In the Tsay-ee-kah three factions immediately appeared. The Bolsheviki demanded that the All-Russian Congress of Soviets be summoned, and that they take over the power. The “centre” Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Tchernov, joined with the Left Socialist Revolutionaries, led by Kamkov and Spiridonova, the Mensheviki Internationalists under Martov, and the “centre” Mensheviki, represented by Bogdanov and Skobeliev, in demanding a purely Socialist Government. Tseretelli, Dan and Lieber, at the head of the right wing Mensheviki, and the right Socialist Revolutionaries under Avksentiev and Gotz, insisted that the propertied classes must be represented in the new Government. See more
Almost immediately the Bolsheviki won a majority in the Petrograd Soviet, and the Soviets of Moscow, Kiev, Odessa and other cities followed suit.
Alarmed, the Mensheviki and Socialist Revolutionaries in control of the Tsay-ee-kah decided that after all they feared the danger of Kornilov less than the danger of Lenin. They revised the plan of representation in the Democratic Conference, admitting more delegates from the Cooperative Societies and other conservative bodies. Even this packed assembly at first voted for a Coalition Government without the Cadets. Only Kerensky’s open threat of resignation, and the alarming cries of the “moderate” Socialists that “the Republic is in danger” persuaded the Conference, by a small majority, to declare in favour of the principle of coalition with the bourgeoisie, and to sanction the establishment of a sort of consultative Parliament, without any legislative power, called the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic.
The Executive Committee (Chkheidze , Skobelev, Tsereteli and others) left in the days following the adoption of the Bolshevik revolution. Yesterday, a re-election was held… and failed. The winners – Trotsky, Kamenev, Lunacharsky, Nahamkes – are beside themselves in triumph. Their case is working out. “We’ve turned over a new leaf”. Of course…
The world proletarian revolution is clearly maturing. The question of its relation to the state is acquiring practical importance. The elements of opportunism that accumulated over the decades of comparatively peaceful development have given rise to the trend of social-chauvinism which dominated the official socialist parties throughout the world. See more
This trend - socialism in words and chauvinism in deeds (Plekhanov, Potresov, Breshkovskaya, Rubanovich, and, in a slightly veiled form, Tsereteli, Chernov and Co. in Russia; Scheidemann. Legien, David and others in Germany; Renaudel, Guesde and Vandervelde in France and Belgium; Hyndman and the Fabians in England, etc., etc.) - is conspicuous for the base, servile adaptation of the "leaders of socialism" to the interests not only of "their" national bourgeoisie, but of "their" state, for the majority of the so-called Great Powers have long been exploiting and enslaving a whole number of small and weak nations. And the imperialist war is a war for the division and redivision of this kind of booty.
The Germans are already in Kiev and in Pskov. I suspect that they will take Petrograd. Instead of acting and giving all the power to Kerensky and KornilovCommander in Chief of the Petrograd command - from 18 March 1917, they are exhausting their energy in conversations, while evil strengthens. See more
Letter to the Foreign Office:
" The events of the past week have, once more, proved the truth of the saying that Russia is a country of surprises. Early on Monday morning I received a telephone message telling me that the four Cadet members of the Government had resigned during the night. See more
Tereschenko and Tseretelli had just returned from Kieff with a draft agreement, which they had negotiated with the Rada for the settlement of the Ukrainian question. The Cadets took exception to it on the ground that the Government would, if they ratified it, be usurping the functions of the Constitutional Assembly. It was not, however, so much considerations of this kind as the fact that they had throughout been in a minority of four that decided them to refuse to assume any further responsibility for measures of which they disapproved.
Tereschenko, whom I saw in the evening, severely criticized their action. They had, he said, put an end to the existence of the Coalition Government at a moment when Russia was faced with dangers, both from within and from without, while they had not sufficient backing in the country to replace that Government themselves. Tereschenko, nevertheless, spoke with confidence about the internal situation, and when I left him at six o'clock had not the slightest suspicion of the storm that was brewing.
The first signs which we saw of it were the reappearance of motor lorries and cars filled with armed soldiers and machine guns as we were about to drive to the islands after dinner. We had only got half-way across the bridge when, finding the road blocked, we turned back and took a short drive along the quay and through the town. On our return to the Embassy at a quarter-past nine we found groups of soldiers in excited conversation, and shortly afterwards a long procession crossed the bridge. It was composed of workmen and of three regiments, all fully armed, with banners bearing the usual inscriptions : ' Down with the Capitalist Ministers,' ' Down with the War,' ' Give us Bread.' Soon afterwards we heard shots at the back of the Embassy, and saw people bolting for safety down the quay.
As Kerensky was leaving that evening for the front, some of the soldiers drove in motors to the Warsaw station with the intention of arresting him, but arrived there after his train had left. Others went to the Palais Marie to arrest Prince Lvoff and his colleagues, who were holding a Cabinet Council there. On being invited to enter and to talk to the Ministers, they thought better of it, fearing that a trap was being laid for them, and contented themselves with requisitioning the Ministers' motors. On Tuesday things looked very black, as several thousand sailors had arrived from Cronstadt. In the afternoon another monster procession crossed the bridge by the Embassy, and rifle and machine gun firing went on in many parts of the town during the rest of the day. About luncheon time Tereschenko telephoned to say that as soon as troops arrived from the front the disorders would be put down with a firm hand, and that as most of the fighting would probably take place near the Embassy, he would feel happier if we were to go away for a few days. This, however, I declined to do.
