Russia and World War One

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It can be said without exaggeration that the First World War ushered in the 20th century with the roar of guns and the collapse of four empires. Not only did it redraw the world’s political map, but also altered the social make-up of all the parties. The First World War proved to be a severe test for Russia. And it was not so much the army which lost it, but the entire society and political system. The War was the greatest tragedy, which we still cannot fully grasp. The tragedy was perceived by its contemporaries as a “betrayal”. Mutual accusations of the betrayal eroded national unity, with the broad masses guided by local rather than national interests. As a result, those who truly served their country and were ready to shed blood for the sake of the common victory were betrayed.