Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Overview
 
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

) between Russia (the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year, it served its purpose of providing breathing space for Lenin's Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s, who were tied up in fighting the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

.
Encyclopedia
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty
Peace treaty
A peace treaty is an agreement between two or more hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a state of war between the parties...

 signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

) between Russia (the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year, it served its purpose of providing breathing space for Lenin's Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s, who were tied up in fighting the Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

. It also affirmed the independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

 of Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

. In Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, which was not mentioned in the treaty, its signing caused riots, protests and an end to any support for the Central Powers.

Geopolitical Background

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk is one of twentieth century’s premier examples of a strategic peace agreement, second perhaps only to the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact in terms of its geopolitical impact. As with the infamous Nazi-Soviet treaty, Brest-Litovsk involved the collusion of the German and Soviet governments for short-term gains, including strategic breathing space, the exchange of valuable commodities, and the cession of hostilities on the Eastern Front. For the new Soviet government, no less than the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

, the peace agreement corresponded with the prevailing national interests, which after nearly four years of unremitting combat boiled down to the preservation of the respective regimes.

The Central Powers, in particular, had powerful reasons to knock Russia out of the war, since it was uncertain whether the German states could sustain their war effort for into 1918. In both Germany and Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 food shortages were becoming acute, and the suffering of the populations bred social and political unrest. Eventually this groundswell of dissatisfaction precipitated mass strikes in both Vienna and Berlin, the establishment of Soviet Worker’s Deputies, and armed clashes, which would lead Lenin to proclaim that, “[a]ll this should be regarded as evidence of the fact that the revolution in Germany has begun.”

With the efficacy of military solutions receding for the Hapsburg and the Hohenzollern, a political solution appeared increasingly attractive, leading these leaders to extend peace feelers throughout 1916-1917—all proved unfruitful. Yet, in March 1917, the abdication of Czar Nicholas II of Russia presented the Central Powers with their best opportunity to-date of re-balancing the military-political situation in Europe.

In place of the monarchy rested a new Provisional Government
Provisional government
A provisional government is an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government. The early provisional governments were created to prepare for the return of royal rule...

 under the proximate control of Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Kerensky
Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

, a one-time professor and self-proclaimed socialist. Kerensky’s administration faced immediate challenges. Beginning in May 1917, the Provisional Government resolved to maintain its war effort, and although this produced an “hysterical patriotism” among the army it also tied the new regime’s popularity to its success on the battlefield. This decision to continue to prosecute the war led German military leaders to launch an immediate political warfare campaign against the newly democratic Russia

Lenin and the World Revolution

As German leaders searched for a means to end Russian participation in the First World War, they happened upon a revolutionary in exile: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, or Lenin. The war up until March-April 1917 found Lenin, in the words of one historian, “[b]ent upon his struggle for the soul of international Socialism.” Lenin effected this monumental task through an unceasing correspondence with supporters both inside and outside of Russia seeking the end of the Second International
Second International
The Second International , the original Socialist International, was an organization of socialist and labour parties formed in Paris on July 14, 1889. At the Paris meeting delegations from 20 countries participated...

 and the establishment of a Third, based upon the “true proletarian movement” and guided by a revolutionary vanguard.

In Lenin’s view, peace without revolution was utterly impossible. “This is the lesson of the Russian Revolution,” he would write in August 1917, “there is no escape for the masses from the iron grip of war...unless they renounce all kinds of agreements with the bourgeois.” From the dialectical perspective of Marxist-Leninism, this total renunciation of compromise is both logical and desirable. Achieving a “democratic peace” required complete freedom from imperialist ambitions, a point cemented by Lenin in a letter to Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

: “To assume that the imperialist war will end in democratic peace…is to mislead the masses by concealing from them the essential truth that a democratic peace is impossible without a series of revolutions.” Thus, the decision by the Provisional Government to continue the war could not but stoke the opposition of the Bolshevik party and lead the two camps closer to open warfare. At the moment of the Czar’s abdication, however, Lenin was little better than incommunicado, yet within a relatively short period this situation would entirely reverse itself as the forlorn revolutionary received a helping hand from Europe’s premier imperialists, the German High Command.

That the March Revolution opened, as it were, an avenue for German political warfare
Political warfare
Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between one's government and a target audience to include another country's government, military, and/or general population...

 operations is without doubt. What is less clear is the relationship between V.I. Lenin and the German General Staff
German General Staff
The German General Staff was an institution whose rise and development gave the German armed forces a decided advantage over its adversaries. The Staff amounted to its best "weapon" for nearly a century and a half....

