General Kornilov’s appeal to Russians (1917)

In late August 1917, General Kornilov made this appeal to the Russian people, published in the Petrograd newspaper Novoe Vremia:

“People of Russia, our great country is dying. Her end is near.

Forced to speak openly, I, General Kornilov, declare that the Provisional Government, under the pressure of the Bolshevik majority in the Soviets, is acting in complete harmony with the German General Staff and… is killing the army and shaking the country.

The terrible conviction of the inevitable ruin of the country compels me in these frightful times to call upon all Russians to save their dying land. All in whose breast a Russian heart beats, all who believe in God, in the Church, pray to Him for the greatest miracle-the saving of our native land.

I, General Kornilov, son of a Cossack peasant, declare to one and all that I desire nothing for myself other than the salvation of our Great Russia, and vow to lead the people, through victory over our enemies, to the Constituent Assembly, where it can determine its future destiny and the form of its future political life.

I cannot betray Russia into the hands of her ancient enemy, the Germans, who would make slaves of the Russian people. I prefer to die honourably on the field of battle so that I may not see the shame and degradation of our Russian land.

People of Russia, the life of your native land is in your hands.

General Kornilov”