We arrived into Pskov. On the train station I was greeted by some colonel who asked me to proceed into the sovereign’s train car. I wanted to first meet general Ruzskiy to get a sense of the sentiment in Pskov. Me and Shulgin proceeded to the Czar’s train car.
The Emperor's last official act was to appoint the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievich commander-in-chief and Prince Lvoff (the popular leader of the Zemstvos) as the new President of the Council. For, as the result of a compromise between the Duma committee and the Soviet, a Provisional Government had been formed to carry on the administration of the country till a con- stituent assembly had decided whether Russia was to be a Repubic or a Monarchy.
The principal members of this Government belonged to the Cadet and Octobrist parties. Miliukoff, the leader of the former, was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Guchkoff , the leader of the latter. Minister of War. Kerensky, who was made Minister of Justice, served as a link between the Soviet and the Government, and it had been mainly thanks to him that the opposition of the former had been overcome. During the heated discussion that had taken place on the question of the regency he had, in announcing his appointment as Minister of Justice, said in the Soviet: "No one is a more ardent Republican than I; but we must bide our time. Nothing can come to its full height at once. We shall have our Republic, but we must win the war; then we can do what we will."
I am not going to play games with you. If you suspect us of being engaged in politics, I will not dispute it for a minute. Yes, we are involved in politics, but it is the government that has turned us into a political organisation. We think the question of defence can only be resolved if the political conditions of our work are altered.
We need to steer a course for a coup d’état. All the elements necessary to trigger an explosion are already in place: the condition of the decaying regime itself; the deep mistrust of, and contempt for, that regime on the part of all strata of Russian society; external failures; and, finally, grave material hardships behind the lines—in a word, a comprehensive recipe for an explosion.
I am convinced that the army, like one man and with few exceptions, will side with the revolution.