Francis to Lansing on Soviet submission to Germany,
possible German agression against Allies at Murman,
and Soviet neutrality
File No. 861.00/1873
Vologda, May 23, 1918, 6 p.m.
[Received May 27, 9:25 a.m.]
Daily I see evidences that Soviet government submits to German demands without protest and am almost convinced that Lenin and possibly Trotsky are pliable tools if not responsive German agents. German action in Ukraine and Finland did not provoke protest, capture of Sevastopol and demolition of Ino both which Chicherin stated would be defended to last ditch have been ignored or palliated by Soviet government.
Lenin's last speech was very comprehensive but was greatly camouflaged and intended to satisfy everybody, but his main object was to prove that Germany is endeavoring to observe the Brest treaty and adroitly endeavored to estrange America and Japan, he tamely submits to German tyranny while soothing his followers with statement that the proletariat revolution is surely coming but is champions must be patient and submit to vicissitudes. He commissions Robins to you with what he considers tempting propositions of preferential commercial advantages prejudicial to our Allies, especially to France. Robins while saying nothing to me on the subject told a friend at station that he was going to America, "with the goods," and evidently hoped be successful if Soviet government would survive until he could reach Washington.
German officers established in house Vologda and have representatives at station continuously; going secretly Archangel and investigation stored munitions and conditions generally. Soviet government making no effort to evacuate supplies from Moscow where immense quantities assembled....
Secret concentration of troops and supplies in Finland near Russian border and reported cutting Murman line together with activity German submarines near Murman all signify Germans planning dispossess Allies of Murman which I think according to secret understanding with Soviet government and should be resisted by Allies.
Soviet government claims that what remains of Russia is a neutral county. Ukraine boundary still undetermined but estimated population of surrendered territory is 36,000,000 and it is most productive Russian section. Finland still covetously endeavoring to secure more Russian territory.
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