General Knox to War Office.
Vladivostock, March 4, 1919.
AN interview with an officer has appeared in a Vladivostock paper which gives an idea of the ruin that has befallen Moscow. He had escaped through the lines, and says that executions and arrests, to say nothing of hunger and cold and robbery in all its forms, are part of the daily life of the city. The streets are filthy and torn up, houses are shell-shattered and gutted by fire. Pocket-picking has become fashionable, and is looked on as a harmless eccentricity. Officers are put on to the most menial forms of work, such as street cleaning, loading bricks at railway stations, and a colonel is now a night watchman. Whilst Kuksh was in Bolshevik occupation women from 16 to 50 were mobilised for work, and to "satisfy the needs of the pride and flower of the revolution." At Goroblagodatsky the Red Army threw forty-four bodies down a well. They were discovered later, and amongst them were found the bodies of a priest, some monks, and a young girl. At Blagoveschensk officers and soldiers from Torbolof's detachment were found with gramophone needles thrust under their finger nails, their eyes torn out, the marks of nails on their shoulders where shoulder straps had been worn. Their bodies had become like frozen statues, and were hideous to look upon. These men had been killed by Bolsheviks at Metzanovaya and taken thence to Blagoveschensk.
Following is text of document belonging to a Red Commissar captured at front and quoted in local press :—
"Herewith I certify that the bearer, comrade Evdomikof, is allowed the right of acquiring a girl for himself and no one may oppose this in anyway, he is invested with full power which I certify."