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3809 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

republic formally signed a treaty of peace

with the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk.

This treaty was in large measure a result of

secret Teutonic intrigues. Great Britain

and other Allied nations announced that they

would not. recognize the validity of the

treaty, but the serious consequences could not

be disguised. The withdrawal of Ukrainia

from the war meant the release of many

German and Austrian troops against the

French Front and elsewhere. Furthermore,

Ukrainia is a great grain producing country;

and it was thought that the Teutons would

be able to obtain large supplies from that

region, though in the end, the Teutons were

able to draw less from this region than they

had anticipated. Their efforts to obtain

supplies provoked conflicts with the people,

and, ere long, the Ukrainians received a

taste of Teutonic rule. Bands of soldiers

went about the country seizing grain and

other food and mistreating the inhabitants.

In fact, the Ukrainians paid a bitter penalty

for their cowardly desertion of their allies.

Meanwhile, peace negotiations had been

conducted between the Bolsheviki and the

Central Powers. The hollowness of German

talk about "no annexations and no indemnities" was quickly revealed. The terms

put forward by the Bolsheviki included the

evacuation of all Russian territory,

autonomy for Poland and the Lithuanian

and Lettish provinces, for Turkish Armenia,

settlement of the Alsace-Lorraine problem

by free plebiscite, restoration of Belgium,

restoration of Servia and Montenegro, and

similar terms. But the Teutons held the

whip hand and were in no mood to grant any

such concessions. They demanded an end

to the war, the right of self-determination of

peoples living in the Russian empire, and full

independence of Poland, Lithuania, Courland, and Esthonia, and of portions of

Livonia. These terms meant that Germany

intended to dominate the new states erected

on her eastern border.

The Bolshevist Government rejected the

terms and denounced the Germans as

"wolves in sheeps' clothing." Chairman

Joffee of the Russian Peace Commission

asked that peace negotiations be transferred

to neutral soil, but without avail. However,

on January 10, the conferences were renewed.

Trotsky was the main Russian representative, while Dr. von Kuhlmann, German

Foreign Minister, and Count Czernin, Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister, represented

the two chief Central Powers. After a

month of fruitless wrangling, the Bolshevist

Government announced that Russia would

formally withdraw from the war but would

refuse to sign a treaty of peace. This

announcement came the day after Ukrainia

signed a separate peace, and it was accompanied by orders for the complete demobilization of the Russian troops on all fronts.

This astonishing step resulted in the final

elimination of Russia from the war, and

it was clear that now the Germans could

wrest any terms they chose from that

defenseless country. The news was received

with great rejoicing in Germany. In response to an address of congratulation on

the peace with Ukrainia from the Burgomaster of Hamburg, Kaiser Wilhelm said:

"We ought to bring peace to the world.

We shall seek in every way to do it. Such

an end was achieved yesterday in a friendly

manner with an enemy which, beaten by

our armies, perceives no reason for fighting

longer, extends a hand to us, and receives our

hand. We clasp hands. But he who will

not accept peace, but on the contrary declines, pouring out the blood of his own and

of our people, must be forced to have peace.

We desire to live in friendship with neighboring peoples, but the victory of German

arms must first be recognized. Our troops

under the great Hindenburg will continue to

win it. Then peace will come."

The Germans refused to recognize the

validity of the Russian withdrawal and, on

February 18, began a new invasion of Russia.

They met with practically no resistance and

captured thousands of cannons and vast war

supplies, which the Bolsheviki had not taken

the trouble to remove or destroy. Petrograd

was bombarded by German aircraft, and,

though some efforts were made to enroll a

new Russian army, they proved of no consequence. Soon the Bolsheviki offered to

surrender unconditionally, but, for the time,

the Teutons continued their offensive, while

in the Caucasus the Turks also took the