Madame Patouillet is always abusing Russia. Monsieur is more circumspect: he blames not so much the people as the intellectuals who refuse to take part in the war.
The railway workers are striking. But the strike committee has promised to try not to hinder troop or supply movements.
On the tram, in the second carriage; I very much enjoy being amongst the soldiers here. They joke: “the civies ought to sit at the back.” – “There aren’t any civies left! The caps are going cheap.” A warrant officer came in: one of the soldiers asked him whether he had far to go yet. He answered with a smile: “Far”. “Then sit down, it’ll be more comfortable for you here, Major.” See more
Two other soldiers started arguing; one, who was preaching to the other for putting on headphones, called him a featherbed soldier. The other, playing the didact, advised him against attacking people stupidly, since the Petrograd garrison were all on the frontline, with the exception of the corps. As for the first man, he had been poisoned by gas. His interlocutor withdrew.
I had lunch with Guinot at Francois’s. The maid wants to go and sign up for the women’s brigade. Soldiers in the courtyard are passing the time by shooting at pigeons. Troubling news in the evening: the soldiers of the garrison are discussing how to settle scores with the city’s foreign population.
Today is the birthday of Vera Nikolaevna Lodyzhenskaya: it says in the calendar "Saints Faith, Hope and Charity".
At the conference, the new Minister for War, Verhovsky, gave a speech. In order to restore the army, we need to reduce the number of personnel: barely one in ten people mobilised to this point were fighters, the rest remained at the rear. In the words of Kerensky: “If I ever sign a death sentence, you will curse me”. Unrest in Nizhny: Soldiers have seized hospitals and have shot the wounded; then they were sent to the front as volunteers”.
The All-Russia Democratic Conference has opened. There's a sacred procession in town, people are praying for Russia.
Russian newspapers today give an overview of the big Parisian scandal: AlmereydaEvgeny Vigo is a radical French anarchist, socialist and internationalist. His alias, Miguel Almereida, is an anagram of the expression "this shit" (fr. - y'a la merde). He was found dead in the prison cell. is killed in prison, the reputation of six ministers and their deputies was compromised in “Bonnet Rouge”The satirical radical French newspaper ("The Phrygian Cap"), Clemenceau fulminates. The government is more than shaken.
Elections. Everyone is calm. Many people won’t vote - and they will regret it later.
Overall, here in Russia we have a much better mutual understanding and liking with Americans than with the British. We can only accomplish something with Americans. See more
I received a visit from a young sailor eager to enlist in the French army in Romania: as it turned out, it was a woman.
The spectacle of the street. A line forms at the tobacconist: then soldiers procure cigarettes by the case, settle on the sidewalk, and start to sell them, individually, to pedestrians. Very resourceful. “Revolutionary People,” an evening newspaper of the socialist revolutionaries, in response publishes a heated protest by a war veteran (a comfrey, a person from the trenches). See more
A dog was drowned in the Moika, with a stone around his neck. The yard cleaner complains about the bourgeois: they get dogs and then kill them, not wanting to feed them anymore. Madam L. made a comment that this, judging by its appearance, should not be a bourgeois dog.
A great discovery. I read Dostoevsky’s The Idiot from start to finish, unable to tear myself away. There is a character in the book called Myshkin – an idiot, a Christian, meek and kind with human frailties; a young boy, Kolya; a general’s wife - kind-hearted, but excitable woman; and another woman, Nastasya Filippovna, who has been corrupted through no fault of her own. See more
It is difficult to understand all these complex characters, because they contradict themselves, just as real life does, and they are all rather sickly and excitable, because Dostoevsky thought anyone worthy of being called a human being should by definition be excessively sad and too bewildered to keep a calm head on his shoulders. And last of all, as far as the author is concerned, this terrible work springs from his own memory of his last minutes when he was condemned to death.
There’s anything you want in the Finland, Vyborg, Tammerfors and other train stations. The old custom remains in force: you pay 3 to 4 marks at the buffet entrance and you can eat whatever you want. Hors d'oeuvre a plenty. Finns are very poorly disposed to Russians. The Finns are kinder. Russian troops are not kicked around. See more
I visited the famous 703rd regiment. All the travelers there are asked: "Are you for or against the offensive?" - If you’re for: "Beat him!" They have a distillery, they distill moonshine. They have women in the trenches.
They constantly go to Vilna. The Germans publish the Russian newspaper "Comrade" there, and it moves in trenches with an obvious note: "Printed in Vilna." Once the command sent four loyal regiments and artillery. The rebels were surrounded, and they surrendered without hesitation, dropping their weapons.
They say there are many former paid police informants among the Bolsheviks. B. is a witness. In general, reinforcements spoil on the shelves. Officers, by their own words, are well, but are discouraged. I remember a captain, who was at the front the entire time, and was wounded four times, and a student, who is feeding his whole family on his salary – confessing to him: "When I talk about the offensive and that I'll go forward, they call me a bourgeois." I want to cry.
Should we say the Russian Revolution is founded upon the delusion that man is good by nature? Or should we rejoice that the Russian has an unusually clear understanding of natural laws and greater bravery in the face of collective prejudice? See more
Is he right in his desire to avoid outright combat, or is society right in its eagerness to impose its will on him (as it so often does here)?
I refuse to blame Russian soldiers, even now, considering the current situation. Only heroes fight, or those who are forced to. It is impossible to make everyone be a hero.
Once again, this morning, cars full of armed men at the ready, with fixed bayonets. From 2.30 to 3, there was heavy shooting on Nevsky Prospect and Liteiny Prospect. Apparently, the crowd was forcibly dispersed in front of the Tauride Palace.
The Russian offensive has surged back. Brusilov claims that the Russian army will be unable to survive the winter due to the complete state of chaos within the country and because of desertion – which will be the subject of a speech to the Constituent Assembly. See more
Nevsky Prospect was full of women driven to desperation. Today, agitated faces can be seen there. All the shops are shut, and the windows are boarded up. Yesterday there were perhaps four, perhaps forty people killed there. One thing is for certain – they wanted to arrest Kerensky at the station – his train left twenty minutes earlier.