File No. 861.00/635

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


1964. Telegraph office says our cables forwarded but doubt it, consequently repeating this from Moscow where it is sent by hand. Whereabouts of all Ministers except Kerensky unknown but most credible report is that all are imprisoned in St. Peter Fortress. Considerable firing last night until 2 o’clock. Main object of attack was Winter Palace where Ministry thought to be in session. After valiant defense by woman regiment and battalion of cadets Winter Palace surrendered having been bombarded by war vessel Aurora from river and attacked from the land. Casualties unknown. Quiet on streets to-day but Petrograd Council Workmen-Soldiers have sent bulletins throughout Russia that Soviet in control and Government deposed. Foreign Office, replying to inquiry, telephoned does not know where Minister of Foreign Affairs is and that no one representing new power has communicated with that department. … [A person] connected with Department of Agriculture reports same closed as impossible to transact business and says all Ministers except Kerensky are imprisoned. Various reports concerning coming of troops from the northern front but impossible to ascertain truth thereof as wires under control of Petrograd council. British Ambassador just telephoned request that I come to British Embassy for conference 6 p.m. Suppose Allied diplomats invited.