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Russians now plan republic

PETROGRAD, March 17, 1917 (UP) - The triumph of democracy in Russia was assured today.

The 300-year-old rule of the Romanoffs has come to an end through abdication of the hereditary monarch and today a republic was in the making.

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Order was completely restored in the capital today.

The hunger of the people throughout the land is being quickly relieved.

Hundreds of carloads of provisions were rushed to the famine-stricken districts.

Grain stores everywhere have been requisitioned by the provisional government, fair prices being paid by the owners.

The distribution, through a carefully organized system of these stores of food, is being arranged.

Evidencing the complete democracy of the new order and the utter disregard of the ancient almost feudal rights of other days, it was announced today that local committees of the provisional government are taking over all estates of more than 125 acres.

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Czar Nicholas has made formal abdication of his throne on behalf of himself and his young czarevitch and issued a manifesto explaining his position.

Next in line was the Grand Duke Michael, to whom the czar turned over the dynasty, and who was named regent by the provisional government itself.

But Grand Duke Michael in a statement asserted he would accept the throne of Russia only in case a referendum vote of the people shows that a form of government, with him at the head, is approved throughout Russia.

Michael's formal declaration said:

"My brother intrusted me with a heavy task at a time of unprecedented war and domestic strife.

"I am resolved to accept supreme power only if the people through their representatives in a constituent assembly express their preference regarding the form of the government and its laws."

He urged the people of Russia to obey the provisional government.

A formal organization of the government as a republic was expected today.

This may be delayed, however, pending information from the people themselves as to the form of the government they desire, and particularly pending word from the soldiers.

All army officers present in Petrograd met today and unanimously resolved to recognize the authority of the duma. Speeches were made stating realization of the army in the indispensable need for re-establishment of order as speedily as possible, that the "work behind the trenches" might proceed.

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Czar Nicholas' formal signature to the abdication was made at Pakoff Thursday and throughout the Russian nation placards announcing his renunciation were posted.

Moscow accomplished the change from autocracy to democracy without a single shot being fired, according to authoritative information here today.

The city was orderly throughout the time that Petrograd was in the throes of street fighting.

Estimates today placed the number killed and injured by the police on Saturday and Sunday at 300. Most of the casualties occurred in small riots over the city.

After Sunday the number killed and wounded was comparatively small.

One of the first steps taken by the provisional government was to place guards over all stores suspected of selling vodka. The result was that there was an exceedingly small amount of drunkenness.

Authentic information today from interior districts indicated practically unanimous support of the new government.

Order is steadily being restored throughout Russia. The list of provinces and cities announcing adherence to the new regime was increasing rapidly.

The violent change from a repressed autocracy to a wide-open democracy was being made with ease. The provisional government leaders have impressed the people with the sincerity of their purpose, their energy and their patriotism to the cause of the people of Russia.

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On every side in Petrograd were heard today renewed avowals of vigorous prosecution of the war against Germany.

By order of the provisional government Admiral Melpine today arrested Gov. Zein of Finland.

Deputy Rodicheff was named as minister of Finnish affairs, and ordered to proceed at once to Helsingfors.

The hunt for spies, which began after pro-German ministers and officials had been ousted by the revolutionists, is still on. A curious feature of the revolution, which became organized Sunday and had succeeded Tuesday night, was the wholesale arrests of police by soldiers who joined the revolution and the populace.

Bands went about arresting scores of the police who stuck by the old government and refused to join the revolt.

Grand Duke Nicholas, who is to be military head of the new democratic government, is probably the most popular man in Russia.

It was said his popularity as the head of the czar's armies led to his demotion and removal to the front. His "comeback" is one of the most sensational in history.

Full liberty has been ordered for all political prisoners and political exiles in Siberia are expected to come home. Jails have been opened and political offenders against the old order freed.

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Fair trials, it is stated, will be given even the men arrested by the revolutionists.

The fate of the czarina and czarevitch is still uncertain. There were reports that the czarina was safe at the imperial palace at Tsarke Salo, and other reports that she and the czarevitch were ill, but giving no whereabouts.

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