Nicholas (Nikolai Nikolayevich)nyĭkəlĪˈ nyĭkəlĪˈəvĭch, 1856–1929, Russian grand duke and army officer; first cousin of Czar Alexander III and grandson of Czar Nicholas I. He served in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. During the Revolution of 1905, he refused the czar's request that he become military dictator, thus forcing Nicholas to accept Count Witte's plan for an elective national assembly. Nicholas was made commander in chief of the Russian armies at the outbreak of World War I. In 1915 Czar Nicholas II, influenced by the czarina and Rasputin, relieved him of his post and took over the command himself. Grand Duke Nicholas was made commander in the Caucasus, where he won successes against the Turks until the February Revolution of 1917 deprived him of his command. He left Russia in 1919 and settled in France.
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