Why did Russia enter World War One (1914-1918)? Long Term Causes Russia was concerned about the growing power of Germany. Germany had defeated France in a short war in 1870 and had a powerful army and strong industries. Germany’s main ally was Austria-Hungary. A-H and Russia were rivals for control of the Balkans (a mountainous region on the borders of both powers). Russia saw itself as the guardian of the ‘Slavic’ people (an ethnic group which included Serbians) Short Term Cause In 1907 France, Russia and Britain formed an alliance called the Triple Entente (meaning ‘friendship’) to deal with the German threat. Immediate Cause On 28 June 1914 a teenage Serbian terrorist called Gavril Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand (the heir to the A-H throne). A-H declared war on Serbia. Russia started mobilising its forces to protect Serbia and on August 1 Germany declared war on Russia. By August 6, 1914 the two alliances (Germany and AustriaHungary versus Britain, France and Russia) were at war.