The Commission to Negotiate Peace to the Secretary of State
[Received 4:11 p.m.]
4829. Commission’s [blank], digest General Jadwin’s report follows:
In Ukraine September 15 to 30th. Armistice in force between Poles and Petlura. Polish lines held by four divisions. Ukrainian side by nominal force. Three Bolshevik divisions from Odessa passed north through wide no man’s land between Petlura and Denikin left by withdrawal Petlura troops from Kiev area. Petlura protests clothing and equipment bought from Liquidation Commission not delivered. Latter reports delivery eight and half million [dollars] worth, non-delivery one million [dollars] worth besides cancellation and [motor] delivery at request French. Petlura requests Ukrainians in America be permitted to join his army. Says army suffering from typhus. Red Cross Committee, two officers, now visiting his area. He resents lack of recognition by Allies. Very bitter because compelled to leave Kiev August 31st by Denikin forces. Claims having aided materially in capture. He has about 70,000 Galician troops, 24,000 Ukrainians. Denikin has about 225,000 men. General Bredow, Denikin’s commander, claims Ukrainians not favorably received by populace, the [that] Ukrainians mistreated Volunteer Denikin Army flag and he insisted their withdrawal two days’ march from Kiev. Bredow hopes to establish cooperative relation with Poles. Bredow has evidence German intercourse [interest] with Petlura. Severe ten days’ attack by Bolsheviks on Kiev ably repulsed by Denikin. Denikin also took Kursk. Bolsheviks took Zhitomir from Petlura. Petlura area reduced to about size Greece. Denikin expanded to about combined size Germany and Austria. Attempts to induce Petlura and Denikin to continue fighting together against Bolsheviks unsuccessful. Petlura declared war against Denikin and fighting commenced. Denikin, however, indirectly trying to promote cordial relations with Petlura’s Galician troops. Events developing rapidly south Russia. Denikin utilizing most of his troops on front against Bolsheviks. Has not sufficient men and material to establish thorough gendarmerie through large area he has taken but runs trains freely. Crops in excellent condition. Best wheat crop in seventeen years. Railroads good shape except serious shortage rolling stock due to removal north by Bolsheviks as they retreated. Plenty of food for coming year in quantity. However, items such as salt short. Principal problem is distribution. Peasants [Page 782] distrustful money and dislike let food go without material equivalents. Serious shortage clothing and fuel. Kiev population apparently pleased Denikin occupation. Bolsheviks had removed practically all money from banks and safe-deposit vaults. Had reign of terror. Three extraordinary commissions killed upward one thousand citizens, some frightfully tortured. Most killings probably unjustified. No American, British or French subjects thus killed. Since Denikin’s arrival practically no White terror. Three men connected with Bolshevik extraordinary commissions executed after trial by mixed commission. People seem relieved and are endeavoring to make the best of conditions and resume normal occupations as far as practicable. Eleven newspapers, seven Russian, two Ukraine, one Polish and one Jewish in Kiev. Rule by Bolsheviks means end of orderly government. World should unite on position that such methods cannot be tolerated and any future changes in governmental methods must be made without sacrificing individual life except for just cause. If armies Yudenitch, Poland, Kolchak, Denikin, Petlura and others all worked together under common plan Bolsheviks [Bolshevism] can be eliminated. Denikin’s officers seem mortified by earlier course of Russia [and claim now patriotism such as never before prevailed in Russia.] That while he exerts [exercises] strict military control he is permitting comparatively free political discussion and holds when Bolsheviks defeated, form of government for people to determine. Bolsheviks have eight armies on southern front, four on western and four en route from Kolchak front to [south?] Russian front.
Jewish situation deplorable but improved. On account divided and frequently changing jurisdiction difficult now to secure exact reliable information. Best information available indicated probably 11,000 and possibly 18,000 more Jewish civilians killed up to September 1st. Committee for Relief Victims of Pogroms charges half of this to Petlura. He denies any. Due to rise and fall various bands probable that many killed in name of well-informed [known] leaders, unaware [of] certain instances. Committee charges 400 to Denikin forces to September 1st. His officers have issued proclamation used picked troops with least anti-Semitism to attack important places and punished several cases but feel that a propaganda against the Jews is being worked among their troops by hostile political interests and claim they are doing all they can to counteract this. Old Jewish teachings as to relations Jews with other peoples and alleged connection Jews with Bolshevism have probably furnished principal basis for anti-Semitic propaganda. As far as could be learned percentage of Jews among the Bolsheviks not very different from proportion of Jews in population but prominence certain Jews in movement [Page 783] has aggravated feeling. Twenty thousand Jewish refugees in Kiev. They feel safe in most large cities but not in villages. Society for Relief Victims Pogroms established by Russian Red Cross Society claims to have provided aid as follows: Aid for infants: nourishment, children’s asylums and play in open air. Food: free dinners, cheap meals, distribution of provisions. Medical: sanitary aid, ambulances, hospitals for infectious disease, sanitary sets. Clothing: distribution of clothes, shoes, leather, et cetera. They have eleven districts with 178 institutions in 68 places. Secretary of the Society, Doctor Landur and Doctor Leo Bloch well informed and intercede [interested] amelioration conditions. Metropolite at Kiev, Anthony, head Russian church south Russia, promised General Jadwin to issue encyclical letter to bishops, priests and congregations in south Russia enjoining proper treatment of Jews. Bolsheviks took up American and other foreign passports. Jews would like emigration to America reopened at any rate for those who have part of family in America.
[Land] question serious both with relation to peasants and Jews but more hopeful than heretofore. Observations and comparisons made in trip through Poland, south Russia, Bukowina, Transylvania, Hungary have impressed Jadwin strongly with beneficent results Peace Conference and necessity of League of Nations for peace of Eastern Europe.