Russia. No. 1 (1919). - 39. Mr. Alston to Earl Curzon.

No. 39.

Mr. Alston to Earl Curzon.―(Received February 12.)

Telegraphic.) Vladivostock, February 10, 1919.

FOLLOWING from consular officer at Ekaterinburg, 8th February:—

"From examination of witnesses of various classes of population following evidence obtained:—

"Bolsheviks persecuted all classes of population not supporting or recognizing their Government. House searches, requisitions, and arrests were made at all times of day and night on grounds of political necessity, resulting in wholesale pillage. Anybody possessing more than 10,000 roubles was forced to dig trenches at front for Red Army, where they are under continual menace of death for slightest offence, and at mercy of Red Guard, very often consisting of foreigners ; many of these persons were murdered. Eighteen peaceful citizens, including priests, doctors, lawyers, merchants, and labourers were arrested at Ekaterinburg as hostages, and shot without any accusations being made against them. Sixty-five citizens from Kamishlof suffered same fate. The widows of these people who claimed their husbands' bodies were treated with outrageous insult and derision by Bolsheviks. Peasants in Bolshevik district who protested against requisition of their cattle and property were thrown into prison, and ninety murdered. Peasants also had their houses burnt, as many as one hundred being destroyed in one village. Bolshevik leaders in Ekaterinburg led a life of luxury entirely in opposition to doctrine they advocated, frequently appropriating large sums of money and indulging in drunken orgies. Bribery, corruption, and extortion were rife amongst both Bolshevik officials and Red Guard men. Bolsheviks particularly oppressed Orthodox clergy and religion. Czech soldiers witnesses give evidences that near Khan Bolsheviks crucified father and sisters of man who served in national army; whole families of others in national army were shot. There is sufficient information to hand to be able to state that Bolsheviks' crimes in Ekaterinburg district are nothing in comparison with number and character of atrocities committed in Perm and district."