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Russian Revolution

The Russians suffered a number of defeats in the First World War. The revolutions of February and October 1917 led to the collapse of the Tsarist regime. Under Lenin's leadership, the Bolsheviks came to power and step by step implemented the first ever planned economy. They instigated state capitalism, characterised by ownership by the public authorities of the means of production, notably companies. On acceding to power the Bolsheviks introduced major measures such as the banning of most newspapers and the prohibition of strikes.

Another measure had repercussions as far away as France: in 1918, Lenin cancelled the loans the Tsarist government had contracted abroad. The French middle classes were hit particularly hard as they had invested substantial amounts in these loans.

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