisional Government. On March 2, the Tsar abdicates the throne.

By the very first order dated March 1, the Soviets abolish the titles of officers and introduce equality in the army (it was forbidden to use the informal form of addressing the soldiers). In fact, this order serves to decline the authority of the military commanders. Against the backdrop of everyone’s war fatigue and the reluctance of the Provisional Government to end the war, the army liberalization becomes a delayed-action bomb rather than a remedy. After a brief inspiration of the soldiers in the summer of 1917, it becomes clear that the overthrow of the monarchy and the February Revolution are only the beginning of something more.

Visualization in the Road to Calvary

Telegin witnesses the murder of Rasputin. Although, Tolstoy describes the corpse as wrapped in a mat, while the photos taken immediately after the body extraction from under the ice indicate that Rasputin was wearing a fur coat. However, the circumstances of the old man’s” death remained contradictory for a long time: one of the conspirators, Felix Yusupov, changed his testimony throughout his life.
Nikolay Smokovnikov, when speaking to the soldiers, tells them about the equality between the army ranks, but raises his voice to a commander’s shout and dies at the hands of the people exhausted by the war.
There are strikes in St. Petersburg. Dasha and Katya attend meetings in the Legal Club to learn about the impending revolution. Katya Roshchina goes to the front, and when she returns, she sees that soldiers are completely demoralized, and generals of the Provisional Government are ready to surrender Russia to the invaders.

You and I have no country any more—only the place where it used to be. (…) Great Russia ceased to exist at the moment when the people threw down their arms… (…) Great Russia is now merely dung for the fields… Everything will have to be started all over again; the army, the state — a new soul will have to be breathed into us”.

The Road to Calvary by A. N. Tolstoy