File No. 861.00/2197
The Consul at Moscow ( Poole ) to the Secretary of State
[Received July 5, 5.29 p.m.]
658. Following is substance of report of observer just returned from Crimea:
At Sevastopol, Germans rushing harbor repairs, already six to ten vessels of small capacity leaving in order with cargoes of livestock and fats. German soldiers draining country of all supplies as in Ukraine. At present three German Landsturm divisions under General von Koch besides artillery and engineers and a few Turkish troops. Military vessels in Sevastopol harbor undergoing repairs by Germans include Gochen, Ochakov, Almaz, and Georgi Pobedonosets. Germans assisting formation of a Tatar army. They have organized a temporary government headed by General Sulkevich, Mohammedan and monarchist. In Sevastopol people seem indifferent to presence of Germans; in Simferopol attitude more hostile. Concerning future government, majority of people favor union with Ukraine with reservation of large autonomy rights. General opposition [Page 696] to the supposed German ratification [proposition?] of making Crimea German colony or a Tatar state under Turkish protection. Ukrainian government has recently addressed note to German representative at Kiev urging inclusion of Crimea in Ukraine on economical, political, and ethnographic grounds, especially latter.
On basis Article 5, Brest treaty, Germans pressing for return to Sevastopol of that portion of the Black Sea Fleet which went to Novorossiisk and it [Soviet government] is believed to have issued order to this effect. Staff Red Army reports German naval operations against Tuapse and other Black Sea ports north of Batum.