Lvov, whom I saw once or twice at sessions of the Council of Ministers during my time as Commander in Chief of the Petrograd Military District, came to me; I knew he was a member of the State Duma and Chief Procurator of the Synod. Lvov announced to me, on behalf of Kerensky, that if I believe his (Kerensky’s) further involvement in running the country will not give the regime the strength and resolution needed, then Kerensky is prepared to leave the government. See more
If he can count on my support, then he is prepared to carry on his work. Lvov asked me to give him my opinion on Kerensky’s suggestion, and to set out a programme. After outlining to him general position of the country and the army, I announced that the only way to rescue the country from the present grievous situation would be to re-establish a dictatorship and to declare a state of emergency in the country immediately.
I announced that I personally do not aspire to power and that I was ready to immediately submit to whoever would receive dictatorial authority. Lvov has declared that such an outcome could not be discounted, that, given the hard circumstances of the country, the Provisional Government, in its present form, would itself reach a realization of the necessity of establishing a dictatorship and, quite certainly, would offer me the responsibilities of a dictator. I declared that if this had happened, that I, having always been of the opinion that only firm power could save the country, would not decline the offer.
I asked him to let Kerensky know that, according to my knowledge, they were preparing a Bolshevik demonstration in Petrograd, in the nearest days, and that an assassination attempt on Kerensky was being planned, that’s why I asked Kerensky to come to General Headquarters in order to reach a final agreement; I asked to tell him that I guaranteed his safety at the General Headquarters with my word.
Also attending: Kerensky, Catherine Breshkovsky, KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, Nekrasov, Lvov, Rodzianko, Tsereteli, Guchkov, Plekhanov, Trubetskoy and others
The “breach of the revolutionary army”, reported on by the head of the government, “War Minister”, Prince Lvov " ended in treason by the Grenadier Guards. The entire Eleventh Army, abandoning their positions, went running into the rear after them. See more
The enemy took Tarnopol, threatening the flank and rear of General Kornilov’sCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917 neighbouring Eighth Army. The heroic downfall of the shock battalions, made up mostly of officers, turned out to be in vain. “The Democratic Army”, unwilling to shed blood in order to “save revolutionary gains”, fled like a herd of sheep.
It was a nice, hot day. I went around the park with Tatiana and Plarie. During the day I worked with them in the same place as before. Yesterday and today the guards from the 1sti and 4th, Infantry Regiments were punctual in their performance and were not roaming around in the garden as we took our walk. See more
In the staff of the government there have been some changes: Prince Lvov has resigned and the President is now Kerensky. That man is in the right place at the present time. If he had more power, then things would be better.
When I was leaving the capital, trucks began flashing by on Petrograd streets, full of unknown armed people. Some were driving around the barracks, calling soldiers to join the armed revolt that was expected at any moment. One gang infiltrated the yard of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and broke into the first floor, where the office of Duke Lvov was located, which I have just left. See more
As soon as my train left the station, a truck drove up under a red flag that said, “First bullet—for Kerensky.”
The government will under no circumstance agree to Ukrainian claims before the Constituent Assembly is convened. The autonomy of the Ukraine is a matter that concerns the entire Russian people. The Provisional Government received its power from all nations, and cannot take responsibility for the dissolution of Russia.
When I reached the Finland Station this morning, I found Sazonov by the carriage which had been reserved for us. In grave tones he said to me:
"All our plans are changed; I'm not coming with you. . ... Read this!"
He gave me a letter, dated the same night and just put in his hands, in which Prince Lvov asked him to postpone his departure as Miliukov had sent in his resignation.
"I go and you stay behind," I said. "Isn't it symbolical?" See more
"Yes, it marks the end of a political era! ... Miliukov's presence was a last guarantee of fidelity to our diplomatic tradition. What could I do in London now? I very much fear that the immediate future will show Monsieur Albert Thomas what a mistake he has made in siding so openly with the Soviet against Miliukov!"
The arrival of friends, who had come to see me off, put an end to our conversation.
The two French socialist deputies, Cachin and Montet, and the two delegates of English socialism, O'Grady and Thorne, then entered the train. They had come straight from the Tauride Palace where they had spent the whole night conferring with the Soviet.
The train left at 7:40 a.m.
