The Russian Revolution, 1917: Eyewitness Account - Vol. 2

By N. N. Sukanov; Joel Carmichael | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 28
THE FINAL REVIEW

THOSE were the days of the final mobilization and final review of strength. Everywhere in the provinces at this time there were Soviet congresses, and almost everywhere they gave predominance to the Bolsheviks, while in Moscow a movement again began going out into the streets. On the 15th a large manifestation took place--with the most violent slogans, especially from the soldiers: 'We would rather die in Moscow on the barricades than go to the front!' In the Soviet and the Ex. Com. it became evident that it was no longer possible to hold back the Moscow masses. In other corners of Russia, even where there was no peasant uprising, the movement, under the slogans of 'Soviet power', was clearly sweeping over the countryside.

In general there was no doubt that Moscow would lend complete and active support; the greater part of the provinces would give support; the rest would be 'assimilated'.

The front was more doubtful. Here party influence was diverse, but, generally speaking, they had no time there for politics: they refused to know or think of anything but peace. What worked against the Bolsheviks was their not letting the Petersburg garrison out of the capital as reinforcements. But the Bolsheviks had every hope of immediate peace proposals. It was scarcely possible to assemble any real force against any Government that proposed peace. No one would have marched against Petersburg. And nothing more was needed.

But even at the front there were substantial Bolshevik organizations. Corps, divisions, batteries, and other units were sending to the papers a multitude of Bolshevik resolutions. There were also congresses that took place under the exclusive influence of the Bolsheviks.

I should like to mention just this about the front. Once more strings of delegations from the front were not only filing into Smolny, appearing at big Soviet meetings with their messages and speeches: besides this they were stubbornly seeking intimate conversations and authoritative direct explanations from the old

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