Kerenskii Adresses the Country

Aleksandr Kerenskii, Radio-Telegram to the Country. August 27, 1917

I hereby announce:

On August 26 General Kornilov sent to me member of the State Duma Vladimir L’vov with a demand for the surrender by the Provisional Government of all civil and military power, so that he may form, at his personal discretion, a new government to administer the country. The authenticity of Deputy L’vov’s authorization to make such a proposal to me was subsequently confirmed by General Kornilov in his conversation with me by direct wire. Perceiving in the presentation of such demands, addressed to the Provisional Government in my person, a desire of certain circles of Russian society to take advantage of the grave condition of the State for the purpose of establishing in the country a regime opposed to the conquests of the revolution, the Provisional Government has found it indispensable:

To authorize me, for the salvation of our motherland, of liberty, and of our republican order, to take prompt and resolute measures for the purpose of uprooting any attempt to encroach upon the Supreme Power in the State and upon the rights which the citizens have achieved by the revolution.

I am taking all necessary measures to protect the liberty and order of the country, and the population will be informed in due time with regard to such measures.

At the same time I order herewith:

1. General Kornilov to surrender the post of Supreme Commander to General Klembovskii, the Commander-in-Chief of the Northern Front, which bars the way to Petrograd; and General Klembovskii to assume temporarily the post of Supreme Commander, while remaining at Pskov.

2. The city and uyezd of Petrograd under martial law, extending to it the regulations for regions declared under martial law …

I call upon all the citizens to preserve complete tranquility and to maintain order, which is so indispensable for the salvation of the country. I call upon all the ranks of the army and navy to carry on with calmness and self-sacrifice their duty of defending the country against the external enemy.

A. F. KERENSKII, Minister-President, Minister of War and Navy

Source: Robert Paul Browder and Alexander F. Kerensky, eds., The Russian Provisional Government, 1917: Documents (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1961), Vol. III, pp. 53-55.

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