The army was mutinying and they and the politicians had lost confidence in Nicholas.He was persuaded to abdicate obstensibly to save the throne for future Romanovs but that soon proved impossible as his brother did not want the throne and nobody else did. The Empress was far away in Tsarskoe Selo and did not know of the abdication until Nicholas wrote to her and explained what had happened. She would undoubtedly have tried to argue him out of it had she been known of it beforehand. Her grasp on the reality of what was happening was tenuous at the best of times.
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