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In February 1917 (old style calendar), a revolution took place in the Russian Empire which forced the abdication of the Czar. A provisional government was created until such time as elections could be called.
The provisional government had to face a few crisis originating both from the far-left and far-right which threaten to bring it down. What saved it was the so-called "Karensky Offensive". While its strategic impact proved negligible, its impact on morale was far greater, allowing the provisional government to marginalise the Communists (Bolsheviks) and the Monarchists.
When the election took place, a majority of Social-Democrat were returned to power with Karensky at their head.
The new government was soon faced with fresh problem as many of Russia's ethnic minorities declared themselves independents. Lacking both the moral high ground, the military capability and even the will to oppose the secessions, the government agreed to their independence.