Comrades soldiers, in all the world there is no army today as free as the Russian army. Today, the Russian soldier is a free citizen with the right to join organisations. We have achieved this in three days. It is exactly a month ago tomorrow that I led the first detachment of military troops into the Tauride Palace and set up a guard of honour.
I joined the cabinet of the Provisional Government as a representative of your interests. And the Provisional Government will listen to what you have to say. In a few days, a document will be released, stating that Russia renounces all expansionist aims.
After the service, Kerensky announced to his Majesty that he was obliged to separate him from her Majesty the Empress, and that their Highnesses should live apart, and see each other only at the dining table, on condition that they speak Russian at all times. They are also allowed to take tea together, but only in the company of an officer, as the servants are not present at these times. A little later the Empress came to me, greatly agitated, and said: See more
“How contemptible and how petty it is to treat his Majesty in this way, after he has sacrificed himself and abdicated the throne in order to avert a civil war! His Majesty did not wish the blood of a single Russian to be spilt for his sake. He has always been willing to give up everything, if he felt sure that it was for the good of the country.”
Every day, the King is becoming more concerned about the question of the Emperor and Empress coming to this country.
His Majesty receives letters from people in all classes of life, known and unknown to him, saying how much the matter is being discussed, not only in clubs, but by working men, and that Labour Members in the House of Commons are expressing adverse opinions to the proposal. See more
As you know, from the first the King has thought the presence of the Imperial Family (especially the Empress) in this country would raise all sorts of difficulties, and I feel sure that you appreciate how awkward it will be for our Royal Family who are closely connected both with the Emperor and the Empress.
You probably also are aware that the subject has become more or less public property, and that people are either assuming that it has been initiated by the King, or deprecating the very unfair position in which His Majesty will be placed if the arrangement is carried out.
The King desires me to ask you whether after consulting the Prime Minister, Sir George Buchanan should not be communicated with, with a view to approaching the Russian Government to make some other plan for the future residence of their Imperial Majesties?
Terrible news from the front. Tens of thousands of people killed. I awoke in tears, thinking of the war dead.
If Kerensky is to be believed, Miliukov has not been expressing the opinion of the Provisional Government on the crucial question of the aim of the present war. In other words, in declaring to the whole world that the war is an expansionist war, the Foreign Minister Miliukov has gone not only against the will of the Russian people, but also against the Provisional Government, of which he is a member. Under the Tsarist regime, Miliukov declared that ministers are accountable to the people. See more
We agree that they are accountable and answerable to the people. I wonder, does Miliukov still acknowledge this principle of ministerial accountability? And if he does acknowledge it, why doesn’t he resign?
Political rallies have been taking place every day at all hours in the Tauride Palace, the State Duma, and in every public place - in squares and on street corners. It is like some sort of orgy of volubility. It is as if all the philistines who have kept silent for centuries have hurried out to say everything that is on their minds, to make up for lost time.
The number of persons present last Thursday at the funeral ceremonies in the Champ-de-Mars has been calculated at nearly a million. The civil character of the obsequies has aroused no popular protest. The Cossacks alone had announced that their conscience did not allow them to take any part in a funeral at which the figure of Christ was not displayed and they stayed at home in their barracks. See more
But next morning the humblest classes, especially the soldiers, began to experience an uneasy feeling, a feeling compounded of disapproval, remorse, vague alarm and superstitious forebodings. There could be no doubt now, they thought, that these obsequies, unhallowed by priest or ikon, were an act of sacrilege. God would be avenged! Those Cossacks had known it all along! They had refused to be involved in such a sinful enterprise. How cunning they are! Besides, was it not doubly impious to have painted the coffins red? There are only two Christian colours for coffins---white and yellow; it is so well known that the catechism does not even mention it. So the dead have been profaned by that devilish novelty of painting the coffins red! That was the last straw! The entire ceremonial at the Champ-de-Mars must have been arranged by the Jews!
This revulsion of public feeling has become so general and outspoken that the Provisional Government has seen itself compelled to mollify it. Acting on its orders, a number of priests proceeded to the Champ-de-Mars yesterday and said prayers over the graves.
I dined this evening with Madame P-----. There were about a dozen guests, all the closest of friends, and among them an aide-de-camp of the Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaïevitch, Prince Sergei B-----, who has just come from the Caucasus.
Throughout the evening there was a general and highly animated conversation, in which all of us freely spoke our minds about the course of events. Of this frank and spontaneous exchange of ideas this is what I remember:
"The situation has become much worse in the last few days. The country, taken as a whole, would not agree to a peace of dishonour, such as a separate peace would be. But it has lost all interest in the war and thinks of nothing now but domestic questions and, first and foremost, the agrarian question. . . . It must frankly be admitted that henceforth there is no object in the war, from the point of view of the Russian people. What about Constantinople, Santa Sophia and the Golden Horn? But who gives that fantastic notion a thought nowadays, except Miliukov, and he solely because he's an historian. What about Poland? Poland has ceased to be any concern of the Russian State since the Provisional Government proclaimed her independence. It's her business now to secure her territorial unity; in future she'll have to take Polonia farà da se for her motto. As for Lithuania, Courland and even Livonia, their future destinies are regarded with the most complete unconcern, on the pretext that they are not Russian territories. . . . The same note can be heard everywhere, in Moscow as in Petrograd, Kiev no less than Odessa; despondency and the effacement of all national and patriotic feeling is universal. Impressions of the army are equally discouraging. Among the garrisons in the interior there is nothing but hopeless indiscipline, idleness, absenteeism and desertion. Until quite lately the troops at the front had preserved an excellent spirit. The recent reverse on the Stochod has shown that even the troops in the front line have lost their moral, for there can be no doubt that one regiment refused to fight. And what is to be said of all the turmoil raging in the administrative departments, the transport, supply and munitions services?"
As I was endeavouring to argue against some of these pessimistic statements, Madame P----- replied:
"Don't make any mistake. The war is dead, for all the fine phraseology of official speeches. A miracle alone can galvanize it back to life!"
"May not that miracle come from Moscow?"
"Moscow's no better than Petrograd!"
The French Cabinet, at a meeting presided over by President Poincare, decided to have President Wilson’s war message to the Congress posted on all public billboards in France. The American flag will be flown from all public buildings in France as the result of an order issued by Louis Malvy, Minister of Interior. The mayors of many towns have requested that the American colors be displayed on private residencies.