The soul of the Russian people has proven in its very nature to be a global democratic soul. It’s ready not only to merge with the democracy of the entire world, but also to assume a position of leadership and to lead it down the path of human progress as inspired by the great principles of freedom, equality and brotherhood.
Milyukov and Shingaryev went to the front. While they were gone, a Provisional Government meeting was unexpectedly called late one evening in Prince Lvov's apartment. Kerensky and Tereshchenko took it upon themselves to sharply attack the point about the Straits and Milyukov’s entire role in the Provisional Government. I was the only one to stand up for him. See more
The rest were silent or criticized Miliukov, his policy, and the question of the Straits was given no support. It was suggested that we should remove Miliukov. True, he heads a large social group. You can’t just throw him out. It was said that Milyukov could be given the Ministry of Education, but everyone supported the decision to remove him from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I saw that the Provisional Government was descending into demagoguery, and I finally concluded that the only way out was to finally break the great compromise and go to battle, even with harsh measures. I then returned home and wrote Lvov a letter.
I wrote him that I couldn’t take any further part, nor could I share responsibility for the country’s disintegration, what is now happening and doesn’t meet any opposition in the Provisional Government. I asked to be considered relieved from my post. Then, in order to prevent any attempts to convince me otherwise, or make any impossible attempts on their part, I sent this letter to Lvov and a copy to the editors of the New Times with a request to print.
We can count ourselves as the luckiest people, because our generation was born into the happiest period of Russian history.
If we’re going to have universal suffrage, what’s the rationale for preventing women who wish to participate in elections from doing so? Our electoral law is being developed. In its final form, it is contingent on the total composition of the provisional government. But I’m for the participation of women.
IT was Prince Lvoff who arranged my first meeting with Kerensky. I could not have had a better introduction. Like most Socialists Kerensky admired and respected Lvoff as much for the integrity of his character as for the work he had done for the Russian people. I received an invitation to luncheon.
At the appointed hour my sleigh drew up before the Ministry of Justice, and I climbed up the long steps of the official staircase, where only three weeks before had reigned all the rigid ceremonial of the ancient régime, into an ante-chamber filled with a crowd of soldiers, sailors, legal functionaries, students, schoolgirls, workmen and peasants, all waiting patiently like one of the bread queues in the Liteinaia or the Nevsky. I pushed my way through the throng to a tired and much-harassed secretary.
"You wish to see Alexander Feodorovitch Kerensky? Quite impossible. You must come tomorrow."
I explain patiently that I am invited to luncheon. Again the machine-like voice breaks in: "Alexander Feodorovitch has gone to the Duma. I have no idea when he will be back. In these days you know... ."
He shrugs his shoulders. Then, almost before I have time to allow the disappointment to show on my face, the crowd surges forward. "Stand back, stand back," shout the soldiers. Two nervous and very young adjutants clear a passage, and in half a dozen energetic strides Kerensky is beside me. His face has a sallow and almost deathly pallor. His eyes, narrow and Mongolian, are tired. He looks as if he were in pain, but the mouth is firm, and the hair, cropped close and worn en brosse, gives a general impression of energy. He speaks in quick, jerky sentences with little sharp nods of the head by way of emphasis. He wears a dark suit, not unlike a ski-ing kit, over a black Russian workman's blouse. He takes me by the arm and leads me into his private apartments, and we sit down to luncheon at a long table with almost thirty places. Madame Kerensky is already lunching. By her side are Breshkovskaia, the grandmother of the Russian Revolution, and a great brawny-armed sailor from the Baltic Fleet. People drift in and out at will. Luncheon is a floating meal and it seems to be free to all. And all the while Kerensky talks. In spite of the Government prohibition order there is wine on the table, but the host himself is on a strict diet and drinks nothing but milk. Only a few months previously he has had a
tubercular kidney removed. But his energy is undiminished. He is tasting the first fruits of power. Already he resents a little the pressure that is being put on him by the Allies. "How would Lloyd George like it if a Russian were to come to him to tell him how to manage the English people?" He is, however, good-natured. His enthusiasm is infectious, his pride in the revolution unbounded. "We are only doing what you have done centuries ago, but we are trying to do it better – without the Napoleon and without the Cromwell. People call me a mad idealist, but thank God for the idealists in this world!' And at the moment I was prepared to thank God with him.