23 February 1917
February and October (Bolshevik) Revolutions in Russia
During another wave of workers’ strike action in Russia in 1917, soldiers refused to shoot at the protesters. With the tsar was forced to abdicate, control over the ensuing chaos was progressively taken by Lenin, the Bolshevik leader. A civil war broke out between the Bolsheviks and supporters of the old order. After the breakup of the Romanov empire, the independent Baltic republics appeared: Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The Poles and Ukrainians started to actively fight for freedom.