. On face, it is a relationship of the strictest convenience due to the insurmountable ideological gulf separating the Russian from his Teutonic peers. Evidence on both sides appears to bear out this conclusion. General Max Hoffmann
Max Hoffmann
Max Hoffmann was a German officer and military strategist during World War I. He is widely regarded as one of the finest staff officers of the imperial period....

, Chief of Staff for the Eastern Front, writes, “In the same way as I send shells into enemy trenches, or as I discharge poison gas at him, I, as an enemy, have the right to use propaganda against him...I personally knew nothing of the transport of Lenin through Germany. However, if I had been asked, I would scarcely have made any objection to it.” Lenin, too, made an equivalent case, stating, “If Karl Leibknecht were in Russia now, the Provisional Government would certainly allow him to return to Germany.” True enough that this strange marriage would have world-altering consequences but in the spring 1917 the sights of both parties were set at lower, more practical, targets.

The Sealed Train Car

Lenin’s return to Russia in April 1917 was a carefully orchestrated affair organized by the Swiss Socialist-internationalist Fritz Platten in consultation with the German ambassador. These men concluded a “carefully written” agreement, which provided for: first, free passage; second, a guarantee of extra-territorial rights for the train car; and third, that the “travelers agree to agitate in Russia.” Point two of the agreement—the source of the ‘sealed train car’ myth—eclipses in popular memory the more momentous point three: a guarantee that the exiles would conduct a political warfare campaign against the Provisional Government. Point three, moreover, is the root of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the so-called “Tilsit Peace.”

From April through November 1917, Lenin and the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 party waged an unremitting propaganda campaign against Kerensky’s Provisional Government. Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

, the official communist newspaper, served as the conduit for much of their white propaganda, which revolved around a simple and emotionally charged theme: “bread, land, and peace.” Lenin fully believed that his was the motive force behind Russia’s transition from the first period of revolution, which was co-opted by the bourgeoisie, into the second phase, wherein power would be placed in the hands of the proletariat. “This we must admit,” Lenin told his compatriots on 17 April, “the material force is in the hands of the proletariat, but the bourgeoisie has proved to be more class-conscious and better prepared.” The solutions: organization and revolutionary education. In the meantime, Pravda trumpeted the Soviet line of extending no support for the Provisional Government.

Throughout the spring and summer the communists exploited every avenue to delegitimize Russia’s revolutionary government, however, the correlation of forces was not yet in Lenin’s favor. Events on the battlefield during July and September 1917 fatally altered this balance for the socialist government as a series painful reverses broke the morale of both the army and civilian population. The Bolshevik bacillus, which had incubated since April, burst upon Petrograd, Moscow, and the Baltic Fleet in November, leading to the to establishment of the Soviet government on 8 November 1917. Appropriately enough, Lenin entitled a series of articles on the subject "The Crisis has Matured," which called for an immediate uprising against the Provisional Government claiming that if such action were not taken then the "Bolshevik's would cover themselves with shame forever; they would be reduced to nothing as a party." Lenin identified two imperatives: "First vanquish Kerensky, then call the Congress." This manner of direct action against the Constituent Assembly was predicated upon six planks, including the utilization of propaganda. "We have slogans whose support is guaranteed," Lenin plainly states. As the revolution seized control Russia's vital centers of communication and commerce the first point in their program emerged, which was nothing less than a restatement of an enduring theme, the call for “an immediate democratic peace.” Lenin’s regime was inaugurated on 7-8 November at the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, and it reiterated the themes of the Petrograd Soviet while expanding upon them to include provisions for self-determination of populations, one of President Wilson’s Fourteen Points
Fourteen Points
The Fourteen Points was a speech given by United States President Woodrow Wilson to a joint session of Congress on January 8, 1918. The address was intended to assure the country that the Great War was being fought for a moral cause and for postwar peace in Europe...

.

As with its call for peace, by recognizing the right of universal suffrage the Soviet government seized an invaluable propaganda theme poised for popular consumption among both domestic and foreign populations. By portraying itself as the wave of the future, the freshly minted Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 (RSFSR) pulled the heartstrings of progressives world-wide who fell head-over-heels for the party line. One should, however, be wary of communist magnanimity for, as Lenin wrote, “the interests of socialism are higher than the interests of the right of nations to self-determination.” What then did the Soviet leader have in mind? As with all else, the Bolsheviks subordinated seemingly self-evident concepts toward the realization of their political ends. Self-determination, along with peace, meant only the establishment and preservation of socialist republics along their own revolutionary line. Anything less was tantamount to “renouncing the principles of Marxism.”

