Few persons can have gone to a convivial gathering of Russians without noticing that they take their liquor sadly. They weep when they are drunk. They are very often drunk. The nation suffers from Katzenjammer. See more
It would be an amusing thing if the prohibition of vodka took away from Russia the trait which sentimentalists in Western Europe have found such an engaging subject for their meditation.
Men are still saying that the bread is "being shipped" (by who? No one knows) to the Germans. All joy in life has been destroyed by the revolution and war.
Sunday, November 4th, was designated as the Day of the Petrograd Soviet, with immense meetings planned all over the city, ostensibly to raise money for the organisation and the press; really, to make a demonstration of strength. See more
Suddenly it was announced that on the same day the Cossacks would hold a Krestny Khod—Procession of the Cross—in honour of the Ikon of 1812, through whose miraculous intervention Napoleon had been driven from Moscow. The atmosphere was electric; a spark might kindle civil war.
Italian defeat is turning into a catastrophe. The same thing that had happened to us, now happened to them: propaganda damaged the discipline, and some units fled, letting the enemy pass. Our only hope now is England, France, and the USA.
It's a difficult time. No glimpses of light. The mood is close to a heroic despair. See more
The flesh is weak. Not mine. I'm very healthy, even though I've lost weight, but Russia's flesh. It's very thin. There are hunger and poverty everywhere. I doubt that anything can stop their fatal spread. Maybe left-wing democracy can make a heroic effort, both deeply patriotic and socialist, but it will, most likely, die after that.
Gradually, we were sent one after another to Petrograd to repair the ships damaged in the last battles. Gullible Verderevsky, not to mention Kerensky, didn’t quite understand why the ships were sent to Petrograd against his will. Repairs on the cruiser Aurora were hastily finished and is intended to be sent to Helsinki to join its brigade. It is necessary to it to be delayed in Petrograd as long as possible, as conveyed on behalf the Aurora’s Central Baltic Fleet Committee Chairman Kurkov, "Do not obey the orders of the Provisional Government to send the Aurora on a raid. Wait for the Central Baltic Fleet Committee’s approval. Central Baltic Fleet Committee will address you by name.”
Directorate of Public Prosecutions has received a paper from the doctors who were performing a medical check of the former Minister of Internal Affairs Protopopov. Their diagnosis reads that he is mentally affected. This diagnosis has been passed to the judiciary.
An armed demonstration of the garrison in favour of the Bolsheviks had been openly talked of for November 7th. The Provisional Government called up two cyclist battalions from the front and expressed its confidence in its ability to quell any rising. See more
In fact, Kerenski and Tereshchenko pretended only to fear that the rising might not be attempted and that they might therefore be deprived of the opportunity of annihilating the movement once and for all. Since the fall of Riga the Provisional Government had discussed the advisability of removing the seat of Government to Moscow, ostensibly because of the possibility of a further German advance, but also probably because of a hankering after the calmer political atmosphere of the older capital.
The Petrograd Soviet, of which Trotski had now become president, proclaimed that it had no trust in the Government and that it would accordingly take upon itself the defense of the capital. It formed on November 2nd a “ Military Revolutionary Committee ” under the Bolshevik, Antonov, to control the district staff. This Committee appointed its commissaries to all units of the garrison and to arms factories. It interfered with all orders issued by the district staff and rendered the position of the latter impossible.
Perhaps, this is all an illusion (absolutely everything).
At 8 o'clock we went to Mass and the whole family received the Eucharist. It was a very sincere and consoling experience. The weather grew mild but it snowed all day. For a long time we worked in the garden.