I've been reading Ignatieff's book The Russsian Album (which is surprisingly good).In it he reveals a delicious family parrallel with his own recent behaviour in saving Harper.
In 1825 a group of progressive army officers who wanted to bring in democratic reforms called the Decembrists revolted against the Tsar . They had the Tsar on his knees when Nickolai Ignatieff, the great great grandfather of Michael, arrived with a detachment of guards that saved the day. This, according to the book was the decisive event that routed the rebels and saved the Tsar. As a result Nickolai was rewarded with estates and political office. This was the beginning of the Ignatieff family's great influence and prominence in Tsarist Russia.
But it helped keep the autocratic Romanovs in power for almost another century. There may be lessons to be learned here.