Armistice negotiations

Peace negotiations began on December 22, 1917, a week after the conclusion of an armistice between Russia and the Central Powers, at Brest-Litovsk (modern Brest, Belarus
Brest, Belarus
Brest , formerly also Brest-on-the-Bug and Brest-Litovsk , is a city in Belarus at the border with Poland opposite the city of Terespol, where the Bug River and Mukhavets rivers meet...

, near the Polish border). The Germans
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 were represented officially by Foreign Secretary Richard von Kühlmann
Richard von Kühlmann
Richard von Kühlmann was a German diplomat and industrialist. From 6 August 1917 to 9 July 1918, he served as Germany's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.-Biography:Kühlmann was born in Constantinople...

, but the most important figure in shaping the peace on the German side was General Max Hoffmann
Max Hoffmann
Max Hoffmann was a German officer and military strategist during World War I. He is widely regarded as one of the finest staff officers of the imperial period....

, Chief of Staff of the German armies on the Eastern Front
Eastern Front (World War I)
The Eastern Front was a theatre of war during World War I in Central and, primarily, Eastern Europe. The term is in contrast to the Western Front. Despite the geographical separation, the events in the two theatres strongly influenced each other...

 (Oberkommando-Ostfront). Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

 was represented by Foreign Minister Ottokar Czernin, and from the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 came Talat Pasha
Mehmed Talat Pasha
Talaat Pasha Talaat Pasha Talaat Pasha (also transliterated as Tala'at Pasha or Talat Pasha was one of the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress that controlled the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.He was born in Edirne Vilayet. He was of Pomak descent...

. The Germans demanded the "independence" of Poland and Lithuania, which they already occupied, while the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s demanded "peace without annexations or indemnities" — in other words, a settlement under which the revolutionary government that succeeded the Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 would give neither territory nor money.

The peace delegations that met at Brest-Litovsk were a very mixed assembly. On the one hand there were highly conservative representatives and noblemen from the monarchic German Empire, Austria-Hungary and a failing Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, and on the other side were representatives of a radical revolutionary government which was unlike anything ever seen in the world and which openly proclaimed the aim of World Revolution. The first impressions after a common dinner were ambivalent. Count Ottokar Czernin, leader of the Austro-Hungarian delegation, later wrote:
The German state secretary Richard von Kühlmann
Richard von Kühlmann
Richard von Kühlmann was a German diplomat and industrialist. From 6 August 1917 to 9 July 1918, he served as Germany's Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.-Biography:Kühlmann was born in Constantinople...

 noted:

The later leader of the Soviet delegation, Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

 later reported:

It is important to note that these negotiations were taking place about nine months after the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 had declared war on Germany, but before the Americans were making a significant contribution on the Western Front. The Bolsheviks likely believed that the Germans would seize the opportunity to make a separate peace with Russia (even on moderate terms) so that they would have an opportunity to defeat France
French Third Republic
The French Third Republic was the republican government of France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed due to the French defeat in the Franco-Prussian War, to 1940, when France was overrun by Nazi Germany during World War II, resulting in the German and Italian occupations of France...

 and Great Britain
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland was the formal name of the United Kingdom during the period when what is now the Republic of Ireland formed a part of it....

 before the Americans arrived, even if this meant they would have to settle for less generous terms.

For Lenin, the negotiations were always carried out within the framework of sparking a world-wide socialist revolution, and in order to effect this world-historic event the Bolshevik cause required a secure base, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. The Soviet leader made the this a constant theme in his contemporary writings, stating in one instance: "But the question whether it is permissible to carry on a revolutionary war now, immediately, must be decided exclusively from the point of view of whether material conditions permit it." In adopting this pragmatic course, the Soviet Government made every effort to transmit the party line to the people, often acting through their newspaper, Pravda. This propaganda was aimed at establishing a base-line of ideological conformity so as to ease the consolidation of Bolshevik power. Outlying opinions were not permitted as Lenin indicated on 23 February 1918: "Let everyone know: he who is against an immediate, even though extremely onerous peace, is endangering Soviet power." This manner of communication read like a proscription list; everyone perceived as being un-receptive to the party line became a defacto counter-revolutionary.

Denounced by other Bolshevik leaders for exceeding his instructions and exposing Bolshevist Russia
Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
The Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic , commonly referred to as Soviet Russia, Bolshevik Russia, or simply Russia, was the largest, most populous and economically developed republic in the former Soviet Union....

 to the threat of invasion, Trotsky subsequently defended his action on the grounds that the Bolshevik leaders had originally entered the peace talks in the hope of exposing their enemies' territorial ambitions and rousing the workers of central Europe
Central Europe
Central Europe or alternatively Middle Europe is a region of the European continent lying between the variously defined areas of Eastern and Western Europe...

 to revolution
Revolution
A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

 in defense of Russia's new workers' state.

