Chronography of Russia / Soviet Union, Belarus and Ukraine (also Baltic States)
Also Karl Marx and origins of Communist Movement
Click Here for historical changes map of Baltic States
(Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, also Kaliningrad). Note border changes for
former north-eastern Poland also marked here.
See also Caucasus (Armenia,
See also Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan
and Uzbekistan listed here)
See also Eastern Europe (Index here for Eastern European
See also Romania
(Moldova listed here)
See also Poland
See below for Belarus
Click here for map of St
Petersburg 1700 � pre development.
Click here for map of St
Petersburg 1721, Source, pp.208-9, Great City Maps, ed Sam Atkinson, Dorren
Kindersley, London 2016
Click here for map of St
Petersburg 1885, Source p.211, Great City Maps, ed Sam Atkinson, Dorren
Kindersley, London 2016
Click here for map of St
Petersburg 1897, Source p.33, The World-Wide Atlas, Johnston, London, 1897.
Ukranian Crisis 2021-
Ukrainian Crisis, 2013-18
Murder of Alexander Litvinenko,
Ukrainian elections, disputed,
Chechen Conflict 1991 - 2004
Crackdown on dissent in
Putin�s rise to power, 1998-2004
Westernisation of Russia 1993-97
Continued reform in
Russia, formation of CIS, end of Warsaw Pact, 1991-95
Soviet resistance to
secession of Lithuania, 1991-92
Breakup of USSR, end of Cold
War affirmed, liberalisation continues in Russia under Goirbachev. Economic
prelude to breakdown of Iron Curtain, 1985-89
Dissident Solzhenitsyn, 1970-74
0.2, Gary Powers incident 1960-62
0.0, De-Stalinisation, 1961
-1.0, Soviet military, nuclear tests,
-2.0, Khruschev 1953-58
-3.0, Russia in World War Two, 1939-47
-4.0, Stalinist Purges, 1933-38
-5.0, Soviet agriculture and industry
-6.0, Trotsky purged 1924-40
-7.0, Soviet Russia struggles for, gains,
international recognition 1920-34
-8.0, Death of Lenin; Stalin wins power
struggle against Trotsky 1922-24
-9.0, Start of the Soviet State; plan for
industrial recovery 1920-22
-10.0, Russian economic problems, 1921
-11.0, Mutiny at Kronstadt, suppressed, 1921
-12,0, End of the Russian civil watr;
Communists triumphant, 1919-22
-13.0, Russian Civil War 1918-19
-14.0, Disintegration of Russian Empire
amidst Revolutionary chaos, 1917-18
-15.0, Death of the last Russian Tsar, 1917-18
-16.0, Russian Tsarist Government
collapses; Communist Revolution, 1917-18
-17.0, Russia in World War One, 1915-16
-18.0, Rasputin 1869-1916
-19.0, Continued civil strife in Russia,
heavy State repression, 1910-12
-20.0, Duma meets, fails to achieve liberal
-21.0, Ongoing civil strife in Russia;
Government concessions but retains autocratic power, 1905-07
-22.0, Russia turns back its
-23.0, Russian liberalisation, 1905
-24.0, Civil disorder in Russia, 1905
-25.0, Russo-Japanese War 1904
-26.0, Russian expansionism;
Trans-Siberian Railway opened, 1858-1903
-27.0, Civil unrest in Russia; Future
Communist leaders, 1900-04
-28.0, Marx published Das Kapital, worker
demomstrations, Marx, Engels, died, Fabian Society formed, 1858-95
-29.0, Crimean War, 1853-56
-30.0, Marx, Engels, born. They meet, Marx
moves to England, 1818-1849
13.0, Ukranian Crisis 2021-
9/3/2022, Refigees from Ukraine now
numbered 2.3 million. 1.4m had gone to Poland, 214,000 to Hungary, 97,000 to
Russia, 83,000 to Moldova, 85,000 to Romania, 165,000 to Slovakia, and 260,000
to other European countries.
Ukraine War Map 3 - �6?4/2022 to 27/4/2022
Ukraine War Map 2 �
16/3/2022 to 5/4/2022
Ukraine War Map 1 �
2012 to 16/3/2022
5/3/2022, Refugees from Ukraine now
numbered 1.5 million. 923,000 had gone to Poland, 228,000 had gone to Romania,
and 164,000 to Hungary. Others had gone to Slovakia, Moldova and Russia.
2/3/2022, Russian forces had now
occupied border areas of Ukraine in the north, north-east, east and in the
south near The Crimea. Kherson was in Russian hands and Mariupol nearly so, as
Russia forged a land bridge to Crimea along the Sea of Azov coastline/ However
Putin�s advance was much slower than anticipated, due to four� errors of judgement, 1) The Ukrainians did not
welcome Russian troops as liberators form a neo-Nazi regime, 2) Russian troops
were less than willing to fight against fellow Slavs, 3) The resistance of
Ukraine, backed by the West, was greater than anticipated, and 4) Russia�s
invasion produced a greater backlash and Western unity than Putin anticipated,
with impetus towards Finland and Sweden joining NATO. 875,000 Ukrainian refuges
had fled the country to this date, a number that had almost doubled again by 5
1/3/2022, UN support for Russia in
opposing a vote �deploring the Russian invasion of Ukraine� was somewhat
lukewarm, with just a handful of countries (Belarus, Eritrea, Syria, North
Korea) voting with Russia against the resolution, and some, including Russia�s
ally China, also India, abstaining. Many countries supported the resolution.
28/2/2022, Western countries imposed a range of sanctions on Russia and Belarus,
including travel and flight bans, ejection from the Swift banking system,
export boycotts, exclusion from international Games, and pull-outs by Western
companies. Russian interest rates quickly rose from 9.5% to 20%.
26/2/2022, Germany promised to send
Ukraine 1,000 anti-tank weapons. Western countries have sent a range of
supplies to Ukraine, some humanitarian, some military. However NATO declined to
either admit Ukraine (it had been seeking this) or to enforce a no-fly zone
over Ukraine, on the grounds that this could start a nuclear war between the
West and Russia. Ukraine started applying for EU membership.
24/2/2022, At 5am local time, Russia began a multi-pronged attack on
Ukraine, with forces entering the country at Mariupol, Odessa, Luhansk and
Donetsk, and from Belarus towards Kiev.
21/2/2022, Vladimir Putin of Russia �recognised the breakaway Republics of
Donetsk and Luhansk� which had been part of the Ukraine Republic. This was
a pretext for sending in the Russian Army to �support these (Russian)
23/1/2022, Staff began evacuating
Embassies in Kiev, capital of Ukraine, as fears of a Russian invasion grew,
with increasing numbers of Russian troops and equipment gathered In Russia near
the Ukraine border, also in Belarus, a close ally of Russia.
30/3/2021, Russia began a troops
build-up near the Ukrainian border.
10/3/2020, The Russian Duma approved a measure that would
Putin to serve a further two 6-year terms when his current term
expires in 2024. If he wins the elections, he could then remain President until
2036, by which time he will be 83 years old.
18/3/2018, Vladimir Putin easily won a fourth six-year term as
President of Russia. However the elections were rather less than free and fair;
no candidate with a real chance of success was allowed to stand against him,
and there were several instances of ballot box stuffing.
4/3/2018, Soviet double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia
poisoned in the UK city of Salisbury by a nerve
gas agent, likely Novichok, which is Russian in origin.
3/4/2017, An Islamist terrorist bomb exploded on the St
Petersburg metro system; a second bomb was defused.� 14 were killed and 50 injured. The bomber was
24/11/2015, Turkey shot down a Russian jet fighter that was
taking part in Russia�s pro-Assad campaign in Syria, against both ISIS and
non-ISIS rebels. Turkey said the aircraft had transgressed into Turkish
airspace, and was warned several times. Russia denied the warnings, and it
appeared the jet had at most been in Turkish airspace for 2 or 3 seconds as it
(might have) crossed a finger of Turkish territory jutting into Syria.
