Brestlitovsk Peace Treaty I WW1

Pamiera līguma parakstīšana 1917. gada 15. decembrī. Kreisajā pusē Osmaņu impērijas, Austroungārijas, Vācijas un Bulgārijas delegācijas (līgumu paraksta Austrumu frontes virspavēlnieks Bavārijas princis Leopolds), labajā pusē Padomju Krievijas delegācija (sēž Ļevs Kameņevs, Ādolfs Joffe un Anastāsija Bicenko). Avots: Vācijas valsts arhīvs.

The Brestlitov Peace Treaty was an interstate treaty signed on March 3, 1918 in Brestlitov (now Brest in Belarus) between Russia on the one hand and Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey on the other. As a result, hostilities on the Eastern Front of World War I ended and Russia became the first country to withdraw from the war.

Peace talks in Brestlitovsk had already begun in December 1917, but they quickly came to a standstill, with the two warring parties unable to agree on peace terms. In February 1918, Germany resumed hostilities on the Eastern Front to force Russia to accept the rules dictated by Germany. On February 21, the Germans occupied Minsk, on February 25 Tallinn, on February 28 the entire territory of Latvia, and on March 1, Kiev. Realizing that Russia no longer has a combat-capable army, it agrees to a peace treaty under German rules, renouncing large areas in the western part of the former empire. The Brestlitov peace agreement provided for Russia's renunciation of Polish and Baltic territories, recognition of Ukraine's independence, full demobilization of the army and navy, and the payment of huge repairs.

The peace agreement fixed Russia's consent, keeping Latgale, to hand over Kurzeme, Riga and Saaremaa to German rule, but left open the question of Vidzeme's and Estonia's future affiliation. The Latvian Provisional National Council was not at peace with this outcome and in March 1918 issued a protest against the division of Latvia's territory provided for in the treaty. According to the Berlin Agreement (an addendum to the Brest Peace Treaty), which was signed almost six months later - on August 27, Russia relinquished "supreme power" over Vidzeme and Estonia as well.

The administrative regime in the German-occupied territory of Latvia at that time was strict, movement was very difficult, for example, a barbed wire fence was covered around Riga, where electricity was passed through from time to time to prevent people from getting out or entering the city of Riga. Living conditions were very difficult, trade restrictions existed, food was distributed in a standardized manner, and people were forcibly mobilized for the labor service.

Despite the victory on the Eastern Front against Russia, the situation in Germany and its allies deteriorated sharply in the second half of 1918. The Germans were forced to admit defeat and went to France to start ceasefire talks. On November 11, 1918, the signing of the Compiegne armistice, which provided for Germany's renunciation of the Brestlitov Peace Treaty, ended World War I. However, two days later, on November 13, after announcing the cancellation of the Brestlitov peace agreement, Soviet Russia directed the Baltic Red Army. Latvia and Estonia were threatened with new occupation.

More information sources

Episode of the Latvian Radio 1 program “Today's Eyes” “Brestlitov Peace Treaty”, 2018. Available: [viewed: 26.03.2021].

Šiliņš, J. Publication of the series # LV99plus or Living History of “Who and why should you know about the Brestlitov Peace Treaty?”, 2018. Available at: -and-kapec-jazina-par-brestlitovskska-seriga-ligumu.a270043 / [accessed: 26.03.2021].

A set of materials for the conference "Latvian and European New Countries: 1918 - 1939" on November 6, 1998. Latvijas Vēstnesis No. 341/342, 1998. Available at: [viewed: 30.03.2021.].