Internal Pressures: Quadruple Alliance

At the close of 1917, the senior members of the Quadruple Alliance, Germany and Austria-Hungary, faced mounting internal pressure to conclude a peace with the Soviet Government. Austria, in particular, was hard-pressed to carry the war into 1918 owing to a severe shortage of food stocks. So precarious was the situation that in January 1918 the capital city's Burgomaster telephoned Czernin stating plainly, "Vienna has only flour enough to last until Monday," and workers strikes, actuated by hunger, quickly pressed their demand for a "speedy conclusion of peace." The palpable desperation of Austria is no where more evident than in a telegraphed message from Emperor Karl to Foreign Minister Czernin:
Given the rapidly eroding domestic situation, Austria prostrated itself before its allies, Germany and Bulgaria seeking food stocks. These actions not only spelled the "final passing of Hapsburg glory," but they also robbed Czernin of his final bargaining factor; Vienna could no longer leverage itself at the negotiating table.

Germany, too, faced internal obstacles to negotiating an eastern settlement, however, these had their origins in political differences between the Imperial Government and the Supreme Command. Questions of high policy were subject to the "fiercest contention," according to one historian who concludes that these deep cleavages "robbed the forthcoming negotiations of the element of speed which was so necessary an asset for success." These differences became particularly nettlesome as questions of territorial acquisitions and national self-determination came to the fore. The status of areas already under joint German and Austro-Hungarian control, such as Courland, Lithuania, and Russian Poland,exposed contradictions that would later be exploited by Leon Trotsky and the Soviet propaganda apparatus.

Proxy State: Ukraine

Ukraine's status between November 1917 and February 1918 demonstrates the second-level effects of the German-Soviet political warfare operations. From the moment of its accession to power, the Soviet Government denied the legitimacy of the Ukrainian People's Republic denouncing it as a counter-revolutionary body, which was continuing to oppress the proletarian majority. These accusations served as the basis of communist agitation and subversion efforts throughout the summer and fall of 1917. Following the November uprising, the RSFSR continued to deny the Kiev Rada, as the council was termed, the right to settle territorial claims independently of Moscow. Trotsky underlined this point on 30 January 1918, claiming: "Ukrainian Soviets were engaged throughout the Ukraine in a determined battle against the Kiev Rada....it was clear that a peace concluded with the Delegation of the Kiev Rada could not be regarded as a peace concluded with the Ukraine Republic." The communist treatment of Ukraine's self-proclaimed independence serves to underline the duplicity inherent in Bolshevik claims to support self-determination, and it also demonstrates the truth behind Lenin's words, "the interests of socialism are higher than the interests of the right of nations to self-determination."

Between January and February 1918, with the treaty negotiations in full swing, members of the Kiev delegation led a spirited defense of their government while launching a concerted attack on the claims of the Bolshevik Government who claimed Ukraine as a federative state. One member of the Rada, Lubynsky, denounced Bolshevik claims of complete liberty as "coarse demagogic expedients" and exposed Petrograd's interference in Ukraine's internal affairs through the formation of soldiers' Soviets, which were composed of non-Ukrainian troops. Lenin's regime demanded that these Soviets be accorded the "entire authority of government" without reference to the Kiev assembly. Accompanying Petrograd's demand for the devolution of governing authority, was a call for new elections in the Central Rada. This later demand, however, backfired tremendously and demonstrated the unpopularity of the Bolshevik party--only ten percent of ten delegates were communists. With the failure of the soldiers' Soviet movement and the failure to capture the legislature, the Petrograd Government gave its consent to the new Ukrainian Congress. This development proved a diplomatic victory for the Central Powers who recognized the Ukrainian People's Republic as an independent state and concluded a separate treaty
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 9, 1918)
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918 between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, but prior to that on February 9, 1918, the Central Powers signed an exclusive protectorate treaty with the Ukrainian People's Republic as part of the negotiations that took place...

 with them on 9 February 1918.

Unsurprisingly, the Central Powers had little concern for the status of the Ukrainian people instead viewing the republic as a means to resupply their depleted stocks. Owing to its fragile strategic situation, the Kiev Rada had little choice but to sign an agreement granting Berlin and Vienna a six month's supply of grain and minerals from which the government gained the protection of German bayonets. Theoretically at least Ukraine became a neutral state, however, its economic value as a literal "mail order" house ensured that if the Bolshevik's pressed their political offensive Kiev could trust in the military forces of its western neighbors for defense. The negotiators at Brest-Litovsk had little respite following the signing of this separate peace, since the document, in the words of Leon Trotsky, rendered peace "impossible."