30/9/2015, Russia began airstrikes in Syria, against anti-Assad rebels.
27/2/2015, Russian opposition politician, Boris Nemtsov, was assassinated in Moscow; born 9/10/1959
he was aged 55. In the late 1990s Nemtsov was a close associate of Yeltsin,
who put him
in charge of economic reforms, although the economic crash of 1998, in which
many ordinary Russians lost everything, severely dented his credibility.
co-founder of the Union of Rightists, which won 8.6% of the vote, 6 million
votes, in the Russian elections of 1999, and became Deputy Speaker of the
Russian Parliament in February 2000, a month after Putin
President. However Nemtsov�s party was perceived as having confused policies in the
face of stronger leadership by Putin and in 2003 the Union of Rightists failed
to meet the threshold for qualifying for any seats in the Duma. Outside the
political arena, Nemtsov became more critical of Putin, who in turn attempted to undermine
interests. Nemtsov continued to criticise Putin and government corruption generally, also
censuring Putin�s involvement in the Ukraine, the shooting down of a
Malaysian aircraft, and Russian annexation of the Crimea, whilst Putin
to publically distance himself from �Ukrainian rebel forces� in eastern
Ukraine. Nemtsov had been organising an anti-Ukraine-war march in Moscow for
1/3/2015 and this march became his silent memorial procession by tens of
thousands of Russians. The Kremlin, in order to prevent the bridge where
Nemtsov had been killed from becoming a memorial to him, hosted a celebration
of the annexation of Crimea there later in March 2015.
12.0, Ukrainian Crisis, 2013-18
temporarily blocked the Kerch Strait, linking the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.
This interrupted access to two major Ukrainian ports. Russia had previously
annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and built a bridge over the Kerch Strait linking
eastern Crimea to Russia. The blockade was lifted later that day but not before
Russia had seized two Ukrainian boats and 23 sailors, with six of them injured.
Russian-backed separatists took control
of Luhansk Airport, and of Novalsk, eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian rebels took the Ukrainian
town of Novoazovsk.
The UN estimated that a total of
2,086 people had been killed in the Ukraine conflict so far, double the toll
from 2 weeks earlier. In mid-August,
Ukrainian forces were making headway against rebel Russian backed forces.
Nearly 300 Russian lorries laden with
�aid� for the rebels in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine, set off from Moscow.� The Ukrainian Government in Kiev attempted to
halt the convoy.
The EU imposed more sanctions on
Russia for its backing of Ukrainian rebels.
toll in the Ukraine conflict reached 1,129; 799 of them were civilians.
A Malaysian airliner, flight MH17, with 298 on board was
shot down 30 kilometres west of the Ukraine-Russia border with no survivors, en
route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
Russia warned of severe consequences
after a Ukranian shell was fired across the border and killed a Russian.
Ukraine sent war jets into Donetsk, and
claimed to have killed 500 rebels.
Pro-Russian rebels abandoned the
Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after heavy fighting.
Rebels shot down a Ukrainian helicopter,
killing 9. The UN estimated that over 420 had died
in the conflict so far.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko declared
a week-long truce.
Russia cut gas supplies to the Ukraine.
rebels shot down a Ukrainian warplane.
and Poroshenko called for an end to violence in the Ukraine.
US President Obama condemned Russian �aggression� in Ukraine.
Poroshenko was elected Ukrainian President.
The Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and
Luhansk declared independence after referendums.
Pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian factions
clashed in Odessa; 42 people died.
Kiev began �anti-terrorist� operations
in eastern Ukraine.
Pro Russian gunmen seized government
buildings in eastern Ukraine.
Russian President Putin signed
a Bill to absorb the Crimea
Russia organised a widely-discredited
referendum in the Crimea
which proiduced an alleged 97% vote in favour of the region leaving the Ukraine
and (re)joining Russia.
The Russian Parliament approved Vladimir
Putin�s request to deploy the Russian military in the Crimea.
Pro-Russian gunmen seized government
buildings in Simferopol, capital of the Crimea. The Crimea was originally part of Russia until
transferred to Ukraine in 1954, and in 2014 still had a large Russian
In Russia, Viktor
Yanukoyvitch insisted he was still legitimate leader of the Ukraine. The
Ukrainian Government had issued a warrant for his arrest on 24/2/2014.
In the Ukraine, pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukoyvitch fled after snipers
killed protestors in central Kiev, and rival Yulia
Tymoshenko was freed. The Ukraine now seemed as if it was about to
fall into the Western / EU camp and Putin therefore moved quickly to annex the
88 died in riots in the Ukraine.
18/2/2014, In Ukraine, 26 died and hundreds
injured in clashes between pro-government and pro-western factions.
The Ukrainian Prime Minister, Mykola Azarov, resigned as anti-protest laws were
repealed by the government.
protests in Ukraine continued between pro-EU and pro-Moscow factions.
Police in Kiev, Ukraine, shot dead two
Government moved closer to Russia, sparking popular protests.
Russia had been pressuring the Ukrainian President not to move too close to the
EU and the West.
4/3/2012, Vladimir Putin was elected for a third Presidential
term (now six years).
terrorists from the north Caucasus blew themselves up in the International
Arrivals Hall of Domodedovo Airport, Moscow, killing dozens of people.
7/1/2009, In a dispute over energy prices,
Russia shut off all gas supplies to Europe.
5/11/2008, On Russian television, President Minister
Dmitry Medvedev spoke against NATO
missile defences in Poland and the Czech Republic.� Medvedev
threatened to put Russian missiles in the
enclave of Kaliningrad and install radio scramblers to foil NATO�s missile
27/8/2008, David Milliband, from the UK,
visited Kiev to reinforce the Ukrainian ambitions to align itself with the West.
15/8/2008, The Russian military expressed anger
at a US-Polish agreement to set up missile defences on Polish territory.� The US said it was against rogue states like
Iran. The Russians said it was against them and one general said it made Poland
a target for a nuclear strike.
2/3/2008, Dmitry Medvedev was elected President of Russia. Putin was
constitutionally barred from standing for a third term. Putin became Russian Prime Minister.
5/6/2007, Russia was chosen to host the 2014 Winter
Olympics, at Sochi.
of Alexander Litvinenko, 2006
24/11/2006, Mr Litvinenko's family released a statement, accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of involvement in his death.
23/11/2006, Russian dissident and former KGB
Litvinenko died a slow and painful death in
a London hospital after drinking tea laced with Polonium 210. He fell out with Vladimir
Putin in the late 1990s when they worked together in the Russian
security forces. Britain suspected former KGB agent Andrei
Luovoi of administering� the
poison and demanded his extradition form Russia. The denial of this extradition
led to the expulsion of four Russian diplomats from Britain.
21/11/2006, The Kremlin dismissed as 'sheer
nonsense' claims that the Russian government was involved in the poisoning of Litvinenko.
17/11/2006, Litvinenko�s condition deteriorated and he was transferred to
University College Hospital in central London.
1/11/2006, Mr Litvinenko met Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitry Kovtun at the Millennium hotel in London's Mayfair. Mr Litvinenko was admitted to a hospital in north London several hours later,
complaining of feeling sick.
7/10/2006, Journalist Anna Politkovskaya was
shot dead in her Moscow apartment on October 7. Mr
Litvinenko began to investigate her murder.
elections, disputed, 2004-05
23/1/2005, Viktor Yushchenko was sworn in as President of
28/12/2004, Viktor Yushchenko won the re-run Ukrainian
elections. This event fully confirmed Ukrainian independence from Russia.
The Ukrainian Supreme Court ruled that the Presidential Election of 21/11/2004
was rigged and must be re-run on 26/12/2004.
