In March 1917, the Germans had arranged and financed Lenin’s return to Russia and, after seizing power in the October Revolution, Lenin handsomely returned the favour. In December peace negotiations began, after an armistice was declared between Russia and the Central Powers. The Bolsheviks, shocked by the severity of the German demands, walked out on negotiations in February 1918. The Central Powers promptly resumed hostilities and, with the Russian army now demobilized, swiftly seized Estonia, Livonia, Ukraine and most of Belarus, while their fleet moved upon the Russian capital, Petrograd. On 23 February, the Central Powers sent fresh, even more draconian, terms to Lenin including the independence of Finland, Ukraine and the cession of Western Armenia to the Ottomans; they were given 48 hours to agree. The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was signed on 3 March, but would ultimately be repudiated by the terms of the Treaty of Versailles.
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