"Stephen pointed at the Tsar's photograph"
Photograph of Nicolas II
Public DomainPhotograph of Nicolas II

The term Tsar was given to the ruler of Imperial Russia. It comes from the Roman word Caesar (emperor), as does the Persian word shah. Tsar Nicolas II of Russia ruled from 1894 to 1917, when he was forced to abdicate during the First World War under the pressure of the February Revolution. Under him, Imperial Russia went from being a world power to a backward, oppressive state which incurred three revolutions, the last of which led to the creation of the Soviet Union.

Nicolas II is also known as the patron of the mystic Rasputin. After the Bolsheviks came to power, the Tsar and his family were imprisoned, and later executed. The Tsar is now considered to be a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church.