File No. 861.00/501

The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis ) to the Secretary of State

[Telegram]

1726. Late at night Saturday Lvov, former member of Ministry as Procurator of Holy Synod, arrived Petrograd, representing Kornilov, demanded of Kerensky abdication of Provisional Government and that Kornilov be made temporary military dictator with Savinkov [Page 187] Minister of War and Kerensky Minister of Justice. Kerensky, after confirming Lvov’s representing Kornilov, removed the latter and appointed present Chief of Staff, Lukomski, who declined, stating his acceptance might result in civil war and opening front to Germans, and conclusion of separate peace. Kerensky then appointed Klembovski, now commanding Riga front, who is reported to have also declined. Four o’clock this morning Kerensky received advices from Kornilov refusing to recognize removal, assuming military dictatorship and stating had ordered four divisions cavalry to capture Petrograd and arrest Provisional Government as agents of German General Staff. Savinkov in command of Petrograd which has been declared under martial law and in state of siege. Eailroad conveying Kornilov cavalry and artillery has been torn up about forty versts distant. Provisional Government says 80,000 troops here but Minister for Foreign Affairs says same disorganized and will not kill Russians unless it be their own officers. Not positively known which side Savinkov favors.

I have missed no opportunity to urge President and Vice President of Council of Ministers and Minister for Foreign Affairs to restore army discipline. Provisional Government and socialists will claim that object of this counter-revolution is restoration of monarchical government but leaders of movement claim its object is to save country and prevent disgraceful surrender to Germany.

British Ambassador [omission] calls meeting Diplomatic Corps British Embassy 5 o’clock.

Francis