Who's Who - Mikhail Rodzianko

Mikhail Rodzianko Mikhail Vladimirovich Rodzianko (1859-1924) was President of the Russia Duma from 1912 until the outbreak of revolution in 1917.

Rodzianko was born in Ekaterinoslav, on 9th March 1859, the son of a wealthy landowner.  After a career in the Russian Army he opted for a political career.

Rodzianko was regarded as a moderate Octobrist deputy - a factor which served to alienate him to both the Tsar, Nicholas II, and (moreover) to the Tsarina, Alexandra.  This was in spite of Rodzianko's evident patriotism and support for the continuation of the monarchy.

During the First World War Rodzianko served on various War Industry Committees from 1915 onwards, in which he strived to find means of stimulating Russia's mordant industrial economy in support of the country's war effort.  In this he was hampered by the royal family's unwillingness to consider social or political change which might prove helpful in stimulating economic production.

Rodzianko further increased his unpopularity at court with his counsel - along with virtually the entire Cabinet - that the Tsar refrain from personally leading his armies from the Front in the summer of September 1915.  Rodzianko further advised the Tsar that he regarded the latter's 'special advisor' Grigory Rasputin as a German spy.

The outbreak of revolution in 1917 - which Rodzianko tried to stave off by repeatedly advising the Tsar to implement sweeping changes to his Cabinet - and the Tsar's consequent abdication (which Rodzianko belatedly recognised as essential) ironically brought with it an end to Rodzianko's own career.

His moderate stance bore little credibility with the incoming Bolshevik government.  He therefore sought exile in Yugoslavia in 1920.  He died in Belgrade on 24 January 1924 aged 64.

'Whippet' was a term used to describe any light tank.

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