Under Japanese protection this fellow continued to carry out indiscriminate executions and flogging of workmen until the whole district became depopulated, and the Allies were forced to demand an explanation from Japan for their extraordinary conduct. So fearful were they that their tool was about to be dealt with, that when the 1/9th Battalion of the Hampshire Territorial Regiment started from Vladivostok, the Japanese asked the Omsk Government whether these British troops were coming forward to attack General Semianoff. The answer we gave was that all movements of British troops were conducted by the British Military Mission, to whom they must apply for information. I never heard any more of their inquiries.
About this time a party of Cossacks, with a high officer at their head, called at the prison one night and produced to the governor an alleged order for the release of nine political prisoners. The [perhaps] unsuspecting governor handed his prisoners over; they were taken away, and next morning their friends found them shot. Someone ought to have been hanged, but Koltchak could find no one to hang. His Chief of Staff must have discovered some facts about the crime, but he refused to act. In fact, he did not acquaint the admiral about the crime until four days later when it had become public property. Koltchak was quite overcome, first with rage at the crime itself, and secondly at his impotence in being unable to prevent it. But Omsk went on the even tenor of its way: it is remarkable what horrors people can face without a tremor when they get used to them, as they must in revolutions.
THE CAPTURE OF PERM: THE CZECHS RETIRE FROM THE FIGHTING
The coup d’etat had thrown the proposed Perm offensive completely into the background. The Czechs, under the influence of their Political Council, who had joined the Social Revolutionary Committee, and their leader Chernoff, retired to the rear. Each unit elected a committee and established a Soldiers’ Council on the strictest Bolshevik plan, and ceased to be of further use either to the Russians or their own cause. The officers of the new Russian army became greatly concerned for the integrity of their own young troops with such a shocking example of lack of discipline before their eyes, and begged Admiral Koltchak to order these hostile political bodies out of Ekaterinburg. The admiral offered them a town in the rear where they might discuss politics to their hearts’ content, without danger to his army. This, however, did not suit their plans, for their obvious object was to destroy the integrity of the new Russian army. Admiral Koltchak in desperation ordered the leaders to be arrested and the conspiracy to be broken up. General Gaida, though a Czech officer, put the admiral’s order into effect, and handed the prisoners over to the Commander-in-Chief, General Surovey, at Chilliyabinsk. General Surovey,