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The end of World War I brought sweeping changes to the old worldorder. In Western Europe, victorious Britain and France were ableto impose their terms for peace and establish a new balance of power. A defeated Germany was forced to give up many of the states that made up the old German Empire. Many became independent republics.

To the east, a revolution overthrew the Russian Czar and led to
a civil war inside Russia. Supporters of the Imperial regime formed the White Army and fought against a revolutionary Red Army. The victorious Red Army, led by the Bolshevik Party, formed a new Soviet Socialist Republic and proclaimed a new political and social ideology called communism. One result, however, was a loss of sovereignty and control over many states that had constituted the former Russian Empire, including Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland.

This turbulent time in European history laid the foundation for the Winter War.