National Geographic : 1917 Jul
Photograph trom H. b. Cresswell A RUSSIAN "ISBA" IN A VILLAGE NEAR MOSCOW Far from a railway, these "isbas," or huts, are thatched, while the modern "isbas,' near a railway, are tin-roofed and usually flat-roofed, as a protection against sparks from the engines. old government, which held the people in darkness, regard every printed word as law. It is not difficult to play with this element, but the game is apt to be brought too far. "I came here because I believed in my right to tell the truth as I understand it. People who even under the old regime went about their work openly and with out fear of death, those people, I say, will not be terrorized. The fate of our country is in our hands and the country is in great danger. We have sipped of the cup of liberty and we are somewhat intoxicated. But we are not in need of intoxication; we are in need of the great est possible sobriety and discipline. We must enter history so that they may write on our graves: 'They died, but they were never slaves.' " FIRST ORDERS BY THE NEW MINISTER OF WAR As a member of the Coalition Cabinet, Kerensky took the post of Minister of War and the Navy. One of the main problems facing the new government was the consolidation of the war strength of the Russian army. It was desirable that the big task of reorganizing the Russian troops be as sumed by Kerensky, who was most pop ular with the Russian soldiers. His first order to the Russian army and navy was as follows: "Having assumed the military powers of the country, I declare: "First. The country is in danger, and a duty devolves upon every one to ex tricate her from it, regardless of difficul ties. I will therefore refuse to accept resignations prompted by a desire to avoid responsibilities in this grave hour. "Second. Those who have voluntarily left their military and fleet units (de serters) must return at the appointed time (the 28th of May). "Third. Those guilty of violation of this order will be punished under the full severity of the law.