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3807 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

The collapse of Russia and the defeat of

Italy created a situation of which the Central

Powers meant to take full advantage by

launching a new peace offensive. They

redoubled their efforts to negotiate a separate peace with Russia, and, at the same

time, as already related, sought to detach

other belligerents from the alliance against

them.

Conditions in Russia were exceedingly

favorable for the realization of Teutonic

hopes. Civil and military affairs had fallen

into a state of complete chaos. Siberia,

Ukrainia, Lithuania, Finland, and other

districts had declared their independence,

and civil war raged. The Bolsheviki controlled Moscow and Petrograd and seemed

to have the support of most of the army and

navy and of the laboring classes. Lenine

and Trotsky and their confederates prevented the delegates of the National Assembly from holding meetings at Petrograd and

ruled despotically. On November 20, the

Lenine-Trotsky Government announced that

by order of the allied Russian Workmen's

and Soldiers' Council of the people, commissaries had assumed power and would propose

to the various belligerent governments an

immediate armistice on all fronts with the

view of beginning negotiations for the

opening of a "democratic peace." They

also stated that orders had been sent to the

citizen's Commander in Chief that he should

approach the commanding officers of the

enemy's armies with a view to the suspension

of hostilities. General Dukhonin, the Commander in Chief, was disinclined to take this

step, so he was deposed from command and

his place was given to Ensign Krylenko.

General Dukhonin was later murdered by

being thrown from the train, after the

Bolsheviki had seized the general headquarters.

On November 25, Trotsky sent a note to

the diplomatic representatives of the neutral

powers in Petrograd informing them of the

steps taken looking to an armistice and

stating that the Russian Government depended upon the firm support of working

men in all countries in the struggle for peace.

This was intended as an appeal to workmen

in Allied countries to force their governments

to abandon the war. It is possible that the

Bolsheviki hoped that the. proletariat in the

Teutonic countries would also rise up against

their governments, but of this, at that time,

there was no real prospect. The kind of

peace that the Bolsheviki proposed meant a

complete triumph of the German War Lords

over democracy everywhere. The fact is

that many of the Bolshevist leaders were

playing the German game and were being