Like the other great European powers, Russia was drawn into World War I by a series of misjudgements and follies. Among them were imperial rivalry, poisonous nationalism, overconfidence in the military, placing too much trust in alliances and not enough in diplomacy. Russia might have entered the war for similar reasons but it did not do so on an equal footing. Russia’s economy was still developing and reliant on foreign investment, leaving the industrial sector incapable of competing with the powerhouse German economy. Three years of total war would exhaust the Russian economy and leave its people starving, freezing and miserable.
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