In 1905, Russia found itself losing a war to the Japanese, Czar Nicholas II losing support, new political groups arising, and major discontent amongst the citizens (especially the lower class). All of these things lead to the horror and death of thousands of people, particularly women and children, in January 1905.
Russia entered into a war with the Japanese in 1904. The Russo-Japanese War erupted over the area of Manchuria in China. The two disputed ports in Manchuria, Port Arthur and Dairen, were both warm water ports. Both the Japanese and the Russians had their eyes on the territory. The Japanese went to war with the Chinese before the Russians over the territory (the Sino-Japanese War 1894-1895). Japan won the war and received land claims in China, including Manchuria. However, the French and Germans stepped in and made a statement claiming that if Japan received land in China then there would be dire consequences. Japan ended up backing down and losing Manchuria. Japan never forgot the insult.