In Ukraine, the Russian-backed Prime Minister, Viktor
Yanukovych, claimed victory in Presidential Elections. The
Opposition candidate, Viktor Yushchenko,
refused to accept the result, and independent exit polls seemed to confirm his
claim. Mass protests split Ukraine, with the Catholic West supporting Yushchenko whilst the Orthodox
Russian-speaking east supported Yanukovych.
Mass demonstrations in Ukraine against President |Leonid
Kuchma�s attempt to extend his term of office.
Conflict 1991 - 2004
3/9/2004, The Beslan siege ended violently. Terrorists fired rocket propelled
grenades at the Russians and Russian Special Forces (Spetznaz) moved in. The
school was blown up by the terrorists.
2/9/2004, Negotiations between the Russian authorities and the terrorists at
Beslan failed, however use of force to rescue the hostages was ruled out. 26
women and children were released.
1/9/2004, Chechen gunmen seized Middle School No. 1 in the town of Beslan, in Ossetia, near
Chechnya, holding more than 1,000 teachers parents and pupils hostage, on the
first day of the new school year. Explosives had previously been hidden under
the floorboards during renovation work carried on during the summer holidays.
Russian troops stormed the school, and there was a shootout and a deadly fire,
as mines were set off.� 330 people, half
of them children, died in the chaos.
elections in Chechnya, the candidate favoured by Russia, Major General Alu Alkhanov,
claimed victory despite widespread evidence of irregularities.
9/5/2004, Akhmad Kadyrov,
pro-Russian President of
Chechnya, was killed by a landmine placed under a VIP stage during a WW2
memorial parade in Grozny.
suicide bomb attack on the Moscow metro killed 40 and injured 129. The attack
was blamed on Chechen separatists.
female suicide bomber killed 16 Russian soldiers at Mozdok, a staging post for
troops in Chechnya.
23/10/2002. Fifty Chechen armed gunmen and women took
over a theatre in Moscow, demanding that Moscow withdraw its forces from
Chechnya. The audience of 850 was held as hostage. On 26/10/2002 Russian
special forces pumped noxious gas into the theatre then stormed it. Most of the
terrorists were killed whilst unconscious from the gas. However, whereas the
Chechens had only shot two hostages, some 130 of them were killed by the gas,
and a similar number required hospital treatment. Criticism of the operation
was deflected by Putin, who asked how Russia could be expected to support the
West�s �War on Terror� if they did not back Russia when dealing with Islamic
terrorism in its own country.
suicide bombers killed 43 Russian soldiers in Chechnya.
The city of Grozny, Chechnya, fell to
28/11/1999, Russian forces began a
three-day bombardment of Grozny, Chechnya, killing some 500 people.
30/9/1999, Russian forces invaded
Chechnya, to avenge their humiliation of 1996. Putin gained
popularity in Russia.
Russia began the Second Chechen War
following the invasion of Dagestan.
Second Chechen Wa 1999-2004
First Chechen War 1991-97
12/5/1997, Russian President Boris Yeltsin signed a peace treaty with President Aslan Maskhadov of
Chechnya. Both sides agreed to renounce the use of force, but Chechnya�s
eventual status remained unresolved.
31/8/1996, Russia and Chechnya signed a
peace accord, under which the separatist Chechens agreed to put aside their
demands for independence for 5 years.
6/8/1996, Separatist Chechens stormed
the capital Grozny and other towns in Chechnya.
11/6/1996, Russian troops began to
withdraw from Chechnya.
27/5/1996, Russian President Boris
Yeltsin met Chechnya rebels for the first time and negotiated a ceasefire.
21/4/1996, Chechen separatist leader Dzhokhar Dudayev was killed in a Russian rocket attack.
31/3/1996, Boris Yeltsin announced
a ceasefire in Chechnya and the imminent withdrawal of Russian troops.
Chechen insurgents seized 3,000 civilian
hostages. They demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya.
Most of the hostages were released the following day, and the rest were rescued
by Russian forces on 24/1/1996.
accord to end fighting in Chechnya.
6/3/1995, Russia announced it had gained control of
the Chechen capital Grozny.
19/1/1995. Russian troops seized the Presidential
palace in Grozny, Chechnya.
forces attacked the Chechen capital Grozny.
11/12/1994, Boris Yeltsin
ordered troops into Chechnya.
aircraft bombed the Chechen capital, Grozny.
refused to recognise the declaration of independence by Chechnyia from Russia,
Dudayev; Dudayev was a former Air Force General in the
Soviet military. Yeltsin immediately sent armed forces to Chechnya to quell the
independence movement there. Chechnyia had been absorbed into Russia in 1859,
and during World War Two Stalin accused the Chechens of collaborating woth
Germany, exiling the entire population to Kazakhstan. The Chechens were only
allowed home in 1957, 4 years after Stalin�s death.
8.0, Crackdown on dissent in
The Russian stock market had fallen 16.5% after the arrest of Yukos executive Mikhail
Khodorkovsky on 25/10/2003; he was a major supporter of liberal
Parties opposed to Putin.
Russia, oil tycoon Mikhail
Khodorkovsky, a potential
political challenger to Vladimir
Putin, was arrested and
jailed. See 30/10/2003.
Russia, TV-6, the last independent TV channel, went off air when bailiffs moved
in. This was seen as further Government control of the media.
in Moscow banned the Salvation Army, seeing it as a threat to the Russian State.
7.0, Putin�s rise to power, 1998-2004
elections in Russia.� Vladimir Putin easily won a second term.
Russian general elections the Unified Russian Party, led by Putin,
gained 38% of the vote and won a two-thirds majority of the seats in the Duma
16/7/2001, China and Russia signed a treaty of
20/8/2000. The Russian
navy said there was almost no hope of finding survivors from the nuclear
submarine Kursk. She sank on
12/8/2000, and all 118 crew died. Recovery of the wreck, minus its stern, was
Russian Navy submarine L-141 Kursk sank in the Barents Sea after a large
explosion. Despite rescue attempts by Britain and Norway (these attempts
delayed by the Russian Government), all 118 sailors aboard the submarine died.
7/5/2000, Putin was inaugurated for his first 4-year term as President of
President of Russia and was replaced by Vladimir Putin. Putin, 47, was elected President on 26/3/2000.
13/9/1999, A bomb exploded in an
apartment building in Moscow. This was the second blast in the city in 2 weeks,
with a total of 200 killed. Chechen rebels were blamed.
9/8/1999, Russian President Yeltsin again dismissed the Prime Minister (Primakov), and Vladimir Putin became Prime Minister.
12/5/1999, Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismissed Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov, whose popularity had risen
as he stabilised the economy. The Russian Duma (Parliament) discussed
impeaching Yeltsin, but the witnesses they required
failed to appear and the motion was lost. Sergei Stepashin
became the new Prime Minister but see 9/8/1999.
31/8/1998, As the Russian Rouble collapsed in value, Boris Yeltsin tried to reinstate Viktor Chernomyrdin as Prime Minister. However the Russian Duma (Parliament) blocked
this.� Eventually Yevgeny Primakov became Prime Minister.
23/3/1998, Russian President Boris Yeltsin dismissed his entire Cabinet. Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin was replaced by 35-year-old Sergei Kiriyenko.
29/5/1997, NATO and Ukraine signed an agreement on mutual co-operation and
security, similar to the one signed with Russia on 27/5/1997.
23/4/1997, In Moscow, Chinese President Jiang Zemin met
Russian President Boris Yeltsin. They called for a
pluralistic world order where no one nation was dominant.
Vahi, Prime Minister of Estonia, resigned
following a corruption scandal, he was replaced by Mart Siiman.
of Russia 1993-97
27/5/1997, NATO and Russia signed the
Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security.
24/5/1997, McDonalds opened its forst
branch in Kiev, Ukraine.
9/8/1996, Boris Yeltsin became
Russia�s first democratically-elected head of State.
16/6/1996, In the first round of
Presidential voting in Russia, Boris Yeltsin soundly beat Communist challenger Gennady Zyuganov into second place.
