File No. 861.00/761

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


2052. Jerome Davis, acting head of Young Men’s Christian Association in Russia, just arrived from western front bringing address to President Wilson from “Central Executive Committee for the formation of fighting revolutionary battalions of the staff of the Commander in Chief of the Russian Army.” This address inveighs against separate armistice and peace as dishonoring. Russia appeals to President as head of first nation recognizing Russian revolution and requests that the President send the address to Paris conference which is asked to state aims of the Allies in the war. Address furthermore requests that communication be established with Allies and extended therefrom. This commonly called “death battalion “numbers minimum of 20,000. Address sent to Kaledin for signature and if obtained will be sent to me for transmission to the President. Kaledin commander in chief of the Cossacks numbering 200,000.

Davis says northern and western fronts permeated with Bolshevik spirit and desire separate peace while southwestern, Rumanian and Caucasian still recognize Dukhonin and willing to fight but may change spirit and desert Dukhonin any time. Davis left Stavka night of 13th when Dukhonin in doubt whether he could command enough troops to resist Bolsheviki or would move further south. Soviet government has sent troops to capture Dukhonin and headquarters and Trotsky announced evening of 13th that his troops would capture headquarters within forty-eight hours.

Trotsky’s speeches still threatening and defiant. In speech of 13th when asked about [demobilization] said soldiers would be permitted to carry arms to their homes. Reported that order issued for the arrest of Milyukov, Shingarev and others. Petrograd mayor arrested yesterday but released and given ovation by city council when he reappeared.

Davis says that if Bolsheviki interfere with Constituent Assembly when convenes that will be signal for civil war to begin throughout Russia. Election returns still incomplete but indicate Bolsheviki will not have a majority.