On 23 February 1917, in protest at the growing hardships and hunger of war, 80,000 workers marched through the streets of the capital of the Russian Empire, Petrograd (St Petersburg). It was a modest enough start to what became the Russian Revolution, an event that overshadowed the postwar world, like the war itself, as a persistent reminder of crisis past and crisis to come. Within three or four days the Russian capital was in turmoil. Troops in the city fraternized openly with the protesters. On 27 February the President of the Russian parliament, or Duma, called on the Tsar to give way to demands for popular government. The leaders of Russia’s vast army, fighting a desperate retreat against German forces, supported parliament against the Emperor. On 2 March Nicholas II, last of the Romanovs, bowed to reality and abdicated. A day later a Provisional Government was set up under the liberal politician, Prince Lvov.