We reached Petrograd safely, if not on time. Everything there seemed quiet. We drove home to the Nevsky. The minute I was in the house I rushed upstairs to the Laimings to find out what had happened during our absence.At my entrance they both fell a step backwards as if they were seeing a ghost. See more
In Petrograd, as in Moscow, the Bolshevist uprising had succeeded. Kerensky had fled, the members of the Provisional Government had disappeared, but the troops loyal to them had engaged the Bolsheviks in several bloody combats. In this fighting the heaviest losses had been sustained by the Women Battalions and by the youths who were defending the Winter Palace. Petrograd appeared to have had no reports of what had happened in Moscow, and the Laimings could tell me nothing about conditions at Tsarskoie-Selo.
We made inquiries and learned that the passenger service between Petrograd and Tsarskoie-Selo had been discontinued. That terrified me. I had to know at any cost what was happening there. I could not go myself, so again we dispatched the orderly, the only suitable person in this world of grey soldiers' coats. He remained absent the entire day. Upon his return he came into my room, and, with that imperturbability which so often distinguishes people of his mentality, announced: "I am to tell you that everything is all right and that the Grand Duke Paul was taken away to the Smolny Institute two days ago."
My pursuers were looking for me everywhere. They had no idea I was right there, right under their nose, between Gatchina and Luga, and not somewhere around Don or in Siberia. For me, there was nothing left to do but to lay low and change my appearance as much as I could. I grew a mustache and a beard.
We reached the forest and stopped. The officer said, "We're here, you should step out, Mr. Kerensky." Sailor Vanya, who arrived with me, joined me and stepped out as well. It was had to realize where we were - I could only see trees around us. Confused, I asked for explanations. "Farewell," said the officer. "Vanya will explain everything. See more
We have to go." He stepped on the accelerator and vanished. "You see," said Vanya. "My uncle has a cabin here. It's quiet and calm. I haven't been here for two years, but there are no servants in the house, there's nothing to be afraid of. We should take this risk, Mr. Kerensky!"
We took a path deeper into the forest. It was completely silent. I tried not to think about the future, what lies ahead for me. I fully trusted these strangers who risked their lives to save mine. Every once in a while Vanya stopped to make sure we were on the right track. I lost track of time; it felt like the road was endless. Suddenly, Vanya said, "We're almost there." Soon, on a small clearing of the woods, I saw a house. "Wait here, I will check what is going on," Vanya rushed into the house and returned almost immediately. "No servants. The maid left yesterday. My aunt and uncle will be delighted to see you. Follow me."
I tried to convince those people close to me to flee. I did not have to persuade my personal assistant, N.V. Vinner: we were determined to not give ourselves in alive. We intended, as soon as the Cossacks and sailors were going to search for us in the front rooms, to shoot ourselves in the back rooms. See more
Our decision seemed logical and the only possible solution. We began to say goodbye, and suddenly the door opened and two people appeared in the doorway - one civilian, whom I knew well, and a sailor, whom I had never seen before. “We can not lose any time,” they said. “In less than half an hour a brutal mob will storm into here.” “Take off the jacket - faster!” A few seconds later I was transformed into a very ridiculous looking sailor: the sleeves of the jacket were short, my brown lace-up-boots and leggings were clearly out of style. The peakless cap was so small that it barely stayed on my head. My outfit was completed by huge driver’s glasses. I said goodbye to my assistant, and he left through the adjoining room.
In the morning I have called together a meeting of the military council with the participation of General Krasnov, his Head of Staff Popov, the Assistant Commander of the Petrograd troops Captain Kuzmin, Savinkov, Stankevich and one more staff officer. See more
It was decided to send Stankevich to Petrograd to inform the Motherland and Revolution Rescue Committee of negotiation conditions that I have demanded.
Kerensky’s gang has begun artillery fire. Our artillery responded and made the opponent to stop. Cossacks began the offensive. Deadly fire from sailors, Red Army troops and soldiers forced the Cossacks to retreat. Our armored cars crashed into enemy lines. The enemy is running. Our troops are pursuing them. An order was issued for Kerensky’s arrest.
The situation is uncertain, i.e. very bad. Almost no one has the strength to turn up the voltage, and it is falling, leaving no resolution behind it.
It is not, they say, that his forces are not unified; it is not that they are too few. Instead, it seems to be a combination of both. Here, “compromising” voices have been growing in strength, especially at Novaya Zhizn. Its writers seem ready to form a government with the Bolsheviks—a coalition of “left-wing dem. parties.” (That is, we’re with them.)
The telephone doesn’t work; the Red Guard is occupying all the lines. The inhumanity of the “Bolshevist” mob toward the military cadets is unspeakable. The ministers imprisoned in the Peter and Paul have been set free “on the mercy” (?) “of the victors.” The seemingly departed Aurora has returned along with several other cruisers. This entire mighty, menacing (to us, not to the Germans!) flotilla is now stationed on the Neva.
By the morning we should have been in Petrograd, but we had only gotten as far as Tsarskoye Selo. That same day an anti-Bolshevik revolt broke out in the capital. At four in the afternoon I was called to the telephone. See more
It was the Mikhailsky Castle calling from the very center of the city, where the headquarters of the government supporters was located. They begged me to send help, but we were unable to give it.
Here is a simplified meaning of the budding movement, which promises… I don’t want to define what exactly does it promise, however, it it promises a lot, and among other things, a CIVIL WAR WITH NO END. See more
There is no point in idly guessing how it all will end. The Swedes -(or the Germans?)- took the isles, the landing in Helsinki is close. All this is rumour, for no messages are sent from the General Staff, the armed Bolsheviks are in the lead, but… maybe, it is simply - “here comes the German, the German will settle this…” My Lord, but this is not the end!
Halfway between Tsarskoe Selo and Gatchina, there was a meteorological observatory. From its heights, I surveyed the layout of government troops, which seemed to be in a state of strange passivity. See more
I drove up to try to get to the bottom of what was going on. The explanations given by Krasnov were decidedly vague and seemed quite meaningless. He himself was behaving in a reserved and formal manner.
I, Minister-President of the Provisional Government, and Supreme Commander of all the armed forces of the Russian Republic, declare that I am at the head of regiments from the Front who have remained faithful to the fatherland. See more
I order all the troops of the Military District of Petrograd, who through mistake or folly have answered the appeal of the traitors to the country and the Revolution, to return to their duty without delay.
I order all regiments that are currently in Finland, to depart by rail for Petrograd. Where continued movement along the railway may be impossible, soldiers are to continue by echelon on foot.