On February 8, 1904, the Japanese attacked Russian fleet in Port Arthur (now Lushun, in North-East China). The attack was successful and made headlines around the world. For the next year, Port Arthur became a battleground, which cost great many lives to both sides. The city surrendered to the Japanese in the end of December. 25,000 Russian troops were taken prisoners by the Japanese. Russia's Pacific fleet, and the Baltic fleet that came to its rescue, were decimated by the Japanese as well.
The result of the war was emergence of Japan as world power. For Russia, it was a major disaster, one which directly contributed to the civil unrest, the Revolution of 1905, the rise of nationalism and, of course, sharp increase in anti-Semitism and a wave of bloody pogroms that lasted for over two years.