File No. 861.00/1145

The Consul General at Moscow ( Summers ) to the Secretary of State 1


197. The culmination of the anarchy which resulted from the attempt to install in Russia a democratic régime which the people neither desired nor understood has finally resulted in German domination. Liberty has been misconstrued by the ignorant masses as the unrestricted right to dispossess law-abiding persons and revenge themselves for real or supposed wrongs committed by a former regime. The result has been fatal not only to the cause of democracy and the preservation of law and order in all countries, Allied, neutral or enemy, but especially in Russia where the anarchy and chaos created and the destruction of the resources, plans will bring about a situation the nature of which will overshadow the present international conflict and demand the intervention of all the powers now at war. The damage done cannot be remedied except by intervention. In any event the repressive measures to be taken must be very severe as is inevitably the case where criminal acts are to be punished and law restored. The disorders in Russia must once for all be understood as criminal and not political. The great mass of news furnished the press in the United States comes from well-intentioned but absolutely irresponsible correspondents who endeavor to picture Russia as they would like to see it and who know absolutely nothing of the psychology of the people.

The Consulate General is advised to-day that the Embassy is endeavoring to find special train to leave Petrograd. Trustworthy reports confirm the advance of the German armies on Petrograd and Moscow. Information has been received that German troops are already entraining for Moscow. The city is further menaced by large numbers of German and Austro-Hungarian prisoners who have occupied strategic points.

There is unfortunately general apathy and disinclination on the part of all parties to join the Bolsheviki in any opposition to German domination. As already outlined in previous cables they would prefer see Russia dominated by Germans than controlled by the de facto anarchist government. It was with a realization of this fatal development that I asked Poole to go to Rostov and report fully to the Department on the only organized and healthy movement in Russia to reestablish order and combat German domination. Unfortunately the movement has been disorganized but the ideals [Page 386] remain the same and those men [who] have been frustrated, who have endeavored to save Russia and who through Poole have sent their appeals to America will yet be the ones on whom we must rely to reestablish order and combat Germany. All Americans are safe and I am endeavoring to send them Samara to await train to Siberia. Here I wish to point out again the importance of protecting the Siberian Railway. It is practically the only outlet at present from Russia.

I shall remain here as long as possible with Poole, Thomson, and Randolph and everything will be done to protect American interests.

  1. Sent via the Consulate at Vladivostok.