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Imperial ApocalypseThe Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire$
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Joshua A. Sanborn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199642052

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199642052.001.0001

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The Outbreak of War and the Transformation of the Borderlands

The Outbreak of War and the Transformation of the Borderlands

(p.21) 1 The Outbreak of War and the Transformation of the Borderlands
Imperial Apocalypse

Joshua Sanborn

Oxford University Press

This chapter begins with a discussion of the diplomatic crisis that preceded the war and the reasons for Russian involvement in the Austro-Serbian dispute. It continues with a description of the early battles of the war in East Prussia, Poland, and Galicia. It then focuses on the social and political impact of the war on these combat zones. The everyday life of the Russian soldier is described, and it is followed by a treatment of the civilian experience of war in Poland and Ukraine. It argues that the imposition of martial law began a process of state failure in the region that led to greater physical insecurity and economic disaster. At the same time, and in response to this crisis, the state and many citizens engaged in ever more violent practices of ethnopolitics, targeting outcast minority groups for violence and plunder.

Keywords:   July Crisis, Russian army, East Prussia, Galicia, civilians, state failure, ethnopolitics, martial law

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