File No. 861.00/676
The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis) to the Secretary of State 1
[Received November 17, 5.15 p.m.]
1978. Quiet here probably result of announcement of railway union that if civil war not ended immediately railroads would cease to operate throughout Russia.
Reports that two battles fought ten miles distant with Bolsheviki successful in the first and Kerensky in the second but both unconfirmed. Bolsheviki control Petrograd having issued an order that pillaging and searching of apartments cease. Telegraph employees struck last night refusing to work for Bolshevik government. Have received nothing official from Lenin-Trotsky government.
Effort being made to compromise on Ministry exclusively socialistic, including Bolshevik, International, Menshevik and Social Revolutionary factions. Present government opposed by Social Revolutionists, many Mensheviki and some Internationals. Chernov reported with Kerensky forces and is mentioned as compromise [Page 232]president. All four factions mentioned advocate peace. Bolshevik government was named night of 8th by Soviet which passed at the same session a law dividing all lands in Russia including those belonging to Crown, Royal Family, Church and large landowners, specifying no compensation therefor but excluding Cossack lands.
Much fighting in Moscow streets. Reported that 2,000 killed, Menslieviki in control. Fighting also in Kiev where Bolsheviki defeated by Cossacks who in control. Three Cossack regiments in Petrograd but taking no part in contest. Cossacks reported with Kerensky 10,000 to 20,000 in number but no definite information. Exact number of soldiers in Petrograd unknown. Estimates vary from 60,000 to 200,000; large majority profess neutrality but thought imbued with Bolshevik sentiment.
- Sent via the Legation in Sweden (No. 1000).↩