The position of the Government on that after- noon was a very critical one, and had not the Cossacks and a few loyal regiments come out in time to save them they would have had to capitulate. While we were at dinner the Cossacks charged the Cronstadt sailors, who had gathered in the square adjoining the Embassy, and sent them flying for their lives. The Cossacks then rode back along the quay, but a httle higher up they got caught in a cross-fire. We saw, several riderless horses returning at full gallop, and two Cossacks who were bringing back a prisoner were attacked by some soldiers and all but murdered under our windows. On Tuesday night an order was issued forbidding anyone to go out in the streets after noon on the following day, and all the bridges were either opened or strongly guarded so as to prevent the Bolsheviks crossing over from the other side. A guard, consisting of an officer and ten men, had been placed in the Embassy, and General Knox and Colonel Thornhill also slept in the house.
Wednesday was a more or less quiet day, but at six o'clock on Thursday morning we were woke up by our officer, who begged us to retire to the back of the house. The Government troops, he told us, had been ordered to seize the fortress, which had been occupied by the insurgents, as well as Lenin's headquarters on the other side of the river; and, were the guns of the fortress to be turned on the troops stationed on this side, we should be in the line of fire. A httle later Tereschenko telephoned, placing an apartment in the Ministry at our disposal ; but I did not like to leave the Embassy, while my wife and daughter would not leave me. We spent an exciting morning watching the movements of the troops. A strong guard of soldiers and sailors, with several armoured cars, were stationed by the bridge, while artillery was held in reserve behind the Embassy. An alarm was occasionally sounded, and then a few troops would dash half-way across the bridge, kneeling down and taking such cover as they could find. By one o'clock both the fortress and the villa where Lenin had established his headquarters had surrendered, and, though on Friday night there was again a good deal of firing with machine guns from some river barges, we have had since then a comparatively quiet time.
In the course of conversations which I had with him on Thursday and Friday, Tereschenko told me that Kerensky had telegraphed from the front, saying that he could not continue to work with colleagues, who were constantly temporizing with the extremists instead of putting them down. I said that I quite sympathized with him. The Government had been too weak. The loyal troops, after occupying the offices of the Bolshevist organ, the Pravda, and seizing compro- mising documents, had been ordered to evacuate the premises and to restore the documents; the Cronstadt sailors had been disarmed, but had not been punished; and two of Lenin's lieutenants who had been arrested had been released. I did not know which of the Ministers were opposed to the adoption of stern measures against the promoters of the disorders which had resulted in five hundred casualties, but I was afraid that the Prime Minister was not strong enough to take advantage of this unique opportunity of suppressing anarchy once for all. Tereschenko replied that the opposition had come from the Soviet, but that their eyes had now been opened to the gravity of the situa- tion. There had, he added, been a moment during the recent disorders when many of them might have lost their lives at the hands of the insurgents had not the Government sent troops for their protection."
We are faced with a governmental crisis again. When we hear demands made on behalf of the armed regiments of a single city to adopt predetermined resolutions made by them, then no matter how we change a previous resolution, the people as a whole will see it as a decision adopted merely to serve the victory of disorderly groups and not in order to express the true will of democracy, of the workers, peasants and soldiers at the front. See more
The Congress did not accept the Provisional Government because it contained three Kadets. The Revolutionary democracy can do without them. Their departure will not deprive the Provisional Government of fullness of power. Steps must be taken to ensure there is no unrest.
Our responsibility—to protect the unity and integrity of the Russian revolution. He who thinks that he, walking out, armed, into the street, is walking with us—has been misled. We have to say that these types of demonstrations are not walking hand in hand with the revolution, but rather with counter-revolution. See more
We have to say that the outcome of revolutionary democracy cannot be dictated with bayonets. And we have to call on all those faithful to the task of the revolution to rally in defense of the plenipotentiary agency of democracy and in defense of the task of the revolution.
The counter-revolution can only emerge into our midst via one door, and one door alone – via the Bolsheviks. What the Bolsheviks are engaged in now is no longer ideological propaganda; it is conspiracy. May the Bolsheviks forgive us, but we shall now resort to other means of struggle. Revolutionaries unworthy of the arms they bear must have those arms confiscated. The Bolsheviks need to be disarmed. We shall permit no conspiracies…
The Congress of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies recently adjourned at the Cadets’ College has only deepened my pessimism. The meeting began with a discussion of the Dacha Durnovo. Pereverzev, Liber, Kamenev, Tsereteli with his histrionics, and Lunacharsky, all made speeches, the latter receiving reproaches from the Asiatic Chkheidze for addressing the congress without the reverence apparently accorded it. See more
They all spoke very coherently, “convinced and convincing”, with calm and even business-like temper. Yet, essentially, despite the great superfluity of fine words, I left the assembly without having formed the slightest impression. Lord knows, an audience is correct in greeting every speech with an identically rousing storm of ovation, even if this speech stands in stark contradiction to its predecessor, and even if this predecessor was met by the very same ovation. The mood, I should note, in the hall was decidedly moderate and calm. I can see now that there is an audience capable of standing through one of Lenin’s speeches.
I have been working hard at the Congress. On the third day there was a large, captivating meeting. Tsereteli spoke about general politics with dignity and intelligence, and he defended his impossible position as powerfully and systematically as could be imagined possible. Lenin spoke after him. See more
He spoke passionately, with great revolutionary fire, but too quickly, and he made an error that all his detractors later clung to: he said that “the first and most important measure of a genuinely revolutionary government would be the arrest of its country's 50 wealthiest factory owners.”
Guchkov’s resignation is a sensational one. Sensational not in itself, but in the manner in which it occurred: without issuing any warning to the government, without engaging in any preliminary discussions of the matter with his ministry colleagues, the minister of war quit his post even as the war raged on, declaring that the government lacked the capacity to fulfill its functions and that he, See more
the minister of war, could “no longer shoulder responsibility for the grievous sin being committed against the motherland.” This act signified an emphatic break between Guchkov and the Provisional Government.