General Nikolai Ivanovich Bobrikov was appointed by Tsar Nicholas 11 to the post of Governor-General of Finland in 1898. A dramatic new phase then began in relations between the Russian Empire and its autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland. Nearly a century of political equilibrium abruptly ended. What were Bobrikov's goals? Did he aim at the complete assimilation of Finland, or only at securing the Empire's military interests? Was he wholly supported by the government of Nicholas II or were there differences of opinion in St Petersburg about the policy? These questions are dealt with for the first time in detail by Tuomo Polvinen in his book based on extensive Russian primary sources. The central issue is therefore not so much Finnish history as tsarist nationality policy in the area. Bobrikov's oppressive Russification policy was pursued with energy till his assassination in Helsinki in 1904. Thereafter it was put into reverse.