Fleet Commander Leaves S. F. for Home; Belittles Action by Faction in Control.


"My poor country! Russia seems indeed to have reached the limit of her troubles. Still I think it unlikely that a separate peace concludes with Germany at this time by a certain faction now in power at Petrograd will be recognized by the rest of Russia."

These statements were made yesterday on his departure from San Francisco for Russia by Admiral Koltchak, commander of the Russian Black Sea fleet. The admiral, accompanied by a staff of eight Russian naval officers, to which was attached Lieutenant Alvah Bernhard of the United States navy, has been in the United States for some months on a special mission for the reorganization of the Russian fleets.

Admiral Koltchak professed himself stunned by the dispatches from Petrograd describing the fall of Kerensky, the arrest of the ministers, and the proposals for an immediate peace. He said:

Dispatches indicate that the very bottom of confusion has been sounded. Things cannot possibly become worse that they are at present. I look upon the present situation as a passing phase, and believe that a stable government will be eventually established.

I do not think that I will go to Petrograd when I arrive in Russia. I do not know who is in control, and, of course, will have to report to a recognized government. I may go either to Moscow or to Odessa with my officers. To the American people I will say in the meantime: "Trust the Russian people."

The Russian admiral and his officers were accompanied to their steamer by Mayor James Rolph Jr. and by several prominent San Franciscans.

The San Francisco Examiner, Saturday, November 10, 1917, p. 5:6.