Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

The Great War

Europe 1918.032

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

World War I in Europe and the Russian Revolution (20 March 1918)

Historical Map of Europe & the Mediterranean

With Russia helpless against the German advance, Lenin was forced to pay a high price for peace. On 3 March 1918, the Bolsheviks signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, effectively recognizing German dominance over the previously Russian territories of eastern Europe.

Main Events

Bolsheviks gain control of Russia

Finland declares independence from Russia

Armistice of Focșani

Finnish Civil War breaks out

Flu pandemic in Europe

In 1918, cases of a new virulent strain of influenza started appearing on the European military fronts, in particular around the major troop staging and hospital camp in Étaples, France. Because news from the front was censored, the first big public outbreak was in neutral Spain, after which the Allies called it 'Spanish flu' - although whether it originated in Europe, North America, or China remains uncertain. The flu killed more than 400,000 in France, over 500,000 in Italy, about 260,000 in Spain, 250,000 in Britain, and 150,000 in Germany, with some 2.6 million deaths in Europe overall.

Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

Soviet Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire at Brest-Litovsk, Russia. The treaty ended Russia's participation in World War I and forced it to cede the Baltic States to Germany, to cede Kars to the Ottoman Empire, and to recognize the independence of Ukraine and Finland. Russia was also obliged to pay six billion German gold marks in reparations.

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