The Russian people wanted the war to come to an end. However, the Provisional Government decided to continue Russia’s involvement. They feared that foreign investment from Britain and France would cease in the event of a Russian withdrawal.
In March, 1917, the Petrograd Soviet declared that it would no longer support an offensive war against Germany.
The Provisional Government persisted with military campaigns. Alexander Kerensky, Minister of War, ordered the June Offensive of 1917, an attempt to push the Austrians back. However this failed and contributed to protests during July.
The morale of the army declined further and there were huge increases in the level of desertions. The soldiers became more receptive to Bolshevik propaganda and the loyalty of a number of units to the Provisional Government was now uncertain.