Civil war

Although the Bolsheviks succeeded in implementing the basic postulate they were coming to power with i.e. the war end, the devastated Russia did not experience peace. The catastrophic economic situation and extremely difficult conditions of peace signed with Germany and Austria-Hungary in Brest (under which the Bolsheviks gave the Central States control over large parts of the western part of the country, including today's Poland, the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine) shook and mobilised their opponents throughout the country. Although Russia's participation in the Great European War ultimately ended, almost immediately a new war broke out, the enormity of its cruelty far exceeding recent experiences - the civil war.

Opponents of the Bolsheviks, the so-called Whites, sought to rebuild Russia in the most pre-revolutionary form possible. They received limited support from the Entente countries, mainly the UK, France, the US and Japan but were unable to create a single political centre. Most of them, representing extreme Russian nationalism, failed to convince the nations that had emerged from the ruins of the tsarist statehood to which the Bolsheviks promised freedom and independence. All this resulted in the Red Army, formed and commanded by the Leon Trotsky, dismantling their groupings one by one despite the spectacular successes of the whites. The war was waged in an extremely bloody manner on both sides, devastating huge parts of the country and further aggravating the famine and death toll of between 5 and even 10 million people.