Internal Pressures: Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Events in the Ukraine brought the domestic political crisis to a head in Russia with every interested power pulling at the seams of the Czar's empire; Lenin and the Bolsheviks faced White Russian Czarist forces, German, Austrian, Finnish, Ottoman, Japanese, and Ukrainian armies. The Western powers, France, Britain, and the United States had not yet begun their Siberian Intervention
Siberian Intervention
The ', or the Siberian Expedition, of 1918–1922 was the dispatch of troops of the Entente powers to the Russian Maritime Provinces as part of a larger effort by the western powers and Japan to support White Russian forces against the Bolshevik Red Army during the Russian Civil War...

, however, both the foreign and domestic relations of the communist government were in shambles. The question of peace for the Soviet Government, then, was less one of desirability than it was one of survival. Lenin had the consolidation of power at the forefront of his mind as indicated in his January 1918 document "Theses on the Question of the Immediate Conclusion of a Separate and Annexationist Peace," declaring: "And such a reorganization will render socialism invincible both in Russia and all over the world, and at the same time create a solid economic basis for a mighty workers' and peasants' Red Army." An even more blatant statement of purpose holds the question as, "[H]ow the socialist revolution can be most firmly and reliably ensured the possibility of consolidating itself, or, at least, of maintaining itself in one country until it is joined by other countries."

As with the Jacobin party during the revolution in France, the Bolsheviks harnessed the threat of foreign invasion as a propaganda theme in order to unite the people behind their leadership. Lenin personally provided the party line through his speeches, letters, and publications in the party paper, Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

, exhorting the revolutionary vanguard and purging it all critical opinions. One such example supporting the Brest-Litovsk negotiations states: "In concluding a separate peace we free ourselves as much as possible for the present moment from both hostile imperialist group, we take advantage of their mutual enmity and warfare which hamper concerted action on their part against us, and for a certain period have our hands free to advance and consolidate the socialist revolution....on the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat." Battling against elements within the Bolshevik Party Lenin also highlighted the world-historic significance of the revolution calling its preservation the "most important [issue] to us and to the international revolutionary movement." Lenin was the fount of Bolshevik revolutionary fervor and its guiding light and, as such, his campaign for the peace of Brest-Litovsk serves as a guide for the conduct of future Soviet affairs.

One constituent element of this practice is its purported scientific basis, better termed the correlation of forces, which serves as a means for Bolsheviks to make an objective analysis of the prevailing conditions. If the correlation favors overt action, the revolutionary is obliged to actively engage in subversive activities. If, on the other hand, the balance of forces stands against the revolutionary then he is required to move underground. Lenin himself makes this point stating, "Marxism demands the consideration of objective conditions and their changes, that the question [of action] must be presented concretely as applicable to those conditions." This theme is an ever-present factor in the Soviet line from the period of the November Revolution through the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in March 1918.

Resumed hostilities

Following the Central Powers' recognition of an independent Ukrainian People's Republic the Bolshevik influence over the negotiations considerably declined. Faced with this defeat, Leon Trotsky drafted a letter to V.I. Lenin proposing a new course of action, the declaration of a unilateral peace. The letter itself is so illuminating that it is quoted here in full:

Lenin did not respond to Trotsky's letter, and on 15 February the Imperial Government announced the resumption of military operations against Russian forces. German and Austrian forces advanced practically unopposed for the next weeks. The consequences for the Bolsheviks were worse than what they had feared the previous December. The Central Powers seized most of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

 and the Baltic countries
Baltic countries
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

. Through the ice of the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

, a German fleet approached the Gulf of Finland
Gulf of Finland
The Gulf of Finland is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland and Estonia all the way to Saint Petersburg in Russia, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn...

 and Russia's capital Petrograd
Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...

. Despite strikes and demonstrations the month before in protest against economic hardship, the workers of Germany failed to rise up against the government. On 3 March the Russian Delegation signed the treaty of peace "without in any way discussing its contents."

Terms

The treaty, signed between Bolshevik Russia on the one side and the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria
History of Independent Bulgaria
The Treaty of San Stefano of March 3, 1878 provided for a self-governing Bulgarian state, which comprised the geographical regions of Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. Based on that date Bulgarians celebrate Bulgaria's national day each year...

 and Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

 (collectively the Central Powers) on the other, marked Russia's final withdrawal from World War I as an enemy of her co-signatories, fulfilling, on unexpectedly humiliating terms, a major goal of the Bolshevik revolution of November 7, 1917.

