January 24, 1905
Former US Ambassador to Russia, Andrew D. White made the following statement today, about the tragic situation in St. Petersburg .
"If the Czar is a weak man, as the present Emperor is, he can do very little. A weak man cannot know anything about the empire to speak of, because he is surrounded by Grand Dukes, women, & etc., who tell him what they want him to believe and keep all the truth away from him which they do not wish him to hear.
"The main difficulty in the whole case is that the Emperor is supposed to do all the thinking for 140,000,000 people, scattered over the largest territory possessed by any Government in the world, with all sorts of different races, religions, and ideas, and this no man can do, and least of all in a time like this.
"The simple fact is that the evils of the old system have now become absolutely intolerable. And when you to that fact the sending off of immense numbers of the best men in the country to an utterly useless and wicked war, and the pressure of taxation which grinds the people to the dust, you have a situation which none but the very strongest rulers in human history can cope with.
"The Czar has no strength of character, no proper education, and is hopelessly unfit to grapple with the situation.
"No doubt the worst of the features of the situation have been keep from him."
Mr. White, speaking from Ithaca, New York, said he did not think that Nicholas II's advisers would "follow the policy of Emperor Nicholas I, " who sent the "ringleaders of the insurrection of eighty years ago" to be executed or sent to Siberia. Ambassador White believes that change in Russia cannot be "long delayed."
The demonstration that took place yesterday in St. Petersburg have left many dead and injured. The events are being called a "full-fledged revolution," a "day of terror," and "bloody Sunday."
One Russian refugee, now in Paris, stated that "the czar's policy of tutoring his subjects as if they were little children is an insult to the nation.
"This first outbreak, with its bloodshed, is only precursor of the tidal wave of blood that will sweep the czar from his throne. The nihilists are using the war to achieve ends, which might otherwise have been delayed 100 years. They are fomenting in Russia American republican ideas."