The first immediate goal of the Volunteer army is to repel armed attacks on the Southern and Southeastern regions of Russia. It will be acting together with the Cossacks and the Russian areas resisting the German-Bolshevik oppression, all the people who arrived at the South of Russia to defend to the bitter end the autonomy of the last stronghold of Russian independence.
The Volunteer army also has another goal. The army should become the driving force behind giving Russian people a chance to build a Free Russia... The new army should guard the civil freedoms and the right of the Russian people to express their will through the elected Constituent Assembly.
Also participating: Kaledin, Denikin, Milyukov, KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, Trubetskoy, Struve, Savinkov.
Дмитрий Потоцкий, бывший военный губернатор Ростова.GeneralДмитрий Потоцкий, бывший военный губернатор Ростова. Pototsky came to Novocherkassk and my wife who was in attendance told me that he’d just brought Kerensky with him, who’d gone to Kaledin. Over lunch at Kaledin’s, I personally heard the conversation between his close compatriots: Keresnky had arrived, initially dropping in on Bogaevsky, where he was not well received. See more
He then went to Kalendin, who also refused to take him in. Some detail: supposedly, Bogaevsky’s wife opened the door and looked to see whether Kerensky would return or stay with the chieftan… I was so sure this was true that I forgot to ask Kalendin himself.
I went to Kaledin, who I'd known for a long time, and had undertaken military service with. The house was empty and quiet. Kaledin was alone in his giant study as if weighed down by an inevitable misery, haggard and exhausted. See more
He hadn't recognized me at first. He was very happy to see me. He summed up the situation for me: there's no authority, no power, the Cossacks had grown ill, just like the rest of Russia. Krylenko is sending punitive expeditions to the Don region. The Black Sea front delivered an ultimatum: "to acknowledge the authority of the Workers' and Peasants' Soviets." A "Donetsky Socialist Republic" is pronounced in the Makeevsky region. The Rostov Military Revolutionary Committee published an appeal calling for an open fight against "the counter-revolutionary Cossaks." But the Don people don't want to fight.
In our carriage, which was packed full of soldiers, suspicions were aroused by the fact that I had been lying for so long on the top bunk, and talk started up below. See more
“He’s been lying there half the day. Hasn’t poked his nose out once. Maybe it’s Kerensky himself?” (This was followed by some appalling cursing).
“We should wring his neck!”
Somebody tugged at my sleeve. I turned over and hung my head over the side. Clearly there was no resemblance. The soldiers laughed, and offered me some tea to make up for disturbing me.
With great interest Liubokonsky and I listened to the amazing news about the flight of KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917 and the Bykhovo generals; together with a crowd, we read announcements printed in huge letters that have been posted at various stations. See more
Here is one of them: “To each and all: General Kornilov has fled Bykhovo. The military revolutionary committee is calling on every one of you to support it, in order to suppress any attempt at counter-revolution decisively and ruthlessly.” The crowd, incidentally, appeared rather unresponsive. They showed neither joy nor dismay.
This morning, Colonel of the General Staff Kusonsky arrived (from Headquarters) and reported to General KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, “In four hours Krylenko will enter Mogilyov, which will be surrendered without a fight. General Dukhonin has ordered you to report that all prisoners must immediately leave Bykhov.”
In order to make our forced retreat from Bykhov a little easier, particularly as we may have to march on foot with the Turkmen, steps are being taken to gradually release the arrested officers. See more
We have received assistance in this regard from General Headquarters, and from the Investigative Committee. Kornilov had already on numerous occasions asked Dukhonin to intercede with Kerensky and Shablovsky to secure the rapid release from Bykhov of the many officers whose “perceived participation in the affair and continued detention can only be the result of countless misunderstandings”.
There are historical moments when opportunism is not only a weakness, but also a crime.
В Старом Быхове мы простились с нашими спасителями-юнкерами.
На станции нас ожидал автомобиль польской дивизии и брички. Я с Бетлингом и двумя генералами сели в автомобиль; комитетчики запротестовали: пришлось одного взять на подножку. Покружили по грязным улицам еврейского уездного города и остановились перед старинным зданием женской гимназии. Раскрылась железная калитка, и мы попали в объятия друзей, знакомых, незнакомых — быховских заключенных, которые с тревогой за нашу судьбу ждали нашего прибытия. See more
Явился к Верховному.
— Очень сердитесь на меня за то, что я вас так подвел? — говорил, обнимая меня КорниловГенерал, Верховный главнокомандующий.
— Полноте, Лавр Георгиевич, в таком деле личные невзгоды ни при чем.
Мы уплотнили население Быховской тюрьмы; я и Марков расположились в комнате генерала Романовского.
