We speed across Troitsky Bridge, through the Field of Mars, down Millionaya Street and towards the palace. The pavements on either side of the road are teeming with soldiers from the Pavlovsky Regiment; closer to the little bridge across the Winter Canal, we happen on a well-organised patrol line. We’re hailed and stopped, upon which we explain who we are. We pass on the news about the capture of the Winter Palace. The news is met with great mistrust. “Surrendered? Not bloody likely, they were giving us a proper hiding only recently – it’s dangerous to go there,” one of the soldiers authoritatively declares. But we remain steadfast in our opinion, concluding that the Winter Palace has been taken by troops from the Nevsky Prospekt side and that the patrol has simply not been informed.
The fortress wall is taking on a bellicose appearance. Machine guns are being installed for an assault on the Troitsky Bridge and the embankment; the tower of the People’s House is being occupied by a detachment of machine-gunners; security is increased outside the fortress gates and multi-directional patrols are sent beyond its walls.