Here is a simplified meaning of the budding movement, which promises… I don’t want to define what exactly does it promise, however, it it promises a lot, and among other things, a CIVIL WAR WITH NO END.
There is no point in idly guessing how it all will end. The Swedes -(or the Germans?)- took the isles, the landing in Helsinki is close. All this is rumour, for no messages are sent from the General Staff, the armed Bolsheviks are in the lead, but… maybe, it is simply - “here comes the German, the German will settle this…” My Lord, but this is not the end!
Democratic papers are calling for a civil war. How vile. It's pure hysterics.
The same uncertainty. Almost all the newspapers are shut down. Those not yet closed ("Volya naroda"Will of the people"" and "Delo naroda"Business of the people"") are vehemently attacking the “Bolsheviks”… See more
It is reasonably calm on the streets. I was on Nevsky Prospect. At the City Duma, a crowd (not a very big one) surrounded the sailors (on duty), indignant at the violence and shamelessness of the “Bolsheviks”.
To the question: "what is to be done?" I can only answer for the artist. On the question of food, of filling empty thrones, of parliament, of religious processions in the streets- I do not require an answer, although I don’t have enough bread, just like everyone else.
1) The artist must know that the Russia we knew doesn't exist anymore and will never come back. They must know that there is no Europe that we used to know. The world entered a new era.
2) The artist must burn with anger against everything, that is trying to galvanize the corpse. For that anger not to turn into malice (malice is a great temptation), they need to preserve the fire of knowledge about the great era, of which no base malice is unworthy.
3) The artist must be ready to face even greater events and know how to bow down before them.
We've heard almost no gunfire. Went outside.
The looting of the rich wine stores of the capital by the rabble of the streets was beginning. Behind this dangerous movement was someone who was trying to consume the revolution in the flames of alcohol. Markin instantly sensed the danger and went to fight it. See more
He guarded the wine stores; when it was impossible to guard them, he destroyed them. In high boots, he would wade to his knees in precious wines full of broken bottles. The wine flowed down the open street sewers into the Neva and stained the snow; tipplers lapped it up from the gutters. With a revolver in hand, Markin fought for a sober October.Soaked to the skin, exuding the fragrance of the choicest wines, he would return home, where two boys were waiting breathlessly for him. Markin beat off the alcoholic attack of the counter-revolution.
Then the old Mayor stepped into the tribune: “Comrades and citizens! I have just learned that the prisoners in Peter Paul are in danger. Fourteen cadets of the Pavlovsk school have been stripped and tortured by the Bolshevik guards. One has gone mad. They are threatening to lynch the Ministers!” See more
There was a whirlwind of indignation and horror, which only grew more violent when a stocky little woman dressed in grey demanded the floor, and lifted up her hard, metallic voice. This was Vera Slutskaya, veteran revolutionist and Bolshevik member of the Duma.
“That is a lie and a provocation!” she said, unmoved at the torrent of abuse. “The Workers’ and Peasants’ Government, which has abolished the death penalty, cannot permit such deeds. We demand that this story be investigated, at once; if there is any truth in it, the Government will take energetic measures!”
A commission composed of members of all parties was immediately appointed, and with the Mayor, sent to Peter Paul to investigate. As we followed them out, the Duma was appointing another commission to meet Kerensky—to try and avoid bloodshed when he entered the capital.
The Bolsheviks have formed a Government, with Lenin as First Commissary and Trotsky as Commissar for Foreign Affairs. It is to be called "The Council of the People's Commissaries," and is to act under the immediate control of the Central Committee of the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. See more
Trotzky went this afternoon to the Ministry and sent for the members of the staff, and expressed the hope that he could count on their collaboration. They all refused, and some of the lady clerks even told him that he was a German. He asked Tattischef, Tereschenko's Chef de Cabinet, whether the Ambassadors would call on him or whether he ought to pay them the first visit. On being told that the usual procedure was for a new Minister to inform them by letter of his assumption of office, he said that such a procedure was all very well under the old regime but hardly suited present conditions. One paper announced that he had called on me but had not got further than the doormat; and I, quite undeservedly, received in the afternoon a bouquet of flowers from some "Young Russians," with "Bravo! Thank you!" written on a card. The example set by the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been followed in most of the other Ministries, and the machinery of government is consequently at a standstill.
The All Russian Congress of Soviets yesterday published a decree, appealing to the democracies of all belligerent Powers to assist them in relieving humanity from the horrors of war, and proposing an immediate armistice of three months to allow time for the conclusion of a democratic peace without annexations or contributions. The term "annexations," it was explained, referred to the forcible retention of any foreign territory irrespective of the date of its occupation. The Congress further decreed the nationalization of the land.
The Committee of Public Safety appears to favour the formation of a purely Socialist Government, exclusive of, but relying on, the support of the Cadets. They are united in their wish to suppress the Bolsheviks, but there their union ends, some being in favour of adopting the Bolshevist programme with regard to peace and the land, while the others are strongly opposed to such a course.
Paget telegraphs from Copenhagen that our Military Attache had been informed by an escaped Russian prisoner that he had been engaged by the Germans as an agent for anti-British propaganda in Petrograd. He had, he said, been instructed to get in touch with the Bolsheviks and to arrange, among other things, for my assassination. I have also received a copy of a leaflet, which the Germans have recently been dropping from aeroplanes among the Russian troops on the southern front, telling them that though they had got rid of Tsar Nicholas, the British Ambassador was still enthroned as Tsar at Petrograd, that he imposed his wishes on the Russian Government, and that so long as he remained reigning in Russia and drinking Russian blood they would never have peace or liberty.
Korniloff has succeeded in escaping and has joined Kaledin in the south. They are believed to be masters of the Donetz basin. Kerensky is utterly discredited with all parties, and the troops, if they do come to Petrograd, will not fight to restore his Government, but to support the Socialist groups who have turned against the revolution.
Halfway between Tsarskoe Selo and Gatchina, there was a meteorological observatory. From its heights, I surveyed the layout of government troops, which seemed to be in a state of strange passivity. See more
I drove up to try to get to the bottom of what was going on. The explanations given by Krasnov were decidedly vague and seemed quite meaningless. He himself was behaving in a reserved and formal manner.
Rumour has it that the Bolsheviks at Tsarskoe Selo have surrendered without much of a struggle. It appears that there was a detachment of sailors near Taaitsa planning to go to Gatchina to arrest Kerensky, who was at the palace. See more
According to rumours from Petrograd, the Bolsheviks have ransacked the Winter Palace and are looting the State bank. Moreover, they are printing banknotes at the Expedition, to the value of 35 millions every day, for their own pockets.
In the evening we found out that Gatchina has been declared in a state of siege.
It was nice weather — four degrees above frost during the night and up to 10 degrees above frost during the day. We walked a long time and I chopped firewood for a long time.