Russian Provisional Government

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The Russian Provisional Government (Russian: Временное правительство России, translit. Vremennoye pravitel'stvo Rossii) was the largely bourgeois Duma which assumed power in St. Petersburg following the outbreak of Revolution in the period 7 - 10 February 1917 (Julian calendar), stating that it had fully replaced the Council of Ministers of Russia, members of which presided at the Admiralty. This Duma then despatched a delegation to Stavka, Russian Army Headquarters at the war front, to demand the abdication of their monarch, Tsar Nicholas II, which they achieved. Subsequently the Tsar's brother, the Grand Duke Michael also declined the throne, and the Provisional Government declared that Russia was now a republic.

Leading Members of the new Provisional Government included:

  • Prince Georgii Eugenevich Lvov, had been in the first Duma. Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior in the first and second Provisional Provisional Governments; member of the liberal Kadets (Constitutional Democratic Party).[1]
  • Mikhail Vladimirovich Rodzianko, was a member of all Dumas, and President of the Third and Fourth. Chairman of the Provisional Committee immediately after revolution. A Ukrainian & Octobrist.[2]
  • Alexander Ivanovich Guchkov, a founder of the liberal-conservative Octobrist Party, Chairman of the Third Duma, Chairman of the Central War Industries Committee during The Great War, and became Minister of War and Navy in the Provisional Government until April 29. His mother was French. With Shulgin he personally requested & received the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II. He later emigrated.[3]
  • Vasily Shulgin, a leading so-called conservative Duma deputy, and a Ukrainian. Together with Guchkov he demanded Tsar Nicholas II's abdication from the throne.
  • Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky, a left-wing socialist (SR) lawyer on the Petrograd Soviet Executive. He was firstly Minister of Justice, from May - Minister of War, from July to November - Minister-Chairman (or Premier).[4] His father had been a schoolteacher who had taught Lenin.
  • Alexander Konovalov, Minster of Trade and Industry. A Liberal-Progressive.
  • Pavel Nikolayevich Milyukov, member of the 1st, 3rd and 4th Dumas. Minister of Foreign Affairs (till May 4), a Kadet (of which party he was a founder). He later emigrated.[5]
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Tereshchenko, Minister of Finance, then Foreign Minister from May 5 to October 25. A Ukrainian Liberal-Progressive. He was also a major landowner, owner of several sugar factories, and financier.[6]
  • Nikolai Vissarionovich Nekrasov, a Kadet, Deputy Chairman of the Duma from November 1916, he was a leading parliamentary plotter against the Tsar. Appointed Transportation Minister, and after that the last Governor-General of Finland (Sept - Nov).
  • Alexander Appolonovich Manuilov, Minister for Education. A Kadet who hedged his bets and trod carefully, being from 1924 in the central administration of Gosbank, the Soviet state bank.
  • Matvey Ivanovich Skobelev, Minister for Labour. A Marxist-Menshevik.
  • Viktor Nikolaevich Pepeliaev, a Kadet member of the Duma who later became Minister of the Interior and was later Prime Minister under Admiral Kolchak, with whom he was executed by the Bolsheviks.
  • Aleksander Ivanovich Verkhovsky, an Army General who had been educated in the Corps de Pages and was a personal page to the Emperor. He was nevertheless a liberal. Minister of War in the last Kerensky Cabinet, he frankly declared that Russia was unable to continue the World War, and for that was relieved of his office. In February 1919 he joined the Red Army where he had a successful career.[7]
  • Lieutenant-General Aleksei Alekseevich Manikovsky, head of artillery administration during the World War. Assistant Minister of War; subsequently served the Soviets.[8]
  • Rear-Admiral Mikhail Aleksandrovich Kedrov, Assistant Naval Minister until May 1917 when he resigned. Subsequently served Admiral Kolchak and Baron General Wrangel.[9]
  • Rear-Admiral Boris Petrovich Dudorov, appointed Assistant Minister of the Navy by Kerensky. Resigned September 1917 and was appointed Naval Attaché in Toyko.[10]
  • Boris Aleksandrovich Bakhmetev, member of the War Industries Committee in the World War, appointed Assistant Minister of Trade & Industry. In May 1917 was appointed Ambassador to the USA where he sought asylum following the October Revolution.[11]
  • Leonid Aleksandrovish Ustrugov, Assistant Minister of Communications. Later in Admiral Kolchak's Government.[12]
  • Nikolai Dmitrievich Avksentiev, a Social-Revolutionary (SR), Minister of the Interior.[13]
  • Vladimir Aleksandrovich Vinogradov, a Kadet member of the 3rd and 4th Dumas. Assistant Minister of Ways and Communications.
  • Boris Viktorovich Savinkov (or Ropshin), an ardent revolutionary from 1901 who joined the Social-Revolutionary "combat" organisation in 1903, and was later involved in the assassination of Minister Plehve and Grand Duke Sergei; after the February/March Revolution was appointed Commissar for the Southwestern Front. In July 1917 he became Assistant Minister of War under Kerensky.[14]
  • Vladimir Nikolaevich Lvov, an Octobrist member of the Third & Fourth Dumas. He was Ober-Procurator of the Holy Synod in the Provisional Government; later served in Soviet institutions.[15]

Five of those in this government, Tereshchenko, Konovalov, Alexander, Nekrasov, and Ivan Yefremov were amongst Russia's leading Freemasons


  1. Varneck, Elena, and H.H.Fisher, editors, The Testimony of Kolchak and other Siberian Materials, Stanford University Press, California, and Oxford University Press UK, 1935, p.224.
  2. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.223.
  3. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.219.
  4. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.225.
  5. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.226.
  6. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.229.
  7. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.221.
  8. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.226.
  9. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.227.
  10. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.228.
  11. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.230.
  12. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.232.
  13. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.239.
  14. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.254.
  15. Varneck & Fisher, 1935, p.253.
  • Kerensky, Alexander, The Crucifixion of Liberty, London, 1934.
  • Pares, Bernard, The Fall of the Russian Monarchy - A Study of the Evidence, first published 1939, republished by Cassell, London, 1988, ISBN 0-304-316105
  • Tompkins, Stuart Ramsay, The Russian Intelligentsia - Makers of the Revolutionary State, University of Oklahoma Press, 1957.
  • Sanders, Jonathan, Russia 1917 - The Unpublished Revolution, New York, 1989, ISBN 0-89659-775-X
  • Figes, Orlando, A People's Tragedy - The Russian Revolution 1891-1924, London, 1996, ISBN 0-224-04162-2