The International Monetary Fund approved
a US$ 10.2 billion loan to Russia for economic reforms.
Russia became a member of the Council of
9/6/1995, Russia and Ukraine agreed to
divide the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet.
joined NATO�s �partnership for peace.
27/5/1994, Alexander Solzhenitsyn returned to Russia.
26/2/1994, Russia announced an amnesty for political
p0risoners, including those� involved in
the 1991 coup that brought down the Soviet Union.
14/1/1994, US President Clinton and Soviet President Boris
Yeltsin signed the |Kremlin Accords. Treaties aimed ending the
preprogrammed targetimng of nuclear missiles.
28/12/1993. The Russian government announced that
nearly 50% of the economy had been privatised.
14/12/1993. The Russian elections produced a move to the
Right. Around 50% voted for Conservative-Nationalist parties with Vladimir Zhirinovsky (Liberal Democrat)
emerging as overall leader. Yeltsin
remained President of Russia. The Baltic States feared revenge from Zhirinovsky for their precipitating the
collapse of the old USSR.
4/10/1993. Russian rebels surrendered at Moscow �White
House�. Troops loyal to President Yeltsin opened fire on rebels in the
White House who wanted a return to
old-style Communism. 146 people died in the�
conflict; Yeltsin pardoned the ringleaders.
Yeltsin suspended the Constitution and scrapped Parliament.
Royce opened its first showroom in Russia.
reform in Russia, formation of CIS, end of Warsaw Pact, 1991-95
8/2/1995, Russian workers staged a 24-hour strike,
over unpaid wages.
3/1/1993. President Bush
of the USA and Yeltsin of the USSR
signed the START II (Strategic Arms Reduction Talks) Treaty.
Russian KGB handed over documents to Poland�s Lech
Walesa revealing that the Russians
killed Polish officers in 1940 in the Katyn Forest Massacre. The Kremlin had previously
insisted it was the Germans who had done this.
Romanov, the Pretender to the Russian throne, died aged 74.
31/1/1992. Boris Yeltsin, leader
of Russia, made a speech at the UN calling for America and Russia to develop a
joint �star wars� shield against missiles from rogue nations.
13/1/1992, The Speaker of the Russian Duma
(Parliament) called on Boris Yeltsin to resign, after his free-market
policies in Russia had sparked massive price rises.� However on 24/1/1992 Yeltsin managed to get austerity
measures passed by the Duma, cooling the inflation.
and Ukraine agreed to divide the Black Sea fleet.
25/12/1991, Above the Kremlin, Moscow, the old Soviet
flag was lowered and the new Russian flag was raised.
20/12/1991, President Boris Yeltsin
said he wanted Russia to join NATO.
Russian Parliament voted to replace the USSR with a looser confederation to be
known as the CIS or Confederation of Independent States.
leaders of the republics of Russia, Byelorussia (Belarus), and Ukraine formed a
commonwealth of independent states (CIS), after the dissolution of the USSR,
Ukraine voted in a referendum to leave the USSR.
reverted to the name St Petersburg.
USSR ceased to exist as the Congress of People�s Deputies voted to give the
republics their independence.
The Soviet hardline coup collapsed and
restored as President. On 25/8/1991 Gorbachev resigned as leader of the Communist
party, and the Party prepared to dissolve, ending 70 years of Communist
Estonia voted for independence,
Soviet hardliners toppled President Gorbachev.
31/7/1991, Presidents Gorbachev (USSR) and Bush (USA) signed the Strategic Arms
Reduction Treaty, START 1. However the Soviet Union collapsed in December 1991,
before the Treaty was ratified. A START II Treaty was subsequently signed and
The Warsaw Pact was disbanded.
International Monetary Fund agreed to offer associate membership to Russia.
First free Presidential election in the
USSR.� Boris Yeltsin was elected President.
The citizens of Leningrad voted 55% to
43% to return to the name St Petersburg.
The USSR passed a law allowing people to
leave the country free of all restrictions.
held an election to decide whether to remain as the USSR or break up into
Estonia and Latvia voted to secede from the USSR.
25/2/1991. Warsaw Pact military alliance dissolved.
19/2/1991, In the USSR, Boris Yeltsin, Russian
President, called on Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet President, to
resign. Yeltsin accused Gorbachev of dictatorship.
Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev sent a letter to all Warsaw
Pact government leaders proposing the disbandment of the military pact on
1/4/1991. The Pact was formed one week after a re0armed West Germany joined
NATO in 1955.
resistance to secession of Lithuania, 1991-92
3/3/1992, Russian troops began withdrawing from Lithuania.
Soviet troops sealed off the centre of Vilnius, Lithuania.
10/2/1991. In a
poll in Lithuania, in
which 85% of the electorate voted, 90% were in favour of independence from
Moscow. Only 6% voted against independence. The Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev,
declared the poll illegal.
troops opened fire on traffic outside Vilnius, 1
person was killed.
20/1/1991. �A crowd of
over 100,000 protested in Moscow against military violence in the Baltic Republics.
14/1/1991, Valentin Pavlov become Prime Minister of the
13/1/1991. (+16,686) Soviet troops fired on crowds in Vilnius,
capital of Lithuania; 13 died. The EC threatened
to halt aid to Russia unless troops withdrew. Estonia and Latvia also made
moves for independence. On 20/1/1991 Soviet �Black Beret� elite troops stormed
Riga, killing 4 and injuring 9. Lithuania had lost its independence to
Russia in 1939 under a pact between Hitler and Stalin.
8/1/1991, In Lithuania, the government of Kazimiera Prunskiene resigned
over price increases.
troops seized the Communist Party headquarters in Vilnius, Lithuania, sparking massive
of USSR, end of Cold War affirmed, liberalisation continues in Russia under
Goirbachev. Economic problems, 1989-90
14/12/1990. The EC agreed to send food aid to the USSR, whose food
distribution system had collapsed.
12/12/1990, US President George Bush agreed to send US$ 1,000 million food aid to
the Soviet Union.
21/11/1990. A declaration of the end of the
Cold War was signed in Paris.
15/10/1990. Gorbachev was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
However in November and December bread rationing had to be introduced in some
Russian cities, including Leningrad. Despite a record harvest, distribution
systems had broken down. Grain rotted in Russian warehouses whilst
the international community, led by Germany, sent emergency food aid.
26/9/1990, Religious freedom of worship was gramnted
in the USSR/
25/9/1990, Gorbachev was given sweeping new powers to
control the economy of the USSR, which was suffering from accelerating
14/7/1990. Boris Yeltsin left the Communist Party.
announced it would suspend its declaration of independence for 100 days.
emerged as an independent state, from the former USSR.
29/5/1990, Boris Yeltsin was elected President of the
Russian Federation, defeating Gorbachev�s candiudate.
27/5/1990, The Kremlin announced economic reforms that
would phase out subsidies on many staple foods, causing meat, sugar and bread prices to
double or treble. The reforms would not take effect without
Parliamentary approval, and a shopping frenzy ensued, emptying shop shelves.
24/5/1990, Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, visited the
USSR. This was the first official British Royal visit since 1917.
affirmed its independence, reviving its 1938 Constitution.
Latvian Parliament voted for independence from the USSR.
20/4/1990, President Mikhail Gorbachev cut of 85% of
Lithuania�s gas supplies, in retaliation for Lithuania declaring independence.
The European Union hesitated to help Lithuania, fearing to destabilise Gorbachev.
18/4/1990, The Soviet Union cut off oil supplies to
12/4/1990. The Soviet Union finally admitted it had
massacred up to 15,000 Polish officers at Katyn in 1940. See 26/4/1943.
30/3/1990, Estonia suspended the Soviet Constitution
within its territory.
25/3/1990, The Soviet Union sent tanks into Lithuania,
to discourage the secessionists.
Soviet Congress voted to abolish the political monopoly of the Communist Party.
