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Russia follow Ukraine in opting out of war
Leon Trotsky, in the centre of the picture, along with other members of the Russian delegation, being greeted off the train in Brest-Litovsk by their German counterparts Photo: Wiener Bilder, 20 Jan 1918. Via the Austrian National Library

Russia follow Ukraine in opting out of war

Petrograd, 12 February 1918 - The war in the Eastern Europe is over – at least for some.

Having already signed a treaty with the new Ukrainian Republic, it appears the Central Powers have now also agreed peace terms with the Bolsheviks. Both of these developments have come after negotiations in the town of Brest-Litovsk. 

The leader of the Russian delegation at the talks, Mr Leon Trotsky, stated that Russia, while not entering into a formal peace treaty, has declared an end to its state of war with the Central Powers and a complete demobilisation of Russian forces on all fronts is to be ordered.

While the Central Powers will rejoice at the conclusion of a peace in the region, the London Evening News, among others, has taken a sceptical view of Russia’s peace moves: ‘When Trotsky, Lenin and their friends arrived in Petrograd with their pockets full of German gold, Germany’s triumph was assured... the whole business bears the appearance of a gigantic conspiracy.’

From Russia’s perspective, public dissatisfaction with the war and military disaffection were the main catalysts that led to the fall of the Tsar in March of last year, and the promise of peace was at the backbone of the Bolshevik revolution in November.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.