Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918

By James Brown Scott | Go to book overview

STATEMENT OF WAR POLICY BY THE RUSSIAN PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT FOLLOWING THE JULY REVOLUTION1
August 2, 1917

At a moment when new and grave misfortunes are threatening Russia we consider it our duty to give to our allies who have shared with us the burden of trial in the past a firm and definite explanation of our point of view regarding the conduct of the war. The greatness of the past of the Russian Revolution corresponds to the magnitude of the change which it caused in the life of the State. Reorganization in the face of the enemy of the entire governmental system could not be effected without serious disorders. Nevertheless, Russia, convinced that there is no other means of safety, has continued in accord with the Allies' common action on the front.

Fully conscious of the difficulty of the task, Russia has taken up the burden of conducting active military operations during the reconstitution of the army and the government. The offensive of our army, which was necessitated by a strategical situation, encountered unsurmountable obstacles on both fronts and in the interior of the country. The criminal propaganda of irresponsible elements was used by enemy agents and provoked a revolution in Petrograd. At the same time part of the troops on the front were seduced by the same propaganda, forgot their duty to the country and facilitated the enemy piercing our front.

The Russian people have been stirred by these events. Through the government created by the revolution and an unshakable will the revolt was crushed and its originators were brought to justice. All necessary steps have been taken at the front for restoring the combative strength of the armies.

The Government intends bringing to a successful end the task of establishing an administration capable of meeting all danger and guiding the country in the path of revolutionary regeneration. Russia will not suffer herself to be deterred by any difficulty in carrying out the irrevocable decision to continue the war to a final triumph of the principles proclaimed by the Russian Revolution.

In the presence of an enemy menace the country and the army will continue with renewed courage the great work of restoration as well as the preparation on the threshold of the fourth year of the

____________________
1
Text in The New York Times, August 3, 1917, p. 1. The statement was made in a telegram to Russian representatives in Allied capitals and Washington.

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Official Statements of War Aims and Peace Proposals, December 1916 to November 1918
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