12/3/1990, Dr Vitautis Landsbergis was elected President
11/3/1990. Lithuania declared itself independent
from the USSR. On 16/3/1990
President Gorbachev issued an ulltimatum to
rescind this declaration.
USSR passed a bill allowing individuals to privately own land for the first
time since the 1920s.
Soviet Communist Party voted to end its monopoly of power.
27/1/1990. The city of Tirasopol in the Moldavian SSR
briefly declared independence.
break up of the USSR began as the Baltic States of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
prepared for secession. In Lithuania, 200,000 demonstrated for independence.
(2) President Gorbachev told Lithuania that all Soviet republics will get
the right to secede.
4/1/1990. Soviet President
told Lithuania�s Communists that they were free to leave the Soviet
called for independence from the USSR.
18/12/1989, The EEC signed a 10-year trade pact
with the USSR.
East German leader Egon
Krenz and the politbureau resigned. A
USSR-USA summit was held in Malta. The Cold war was declared over at 12.55pm that day.
Soviet leader Mikhail
Paul II met in Rome, ending 70 years
of hostility between the Roman Catholic Church and the Soviet Union.
7/10/1989. Pro-democracy rallies sparked by Gorbachev�s visit
to East Germany resulted a a million-strong protest in East Germany.
7/10/1989. On a visit
to East Germany, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev urged the East German government to introduce
reforms. See 4/11/1989.
31/8/1989. The Soviet Republic of Moldavia�s
Parliament voted to make Moldavian, not Russian, the official language.
23/8/1989, 2 million Estonians, Latvians, and
Lithuanians formed an uninterrupted 600 kilometre human chain to demand
independence from Moscow. Hungary removed all border restrictions with Austria.
Soviet miners went on strike.
Mikhail Gorbachev and Chancellor
Kohl agreed that East and West Germany
should be reunited.
Iron Curtain began to break down. Hungary dismantled 150 miles of barbed wire
fence, opening its border to Western Europe.
14/12/1989, Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov
3/6/1989. Liquid gas stored beside a railway in Chelyabinsk, USSR,
exploded, killing 800.
Perestroika, prelude to breakdown of Iron Curtain, 1985-89
7/4/1989. President Gorbachev of the USSR visited Britain,
and invited Queen
Elizabeth II to visit Moscow.
26/3/1989. The first free elections were held in the
USSR. Pro-reform candidates won many
Soviet Union promised to eliminate its chemical weapons.
first commercial advertisement appeared in the Russian newspaper Izvestia.
7/12/1988. Gorbachev cut
the Red Army by 10%.
Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR declared that Estonia is �sovereign�,
adopting their own constitution, but stopped short of declaring independence.
Gorbachev promised to free all
political prisoners by the end of the year.
announced plans for 20 restaurants in Moscow to sell the �Bolshoi Mac�.
4/2/1988, The Soviet Union posthumously rehabilitated
Bukharin and 9 other Soviet leaders executed or imprisoned after the
1938 show trials.
14/1/1988, Georgy M Malenkov, Prime Minister of the USSR
for Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and subsequent withdrawal under Gorbachev
8/12/1987. Gorbachev and Reagan signed an arms reduction treaty, to eliminate
medium range nuclear missiles from Europe.
12/11/1987, President Gorbachev sacked Boris Yeltsin as head of the Communist Party after Yeltsin criticised him for the slow pace of perestroika (reconstruction).
Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev
out-manoeuvred the White House by proposing sweeping arms cuts, beyond those
envisaged by US President Reagan.
In the USSR, 140 political dissidents
19/12/1986, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev released from internal exile the dissident Andrei Sakharov and his
activist wife Yelena Bonner, Sakharov had been
interned since 1/1980 for criticising the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
In the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev proposed reforms including secret
ballots for electing party officials.
11/2/1986, As Gorbachev continued
to liberalise the USSR, political prisoners including
Anatoly Scharansky and Yuri Orlov were
released and allowed to leave the country.
Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavik to discuss intermediate arms limitations.
The talks ended in failure.
25/2/1986. President Gorbachev of the USSR first used the
(restructuring) in a speech to the 27th Congress of the Communist
21/11/1985, Presidents Reagan and Gorbachev ended
their meeting with an agreement to reduce their nuclear arsenals by a mutual
19/11/1985. Reagan and Gorbachev met in Geneva, the first such meeting for 6 years.
11/3/1985. In the USSR, Mikhail Gorbachev (54 years old) succeeded Konstantin Chernenko, who died on 10/3/1985. See 13/2/1984.
8/4/1989, 40 soviet submariners died when a nuclear powered
Mike class submarine caught fire, and refused assistance from Western merchant
21/9/1988, State of Emergency proclaimed in Nagorno-Karabakh.
3/8/1988, Matthias Rust was freed from prison in
Russia.� He had served 14 months of a
4-year sentence for flying a plane from Germany to land in Red Square, Moscow.
11/5/1988. Soviet spy Kim Philby died in
Moscow aged 76.
4/9/1987, Matthias Rust
was sentenced to four� years in a Soviet
labour camp, however he was released on 3/8/1988. See 28/5/1987.
Rust, evaded Soviet air defences and landed a light plane
in Red Square, Moscow, from Helsinki, Finland. He was immediately detained, and
released on 3/8/1988.
Molotov, Soviet politician, died.
10/3/1985, Death of Konstantin
Chernenko, General Secretary of the Soviet
Communist Party since 1984.
13/5/1984, A huge explosion at the
Russian naval base of Severomorsk, on the Kola Peninsula. Fires burnt for 5
days afterwards. The Northern Fleet, some 150 ships, was effectively out of
action for 6 months. The cause may have been inadequate radar shielding causing
a detonatio0n in the missile stores, where warheads, propellants and detonators
were all stored in too-close proximity.
7/3/1984, Donald Maclean, British
Foreign Office official and Soviet secret agent who fled to the USSR in 1951,
died aged 70.
13/2/1984. Konstantin Chernenko
became the leader of the USSR. See 11/3/1985. Yuri
Andropov had died on 7/2/1984. Andropov came to power
9/2/1984, Yuri Andropov, Soviet
leader, died after only 15 months in office. He was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko.
Soviet Union�s early warning system appeared to show missiles had been fired
from the USA.
However the officer in charge, Stanislav Petrov, chose to delay any response.
In fact satellites had spotted reflections of sunlight from the ground.
20/8/1983, US President
Reagan lifted the ban on exports of pipe-laying equipment to the
16/6/1983. Andropov was elected
Soviet leader of the USSR. However he died on 7/2/1984.
23/5/1983, Radio Moscow announcer Vladimir Danchev praised Afghan
Muslims for standing up to Russia; he was removed from the air. After some 6
months in a psychiatric hospital, he returned to work.
26/3/1983, Anthony Blunt, the
Queen�s former art adviser, and Soviet spy, died.
2/2/1983. The US and USSR began START (Strategic Arms
Reduction Talks) in Geneva.
10/11/1982, (1) Leonid Illyich
Brezhnev, Soviet leader for 18 years, died
of a heart attack aged 75. He was succeeded by Yuri Andropov.
(2) Geoffrey Prime was jailed for 15 years for spying.
28/2/1982, Natalia Vodianova, Russian philanthropist, was
29/12/1981, President Reagan of the US introduced economic sanctions
against the USSR for forcing Poland to adopt martial law.
30/11/1981. The US and USSR began arms talks in Geneva.
20/11/1981, The USSR contracted to supply natural gas to West Germany.
18/12/1980, Death of Soviet statesman Alexei
Kosygin, Prime Minister of the USSR 1964-80.
Soviet leader, Alexei
Kosygin, resigned due to illness.