In all, the treaty took away territory that included a quarter of the Russian Empire's
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 population, a quarter of its industry and nine-tenths of its coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 mines. Almost all of this territory consisted of nations that Russia had absorbed by conquest during the prior several centuries and correspondingly non-Russian speaking population groups.

Germany's defeat in World War I, marked by the armistice
Armistice
An armistice is a situation in a war where the warring parties agree to stop fighting. It is not necessarily the end of a war, but may be just a cessation of hostilities while an attempt is made to negotiate a lasting peace...

 with the Allies
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 on November 11 at Compiègne
Compiègne
Compiègne is a city in northern France. It is designated municipally as a commune within the département of Oise.The city is located along the Oise River...

, made it possible for Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

, Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 to become independent sovereign
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

 states
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

.

Territorial Cessions

Russia's Bolshevik (Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

) government renounced all territorial claims on Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

 (which it had already acknowledged), the future Baltic states (Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

), Belarus
Belarus
Belarus , officially the Republic of Belarus, is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered clockwise by Russia to the northeast, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the northwest. Its capital is Minsk; other major cities include Brest, Grodno , Gomel ,...

, and Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and the territory of Congress Poland
Congress Poland
The Kingdom of Poland , informally known as Congress Poland , created in 1815 by the Congress of Vienna, was a personal union of the Russian parcel of Poland with the Russian Empire...

 (which was not mentioned in the treaty). Most of these territories were in effect ceded to the German Empire, which intended to have them become economically dependent on and politically closely tied to the empire under various German king
Monarch
A monarch is the person who heads a monarchy. This is a form of government in which a state or polity is ruled or controlled by an individual who typically inherits the throne by birth and occasionally rules for life or until abdication...

s and duke
Duke
A duke or duchess is a member of the nobility, historically of highest rank below the monarch, and historically controlling a duchy...

s. This plan was detailed by German Field Marshall Erich von Ludendorff, who wrote, "German prestige demands that we should hold a strong protecting hand, not only over German citizens, but over all Germans."

Regarding the ceded territories, the treaty stated that "Germany and Austria-Hungary intend to determine the future fate of these territories in agreement with their populations". In fact Germany appointed aristocrats
Aristocracy (class)
The aristocracy are people considered to be in the highest social class in a society which has or once had a political system of Aristocracy. Aristocrats possess hereditary titles granted by a monarch, which once granted them feudal or legal privileges, or deriving, as in Ancient Greece and India,...

 to the new thrones
United Baltic Duchy
The proposed United Baltic Duchy also known as the Grand Duchy of Livonia was a state proposed by the Baltic German nobility and exiled Russian nobility after the Russian revolution and German occupation of the Courland, Livonian and Estonian governorates of the Russian Empire.The idea comprised...

, Latvia, and Lithuania
Mindaugas II of Lithuania
Prince Wilhelm of Urach, Count of Württemberg, 2nd Duke of Urach was a German prince who was elected King of Lithuania with the regnal name Mindaugas II on 11 July 1918...

.

Occupation of the ceded territories by Germany required large amounts of manpower and trucks, and yielded little in the way of foodstuffs or other war material. The Germans transferred hundreds of thousands of veteran troops to the Western Front as rapidly as they could, where they began a series of spring offensives that badly shocked the Allies. Some Germans later blamed the occupation for significantly weakening the Spring Offensive.

Transfer of territory to the Ottoman Empire

At the insistence of the Ottoman leader Talat Pasha, all lands Russia had captured from the Ottoman Empire in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), specifically Ardahan
Ardahan
Ardahan is a city in northeastern Turkey, near the Georgian border.-Ancient and medieval:In Ancient times the region was called Gogarene, which is assumed to derive from the name of Gugars, who were a Proto-Kartvelian tribe...

, Kars
Kars
Kars is a city in northeast Turkey and the capital of Kars Province. The population of the city is 73,826 as of 2010.-Etymology:As Chorzene, the town appears in Roman historiography as part of ancient Armenia...

, and Batumi
Batumi
Batumi is a seaside city on the Black Sea coast and capital of Adjara, an autonomous republic in southwest Georgia. Sometimes considered Georgia's second capital, with a population of 121,806 , Batumi serves as an important port and a commercial center. It is situated in a subtropical zone, rich in...

