Something has happened to me. I can’t write. “Russia has been sold on the cheap”. After various attempts at “peace-making” by the military high command, after the disgraceful elections to the Constituent Assembly, elections held under the bullets and bayonets of our new thugocracy, after all the decrees of madmen calling to dissolve the Municipal Duma, the “bulwark of the counterrevolution”, what is there to say? Speaking the truth feels as shameful as lying. See more
When they suppress the Constituent Assembly (and they will suppress it!), I think I will fall silent forever. From shame. It is a shame which is difficult to adjust to and heavy to bear.
The Bolsheviks have clearly lost. Nevertheless, we know that they are not intending to accept this result. They used to hope for a better result, and, at that time, they opposed the Constituent Assembly. Now they will be trying to forbid it and break it up.
Recognising the need for energetic measures to reduce the salaries of high-ranking office employees and officials in all state, public and private institutions and enterprises, the Council of People’s Commissars decrees: See more
1) that the salary limit for people’s commissars be fixed at 500 rubles a month where there are no children, and 100 rubles extra for each child; housing to be at the rate of not more than 1 room for each member of the family; 2) that all local Soviets of Workers’, Soldiers’ and Peasants’ Deputies be asked to prepare and carry out revolutionary measures to impose special taxes on high-ranking employees; 3) that the Ministry for Finance be instructed to draft a general law concerning this reduction; 4) that the Ministry for Finance and all the respective commissars be instructed to immediately study the estimates of the ministries and cut all excessively high salaries and pensions.
Candles were scarce. Darkness set in at three, and the time till six when electric light was given was especially hard to live through. The unhealthy quiet of the town, portentous silence of the empty streets magnified apprehension to an unbearable tensity. Hearing had grown to such acuteness as to catch from afar a faintly audible sound of footsteps on the thick snow. A rifle-shot, a burst of machine-gun fire and all quiet again. See more
On some evenings lights moved to and fro in the dark court yard down below, soldiers come for perquisition. I had been spared their visits. The searches were chiefly made on the instigation of the house committee. Though my new servant belonged to it, she always behaved decently to me.
I’m thinking of the expression “to laugh till you cry.” That is how all of Russia is laughing now: it is laughing till it cries. This is precisely that throaty laugh that bursts out against one’s will. See more
It is impossible to cut off this laugh: hysteria follows closely after it. It is a grand sight: all unhappy Russia rocks on the ground, writhing in a fit of laughter mixed with weeping and wailing: “Oy, I can’t anymore, stop it. O-oy, spare me, I’m dying.”
Now I have only one method of gratitude at my disposal: poems. They live on food, lend a cot: I recite poetry, rewrite poetry, write poetry. The soul pays for the body. How I would like to say that poems are uninteresting, and simply, for me to be loved! And to pay for a meal, as a meal!
Little Proctor has arrived from Arkhangel in a deuce of a panic. He says that the Ambassador and his family and all British subjects should at once go home via Bergen, and that the Embassy should move to Arkhangel to escape the massacre that will take place when the northern armies descend in hunger on Petrograd to loot and murder. See more
I told the Ambassador of his ideas, but the old man said he did not want to see him, that it bored him to be told constantly that his throat was going to be cut: if it was, it was, and that was an end of it!
Trotsky has delivered an announcement to all Russian ambassadors abroad declaring that the Council of People’s Commissars will relieve each ambassador of his duties who is unwilling to consent to obey all directives of the Council. All ambassadors removed for this reason are to delegate their work to their subordinates.
I went to the English envoy to Tokyo, Sir Green, and told him my thoughts on the situation, announcing that I do not recognise the present government, and I see it as my duty, as one who represents the former government, to honour our promise to the allies. See more
I consider Russia’s obligations towards the allies to be my own, as a representative of Russia’s military command. I consider it essential, therefore, to honour these obligations to the end, and I do not want to withdraw from the war; even though, under the Bolsheviks Russia has agreed to peace. Therefore, I asked him to communicate to the English government that I wish to join the English army on any terms whatsoever. I impose no conditions; I only ask to be given the opportunity to play an active part in the campaign.
Sir Green heard me out and said: “I understand you completely, I understand your position; I will pass this message on to my government and ask you to wait for an answer from the English government.”