File No. 861.00/289
The Ambassador in Russia ( Francis) to the Secretary of State 3
[Received March 20, 3.30 p.m.]
Revolutionary movement actuated by bread riots and factory strikes broke out in Petrograd on the 12th after several preliminary disturbances during the previous weeks. Disorders accentuated by [Page 4] street fighting between mutinous regiments and loyal troops, the latter of which soon joined the popular movement as did all regiments sent to Petrograd. Demonstration then became general against former Imperial Government and particularly against the police, army officers and officials who declined to acknowledge the new authorities. Street fighting from Monday until Wednesday with comparatively light casualties but instances of atrocious murders of former officials. No Americans reported injured.
Strong committee of Duma under leadership president of that body immediately assumed control and arraigned before it all [except?] two of former Imperial Ministry and many other officials. Official committee of twelve divided between the Duma members and Social Democrats now apparently forming Provisional Government and have appointed a new Cabinet of which Minister for Foreign Affairs is now exercising functions. City is now quiet and situation apparently under control, only menace being possible socialistic demonstrations by minority socialist group. The movement is understood to be general throughout the Empire and known to be practically unanimous in Moscow. The papers of to-day authoritatively publish abdication of Tsar on behalf of himself and his son in favor of his brother, Grand Duke Michael, who is credibly reported to have stated that he will accept the power if the people so desire.
- Sent via the Legation in Sweden.↩