The peace negotiations in Brest-Litovsk


According to the Decree on Peace, passed in the Second Congress of Soviets, Soviet government called all war waging countries to negotiate peace. Only the Central Powers answered this call, thus Soviet Russia sat down with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey, to create a separate peace.

The negotiations began in Brest, on November 20, 1917. On November 22, battles seized, and on December 2, the peace treaty was signed. This process was helped along by different armistices, made earlier by committees of different front segments.

Germany was interested in the peace, so it could direct the main blow to the Western Front. In January 1918, massive desertion of Russian soldiers began from the fronts.

During the negotiations, Germany demanded that already occupied areas in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia would go to Germany, but in the end of January 1918, German kaiser Wilhelm II told the ambassadors to demand for Estonia and Northern Latvia also. This did not happen, but nonetheless, Russian delegation, lead by Lev Trotsky (see image), refused to sign the treaty, and discontinued the negotiations.

Sources: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.                                                                                                      Image sources:,_Leo_Dawidowitsch_Trotzki.jpg/250px-Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-R15068,_Leo_Dawidowitsch_Trotzki.jpg