File No. 861.00/1003

The Ambassador in France ( Sharp ) to the Secretary of State


3092. Following joint telegram dated Jassy, January 22, received from Ministers of United States, Italy, France and England:

It is confirmed to us on all sides both from Russian and Rumanian sources that the only remedy for the anarchy reigning in Russia lies in the sending immediately to that country of Japanese or American troops.

All Russian or Ukrainian officers assert that if the government of Kiev succeeds in maintaining its independence and in forming an army it will not only not want to fight but will also refuse to occupy the line trenches. The Ukrainian army, like the present Russian army, will not admit the idea that the war can recommence. It is ready for anything rather than to fight. Only an inter-Allied impetus could change this state of affairs.
Three or four Japanese or American divisions would suffice to ruin the authority of the Bolsheviks and to rally around them with the defenders of order those who to-day are hiding and dare not voice their opinion. A real army could quickly be formed round [Page 34] this nucleus. All Russians agree in asserting that the soldiers would easily accept a very strict discipline coming from abroad.
This statement is still more serious since, if the impetus does not come from the Allies, it will come perforce from our enemies. It is evident that on the one side Russian patriots and on the other landed proprietors and capitalists, for the most part Germanized Jews, desire above all: the former, the preservation of the Russian state, the latter, security of property. If they cannot hope for these essential guarantees from the Allies they will demand them from the Germans.
Numerous inter-Allied technical experts declare that to all intents and purposes there is no great difficulty in bringing the Japanese or Americans to Russia and retaining the eastern bases of the Trans-Siberian once occupied by the Allies. Several armored trains would speedily insure control of the [line].
The moral effect would be enormous in Russia and again the situation would be accepted by all in the same way as would be the organization of Russia by our enemies if we failed to take the initiative.
Already the Maximalist army, however insignificant, endangers the freedom of movement of the Cossacks and Ukrainians and threatens communications with Russia. It is easy to foresee in the near future that this army, thanks to the German command, will undertake the conquest of southern Russia. A few German divisions of cavalry would suffice to break down all resistance and would serve as the nucleus of the organization of German order. On the contrary all the hesitating elements, especially the Ukrainians, declare that they will definitely side with us if we help them from a military point of view in good time. If not [omission] the French commissioner at Kiev, the hands stretched out to Germany grow more numerous and the gesture more suppliant.
The sending to Russia of inter-Allied troops even in small numbers would immobilize a much larger number of enemy troops. In fact our military intervention would have the double advantage of permitting the prolongation of resistance of the Rumanian army and at the same time the constitution of a Russian army of mercenaries.
The general impression here is that if the question has not yet been settled it is because it has not been presented in a proper light either owing to the fact that the importance of the effort necessary has been exaggerated or that the attention of the Americans and Japanese has not been roused to the extreme gravity of the danger which threatens them more directly than the other Allied powers if we leave the field free to the Germans in Russia.
This expeditionary force could be sent without any weakening of the western front if it consisted of Japanese or even Chinese troops who if well stiffened could be used with advantage in such a theater. If the Japanese Government persists in refusing its assistance the means of obtaining it might consist of the sending of a small American corps, seconded by the Chinese, Japan being clearly unable [Page 35] to disassociate herself from an action having its base in the Far East.