File No. 861.00/2715
The Consul General at Irkutsk (Harris) to the Secretary of State1
[Received September 17, 2.25 a.m.]
91. Pavlu, President Czech National Council of Siberia, telegraphs me as follows:
Kazan has been given up on the 10th instant under superior Bolshevik forces which were very well armed and strongly disciplined. There were more than 30,000 Bolsheviks. Czecho-Slovaks and national Russian army are retreating in good order on the left bank of Volga. Steamers from Samara can only go to within thirty versts of Kazan. On 12th instant Bolsheviks have taken Simbirsk. Situation Volga front critical. New difficulty will arise from Kashirin’s Bolshevik troops of about 6,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry with about thirty guns, which troops are very well organized and are able maneuver perfectly and which troops a few days ago got off on the north and are now operating towards Krasnoufimsk where they will receive shells and cartridges. Here no reliable forces against these troops.
The situation on Ekaterinburg front, which at present fairly good, will become again critical if there does not arrive considerable help at early date. Thus after fall of Kazan we are losing again the possibility of junction with Archangel. Neither the Samara army nor the Siberian are at present in position to render an effective aid. There are no arms. If there does not come soon help from the east we will be forced to abandon Samara and retreat to Ufa. That means to lose the possibility of an early junction with General Alexeev who is operating towards Tsaritsyn in command [conjunction] with the British on the Caspian Sea. In view of these conditions the Ufa meeting last night addressed a special appeal to the Allies requesting early help. The enthusiasm of the Ufa meeting has been somewhat dampened by the events of the last few days on the front and by the unknown situation in the east, political and military.
There are rumors about that the Allies may not recognize the all-Russian government which is to be formed in Ufa. This uneasiness of the situation caused uncertainty. However, the possibility of an early agreement regarding all-Russian government seems to be near. The following plan and form seems to have the best chance of realization: power will be invested in hands of five or seven persons [Page 382] elected by Ufa meeting, who will nominate a capable, good cabinet and who will be responsible to either the Constituent Assembly, the adequate quorum of the conference, or to some other new assembly which may evolve from the present Ufa meeting. The maintaining of the prestige of the Constituent Assembly will favorably influence the psychology of the masses of the part of Russia not yet liberated from the Bolsheviks. Bohdan Pavlu.
- Sent via the Legation in China.↩