Policy of the Russian Government towards World War I
(i) The Tsar took Russia into the war to further his imperialist ambitions and to annex Constantinople and the Straits of Dardanelles. However, Russia’s involvement proved disastrous. Not only was Russia ill-equipped for a modern war, but her involvement exposed Russia’s weaknesses.
(ii) Lenin’s first act after the Revolution of October 1917 was to withdraw Russia from the war by the treaty of Brest Litovsk signed with Germany. Russia as per the treaty had to not only pay a high indemnity but also cede the Baltic states of Lativia, Lithuania and Estonia to Germany.
A decree on land was passed whereby land of the clergy and nobility was confiscated and given to peasant societies.
The non-Russian nationalities were unhappy with the Russian policy of Russification and their treatment as “inferiors”. After the October Revolution, the non-Russian nationalities became a part of the USSR in the form of republics.
They were accorded equal status in the constitutions of 1923 and 1925. They were assured equal representation in one of the two chambers of the USSR legislature.
The non-Russians were given the autonomy to develop their languages and cultures.