, were to be returned. This territory was under the effective control of the newly established Democratic Republic of Georgia
Democratic Republic of Georgia
The Democratic Republic of Georgia , 1918–1921, was the first modern establishment of a Republic of Georgia.The DRG was created after the collapse of the Russian Empire that began with the Russian Revolution of 1917...

 and the Democratic Republic of Armenia
Democratic Republic of Armenia
The Democratic Republic of Armenia was the first modern establishment of an Armenian state...

 until 1921. After the Soviets conquered these republics, the territory under Armenian control, by and large, went to Turkey; whereas the territory under Georgian control mostly reverted to the Soviet Union after Georgia's fall in March 1921.

Paragraph 3 of Article IV of the treaty states that:

"The districts of Erdehan, Kars, and Batum will likewise and without delay be cleared of the Russian troops. Russia will not interfere in the reorganization of the national and international relations of these districts, but leave it to the population of these districts, to carry out this reorganization in agreement with the neighboring States, especially with Turkey."

Russian-German financial agreement of August 1918

In the wake of Russian repudiation of Tsarist bonds, nationalization of foreign-owned property and confiscation of foreign assets, the Russians and Germans signed an additional agreement on August 27, 1918. Russia agreed to pay six billion marks
German papiermark
The name Papiermark is applied to the German currency from the 4th August 1914 when the link between the Mark and gold was abandoned, due to the outbreak of World War I...

 in compensation to German interests for their losses.

Lasting effects

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk lasted only eight and a half months. Following the German capitulation, the Bolshevik legislature (VTsIK) annulled the treaty on November 13, 1918, (the text of the VTsIK Decision was printed in Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

the next day). In the year after the armistice, the German Army withdrew its occupying units from the lands gained in the treaty, leaving behind a power vacuum that various forces subsequently attempted to fill. In the Treaty of Rapallo
Treaty of Rapallo, 1922
The Treaty of Rapallo was an agreement signed at the Hotel Imperiale in the Italian town of Rapallo on 16 April, 1922 between Germany and Soviet Russia under which each renounced all territorial and financial claims against the other following the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and World War I.The two...

, concluded in April 1922, Germany accepted the Treaty's nullification, and the two powers agreed to abandon all war-related territorial and financial claims against each other.

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk marked a significant contraction of the territory which the Bolsheviks controlled or could lay claim to as effective successors of the Russian Empire. While the independence of Finland and Poland was already accepted by them in principle, the loss of Ukraine and the Baltics created, from the Bolshevik perspective, dangerous bases of anti-Bolshevik military activity in the subsequent Russian Civil War
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 (1918–20). Indeed, many Russian nationalists and some revolutionaries were furious at the Bolsheviks' acceptance of the treaty and joined forces to fight them. Non-Russians who inhabited the lands lost by Bolshevik Russia in the treaty saw the changes as an opportunity to set up independent states not under Bolshevik rule. Immediately after the signing of the treaty, Lenin moved the Soviet Russian government from Petrograd to Moscow.

The fate of the region, and the location of the eventual western border of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, was settled in violent and chaotic struggles over the course of the next three and a half years. The Polish–Soviet War was particularly bitter and ended by the Treaty of Riga in 1921. Although most of Ukraine fell under Bolshevik control and eventually became one of the constituent republics of the Soviet Union, Poland and the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 emerged as independent countries. This state of affairs lasted until 1939. As a consequence of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact
The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, named after the Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov and the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, was an agreement officially titled the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Soviet Union and signed in Moscow in the late hours of 23 August 1939...

 the Soviet Union advanced its borders westward by invading Poland and Finland
Winter War
The Winter War was a military conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began with a Soviet offensive on 30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World War II and the Soviet invasion of Poland – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow Peace Treaty...

 in 1939, and annexing the Baltic States
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 and Bessarabia
Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

 in 1940. It thus overturned almost all the territorial losses incurred at Brest-Litovsk, with the exception of the undefeated Finland.

Russia's post-1991 western border bears a marked similarity to that imposed by the Brest-Litovsk treaty.

Other information

Emil Orlik
Emil Orlík
Emil Orlik was born in Prague, which was at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and lived and worked in Prague, Austria and Germany...

, the Viennese Secessionist artist, attended the conference, at the invitation of Richard von Kühlmann. He drew portraits of all the participants, along with a series of smaller caricature
Caricature
A caricature is a portrait that exaggerates or distorts the essence of a person or thing to create an easily identifiable visual likeness. In literature, a caricature is a description of a person using exaggeration of some characteristics and oversimplification of others.Caricatures can be...

s. These were gathered together into a book, Brest-Litovsk, a copy of which was given to each of the participants.