20/8/1980, The USSR jammed
Western radio broadcasts for the first time in seven years, to block news of
13/6/1980, Car manufacturing workers in the USSR went on
22/1/1980, In the USSR, dissident Andrei Sakharov was jailed for
criticising the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
18/6/1979. US President
Carter and USSR President
Brezhnev signed the SALT 2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty)
John became the first Western rock star to perform in the Soviet
14/7/1978, In the USSR, dissident writer Anatoly Sharansky was sentenced to 13 years
prison with hard labour.
1/6/1978. Bugging devices were found at the US embassy in Moscow.
18/5/1978, Yuri Orlov, Soviet human-rights campaigner,
was sentenced to 7 years in a labour camp.
15/3/1977, The Jewish Russian dissident Anatoly Sharansky was arrested
on charges of plotting with the CIA.
28/1/1977, The USA warned the USSR not to persecute the
6/9/1976, Soviet air force pilot Viktor
Belenko landed his MiG-25 jet fighter at
Hakodate in Hokkaido and requested political asylum in the USA.
27/7/1976, The Soviet chess champion Korchnoi defected to the West.
21/1/1976. The Financial Times and New York Times went on sale in
9/9/1975. The Czech tennis player Martina
Navratilova defected to the West.
4/9/1975, Ivan Maisky, Soviet politician, died aged 91.
24/2/1975, Nikolai Bulganin, Soviet Prime Minister from
1955 to 1958, died.
18/6/1974, Georgi K Zhukov, Soviet statesman, died aged
13/2/1974. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Russian author and winner of
the Nobel Prize in 1970, was expelled from the USSR. This was a result of the publication
of his work, The Gulag Archipelago, a
study of the Stalinist prison camp system. Solzhenitsyn himself
had spent time in these camps between 1945 and 1953.
4/4/1972, The USSR
refused a visa to the Swedish Academy Official due to deliver the Nobel Prize
for Literature to Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
17/12/1970. The Soviet
paper Pravda attacked writer Solzhenitsyn as �hostile�.
9/10/1970, The winner of
the Nobel Prize for Literature, dissident Soviet writer Alexander
Solzhenitsyn, declined to attend the ceremony in Stockholm in December
for �personal reasons�. It was unclear whether the Soviet authorities had
prevented him from leaving, or had threatened nit to readmit him if he went.
3/10/1972, The US
and USSR signed SALT (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty) accords, limiting
submarine based and land based missiles.
29/5/1972. Brezhnev and Nixon signed SALT-2 (Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty).
The USSR expelled 5 Britons and refused another
13 entry in rataliation for the expulsions of 24/9/1971.
24/9/1971, Britain expelled 90 Soviet diplomats after a KGB
defector, Oleg Lyalin, passed information to British Intelligence. See
8/10/1971. The UK had also granted asylum to the Soviet defector and space
expert Anatol Fedoseyev in June 1971.
11/9/1971, Nikita Kruschev,
President of the USSR from 1958 to 1964, died aged 77 near Moscow.
17/11/1969, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) opened in
Helsinki between the USSR and USA (President Nixon). The talks had been proposed
for 19/6/1969 but suspended by the USA due to the Soviet invasion of
19/6/1969, US President Nixon suspended arms limitation talks
with the USSR due to the their invasion of Czechoslovakia.
19/10/1969, The USSR and China began talks in Beijing to
settle their boundary dispute along the River Issuri.
2/3/1969. Soviet and Chinese troops clashed on their border.
Chinese troops attempted to occupy Damiansky island, one of the Ussuri river islands
ceded by China to Tsarist Russia in 1860. China now maintained that the
concession had been unfairly extracted and revoked it. Russia drove off the
12/1/1968, Soviet dissidents Yuri Galanskov and Alexander
Ginsburg were sentenced in Moscow to hard labour.
9/3/1967, Svetlana Alliluyeva,
daughter of Joseph Stalin, defected to the West, requesting political
asylum at the US Embassy in India..
7/10/1966, The USSR expelled all Chinese students.
26/3/1965, Kirill Mazurov became the new First Deputy
Premier of the Soviet Union, second in governmental rank to Prime Minister
5/11/1964, Zhou Enlai, Prime Minister of China, visited
the USSR for a summit meeting of Communist States.
15/10/1964. Nikita Khrushchev was replaced, in the USSR, as First Secretary of the
Communist Party by Leonid Brezhnev and as Prime Minister by Alexei
19/5/1964, The US lodged a complaint with
Russia over microphones found at its Moscow Embassy.
15/7/1964, Anastas Mikoyan succeeded Leonid Brezhnev
as President of the USSR.
27/4/1964, Greville Wynne, British
businessman sentenced in Moscow in 1963 for spying, was exchanged at the Berlin
border for Gordon
Lonsdale, KGB agent sentenced in London for espionage in 1961.
Wynne who had been
imprisoned in the USSR for a year on spying charges was exchanged for the
Soviet agent Gordon
3/2/1964. China challenged the USSR for leadership of the Communist
31/8/1963, The �hot line�, linking the Kremlin and the White House, went into
30/8/1963, Guy Burgess, Cambridge spy who
worked for the Soviet Union, died.
30/7/1963. The �third
man�, Kim Philby, turned up in Moscow after escaping arrest in Britain
for spying. He had defected to Russia on 23/1/1963.
1/7/1963, Kim Philby,
British spy, was revealed as the �third man�.
20/6/1963. The White House and the Kremlin agreed to set up a �hot line�.
13/4/1963, Gary Kasparov, Russian world
chess champion, was born.
9/2/1963, In Russia, the former head
of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, and Archbishop of Lvov, was released after 18
years imprisonment, which began when the Ukrainian Catholic Church was forcibly
united with the Russian orthodox Church.
23/1/1963, Kim Philby
was officially reported as �missing� after failing to meet his wife at a dinner
party in Beirut. Formerly a high-ranking British intelligence officer, he had
been accused of spying for the USSR in 1955 but had been exonerated by Prime Minister Harold MacMillan. Philby�s accomplices Guy Burgess and Donald McClean had fled to Moscow in 1951; MacMillan insisted
there was no �third man�.
for Cuban Missile Crisis 1962
1/6/1962, The Soviet Union raised the price of
consumer goods by more than 25 percent in order to cover higher operating
expenses for the U.S.S.R.'s collective farm program. Butter was up 25%, and
pork and beef by 30%. In protest, workers walked off of the job at the
Novocherkassk Electric Locomotive Factory and the strike soon turned into an uprising.
0.2, Gary Powers
10/2/1962. The USA exchanged a Soviet spy for the
captured pilot Gary Powers. The
exchange took place in the middle of a bridge linking the American and Soviet
sectors of Berlin.
19/8/1960, Gary Powers was sentenced to 10 years prison
in the USSR for spying.
11/5/1960, The USA admitted (see 5/5/1960) that Gary Powers
had been spying but refused to apologise.
5/5/1960, The USA denied that Gary Powers had been spying.
1/5/1960. A US spy plane, the
U-2, piloted by Gary Powers, was hit
by an SA2 missile and shot down over the USSR near Sverdlovsk. He had been on a flight path from Pehsawar air base, Pakistan, over the USSR to Greenland. On 8/7/1960 Gary Powers was indicted as a spy; he was sentenced to 10
years in prison, but was released after 18 months in exchange for Soviet agent Rudolf Abel.
0.0 De-Stalinisation, 1961
31/10/1961, Joseph Stalin's body was removed from the Lenin Mausoleum
and reburied outside the Kremlin as part a Soviet policy of de-Stalinization.
10/11/1961. The USSR
renamed Stalingrad as Volgograd.
1/11/1961, In the Soviet
Union, a �de-Stalinisation� programme resulted in Stalin�s body being removed
from the Red Square mausoleum where it had lain next to Lenin since his death
in 1953. Even Stalingrad,� with its great
significance regarding World War Two, was renamed Volgograd.
-1.0, Soviet military, nuclear
30/10/1961, The Soviet
Union detonated a 50-megaton yield hydrogen bomb known as Tsar Bomba over Novaya Zemlya, the largest man-made explosion ever.
