Today is St. Sergius memorial day. There was a procession, an annual tradition commemorating the eradication of cholera in 1830. They held a prayer service in front of the main entrance. They brought me there in an armchair. There was a mass of people; lots of soldiers and students. They prayed wholeheartedly like in the old days, despite the revolution, and despite the fact that at that very moment in Petrograd, people were killing each other. I heard that yesterday was a very bad day.
It turns out that yesterday, in Petersburg, there were demonstrations against the government. Five ministers walked out. Some say there was cannon fire. I could not get ahold of any details—the newspapers didn’t come out today. Here, there were some commodity shortages, but it is nothing serious. Two possibilities scare me: Kerensky’s resignation and the capture of Petrograd by the Germans.
Those coming from the front talk about the arrogance of the soldiers, it is unthinkable.
Finland wants complete independence from Russia, but Wilhelm is planning an offensive on Petrograd through Finland and its skerries. If Finland separates from us, that will be the end of the capital and the Baltic Sea.
Our troops continue to press forward. Kerensky is with them, trying to keep their martial spirits high. He greets the troops both on foot and mounted; sometimes he uses an automobile, at other times an airplane. His energy is amazing. He is the only man in the ranks of this awful government who has a head on his shoulders and a backbone. Nevertheless, the socialist-Bolsheviks are the real rulers.
Our troops have carried out a new, energetic and successful offensive. Kerensky is at the front and is trying to raise their spirits. This man loves his country and gives her all his strength, but he is very ill.
The postal and telegraph services do not work. I am afraid that in spite of all the strength leant in support of the offence, our useless soldiers have been stopped.
The offensive appears to have stopped. So many hostile forces act against honour and duty. A kingdom of cowardice and backstabbing cruelty!
The offensive on the Galician Front has begun in earnest. The first battle ended favorably for us. Now it is important to press the advantage, not to stop and not to give the enemy the opportunity to concentrate greater forces against us. The doctor says that I am better. I do feel this myself, although I am still very weak.
Today in Petrograd there is a large demonstration: they are carrying posters with writings, “Down with the government!”, “Down with war!” Same here: accompanied by the sounds of the Marseillaise they marched through the whole yard to the tombs of the “victims of the revolution”!!! I think that the demonstration was mostly manifested in silly speeches.
It turns out that France has insisted on the abdication of the King of Greece. His second-born son, Alexander, has been declared king. The abdication didn’t happen without a struggle, but it was dignified as well. They departed in an English corvette and are now in Sweden, safe and sound. See more
The situation here is a different story! No other example exists of a dethroned monarch remaining in his capital, subjected to insults and exposed to dangers from the rabble. I think of them ceaselessly.
The Empress sent me a nice note and a picture with her blessings and well wishes. It was very thoughtful. She wrote in Russian as the commandant does not understand English. They eat their radish and think it’s wonderful: the fruits of their labour.
Kerensky reviewed the troops today. Fortunately, not in front of the Palace, but at the Sophia parade ground. One of our hospital assistants went along to have a look, and came back horrified at how badly the soldiers kept formation. He has to go back to the front, and wants a transfer to the artillery, as he thinks the situation in the infantry is terrible.
Everybody trembles before the vile committee of soldiers’ and workers’ deputies. Anarchy is coming to a head. The whole world despises us. The shame of it! I spent yesterday in a very gloomy frame of mind.
It seems that everything is getting worse and worse. Some military units want to remain loyal, but there are too few of them to start an offensive.