The Secretary of the Soviet, Alyosha Tsvetkov, set off on a reconnaissance mission. He came back with a report, stating that an amazingly well-equipped building had been found. It had everything: small, separate rooms, a canteen, a kitchen, all facilities, and - crucial in these hungry times - food supplies.
Where was this godsend? In the Alexander Nevsky Lavra - a “sacred” Orthodox monastery. We put our heads together and made inquiries. It turns out the building is big enough to house a thousand people. And at the moment, there are only about 60 monks living there, with a few dozen novices. Above all, it would be perfect for soldiers. There are beds, enough firewood for two years, flour, vegetable oil, and barrels of herring...in short - everything you could ask for!
At the Soviet, we discussed the reconnaissance report, and resolved to occupy the monastery, but to do so “peacefully” - to ask the monks to make space, to allocate a small part of the building to them and to turn the rest into a hostel for crippled soldiers.
I finished the suits of “Petrushka” with paint and set off to Bertensen to come to agreement about the further. Along the way I bought (on the warrant issued by our house committee, otherwise it is impossible) rubber galoshes in the Andreevsky market; unfortunately, except for the pointy ones, there were no more left.
Meanwhile the Bolshevik doctrines had begun their destructive work in the detachment which was guarding us and which hitherto had been fairly proof against them. It was composed of very varied elements: the men of the ist and 4th Regiments were for the most part favourably disposed towards the Imperial family, and especially towards the children. See more
The Grand Duchesses, with that simplicity which was their charm, loved to talk to these men, who seemed to them to be linked with the past in the same way as themselves. They questioned them about their families, their villages, or the battles in which they had taken part in the great war. Alexis Nicolalevitch, who to them was still " the Heir," had also won their hearts, and they took trouble to please him afid find amusements for him. One section of the 4th Regiment, composed almost exclusively of the older classes, was particularly conspicuous in its attachment, and it was always a delight to the family to see these good fellows come back on duty. On these days the Czar and children used to go secretly to the guardhouse and converse or play draughts with the men, whose conduct was never in a single instance anything but strictly correct. Here they were once surprised by Commissary Pankratof, who stood astounded on the doorstep, looking through his spectacles at this unexpected sight. The Czar, seeing his disconcerted appearance, motioned to him to come and sit at the table. But the Commissary evidently thought he was out of place ; muttering a few unintelligible words, he turned on his heel and fled, discomfited.
The Russian people have been poisoned by the very same falsehoods that have kept the German people in the dark, and the poison has been administered by the very same hands. The only possible antidote is the truth.
The Germans categorically refused to accept terms which they said could only be applied to a beaten country. They then put up their own terms. See more
At the meeting at noon on the 5th Yoffe read a declaration that the Russians had decided to break off negotiations in order to return to consult their Government. The enemy delegates were visibly annoyed, but brightened considerably when a temporary truce was arranged, to expire at noon on December 17th.
Most of the delegates behaved themselves, but the peasant got drunk and very argumentative. The soldier tried propaganda on his own and got a rebuff. He tried to reason with a German soldier: “ We have kicked out our Nikolai, why don’t you do the same with your Wilhelm? ” The German said: “ Why should I pull a sound tooth out of my head because you had a toothache a year ago?”