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Michael II of Russia

Michael II, Mikhail Alexandrovitch Romanov (November 22, 1878 (O.S.) - about June 12, 1918) was the son of Tsar Alexander III of Russia, and brother of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. When Nicholas II abdicated the imperial crown in 1917, he did so in both his name and the name of his son, and named Michael as the next Tsar. Though Michael is sometimes called Michael II, in reality he never reigned. Historians differ as to whether Michael should be counted as the last Tsar. Nicholas II is universally accepted as the last effective Tsar.

He was killed by Bolsheviks when they attempted to exterminate the Romanovs. The best source material, both archival from Russia and elsewhere, seems to indicate that Mikhail was killed sometime round the second or third week of June 1918 not, as is often reported, July of that year. The actual date was possibly June 12. The change of calendar does not account for the discrepancy sometimes seen in the month of his death --the Julian and Gregorian only being thirteen days apart, it could not account for the month-long period here.

Mikhail was purportedly shot as a test -- and rumours of his execution floated in the West -- to see exactly what the reaction would be from the Romanovs' relatives, most specifically King George V of the United Kingdom. There is some substantial documentation to suggest that the King's silence on the issue, and that of the British Government of David Lloyd George convinced the Soviets that they could then shoot the Imperial Family without fear of retribution.

Preceded by:
Nicholas II
List of Russian Tsars None. See Vladimir Lenin

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