Germany lost the First World War and signed the Armistice of Compiègne on November 11, 1918. Lithuanians quickly formed their first government, led by Augustinas Voldemaras, adopted a provisional constitution, and started organizing basic administrative structures. As the defeated German army was withdrawing from the Eastern Front, it was followed by the Soviet forces, whose intention was tospread the global proletarian revolution. They created a number of puppet states, including the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic.
By the end of December the Red Army reached Lithuanian borders, starting the Lithuanian–Soviet War. The Lithuanian government evacuated from Vilnius to Kaunas, the temporary capital of Lithuania. Vilnius was captured on January 5, 1919. As the Lithuanian army was in its infant stages, the Soviet forces moved largely unopposed and by mid-January 1919 controlled about ⅔ of the Lithuanian territory. From April 1919 the Lithuanian war went parallel with the Polish–Soviet War. Poland had territorial claims over Lithuania, especially the Vilnius Region, and these tensions spilled over into the Polish–Lithuanian War. In mid-May the Lithuanian army, commanded by General Silvestras Žukauskas, began an offensive against the Soviets in northeastern Lithuania.
By the end of August 1919, the Soviets were pushed out of the Lithuanian territory. When the Soviets were defeated, Lithuanian army was deployed against the paramilitary West Russian Volunteer Army, who invaded northern Lithuania. They were rouse German and Russian soldiers who sought to retain German control over the former Ober Ost. West Russian Volunteers were defeated and pushed out by the end of 1919. Thus the first phase of the Lithuanian Wars of Independence was over and Lithuanians could direct attention to internal affairs.