File No. 861.00/1621

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


367. Renewed German advance in the region of Smolensk; to the south Belgorod has been taken; rapid advances are being made on Kursk and Voronezh. Taking of these chief railway lines reaching Moscow would be very annoying and [would aggravate] the food shortness and preclude manufacture munitions on any important scale.

Replying to protest by local authorities of Kursk against the continued invasion Russian territory Ukraine government stated it is bound in this matter by its treaty with Germany. Concerning Ukraine-Russian treaty of peace Soviet signers say they invited Ukraine delegates to communicate to [with] them at Smolensk. [Soviet] committee headquarters Moscow states German transcripts [conscripts] occupy greater part invaded region. Remainder occupied by Polish troops. Germans have control over all railway lines and stations. Staff headquarters at Minsk. Bavarian troops seem most numerous and are continuing to increase. Their center at Mogilev where Leopold of Bavaria is reported to have [arrived] April 6. Other troops center at Orsha [omission]. All Germans under [command] and practically all artillery removed to western front. Troops left are Landsturm troops and not recruits. Report continues:

Each town has its captain-general who has always at his disposal one company of soldiers with several more in reserve scattered in small detachments in surrounding villages guarding mills, bridges, warehouses and factories. As to the feeling among the soldiers not one [omission] complain of being very tired and anxious for rest and peace but are at the same time very chauvinistic and full of the glory of being victorious.

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Polish force is reported 20,000 strong at beginning of the German advance, now are said to be greatly increased by enlistment of Poles in occupied region [omission] among the Polish troops [omission]. Relations with these German troops strained and mutually distrustful. Open conflicts have occurred. Relations of the Poles with Ukraine troops also inordinate. Leader states Poles regard themselves as a part of troops of the government of Russia allied with Germans against the Bolsheviki but not subject to German orders.

Consulate General arranging to send observers into occupied territory. Foregoing report made by unskilled persons viewing the situation from one point only.

No word from Haine.1 Soviet authorities reported leaving for St. Petersburg. Thomson2 informed by serious person one thousand prisoners Novo Nikolaevsk fully armed having machine guns and two batteries field artillery with German prisoners in command. Continued heavy illegal contributions on Singer and other firms throughout Siberia and arrest of mining managers on refusal to pay. Have taken vigorous action with [central] authorities who promise instruct local Soviets to discontinue levies on Singer Company. Renewed activity by Singer men [previously] reported. Presume Harbin reporting on this.

Bolshevik press continues to interpret events at Vladivostok as indicative of serious disagreement between Japan and the Allies, especially the United States. Spread of this view favored by confusing statements respecting American attitude. [The report] of absence of accord between Japan and the United States detrimental to Allies’ interests and prestige in Russia. [Omission] public [statement affirming] unity of action and purpose badly needed. French officials commenting unfavorably on America’s friendly attitude towards S[oviet]. All opposition parties state policy present regime directed solely by German Staff.

  1. Sent via the Consulate at Vladivostok.
  2. Possibly refers to Thornwell Haynes, Consul at Helsingfors.
  3. Alfred R. Thomson, Consul at Omsk.