Bolsheviks Cease Foreign Debt Payments

January 11 1918, Petrograd–Like all the other major belligerents, Russia had borrowed heavily to finance the war.  Not wishing to continue to send money to foreign capitalists, on January 11, the Bolsheviks abruptly announced they would stop payment on all debts dating from before the October Revolution–those contracted both by the Czar and by the Provisional Government.  A month later, they would repudiate the debts entirely.  Perhaps more than anything else, this solidified Russia’s isolation from her former Allies over the next decade, and would be a major contributing factor to Allied intervention in Russia over the next few years.

The USSR would eventually partially honor some of these debts during the Gorbachev years, in an attempt to normalize financial relations with the West. Many of those payments were made with Russian assets abroad that were seized by the Allies in 1918.

Today in 1917: Aircraft Carrier Ben-My-Chree Sunk by Turkish Artillery


Today in 1916: Explosion in Lille Kills Over 100 Civilians
Today in 1915:  Aisne Floods, Sweeping Away Bridges and Cutting off French