The main events of the February Revolution took place in and near Petrograd (present-day Saint Petersburg), where long-standing discontent with the monarchy erupted into mass protests against food rationing on March 8. Three days later Tsar Nicholas II abdicated, ending Romanov dynastic rule and the Russian Empire. The Russian Provisional Government under Prince Georgy Lvov replaced the Council of Ministers of Russia. Revolutionary activity lasted about eight days, involving mass demonstrations and violent armed clashes with police and gendarmes, the last loyal forces of the Russian monarchy. In all, over 1,300 people were killed during the protests of February 1917.
The Provisional Government proved deeply unpopular and was forced to share dual power with the Petrograd Soviet. After the July Days, in which the Government killed hundreds of protesters, Alexander Kerensky became head of Government. He was unable to fix Russia's immediate problems, including food shortages and mass unemployment, as he attempted to keep Russia involved in the ever more unpopular war.