File No. 861.00/2760
The Second Secretary of Embassy in Russia ( Armour ), temporarily at Stockholm, to the Secretary of State
[Received September 22, 12.51 p.m.]
2876. All persons coming from Russia report conditions there appalling; a veritable slaughter of ex-officers and representative persons is taking place. Men are shot without trial, the only charge offered being “dangerous to the Soviet.” Sole support behind Soviet consists of Lettish and Chinese mercenaries. Latter 3,000 in number, low-class Mongolians of desperate character commanded by Chinese and German sergeants and Lettish and German officers. Chinese only used for firing-squad duty, since even Letts revolt at butchery commanded of them. Officers shot at night in cellars, guns being muffled with silencers.
Italian Consul General who left Moscow September 10 arrived yesterday. Reports that before his departure he had interview with Peters, head of the Extraordinary Commission against Counter-Revolution. During conversation Peters signed 72 death warrants without reading papers he was signing. Before Italian Consul General left room fusillade had commenced in court announcing that slaughter had begun. On another occasion Italian Consul General present while revolutionary tribunal in session. After ordering release of four Italians in whom he was interested, tribunal without examination ordered others on the list to be shot and execution began before Italian Consul General left the building. Consul General begs that above be not communicated to the press as he fears for the effect it may have on safety of those remaining.
Lockhart was taken to Kremlin shortly after raid on British Embassy, Petrograd, has not been seen since, and British Legation here [omission] shot. Latest reports indicate French and British Consuls General, Moscow, under house arrest, but Poole at large and permitted to visit them. Poole is being generally praised for his vigorous and courageous action. Italian Consul General thinks his presence in Moscow is proving a help to the English and French and says that Bolsheviks worried by Poole’s activity and would welcome his departure.
All persons from Russia, official and non-official, agree that immediate and vigorous action from the north imperative, if there is to remain alive any of that element of Russians to whom our Government has been looking to take up the work of reconstruction in Russia.