Countries of the Entente didn’t recognize the new soviet government in Russia. The main reason was that the Bolsheviks pursued separate negotiations with the Germans and were determined to make peace with them. Germany would then be able to turn all their forces to the Western front against France and the expeditionary forces of the United States of America and Great Britain.
Some of the political leaders of the Entente countries were bent on influencing the Bolsheviks to continue the war with Germany. The majority, however, offered any aid to the organized opposition to overthrow the Council of People's Commissars.
Those bent on influencing the Bolsheviks to remain in the war against Germany included the U.S. Red Cross mission leader in Russia, Raymond Robins, the unofficial British representative in Russia, Robert Bruce Lockhart, and the representative of the French military mission, Žak Sadul. The second viewpoint, offering any aid to the organized opposition against the Council of People’s Commissars, was upheld by French Ambassador Joseph Noulens, by U.S. Ambassador D.R. Francis, and by authorized representative of Great Britain F.O. Lindley.
On February 18th, 1918 the Germans renewed their attack at the Eastern front and drew closer to Petrograd. Some of the diplomats of the Allied Powers decided to leave Russia through Finland. D. Francis chose another way out. He intended to move inland and meet the same political challenge.
On February 21st, Francis made a statement in front of the invited leaders of the British, French, Italian and Japanese Embassies. He stated:
- “I am not going out of Russia. I am going to Vologda.”
- “What do you know about Vologda?” – Francis was asked.
- “Nothing, except that it is a junction of the Trans-Siberian and Moscow - Arkhangelsk rail-roads and that it is 350 miles away from the Germans.”
When all the Ambassadors asked him what he would do if in Vologda it were still unsafe, he stated that he would go to Viatka, to Perm or to Irkutsk or to Chita, if necessary, and even to Vladivostok where he would be protected by the American navy.
On February 27th, at 2:00 a.m. a train departed the Nikolaevskiy train station. Aboard were Ambassador Francis with his staff, leaders of Japanese, Chinese, Siamese and Brazilian missions and members of American Red Cross.