Предполагалась враждебная встреча на станции Калинковичи, где сосредоточено было много тыловых учреждений, но ее проехали ранним утром, и вокзал был пусть. Из конского вагона в Житомире нас перевели в товарный - приспособленный, с нарами, на который мы тотчас улеглись, и после пережитых впечатлений вероятно все заснули мертвым сном. Когда проснулись утром - вся обстановка в вагоне так разительно отличалась от той вчерашней, которая еще давила на мозг и память, как тяжелое похмелье... Наша стража - караульные юнкера - относились к нам с трогательным, каким-то застенчивым вниманием. Помощник фронтового комиссара Григорьев, зашедший в вагон, воодушевленно рассказывал, как его на вокзале "помяли" и как он "честил" революционную толпу. Казалось, что мы находимся в кругу своих доброжелателей, и единственный, кто чувствует себя арестованным, это - очередной комитетский делегат, вооруженный револьвером в какой-то огромной кобуре, хранящий молчание и беспокойно поглядывающий по сторонам.
In the morning the Commissariat began visiting all the units in the garrison, to obtain their consent to our transfer. The Committee had appointed a meeting of the whole garrison for 2 p.m., i.e., three hours before our departure, and in the field, moreover, immediately beside our prison. See more
This mass meeting did indeed take place; at it the representatives of the Commissaria and of the Committee of the Front announced the orders for our transfer to Bykhov, thoughtfully announced the hour of our departure and appealed to the garrison... to be prudent; the meeting continued for a long time and, of course, did not disperse. By 5 o'clock an excited crowd of thousands of men had surrounded the guard-room, and its dull murmur made its way into the building.
The meeting continued. Numerous speakers called for an immediate lynching... The soldier who had been wounded by Lieutenant Kletsando was shouting hysterically and demanding his head... Standing in the porch of the guard-room, Assistant Commissaries Kostitsin and Grigoriev were trying persuasion with the mob. That dear Betling, too, spoke several times, hotly and passionately. We could not hear his words.
At last, pale and agitated, Betling and Kostitsin came up to me.
"How will you decide? The crowd has promised not to touch anyone, only it demands that you should be taken to the station on foot. But we cannot answer for anything"
I replied : "Let us go"
I took off my cap and crossed myself : "Lord, bless us!"
The crowd raged. We, the seven of us, surrounded by a group of cadets, headed by Betling, who marched by my side with drawn sword, entered the narrow passage through this living human sea, which pressed on us from all sides. In front were Kostitsin and the delegates (twelve to fifteen) chosen by the garrison to escort us. Night was coming on, and in its eerie gloom, with the rays of the searchlight on the armoured car cutting through it now and then, moved the raving mob, growing and rolling on like a flaming avalanche. The air was full of a deafening roar, hysterical shouts, and mephitic curses. At times they were covered by Betling's loud, anxious voice :
" Comrades, you have given your word! . . . Comrades, you have given your word ! . . ."
The cadets, those splendid youths, crushed together on all sides, push aside with their bodies the pressing crowd, which disorders their thin ranks. Passing the pools left by yesterday's rain, the soldiers fill their hands with mud and pelt us with it. Our faces, eyes, ears, are covered with its fetid, viscid slime. Stones come flying at us. Poor, crippled General Orlov has his face severely bruised; Erdeli and I, as well, were struck — in the back and on the head.
On our way we exchanged monosyllabic remarks. I turned to Markov :
" What, my dear Professor, is this the end? "
" Apparently. . . ."
The mob would not let us come up to the station by the straight path. We were taken by a roundabout way, some three miles altogether, through the main streets of the town. The crowd is growing. The balconies of the Berdichev houses are full of curious spectators; the women wave their handkerchiefs. Gay, guttural voices come from above: "Long live freedom!"
The railway station is flooded with light. There we find a new, vast crowd of several thousand people. And all this has merged in the general sea which rages and roars. With enormous difficulty we are brought through it under a hail of curses and of glances full of hatred. The railway carriage. An officer — Eisner's son — sobbing hysterically and addressing impotent threats to the mob, and his soldier servant, lovingly soothing him, as he takes away his revolver; two women, dumb with horror — Kletsando's wife and sister, who had thought to see him off. . . . We wait for an hour, for another. The train is not allowed to leave — a prisoner's car is demanded. There were none at the station. The mob threatens to do for the Commissaries. Kostitsin is slightly buffeted. A goods car is brought, all defiled with horse-dung — what a trifle ! We enter it without the assistance of a platform; poor Orlov is lifted in with difficulty; hundreds of hands are stretched towards us through the firm and steady ranks of the cadets. ... It is already 10 p.m. The engine gives a jerk. The crowd booms out still louder. Two shots are heard. The train starts.
The noise dies away, the lights grow dimmer. Farewell Berdichev!
The struggle continues. It is an expansive, harsh ordeal, in which nerves are racked beyond measure and a desperate fatigue sets in. I am not finding it easy.
We must put up a fight, or the country will be doomed. N. came to see me at the front. He is still obsessed with his idea of a coup, and of placing the Grand Duke Dmitry Pavlovich on the throne. He is planning something, and asked me to work with him. I declared categorically that I will not enter into any escapade involving the Romanovs. See more
The members of the government realize that they are quite powerless to do anything. They are asking me to join the government, but I won’t. Those gentlemen are too closely linked to the Soviets and cannot make up their minds to do anything. I tell them that if they grant me the necessary power, I will wage a genuine struggle. We need to keep Russia on course for the Constituent Assembly. After that, people can do what they like. I will take a back seat, and not stand in anyone’s way. So, Anton Ivanovich, may I count on your support?