Russia was officially declared an Empire by Peter the Great in 1721. Over a century later, Russia’s victory over Napoleon raised it to the level of being one of Europe’s leading powers. However, increasing social and political backwardness prepared the stage for revolution.
World War I was the most extensive military conflict in history, and Russia paid the highest price of all combatant countries in terms of casualties. Of the twelve million men fighting, over two and a half million were lost. In addition, the war pushed Russia headlong into revolution.