Russian leader promises to defeat all opponents
Moscow, 27 August 1917 - Large crowds have thronged the square outside the Grand Opera House in Moscow where a State Conference has opened to discuss Russia’s problems and explore possible solutions.
Proceedings opened with a speech by Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky, who used the occasion to rally support for, and warn opponents of, Russia’s revolutionary government.
Setting down a clear marker for the conduct of the Conference, the premier stated that any attempt to use the Conference as a platform to attack the Provisional Government would be ‘pitilessly repressed by blood and iron’. He said that those believed it time to overthrow the revolutionary power were mistaken as the authority of the Government was supported by the people at home and by the millions of soldiers who were defending Russia against German invasion.
However, he noted that it was the Russian army that presented the Provisional Government with one its greatest problems: under the Tsarist regime it had grown into a colossus - disorganised and unmanageable:
‘The government will endeavour to protect the army against subversive influences, which deprive the soldiers of all sense of military duty, and will energetically struggle against the Maximalists, and against all attempts by them to corrupt discipline.’
Kerensky went on to say that the time had come to consolidate the revolution and he pleaded for the support of citizens in that endeavour.
[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]