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Rumours from Russia

24 November 2017

November 23rd, 1917.

AMID all the conflicting rumours that have come through from Russia it is impossible to arrive at anything like a real estimate of the position of affairs in that distressed country. In Petrograd the Bolshevik majority has established order for the time being, but at any moment the suppressed ferment may break out anew. Moscow, on the other hand, has been the scene of a week’s fighting between the Maximalists and the Minimalists, the former being completely victorious, but not until several thousands of citizens were slain and immense damage had been done to property. The first report was to the effect that the Kremlin, with its cathedrals, had been wrecked; but the historic buildings are now said to be intact. Round the fate of M. Kerensky there hangs a pall of mystery. According to different reports he is in command of troops proceeding against Petrograd; he is under arrest; he has committed suicide; he is in flight. For the last statement his secretary has vouched, but he will not or cannot reveal his whereabouts. In any case, however, we should think that he is politically extinct. We can scarcely be surprised at hearing that there is a strong and growing feeling among the people of Russia in favour of the monarchical principle, whether in the form of a constitutional kingdom or in that of a military dictatorship. If the strong man were now to be found the nation apparently would give him all the powers that he asked, so that an end might be put to the horrible state of civil war into which the country has been talked by the incompetence of visionaries or unscrupulous agitators.

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