At nine o’clock in the morning, I was woken up by a noise of some kind. I sat up a bit on my bed and heard loud voices, stamping feet and doors slamming. About six sailors, covered in machine gun cartridges, and with rifles in their hands, tore into the room. Two of them ran up to my bed and held their rifles at me, shouting:
“Not a muscle, you’re under arrest”.
In the morning, we heard rumors that a clash had taken place between two Crimean dragoon squadrons headquartered in the Livadia Palace and the local Red Guard. We also heard that the Crimeans retreated into the mountain area and that Soviets have the city under their control. Around noon, the Soviet authorities published proclamations stating that the local Soviet was, as of that moment, the only power in town and demanding that all citizens surrender any weapons they might have. Toward the evening, a ship arrived and the sailors who disembarked started conducting house-checks under the supervision of the local Soviet.
Kerensky fled, having betrayed his comrades, his army, and Russia.
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.
In the middle of the night I was awoken by terrible screams. Through the window you could see the sky, embraced by the glow of a fire. Cries rang out from the street, you could hear some kind of crackling and noise, the breaking of glass and occasional shots. Hastily dressed, I went out into the corridor, where I met by my orderly officer. “Your Excellency, there is a pogrom in the city. The retreating troops are breaking stores,” he reported to me. I went down into the hotel lobby. Leaning against the wall stood an old man, pale as death, with blood flowing down his long grey beard. See more
Next to him stood a tattered young woman, head uncovered, who sobbed loudly, wringing her hands. Upon seeing me she rushed towards me and began to catch and kiss my hands. I called the porter and asked what was the matter; it turned out that the old man was a Jew, the owner of a watch shop, and the woman was his daughter. The soldiers sacked the shop, and the owner, who was severely beaten, barely escaped with his life. I had no military force at my disposal, as with me there was only one officer and two ordering hussars. Taking them with me I went out into the street.
The city burned in several places; a crowd of soldiers, breaking iron curtains, was smashing stores. From the windows of the houses you could hear screams and crying. On the pavement lay broken boxes, broken cardboard boxes, pieces of cloth, ribbons and laces interspersed with broken utensils, empty bottles of cognac. Military convoys completely blocked the streets. Artillery parks were stuck in the square. Fire enveloped neighbouring houses, resulting in the explosion of shells. I hardly found the commander of the park and, taking several soldiers from him, personally began to restore order. In one store we caught robbers, who were busy emptying boxes of tea utensils. Grabbing the first one I hit him with my fist, shouting loudly: “Cossacks, here, beat these bastards”. In a minute the store was empty…
In two hours we managed to clear the street. The carts began moving, and the artillery got the opportunity to move forward. In the neighbouring streets the robbery continued. From the continuous shouting I completely lost my voice.
By six o’clock in the morning a crossing appeared on the street, a regiment of Polish uhlans was approaching. I ordered the commander of the regiment to restore order without any hesitation. Several robbers were caught there and then and shot on the spot, and by the morning it was quite calm in the city.
The crowd, in a panic, was running towards the Mikhailovskaya square; whipping the horses, the coachmen were galloping. Groups of dirty, ragged fabric workers in caps and soft hats, in their majority with criminal, brutal faces, armed with assault rifles, and singing the "International" were moving in the middle of the Nevsky prospect. See more
In the crowd around you could hear indignant conversations—it was clear that resolute actions of the government would have been greeted with sympathy.
I walked along the Moika River to the house of the war minister to see Colonel Samarin, the head of Guchkov's cabinet. There I saw Colonel Baranovsky (who later occupied that post under Kerensky). I've shared what I just saw with him and expressed my bewilderment at the passivity of military agencies. "The government cannot allow the spilling of Russian blood," Samarin responded, "if Russian blood were spilled on government's orders, the whole moral authority of the government would be lost in the eyes of the people." I realized that we had nothing else to talk about.
Political rallies have been taking place every day at all hours in the Tauride Palace, the State Duma, and in every public place - in squares and on street corners. It is like some sort of orgy of volubility. It is as if all the philistines who have kept silent for centuries have hurried out to say everything that is on their minds, to make up for lost time.