Compare 1914-17 and 2022-25 – war and revolution

 In the table below we are comparing World War I and revolution in Russia 1914-1917 and war in Ukraine under Putin presidency in Russia 2022- 2025.

 

 

   

Start of the war
Russia enters  the World War I (WWI) in July 1914. Tsar Nicholas II ordered a general mobilization of the Russian army on 30 July 1914.   In a rush to fulfill the allies obligations, Russia crosses the border with Prussia without waiting for recruits from the  mobilization. 

War in Ukraine started in February 2022. Russia started the conflict without mobilization and only with about 250 thousand regular troops.  Mobilization will be announces only in the second half of September 2022. Russia crosses into Ukraine from 7 directions including from Belarus from North and from Crimea from South.

Allies
Russia enters the war together with France and England against Germany and  Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Allies
Immediately after end of Winter Olympics Games in Beijing, Russia enters the war alone with a silent backing from China and territorial agreement with Belarus.  Within first few weeks of the war Ukraine get the backing of 27 countries of the Western Block.

Revolution
The revolution in Russia occurred less than3 years into the stagnant war in February of 1917.

Revolution
Major instability could be expected in just under 3 years after start of the war, namely in 2024- 2025.

Popular sentiment
There was a strong national enthusiasm at the begging of the war.   A lot of talk was about Russia’s mission to revenge for Slavs in Sarajevo.

Popular enthusiasm with the promise of a quick territorial grab to restore the Empire and repeat of the 2014 bloodless Crimea acquisition.  

First major disasters
August 1914 – Russia enterers in Prussia and war starts with a devastating defeat and surrender.  War becomes a stagnant monster eating resources far away from the mainland.

March 2022 – Russia enters Ukraine and gets stuck in a confrontational war.  Lengthy  fronts become stagnant with significant territorial drawbacks,   withdrawals and losses.

What went wrong?
Millions of peasants killed, and millions unreliable wavering workers from large cities are mobilized as a last resort.

Professional army is quickly demolished, and inexperienced doubting men are given arms with very little discipline and training in exchange for high pay.  Economy is shrinking under sanctions and severe labor shortages.

Elections during war
There were no Duma elections during war years 1914-17.  Moreover, at the beginning of the war Duma agreed to suspend the sessions and reconvened only on November 1, 1916.

War will make presidential election of 2024 impractical and impossible.  The war will continue as usual without any elections.

Revolution catalysts
Inapt government, very unpopular monarchy, very influential Duma, very strong opposition press, multiple opposition parties. No strong allies for the tsar and his severe political isolation.

What could become instability catalysts? · Stratification of elites by small competing clans and political isolation of President. · Large masses of unreliable solders with arms and without discipline. · Slow but steady involvement of world powers into the war against Russia, sense of hopelessness. · China enters the war against Russia for territorial gains in Siberia.   · Strong separatist movements in the regions.

Revolution antisipation
Revolution as a populist movement prepared by rehearsal of 1905 revolution and mass ideological dissatisfaction in all strata of society. Tsar removed, but war continues and prevents any attempts for stability or social order.

Coup seems inevitable
Coup d’état in Kremlin with a silent unresisting majority.  Power block leadership at the top with competing clan interests. The rubber band of popular patience is stretched too far, so any change at the top is regarded as an improvement.

Consequences
Very weak Provisional Government loses power within 10 months with a power grab by a skillful politician Lenin in October 1917.

Coup leaders are unable to stabilize the situation under sanctions, raging war and devastating separatist’s movement.  Within 10 to 15 months of the coup, power block leadership had to set an election date under devastating unrest, strong popular demand and crumbling national borders.

Conclusion
Transition from inapt Tsar (1914) to Bolsheviks (1917) took just over 3 years. Russia is split into years of Civil war and disintegration (1918-21). Empire loses Finland, Baltics, Poland.

Transition from Putin (2022) to an elected representative Government (2025) could take up to 3 years. Process escalated by the war against ever-uniting Western allies. Civil war avoided as there is no significant opposition for the return to normality. Some significant regions secede as Russia weakens and China makes a land grab in Far East.

 

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