Too large to be fit inside even the largest available warplane, the weapon was
suspended from a Tupolev Tu-95 piloted by A.E. Durnovtsev, a Hero of the Soviet Union. A
parachute slowed the bomb's descent so that the airplane could have time to
climb away from the fireball, and at an altitude of four kilometres, was
exploded at 8:33 AM GMT Although the news drew protests around the world, the
event was not reported in the Soviet press
Russell protested to the Soviet Embassy in London about the resumption of nuclear
tests by the Russians. The Russian response that it must be ready for an attack
from the USA
did not impress him.
31/8/1961, After failure of the Geneva Conference, the USSR
announced it would resume nuclear weapons testing.
7/11/1960, Missiles first appeared on the Red Square military parade.
12/7/1960, President Khrushchev
of the USSR asserted that the Monroe Doctrine of 1823 was no longer valid; this
would legitimate Soviet interference in the Caribbean. On 14/7/1960 the US
confirmed that the Monroe Doctrine was still in operation.
21/4/1959, The Soviet Union protested to the USA about
the stationing of nuclear weapons in West Germany.
27/3/1959, Soviet fighter aircraft buzzed US aircraft in the air
corridor connecting West Berlin to West Germany.
31/5/1958, The Kremlin and Washington agreed to hold
talks on a ban on atmospheric atom bomb tests.
16/6/1961. Rudolf Nureyev
defected from the Soviet Union whilst in Paris, travelling with the Leningrad Kirov
Tymoshenko, Ukrainian politician and co-leader of the Orange
Revolution, Prime Minister (2005, 2007-10), was born in Dnipropetrovsk,
Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.
24/7/1959, At a trade exhibition in
Moscow, USA Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita
Khrushchev publically debated the merits of their different political
systems, in a model of a typical Ame3rican kitchen.
21/2/1959, Harold MacMillan, British
Prime Minister, and Selwyn Lloyd, Foreign Secretary, visited the
-2.0, Khruschev 1953-58
10/8/1958, Khrushchev opened what was then the largest
hydroelectric project in the world, on the Volga near Kuibyshev. The dam
contributed to a fall in the level of the Caspian Sea.
26/10/1957, In the USSR, Marshal Georgi Zhukov was sacked as Defence
Minister and former Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov was sent as Ambassador to
Mongolia, after an unsuccessful attempt to remove Khruschev.
15/2/1957, In the USSR, Andrei Gromyko
Shepilov as Foreign Minister.
7/9/1958, Nikita Kruschev stated that any attack by the
US on China would be regarded as an attack on the USSR.
Khrushchev of the USSR welcomed China�s
Prime Minister Chou En Lai. Behind the scenes, however, there was rivalry between
the two countries. The USSR supported Manchurian and Vietnamese Communists,
and there were differences on how Communism should be enforced. However Chou En Lai supported
the USSR�s crackdown in 1956 in Hungary.
1/6/1956, In the USSR, Vyacheslav Molotov was replaced
as Foreign Minister by Dmitri Shepilov.
14/5/1956, A British diver disappeared whilst bugging the underside
of Soviet President Kruschev�s warship in Portsmouth.
18/4/1956, The Soviet leader Nikita
Kruschev, along with Nikolai Bulganin,
visited the UK.
18/3/1956, At the 20th Party Congress, Khrushchev denounced Stalin�s crimes.
22/11/1955, A Tupolev Tu-16 dropped the first Soviet nuclear bomb, RDS-37, in
12/10/1955, The Soviet Navy made a goodwill visit to
Portsmouth, UK, and the British Royal Navy made a goodwill visit to Leningrad
(St Petersburg), Russia.
18/9/1955, Four years after they fled to Russia, the British
Government officially confirmed that Donald
McLean and Guy
Burgess were Soviet spies.
7/5/1955, The USSR annulled treaties with Britain and
France in retaliation for the setting up of the Western European Union, which
5/6/1955, The Warsaw Pact was founded.
14/5/1955. Eastern bloc countries signed the Warsaw Pact.
8/2/1955, Soviet Prime Minister Malenkov resigned. He was succeeded by Bulganin, who reaffirmed
ties between the USSr and China, and appointed Zhukov as Minister of Defence.
31/3/1954. The USSR
offered to join NATO.
20/3/1954. In the USSR, Khrushchev became
First Secretary of the Communist Party.
19/2/1954, Russia transferred Crimea to Ukraine, to
mark the 300th anniversary of the Russo-Ukrainian Union.
23/12/1953, The dismissed
Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs, Beria, was shot as a traitor.
16/9/1953, The wife of
former British Foreign Office official and Soviet spy Donald McLean
disappeared, two years after her husband fled to Russia with Guy Burgess.
The USSR banned lobotomies.
10/7/1953, The Soviet
Minister of Internal Affairs, Lavrenti Beria, wasd dismissed.
14/3/1953, Nikita Kruschev became
First Secretary of the Communist Party in the USSR, replacing Georgi Malenkov.
5/3/1953. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin died
aged 74 of a brain haemorrhage at his dacha.. He was born in 1879 in Georgia, the son of a
shoemaker. In the months before his death Stalin became paranoid, and in January
1953 the discovery of a �Doctor�s Plot�,
involving 9 Jewish physicians. Stalin died before the trial of these 9
doctors could be staged, but it was believed they were to be the scapegoats to
precipitate a major purge of the Soviet Communist Party. Later in 1953 Pravda
announced the doctors were innocent and their confessions had been obtained
7/10/1952, Vladimir Putin, who was elected Russian
president in 1999, was born.
6/10/1952, In the USSR, the 19th Congress of the Communist
Party adopted the directives of the Fifth Five Year Plan. Industrial production
was to rise by 70% by 1955 over the 1950 figure, also a large increase in
17/8/1952, A large Chinese delegation, led by Zhou Enlai,
visited the USSR for discussions.
12/8/1952, In Moscow, 13 prominent Jewish intellectuals were
murdered on the orders of Stalin, the so-called �Night of the Murdered
25/5/1951. British diplomats Burgess (1910 � 1963) and MacLean (1913 � 1983) were first reported missing. They had
defected to Moscow. They had been recruited by the Soviets whilst working at
MI5 during the 1930s. Burgess did not like life in Moscow and died
in 1963 of alcohol poisoning and kidney failure.
8/3/1950. The USSR claimed to have the atom bomb.
12/1/1950. The death penalty was re-introduced in the USSR.
11/2/1948, Soviet composers Aram
Kachaturian, Sergei Prokofiev and Dmitri Shostakovich were
castigated by the Central Committee of the Communist Party for producing works
of �bourgeois decadence�.
15/3/1946. The USSR began its
4th 5-Year Plan.
5/3/1946. Winston Churchill referred to an �Iron Curtain� descending
across Europe, in a speech at Fulton, USA. The first public acknowledgement
that the Cold War had begun. See 12/3/1947.
14/8/1945. The Soviet Union concluded a Treaty of Friendship
with Nationalist China. This included handing over Manchuria, which the Soviets
had conquered from Japanese forces, to China. However before the Soviets moved
out, they stripped the region of all the military and industrial equipment they
could move, and took this, along with many Japanese PoWs, back to Russia to
support their own industrial reconstruction.
-3.0, Russia in
World War Two, 1939-47
USSR demanded war reparations from Germany.
26/4/1943. The mass
grave of 4,000 Polish officers was found in the Katyn forest. Germany accused Russia of the murder. The Soviet
Union finally admitted carrying out the 1940 massacre, of up to 15,000 Polish
officers, on 12/4/1990.
8/1/1943, German forces began to retreat from the Stalingrad area, leaving some of their compatriots under siege in Stalingrad itself.
