Why did Russia enter WWI? The answer may be a little complexed.
Worried that Germany could be a menace to its land, Russia’s entrance into World War I was a measure to stop the geographically lesser nation from encroaching on its borders. Seven years before the war, Russia allied with France and Britain in response to the establishment of the Triple Alliance, which consisted of Italy, Germany, and the empire of Austria-Hungary.
When World War I started, commander of the Russian Second Army General Alexander Samsonov invaded Prussia, the Eastern domain of Germany, entering from its southwest border. His objective was to meet Russian General Paul von Rennenkampf at the center of the province, as the other General was approaching from the northeast.
Although the Russian Army was the largest in the world at that time, Germany’s inferior railways and streets made it difficult to invade. Before they could make much progress, German soldiers overtook the Second Army. Just 10,000 of the 150,000 Russian soldiers were able to escape; most of them were either executed or held as hostages. General Samsonov was shattered by the defeat and committed suicide.
One year into the war, Russia, which did not have enough munitions for its sizeable army, had lost two million of its 6.5 million soldiers. Belorussia, Kurland and Lithuania were also taken.
By March of 1918, while German troops were advancing on Petrograd, Germany’s leader, Vladimir Lenin ordered the army’s leader Leon Trotsky, to sign the Brest-Litovsk Treaty. The treaty stated that Russia chose to surrender Poland, the Ukraine, the Caucasus, the Finland, and the Baltic provinces.