Nicholas II (1868–1918), last Emperor of Russia
The very young and poorly prepared Tsar Nicholas II ascended the throne in 1894. He continued the politics of his father, Alexander III, holding back from implementing necessary reforms and sending the secret police after his opponents. The country was soon hit with strikes and protests, culminating in the revolution of 1905. In 1915, the Tsar took command of the imperial troops: hundreds of thousands of Russian soldiers died and the civilian population suffered severe food shortages.
Yet the imperial family continued to live a life of luxury, far removed from the people. Rumbles of dissent increased among the populace and an uprising began in March 1917. The Tsar ordered a repression, but the soldiers rallied behind the insurgents. The people demanded the Tsar’s deposition, and he was banished to Siberia with his family. There was to be no trial: the imperial family were assassinated on the night of 16 July 1918.