Treaty Of Brest-Litovsk

On the 3rd of March, 1918, Bolshevik Russia finally signed a peace treaty with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk in Byelorussia.

An armistice on the Eastern Front had already been arranged in December 1917 and peace negotiations had dragged on for months, but the Bolsheviks had refused to give in to Central Powers demands for territorial concessions. In February 1918 the Central Powers ended the armistice and over the next two weeks seized most of the Ukraine and Belarus, while a German fleet approached the Russian capital of Petrograd. These setbacks concentrated the Russian mind and made them eventually accept worse terms than were initially offered.

The terms marked Russia's final withdrawal from World War 1 as an enemy of the Central Powers. In addition, the new communist government renounced all claim to Finland, the future Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, some territories within Turkey and part of Georgia. Most of these territories were, in effect, ceded to the German Empire, though after World War 1 and the treaty at Versailles, these states went on to become fully independent, at least until the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 in effect recovered the Russian territorial losses.

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