Lenin on Slogans

Propaganda played an integral role in the establishment of the Soviet state and the eventual settlement of the peace at Brest-Litovsk. V.I. Lenin and the Bolshevik party fully believed themselves to be the vanguard in a world revolutionary movement, which would triumph over the imperialist powers whose war brought such devastation Russia. In July 1917, after the failed coup d'tat against the Kerensky Government, Lenin penned "On Slogans"a work that explored the symbiotic relationship between revolutionary propaganda and the consolidation of Soviet power. For Lenin the revolutionary movement was first and foremost a "question of power." The people, he wrote, had to know "the truth," that is, "in whose hand state power really is." Above all slogans--the chief form of Bolshevik propaganda at this stage--had to correspond to reality; indeed, Lenin's chief requirement was that slogans be "deducted from the sum total of the peculiarities of a given political situation," which is merely a restatement of the principle of the correlation of forces. Communist propaganda, then, was always conceived as an instrument in state policy. It informed the party faithful thus ensuring their ideological conformity while simultaneously presenting them with new objectives and the means for their achievement.
The period of March-October 1917 is an instructive example. Up until the July 1917 crackdown, Lenin believed in the efficacy of "peaceful development," that is the achievement of "full state power" for the Soviets within the framework of the Provisional Government. The failed coup and the subsequent repression of the Kerensky Government rendered this transfer impossible. Lenin wrote that the "objective situation changed abruptly" and that "The non-peaceful, and most painful road has begun." This change in Soviet attitudes is instructive, in part, because it demonstrates that the Bolsheviks were content to co-opt the bourgeoisie Kerensky regime within the parliamentary framework, and that when circumstances frustrated this activity that the party automatically entered a phase of violent opposition. The seizure of power in October 1917 demonstrates the effectiveness of Lenin's model, and its subsequent transfer into the realm of foreign policy throughout the treaty negotiations and throughout the twentieth century serves as a corrective to the belief that liberal democracy and communist regimes could somehow coexist. "All power passing to the Soviets" is not an inconsequential slogan; rather, it is a statement of ideological principle--a genuine objective of party policy.

"On Slogans"is an invaluable primary source in understanding the Marxist-Leninist mentality, especially as it concerns both domestic and foreign policy objectives and the use of propaganda in achieving those aims.

See also

  • Commissions of the Danube River
    Commissions of the Danube River
    See Internationalization of the Danube River for events before 1856.The Commissions of the Danube River were authorized by the Treaty of Paris after the close of the Crimean War...

  • History of Belarus
    History of Belarus
    This article describes the history of Belarus. The Belarusian ethnos is traced at least as far in time as other East Slavs.After an initial period of independent feudal consolidation, Belarusian lands were incorporated into the Kingdom of Lithuania, Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and later in the...

  • Mitteleuropa
    Mitteleuropa
    Mitteleuropa is the German term equal to Central Europe. The word has political, geographic and cultural meaning. While it describes a geographical location, it also is the word denoting a political concept of a German-dominated and exploited Central European union that was put into motion during...

  • Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 9, 1918)
    Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (February 9, 1918)
    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918 between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, but prior to that on February 9, 1918, the Central Powers signed an exclusive protectorate treaty with the Ukrainian People's Republic as part of the negotiations that took place...

  • Treaty of Bucharest (1918)
  • Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact
  • Political Warfare
    Political warfare
    Political warfare is the use of political means to compel an opponent to do one's will, based on hostile intent. The term political describes the calculated interaction between one's government and a target audience to include another country's government, military, and/or general population...

  • October Revolution
    October Revolution
    The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

  • Bolshevik
    Bolshevik
    The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

  • Alexander Kerensky
    Alexander Kerensky
    Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky was a major political leader before and during the Russian Revolutions of 1917.Kerensky served as the second Prime Minister of the Russian Provisional Government until Vladimir Lenin was elected by the All-Russian Congress of Soviets following the October Revolution...

  • Russian Provisional Government
    Russian Provisional Government
    The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...


Further reading

  • Kennan, George
    George F. Kennan
    George Frost Kennan was an American adviser, diplomat, political scientist and historian, best known as "the father of containment" and as a key figure in the emergence of the Cold War...

    . Soviet Foreign Policy 1917-1941, Kreiger Publishing Company, 1960.
  • Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John
    John Wheeler-Bennett
    Sir John Wheeler Wheeler-Bennett , GCVO, CMG, OBE, FBA, FRSL was a conservative English historian of German and diplomatic history, and the official biographer of King George VI.-Early career:...

     Brest-Litovsk the Forgotten Peace, March 1918, W. W. Norton & Company 1969.
  • What Is To Be Done?
  • On Slogans

External links

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