File No. 763.72/6203

The Russian Ambassador ( Bakhmeteff ) to the Acting Secretary of State


Mr. Acting Secretary of State: I have the honor to transmit herewith the text of a communication from the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia to the Government of the United States:

At a moment when new and grave misfortunes are striking Russia we consider it our duty to give to our allies, who have shared with us the burden of trials in the past, a firm and decisive expression of our point of view regarding the pursuance of the war. The greatness of the task of the Russian revolution has determined the amplitude of the commotion which it caused in the life of the state. Reorganization in the face of the enemy of our entire governmental [Page 173] system could not be effected without serious perturbations. Nevertheless, Russia, convinced that there were no other means of salvation, has pursued in accord with the Allies a common action on the front.

Fully conscious of the difficulties of the task, Russia has assumed the burden of conducting active military operations during reconstruction of the army and of the Government. The offensive of our army, which was necessitated by the strategical situation, encountered insurmountable obstacles both on the front and in the interior of the country. The criminal propaganda of irresponsible elements was used by enemy agents and provoked mutiny in Petrograd. At the same time part of the troops on the front, seduced by the same propaganda, forgot their duty to the country and facilitated the enemy’s penetration of our front.

The Russian people, stirred by these events, has manifested its unshakable will through the Government created by the revolution. The revolt was crushed, its originators brought to justice. All necessary steps have been taken at the front for restoring the combative strength of the army.

The Government intends to bring to a successful end the task of consolidating a power capable to resist against all dangers and to guide the country in the path of the revolutionary regeneration. Russia will not suffer herself to be deterred by any difficulty in carrying out the irrevocable decision to pursue the war to the final triumph of the principles proclaimed by the Russian revolution.

In the presence of the threat of the enemy the country and the army will continue with renewed courage the great labor of restoration and, on the threshold of the fourth year of the war, of preparation for the coming campaign.

We firmly believe that the Russian citizens will combine all efforts to fulfil the sacred task of defending their beloved country and that the enthusiasm which lighted in their hearts the flame of faith in the triumph of liberty will direct the whole invincible force of the revolution against the enemy who threatens the country.

We know that our liberty as well as all mankind’s is dependent on the issues of that struggle.

The new trials which crime and treason have imposed on us can only reenforce, still more, the consciousness that the Russian people has of the necessity of consecrating, in a supreme effort, all forces and the whole of its resources for the salvation of the country. Strengthened by this consciousness, we are convinced that the retreat of our armies will be only temporary and that it will not prevent them, after being reconstructed and regenerated, to renew, when the hour will strike, their march forward in the name of the defense of the country and liberty, and that they will victoriously complete the great work for which they were compelled to take up arms.

Accept [etc.]

For the Ambassador:
C. Onou