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Treaty of Brest-Litovsk (White Victory)

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Traktat brzeski 1918

The treaty, in German, Russian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, and Turkish.

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, between the new Bolshevik government of Russia (the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic) and the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria, and Turkey), that ended Russia's participation in World War I. The treaty was signed at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) after two months of negotiations. The treaty was forced on the Soviet government by the threat of further advances by German and Austrian forces. By the treaty, Soviet Russia defaulted on Imperial Russia's commitments to the Entente alliance.

In the treaty Russia ceded the Baltic States to Germany and its province of Kars Oblast in the south Caucasus to the Ottoman Empire, and it recognized the independence of Ukraine. Russia also agreed to pay six billion German gold mark in reparations. Historian Spencer Tucker says, "The German General Staff had formulated extraordinarily harsh terms that shocked even the German negotiator." Russian-Poland was not mentioned in the treaty, as Germans refused to recognize the existence of any Polish representatives, which in turn led to Polish protests. When Germans later complained that the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 was too harsh on them, the Allies (and historians favorable to the Allies) responded that it was more benign than Brest-Litovsk. Under the treaty, the Baltic states were meant to become German vassal states under German princelings.

The treaty was practically obsolete in November 1918, when Germany in effect surrendered to the Allies. However it did provide some relief to the Bolsheviks, already fighting the Russian Civil War, by renouncing Russia's claims on several states. Despite the dissolving of the German Empire, several of it's former vassals existed as independent states, including Finland, Latvia—Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Lithuania.

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