Revolution within the Russian Army


Russian soldiers take to the streets to protest in Petrograd in April 1917

By 1917, three years into World War I, Russia had drafted nearly 15 million men to serve in the army; a majority of them being peasants. After years of fighting, soldiers would question why they were even fighting and just wanted to return back home to their families. With Tsar Nicholas II commanding the Russian army, all the blame for their unsuccessful military campaigns would be given to him. It was soon noticed how the Russian military was falling apart.

The revolution within the Russian military played a prominent role in the abdication of the Tsar as well as the Russian Revolution. On 23 February 1917, the Cossack cavalry refused the order given to them to shoot the protesting women workers in Petrograd. Within days, strikes and demonstrations brought the city to a standstill, eventually leading to a mutiny among the troops garrisoning the city. The first regiment to rebel was the Volhynsky. They were disturbed by their ordered to shoot-to-kill, soon after other regiments would follow and joined the protests.

During the first few weeks of the revolution the Russian Army had lost between 100,000 and 150,000 soldiers to desertion. The majority of those deserting were peasants who returned to their homes expecting a division on land would occur. There were even arrests or executions taking place in the military, and they were replaced by more popular leaders.

With a revolution starting to occur and the mutiny of his soldiers, the Tsar had no one who support him or to enforce his rule. On 27 February  70,000 troops along with 400,000 strikers marched in the streets of Petrograd, leading to the arrests of the Tsar’s ministers. On 1 March the Tsar’s remaining loyal soldiers, in Petrograd, surrendered. The Russian Army High Command recommended that the Tsar abdicate in favor of a more popular member of the royal family. On 2 March the Tsar  was forced to abdicate.


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Church of the Resurrection

Russian Church

Located on the banks of the Volga River, the city of Kostroma houses a prime example of 17th century Russian art; the Church of the Resurrection in the Grove. The church is the only surviving building in Kostroma that was built in the 17th century (Church of the Resurrection). It is not only admired by its aesthetically pleasing exterior, but also by the frescoes painted on the interior walls.

The Church of the Resurrection in the Grove was built from 1630 to 1645 and the frescoes were painted on the interior from 1650 to 1652 (Prokudin-Gorskii). Legend has it that the church was erected from the money gathered by merchants and tradesmen of the city. The main contribution came from merchant Kirill Isakov who found a barrel full of gold among his goods, and he hoped to use this money for a good purpose (Resurrection Church on the Debra).

The architects who created the church are unknown, but believed that they arrived from Yaroslavl and Veliky Ustyug; while the paintings were made by Arteli Vasili Zapookrovsky and the frescoes by Gury Nikitin (Revolvy). One of the reasons I believe the church and the frescoes remain dear to the residents of Kostroma, is that Gury Nikitin resided in Kostroma and was well known throughout the Empire.

Eventually the church closed in 1930 and its walls were made into a granary, while the basement became a military warehouse up until 1946 where it eventually re-opened (Revolvy). Over the years it has been restored to what is believed to be its original appearance and it remains one of the most sacred sites in Kostroma.


“Church of the Resurrection.” Church of the Resurrection – Kostroma, Russia,

Prokudin-Gorskii, Sergei Mikhailovich 1863-1944. “Church of the Resurrection in the Grove (From the Other Side). Kostroma.” WDL RSS, Library of Congress, 1 Jan. 1970,

Resurrection Church on the Debra,

Revolvy, LLC. “Church of the Resurrection, Kostroma.” Revolvy,

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Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii. Church of the Resurrection in the Grove, 1910. Digital color rendering. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsc-03975 (48)