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Moscow, November 17,1917, 4 p.m.
[Received November 20, 2.45 a.m.]
59. On the 9th instant Maximalist Party supported by Moscow garrison and workmen armed by Kerensky to fight Kornilov seized government of Moscow. The mayor of city and all authorities supported by officers, students and military cadets, occupied arsenal and strategic points leading to Kremlin. Heavy fighting took place over entire city lasting seven days and accompanied by heavy loss of life and property.
Moscow in chaos, panic may be looked for if the armed workmen begin to loot. All real newspapers stopped and city practically isolated. Maximalists threaten to stop railways to prevent arrival of troops to support Provisional Government.
Americans all safe, many of them going to barracks of French military mission for defense. Consulate and my private residence slightly damaged by rifle and shell fire, houses in immediate vicinity completely demolished.
I cannot too strongly commend Poole's untiring efforts in behalf of Americans in grave danger.
The situation is grave as more serious fighting is expected soon and the Maximalists will not give up the city without great loss of life. Every effort is being made to protect Americans and I may have to draw for considerable sum to meet the emergency and enable them to leave if necessary. I am keeping Embassy advised.
There is strong feeling amongst the working class against the Allies including America and if the movement is not put down immediately peace may be made with Germany. Even if this be not done Russian troops cannot continue the campaign as they have no food, no discipline and are weary of the war. The difficulties of transport and pressure on the western front will prevent German military advance into heart of Russia this winter but the general disorganization now existing will permit almost unhindered operations by German espionage and propaganda. Our immediate problem is to counteract their work in every way possible. For this purpose as well as to lend moral support to the better elements in Russia, which will regain the upper hand, every effort must be made to maintain every American agency n Russia.