1905-11-29 THE RUSSIAN CRISIS
London Times, 29 November 1905, p. 5: THE RUSSIAN CRISIS. /DISAFFECTION IN THE FORCES. (FROM A CORRESPONDENT.) ST. PETERSBURG, NOV. 28.
The Government has decided to suppress the revolt at Sevastopol. The mutineers are given till to-night to surrender. Meanwhile a state of siege is proclaimed, and unless, contrary to all expectations, the insugents give way, General Neplineff, who has been appointed Commander-in-Chief, will have to give battle to-morrow.
All Russia breathlessly awaits the result. Judging from information available here, the issue will not be favourable to the Government. The mutineers hold all but two forts and the best part of the squadron which refused to obey the orders to put to sea. The evident desire of the mutineers to preserve an outward semblance of respect for the Imperial family is attributed here to the crafty councels of their revolutionary friends. Thus Sevastopol was treated yesterday, on the occasion of the Empress Dowager’s birthday, to the usual parade, and the boatswain who was in command drank the health of the Imperial family. The famous Lieutenant Schmidt, who has taken command of the Otchakoff, was recently cashiered for delivering a speech in honour of the “victims of the cause of freedom.”
The correspondent of the Novoe Vremya alone persists in telegraphing optimistic reports. He says that the revolt is breaking up, and that many sailors are deserting. Pickets, however, come into the town and recapture them, and they are beaten and locked in cells.
My Moscow correspondent telegraphs the following message, printed in to-day’s Russkoe Slovo: – “Sevastopol, Nov. 27. The battleships Tri Sviatitelia and Rostislav have joined the mutineers.” The Russ publishes the following message from Sevastopol last night: – “Admiral Chukhnin has visited the warships except the Otchakoff, but was not everywhere received. Troops are occupying the town. A deputation of the fortress visited the sailors, who gave them an enthusiastic reception. The squadron refused to obey the orders to leave. To-morrow will be the decisive day. It is presumed that, if force is used against the sailors, the squadron will destroy the town. The panic continues and the inhabitants are fleeing. The railway is still closed.”
The St. Petersburg labour delegates have telegraphed to Sevastopol congratulating the mutineers and bidding them continue the fight against Tsardom. A league for the regeneration of the navy has been formed here. According to the Novoe Vremya, a political meeting was held in the outskirts of St. Petersburg at which soldiers and sailors took part.
A telegram from Vladivostok says that a mutiny broke out among the prisoners returning on board the Voronezh, which was also conveying Admiral Rozhdestvensky. The recent outbreak among the men who have returned from Port Arthur was due to their bad treatment. They were herded together, isolated from the other troops, and were kept under greater restraint than in Japan. The men also are aggrieved because they consider that, under the Tsar’s promise to count every month of siege for a year of service, they should have been instantly freed from service and sent back to their homes. The Vladivostok correspondent of the Novoe Vremya distorts the facts, and alleges that the unrest was due to the evil influences to which the men were subjected while in Japan.
The newspapers report numerous arrests of officers at Kharbin. General Linevitch is said to have expelled 150 agitators from the army. A telegram from Tiflis says that the sappers have presented demands to the authorities. Two officers of the Moscow garrison have been reduced to the ranks for attending the funeral of a Socialist named Bauman, who was killed by the Black Hundred.
ST. PETERSBURG, NOV. 29.*
Last night 280 soldiers of the Military school of Electricity were arrested by four battalions of the Pavlovsky Regiment and removed to the fortress of St. Peter and St. Paul.
Provided by Stephen McLaughlin