Letter to the Foreign Office:
"Kerensky 's work among the troops at the front has throughout been hampered by the anti-war pro- paganda of the agitators, whom the Bolsheviks are constantly sending there to dissuade the men from joining in the offensive. The political atmosphere is such that he does not venture to appeal to the troops to fight for victory, but for the speedy conclusion of peace. For peace is the universal desideratum. See more
It is this fact that renders it essential for us to do nothing to give the pacifists here a pretext for contending that the Allies are prolonging the war for imperialistic aims. A refusal of the proposal for a conference, which Tereschenko submitted to Albert Thomas about a month ago, would certainly be interpreted in this sense ; and, great as will be the difficulties with which we shall be confronted at such a conference, they will have to be faced sooner or later. To postpone the discussion of our war aims will but discourage Russia from continuing her active participation in the war.
From what Tereschenko has said to me about the proposed conference, I do not think that he wants to bind us down to any definite peace terms.
Those terms would, as he remarked to me one day, depend on the course of the military operations, and it would, there- fore, be difficult to define them with precision so long as the war was in progress. On another occasion he spoke of the elaboration of a minimum and maximum peace programme as being worth considering. He is not an idealist, as are most of his Socialist colleagues, and we can, I think, count on his doing his best to induce them to take a practical view of things."
The stage is serious. There is only black and white, there is no humor, it is neither kitchen nor parlour: it is a place more serious and holy than church. It is not a sofa to be reclined on, neither is it a fence on which to hang our nervous energy as we would our linen. The theatre must disappear, like an animal long-extinct.
News from the front are not good. The offensive that has started out so successfuly is turning into a failure for the Russians.
Petrograd has started to look more and more like a village - not even a village, but a dirty camp of nomadic savages. The feebly gray ragged men, in their greatcoats with their ruffles, have become more prominent, wreaking havoc everywhere. Nevsky prospect and the main streets have become a disorderly sloppy market. See more
The houses were covered with torn adverts, people ate and slept on the panels, scum was lying around, they traded anything they had. Soldiers walked armed down the streets, wearing whatever they had, some clad only in their underwear.
In Galich there was also something new. These were beautiful German fortifications. Dams were dug, reinforced with a double sheathing of thick logs and dug under the very base of the high mountain of Galich. Huge cellars for artillery shells were also built, and around all this, bowling alleys, showers and gazebos of white, made out of birch tree bark. See more
Usually the Germans, when leaving their positions, get rid of everything, even sweep the floor as to not leave any papers behind - for example, envelopes from letters from which one could guess the compositions of the occupying regiment.
This time they were in a hurry and left behind shells and some unimportant pieces of paper. All of the artillery was taken away by them. Soldiers had fun in the busy city, as usual. They launched rockets, tested grenades, took out equipment and utilised it. It was sunny and very peaceful. And quiet, quiet, as if in some kind of resort in the autumn after everyone has left.
We found a German staff guide to fraternisation.
The specter of “counterrevolution” is being disgracefully misused. The manner in which this word is being applied in the left-socialist press, at public meetings, and at private debates, should be called nothing less than moral blackmail. It is the easiest way to silence an opponent and deprive him of his voice. “Counterrevolutionary” is now any opinion which its pronouncer dislikes.
Our soldiers are in the city. They are not looting, though they are helping themselves to barrels of wine. Yesterday they showed great valour in storming Kalush, but today they drink like serfs. There are not too many of them, but the streets reek of spirit, shards of glass from shattered bottles litter the pavements, and the soldiers, dead-drunk and asleep with their rifles still in their hands, lie next to the rubbish.