File No. 861.00/1961

The Minister in Sweden (Morris) to the Secretary of State


2243. Swedish press reports via Petrograd’s telegram bureau: In its relations with foreign powers Federative Socialistic Russian Soviet Republic is acting on principle of absolute equality for great and small nations. Hence Council People’s Commissaries decides: first, to abolish titles, like Ambassador, Minister, etc., and call all Russian representatives accredited to foreign powers “Representative Plenipotentiary of Federative and Socialistic Russian Soviet Republic” sent in conformity with fundamental principle international law regarding equality all states, to regard as representatives plenipotentiary all diplomatic agents of foreign powers accredited to Federative Socialistic Russian Republic regardless of rank.

Reported from Vienna Skoropadski made statements to Austrian correspondent tending to show Ukraine looking towards extending boundaries in uniting with her adjoining states and territories. He said:

Vasilenko daily receiving deputations from border districts seeking union with Ukraine. Don and Kuban Cossacks wish unity with us whereby valuable Donets Basin, with its immeasurable coal treasures, will be available to us. But first of all we need union with Crimea, Black Sea being way for Ukraine to gain access to highways of seas. We need navy for our commerce and our position as state and therefore need harbors which only to be found on Crimea. Our independence also demands financial order; to-day country is overflowed by paper notes and prices rising madly. These interests coincide with rational and equitable solution of land question. We will give peasants land out of immense reserves of country thus founding sound and conservative peasantry. This land the state will buy out from large estates against adequate compensation and sell to peasants at reasonable prices.

Regarding relations with Russia, Skoropadski said, “With our Russian neighbor we wish peaceable relations.”

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Reported from Berlin Skoropadski will visit governments of Central powers, Vienna, Berlin, shortly.

Reported from Helsingfors German Colonel von Redern, aide-decamp to chief General Staff, has stated Finnish army will comprise three divisions of all arms, regiments will be nine, battalions twenty-seven. A six-weeks course will be arranged for reserve officers and one-year military school established at Fredrikshamn, some twenty German officers to be employed as teachers. Aircraft station will be Uttia (?). Eminent Finnish officers will be detailed to Germany for staff training. Main task of navy, which being organized by Germany, will be coast defense. Guarding of Red prisoners to be transferred to civil authority. Army is placed on peace footing and men over twenty-five years released from service. Industrial activity reviving throughout country.