to Mr. Fish.
St. Petersburg, November 2, 1876. (Received November 20.)
Sir: On the afternoon of the 30th ultimo, the Turkish forces carried the position of Djunis (Diounisch) on the extreme right of the Servian lines, after a severe struggle, in which the losses among the Russian volunteers were most severe. This victory, by placing the Turks on the flank of the Servians, at a point commanding the communications of the left bank of the River Morava, and virtually exposing Servia, even to Belgrade, is the most important military action in the struggle, and with [Page 464]its announcement appeared the following Imperial Russian promulgation:
His Majesty the Emperor has ordered, to-day (October 30) that the aide-de-camp, General Ignatieff (embassador to Turkey), shall declare to the Sublime Porte that if, within a period of two days, the Porte should not accept an armistice of six weeks or of two months, and if the Porte should not issue immediate orders to arrest military operations, the embassador shall quit Constantinople with all the personnel of the embassy, and diplomatic relations shall be broken.
By this act Russia * * * * appears before the world as the avowed champion of the Slavonic race, fully armed and seemingly willing to accept all the perils of the situation. I, however, believe that this position has not been assumed b Russia without previous satisfactory assurances as to what will be the future policy of Germany, and this opinion is strengthened by the published advices since received, and by the significant language of the German Emperor at the opening of the Imperial Parliament. Reports are constantly received here that the armistice is agreed to by the Porte, but thus far nothing official has been announced, and it is difficult to predict how the present very critical position may end. It is not, however, too much to hope that Turkey may accept the best terms possible under present circumstances, unsupported as she is by any other power, and that actual warfare may be suspended by the intricate and probably tedious diplomacy necessary to rearrange the status of the provinces now in revolt.
I have, &c.,