What was the role of Russia in the First World War?

Just the same as in all the other countries, to fight the war, it was on the Allied side, and did terribly. Its troops didn’t have enough guns, equipment or food; and it was poorly led.

The citizens had to give their food to the army, which still wasn’t enough.

Very early in First World War Russia invaded Germany, but the German army pushed the Russian forces back, and then fighting happened in Russia.^ Russia pulled out of the war in 1917.

Russia was getting paid to fight in the war and as the country was out of money, they had to keep on fighting, this upset a lot of people and soon riots and strikes broke out all over the country.

But when Lenin gained power he pulled them out of the war, but he had to make a sacrifice. The Germans wanted part of the Russian territory and Lenin gave it to them.

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Despite the success of the June 1916 Brusilov offensive in eastern Galicia, dissatisfaction with the Russian government’s conduct of the war grew. The success was undermined by the reluctance of other generals to commit their forces to support the victory.

Allied and Russian forces were revived only temporarily with Romania’s entry into the war on 27 August. German forces came to the aid of embattled Austro-Hungarian units in Transylvania and Bucharest fell to the Central Powers on 6 December.

Meanwhile, unrest grew in Russia, as the Tsar remained at the front. Empress Alexandra’s increasingly incompetent rule drew protests and resulted in the murder of her favorite, Rasputin, at the end of 1916.


In March 1917, demonstrations in Petrograd culminated in the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II and the appointment of a weak Provisional Government which shared power with the Petrograd Soviet socialists. This arrangement led to confusion and chaos both at the front and at home. The army became increasingly ineffective.

The war and the government became increasingly unpopular. Discontentment led to a rise in popularity of the Bolshevik party, led by Vladimir Lenin. He promised to pull Russia out of the war and was able to gain power. The triumph of the Bolsheviks in November was followed in December by an armistice and negotiations with Germany.

At first the Bolsheviks refused the German terms, but when Germany resumed the war and marched across Ukraine with impunity, the new government acceded to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk on 3 March 1918. It took Russia out of the war and ceded vast territories, including Finland, the Baltic provinces, parts of Poland and Ukraine to the Central Powers.

The manpower required for German occupation of former Russian territory may have contributed to the failure of the Spring Offensive, however, and secured relatively little food or other war material.


With the adoption of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, the Entente no longer existed. The Allied powers led a small-scale invasion of Russia, partly to stop Germany from exploiting Russian resources and, to a lesser extent, to support the Whites in the Russian Civil War.

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