Know Everything about the Russian Revolution in World War 1

Russian revolution

The involvement of Russian Revolution in World War I was inevitable. But another major set of events that impacted Russia was the Russian Revolution and the Russian civil wars. The Russians under the Tsar Empire opposed the Germans in the First World War. Tsar Nicholas II was the monarch ruler. Unlike the Germans, the Russian didn’t have advanced equipment and modern communication methods. There was no efficient mode of transportation, and the supplies were carried over horsebacks.

Even the military forces didn’t have proper resources to progress the war. There was no attention provided to the medical care and the health of the fighting soldiers. The soldiers faced many problems as they didn’t have a sufficient supply of weapons, guns, military clothing, and footwear. The common people also suffered consequences due to the carelessness of the Tsar Empire. Since the beginning of the First World War in 1914, the following years saw a large number of wounded men returning to the nation and refugees of the war entering the nation. The administration of the Russian government wasn’t handling any of these issues. Therefore, the local civilian groups and unions took the matter into their own hands.

Zemstvos was a group of organizations working towards the same cause. These organizations took care of the civilians and ensured their safety during these difficult times. With continuous defeats of the Russian army, the Russian ruler Tsar Nicholas II planned to oversee the frontline battle operations. He was very much incompetent as a leader, and he didn’t value the lives of the frontline soldiers. This led to major losses on the Russian side

Starting of Russian Revolution

Russian revolution

All these problems were the root cause of the Russian Revolution and the subsequent Russian Civil War. On the 23rd of February, the Russian women celebrated International Women’s Day and marched the streets of Petrograd protesting against the government regarding the lack of proper resources for food, healthcare, and high casualties during the war. These protests spread all over the nation reaching the capital. The rebellions were towards Russian Emperor Tsar Nicholas II to get down his throne. His extended family also persuaded Tsar Nicholas II to give up his kingship.

The Russian government felt that the domestic forces will subside once Tsar Nicholas II abdicated his throne. Therefore a provisional authority was given to the Russian Duma, which was a legislative assembly with elected representatives. The Russian Duma consisted of a number of socialites, liberals, conservatives, monarchists, noblemen, and capitalists. Without much representation from the common people, the councils and organizations from the Russian Revolution of 1905 formed the Soviet. There existed bad blood between the Russian administrative officials and the Soviets.

The ongoing World War I and the Russian internal conflicts happened subsequently which created a chaotic environment. The uprising of the peasants and the common people were seen in places around Russian revolution . They showed their disapproval by destroying properties owned by the upper-class socialites. Some soldiers felt the importance of equality and fundamental rights for everyone. 

Role of Vladimir Lenin in Russian Revolution

By the April of 1917, the Russian Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin, who was previously confined in Switzerland by the Germans, was sent back to Russia. Vladimir Lenin believed in the theories of Karl Marx and the importance of common people in the revolution. He also wanted to set up a separate leading team to direct the ongoing Russian Revolution. Vladimir Lenin set up the campaign of “Peace, Bread, and Land” which forged the necessity to end the First World War. He connected himself with the downtrodden community in need of resources.

Vladimir Lenin made many public appearances and held public meetings with the people, which inspired a lot to join his campaign on ongoing Russian revolution . Vladimir Lenin believed that the road to overcoming the suppression of the upper class was brute force and violence. Lenin envisioned a glorious Bolshevik society. The Russian government introduced multiple bills regarding freedom, democracy, and liberation to counter the Russian revolution . He opposed these ideologies of the Russian government.

By the June of 1917, the provisional Russian Government was led by the lawyer Alexander Kerensky who aimed to revive the Russian forces to compete in the First World War. The Russian government was greatly weakened by the Bolshevik groups under Vladimir Lenin. By the month of September 1917, the Bolshevik groups under Vladimir Lenin planned to overthrow the Russian government and its democratic policies. He didn’t believe in peaceful negotiation with the Russian government officials. Therefore the Bolsheviks were involved in violence against the administration. By the October of 1917, the Bolsheviks raided essential government buildings, administrative offices, public transport, and ammunition depots. 

Constitutional Elections

January 1918 constitutional elections saw major support to the Social Revolutionary Party. They tried to dissolve the Russian administrative houses. To overthrow the Russian parliament, the Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin started to abduct and murder officials who advocated democracy, political freedom, and liberal rights. This started to continue for a long period of time. The Bolsheviks also shut down local organizations like Zemstvos. They also nationalized banks as a part of their economic reformations.  

Peace being one of the propaganda of the Bolsheviks, they initiated a peace offering to end the First World War. They negotiated a withdrawal to Russia. The German accepted this by offering a treaty of Brest-Livovsk in the year 1918. With the initial denial of the treaty, later the Bolsheviks under Vladimir Lenin took the treaty owing to the increased German entry into Russia. Even the capital of the country was changed from Petrograd to Moscow due to the closeness of the German army. The Bolsheviks revoked their propaganda of revolution by promoting Socialism in one country.

They supported the rising Communist parties and established Communist International (Comintern). On the other hand, some of the Russian men were not satisfied by the withdrawal of Russia from the First World War. Thus they joined forces to uproot the Bolsheviks and their supporters. This led to a Civil war between them which was prevalent till 1922. The Bolsheviks didn’t believe in democracy or social reforms. Their rule was often mentioned as a dictatorship rule. 


Though Russian involvement in the First World War ended with the treaty of Brest-Livovsk in 1918, the unrest continued in Russia till later days leading to Russian revolution . With increasing Civil Wars, the condition worsened over the years. The forthcoming years saw various uprisings of Anti-Kulak campaigns, Cheka army, and Red Terror between the years 1918 and 1922. By 1922, there were many social problems related to food shortage, diseases spread, and the new economic policy. The whole Russian Revolution marked the beginning of the Soviet Union.

By Emma Bargende

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