My precious, darling treasure! The strikes and disturbances in the city are beyond provocative. It is a campaign of hooliganism – little boys and girls running about shouting they have no bread, simply in order to create excitement; workers stopping others from doing their work. If the weather were very cold, they would all probably be sitting at home. But it will all pass and settle down, as long as the Duma behaves itself.
Around 200 workers were on strike and used force to prevent others from working. The workers prevented the tram from moving. At midday some of the workers forced their way onto Nevskiy, but were dispersed. Violent actions manifested themselves in the shattering of windows in a number of shops and trams. The troops did not use their weapons; four police officers were left with non-threatening injuries.
I hope Khabalov is able to put a swift stop to these disturbances on the streets. Protopopov should give him clear and precise instructions. I kiss you all affectionately.
Actually, it seems that things are not settling down but heating up, slowly but surely. It’s interesting that the government is showing no obvious signs of life. It is difficult to tell where the government is, or who is even in charge. This is something new. It’s as if the Prime Minister (I can’t even remember for the moment who it is) has died at home in his apartment.
I went to Obukhov Hospital; Crowd. Killed are in the morgue. A small slippery shed, banches along the walls, on which white bedsheets with red crosses are prepared. Five dead men lie wrapped in these shrouds: three workers, a boy, a woman; The crowd moves, discusses, resents. They shoot, they talk the whole morning at Liteiny, Kirochnaya, near the Nikolayevsky station ...
There are riots in the city. The troops refuse to shoot the masses. The tsarina and the children have fallen ill with measles.
I telegraphed Nicky and put himself at his complete disposal. At the same time, I called my brother Sergei Mikhailovich on the phone. His voice sounded very worried:
“The situation in Petrograd is getting worse and worse,” he nervously said. “Street clashes continue, and you can expect the troops to go over to the rebels at any moment."
“But what about cavalry guard? Can you also not rely on them?"
“There’s something weird and mysterious about way the order of their dispatch to St. Petersburg was canceled. The cavalry guard didn’t think to quit the front."
I saw Rodchenko today. He’s just the person with whom I can work.
The situation is considered threatening; General Khabalov has declared his intention to take up arms tomorrow.
I went quite normally to the Alexandre Theatre, where Youriev's twenty-fifth stage anniversary was being celebrated with Lermontov's The Masquerade, produced by Meierhold. The audience was tense and nervous. There was a sound of firing in some quarters. But I was able to return without trouble.
I spent the day as follows: in the morning I went to the embroiderer’s to inquire concerning a new dress. Then I wanted to take a cab home. The first cabbie I saw was an old man, who answered: “sorry, madam, I’m not going there…. There’s gunfire on the bridge”.
The hair-raising problem of food supplies has been investigated to-night by an "Extraordinary Council," which was attended by all the ministers (except the Minister of the Interior), the President of the Council of Empire, the President of the Duma and the Mayor of Petrograd. Protopopov did not condescend to take part in the conference; he was no doubt communing with the ghost of Rasputin. See more
Gendarmes, Cossacks and troops have been much in evidence all over the city. Until four o'clock in the afternoon the demonstrations gave rise to no untoward event. But the public soon began to get excited. The Marseillaise was sung, and red flags were paraded on which was written Down with the Government! . . . Down with Protopopov. . . Down with the war! . . . Down with Germany! . .
Shortly after five disorders began in the Nevsky Prospekt. Three demonstrators and three police officers were killed and about a hundred persons wounded.
The hall of the Marie Theatre was almost empty; not more than fifty persons were present and there were many gaps even in the orchestra itself. We heard, or rather sat through, the first symphony of the young composer Saminsky, an unequal work which is quite powerful in places though its effects are wasted in a certain straining after startling dissonances and complicated harmonic formulæ. At any other time these subtleties of technique would have interested me: to-night they simply exasperated me.
Half-asleep I saw my parents and my sister and remember overhearing their conversations with Her Majesty about some kind of riots.