File No. 861.00/2107

The Consul at Moscow ( Poole ) to the Secretary of State


663. The general belief prevalent early this week that the Allies had decided to intervene, caused a wave of pro-Ally sentiment among all except the except [extreme] parties. The week closes, however, with a feeling of disillusion respecting the Allies and a renewed movement for cooperation with Germany. This seems to embrace not only the Octobrists, who have been definitely German in their attitude for some time, but also many Cadets. Rodzyanko is mentioned as one of a number now in conference with the German representatives in Kiev. Mirbach continues in touch with other leaders in Moscow. Negotiations are apparently inconclusive as yet and it is possible that the Germans will decide to occupy Moscow as a purely military measure and set up a government of their own choosing.

The week has also been marked by many rumors of the acceptance by the Soviet officials of direct German aid against the Czechoslovaks. The almost complete withdrawal of Soviet troops from the Ukraine and northern fronts suggests a partial agreement, and there is no doubt that German and Austrian prisoners are fighting with the Red Army in greater or less numbers. When questioned last night concerning the report direct dispatch of pure German units against the Czechs, Chicherin said that such an arrangement would be suicidal for the present government, but he admitted that their situation is critical in the extreme and one [not] to be surprised if [Page 566] they resort to desperate measures. Their troops seem quite ineffective against the Czechs who hold the Siberian line eastward from Syzran, except Ufa, and are threatening Smolensk [Simbirsk?], [omission] and Ekaterinburg. In the meantime the Germans are already applying military pressure by a renewed advance in the region of Voronezh summits [indicating] probable intention of occupying the whole of that [government] and there are reports, still unconfirmed are [as to?] coming of fresh activities in the region of Smolensk. The Cossacks of the Don and Ural are constantly widening their fields of operation. Dutov is apparently in possession of Orenburg. Local anti-Bolshevik disturbances are reported from Saratov, Tambov, Kazan, and Nizhni Novgorod.

In hope of lessening the growing stringency of the food situation, the Soviet peace delegates at Kiev have asked the Ukraine for 200,000 tons of grain and flour. The Ukrainians have replied that they cannot undertake such deliveries as peasant revolts have lately stopped grain export to Germany and Austria. They have promised quantities of coal and iron in return for oil products, wood and mission [manufactured] articles order. The Ukrainians are especially anxious to obtain textiles but the Russians so far insist upon grain in return for these. In Moscow relative quiet. The Bolsheviks are apparently making preparations for a last stand. The general public is apprehensive of German occupation. So-called white flour is selling at the equivalent of $300 an American barrel.

Cole reports from Archangel that the Soviet representatives there have received orders to be prepared to destroy by explosions within forty-eight hours all material which has not already been evacuated.