A conflict in Russia between the government of Nicholas II and industrial workers, peasants, and armed forces. Heavy taxation had brought mounting distress to the poor, and Russia's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War aggravated discontent. A peaceful demonstration in St Petersburg was met with gunfire from the imperial troops. Mutiny broke out on the battleship Potemkin, and a soviet or council of workers' delegates was formed in St Petersburg. The emperor yielded to demands for reform, including a legislative Duma. The Social Democrats continued to fight for a total overthrow of the system, and were met with harsh reprisals. Democratic freedoms were curtailed and the government became increasingly reactionary.