Note to Vadim Podbelsky in Moscow by Direct Line, February 22, 1918

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This note is a reply to the following request from V. N. Podbelsky, Commissar for Posts and Telegraphs of Moscow and Moscow Region: “We have just been informed by telephone on behalf of Trotsky that Austria-Hungary is said to have declared its refusal to advance against Russia. Please contact Trotsky or one of the other People’s Commissars immediately by telephone, check this information and let us know. The Soviet of Workers’ Deputies is at present in session here and awaits verification of this report. At the same time obtain the latest news in general, but only authentic news, and inform us immediately. Please do this, comrade, it is very important for us.”

I have no new verified information apart from the report that the Germans, generally speaking, are steadily advancing because they do not encounter resistance. I consider the situation extremely grave and the slightest delay on our part is impermissible. As regards the report about Austria-Hungary not taking part in the war, I personally, unlike Trotsky, do not consider it verified; they say the radio has been intercepted and there were telegrams about this from Stockholm, but 1 have not seen such documents,