31/1/1943. The German 6tb Army under Field
Marshal Paulus surrendered at Stalingrad after five months of fighting. The
last Germans fighting in Stalingrad surrendered on 2/2/1943.� Hitler had refused to countenance an attempted
German breakout from Stalingrad and insisted his troops hold on, despite, from
December 1942, increasing shortages of food, ammunition, and medical
supplies.� The Luftwaffe tried to drop
supplies by air to the besieged city but often failed in this task. The Stalingrad
Campaign cost the lives of 479,000 men from November 1942; German deaths
amounted to 147,000, with a further 91,000 troops captured (many to be worked
to death as Stalinpferde, Stalin horses, in Soviet labour camps).
28/6/1942. The Germans launched Operation Blue, an offensive to
capture the Russian Caucasus oilfields and secure the Volga River. The Soviets
responded by concentrating resistance at Stalingrad, threatening the northern
flank of this Operation. On 23/7/1942 Hitler
ordered General Paulus to capture
Stalingrad at all costs. Meanwhile Stalin
could not let go the city that bore his name.
(from 1/1/1870) for more events of World
War II in Europe
22/6/1941. (1) Germany invaded Russia. Hitler
expected the war in Russia to be over by Christmas 1941, saying �We only have to kick in the door and the
whole rotten structure will come crashing down�. Hitler calculated that Stalin�s
purges of the officer class had badly weakened the Red Army.
The invasion plan, called Operation Barbarossa had been announced
by Hitler to his generals on 30/3/1941 in a speech to 200 senior army officers.
At 3.am on 22 June the greatest offensive in history was launched. Three
million men poured across a front nearly a thousand miles long. Hitler
had said that the Communists must be not only beaten but annihilated, or �in 30
years we shall have to fight them again�. By the end of World War Two, four million Russians had
died in battle and a further 3.5 million had been taken captive. 97% of these
died in captivity; Hitler had decided that the Geneva Convention did not apply
to them, or to millions more captured later. 17,000 Russian villages were wiped
off the map by the Germans.
Stalin had not believed Germany would attack, despite
troop movements on the frontier in the weeks before the invasion.
The German invasion was to
have begun on 15/5/1941, but the need to intervene in the Balkans against Greece
and Yugoslavia delayed the Russian invasion by seven (crucial) weeks.� The original plan was for German forces to
have reached a line from Archangel to the Volga by autumn 1941.� Russian resistance was greater than Hitler
anticipated, and Hitler�s orders to try and capture Moscow whilst Leningrad was
already besieged, whilst simultaneously taking tanks from the Moscow front to
the southern front gave a respite to the defence of Moscow.
The Germans correctly
estimated Russian military strength in the west at 150 divisions but thought
the Soviets had just 50 further divisions in reserve; in fact the Red Army
summoned up over 200 reserve divisions. Unexpected July rains turned unsurfaced
Russian roads into mud whilst the scorched earth policy meant roads, bridges,
railways and factories were destroyed before the Germans advanced. The Russians
also destroyed the railway rolling stock and because the Russian gauge was
different from the German one, the Nazis could not use the Russian rail network.
(2) Romania joined in with Germany in attacking Russia. Rumania
was led by Ion
Antonescu (born 2/6/1882 in Transylvania). Antonescu was pro-Nazi, and
during a period of serious internal disorder in Rumania, King Carol of Rumania was
compelled to offer Antonescu the Premiership on 5/9/1940. Antonescu
then demanded the abdication of Carol. In 1944 Russia counterattacked into
Rumania and King
Michael I, who had succeeded Carol, arrested Antonescu. Antonescu was convicted of war
crimes on 17/5/1946 and executed near the Rumanian fort of Jilava on 1/6/1946.
for events of World War Two in Pacific
Stalin signed a neutrality pact with Japan; Russia was concerned that Japanese conquests in
Manchuria had brought Japanese forces up to Russian territory.
18/12/1940, Hitler signed the directive for Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Soviet
3/8/1940, Latvia officially joined the Soviet Union.
21/7/1940. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, occupied by the USSR since
June 1940, voted to become part of the USSR.
14/7/1940. The Soviet Union annexed Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia.
27/6/1940. The USSR
26/6/1940. The USSR
demanded that Romania cede Bessarabia, and also northern Bukovina as �compensation
for Romanian misrule in Bessarabia�. The Romanian government had to submit and
on 28/6/1940 Russian troops marched into these areas. In July 1941 Romania
entered the war as Germany�s ally and recaptured Bessarabia. The Russians
re-occupied Bessarabia during 1944 and in February 1947 Romania again had to
cede Bessarabia and northern Bukovina..
(from 1/1/1870) for main European events of World War Two
17/6/1940, The Soviet
Union occupied Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.
16/6/1940. The Soviet army invaded the Baltic Republics,
starting with Lithuania, on the
pretext that these countries were planning to attack the USSR. 200 Soviet tanks
crossed the Lithuanian border and seized the capital, Kaunas.
signed a peace treaty with the USSR, surrendering large areas of territory on
the Karelia Peninsula. See 30/11/1939.�
The Finns had lost over 20% of their fighting force in 3 months.� Finland surrendered over 10,000 square miles
of territory to the USSR. The border was returned to roughly where it had been
drawn by Peter the Great in 1720.� In the
hope of recovering these lands, Finland sided with Germany when Hitler attacked
the USSR on 22/6/1941.
5/3/1940, Stalin signed the order to massacre 27,500
�Polish nationalists and counter-revolutionaries�, see 12/4/1940, Katyn.
for Russia-Finland conflict 1939-40
23/12/1939. Stalin sacked General Meretzkof, as Finnish successes
against Russia continued.
14/12/1939. The USSR
was expelled from the League of Nations, for its aggression against Finland.
11/10/1939. The USSR
signed a pact ceding the former Polish city of Vilna to Lithuania.
and the USSR signed a pact agreeing on the partition of Poland.
Latvia and Lithuania signed �mutual assistance� pacts with the USSR.
forces took Lvov, Poland.
21/9/1939, Germany and Russia declared that Poland no longer
17/9/1939. Soviet troops invaded Poland. The German
army reached Brest Litovsk in Poland. De Valera said Ireland would remain neutral in
the War. Australia and New Zealand took sides with Britain straightaway. The
Canadian debated the issue for three days then voted to join the War with one
vote against. In South Africa the prime Minister General Hertzog wanted to stay
out of the war; he was forced to resign and replaced by General Smuts who immediately
took Britain�s side.
23/8/1939. Hitler and the USSR concluded a 20 year non-aggression pact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This left Hitler free to
invade Poland.� Hitler believed the German-Soviet pact would
lead France and Britain to withdraw their guarantees of assistance to
Poland.� When instead Britain reaffirmed
its support for Poland on 25/8/1939, Hitler postponed the attack on Poland,
originally scheduled for the night of 25-26/8/1939.�� Diplomatic moves with Britain failed to
dislodge UK support for Poland, and Hitler invaded on 1/9/1939.
4/5/1939, Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov succeeded Litvinov as Soviet
15/3/1938, Stalin�s purges reached a crescendo with the execution of
18 senior statesmen, many of them friends of Lenin.
Amongst those confessing, at Lubyanka Prison, to improbable plots to overthrow
the Soviet State was Nikolai
21/10/1937. Stalin killed a further 62 in his purges.
23/1/1937, More �show trials� in Moscow as Stalin purged party
members deemed to be disloyal.
28/6/1937, In the Soviet Union, Joseph
Stalin had 36 �confessed� German spies shot.
12/6/1937. Stalin�s purge
extended to the Red Army; 12 top generals were executed.
25/8/1936, Stalin executed 16 senior Communists.
1/11/1934, The USSR exiled 12,000 �enemies of the
State� to Siberia.
18/4/1933, Russia staged a show-trial of three Britons accused of
13/7/1935, The USSR and USA made a trade pact.
2/5/1935. France and the USSR signed a mutual defence pact in
case of attack.� See 7/3/1936.
9/3/1935. In the USSR, Nikita Krushchev
was elected chief of the Communist Party.
1934, The Red Army began to suppress the Buryat culture around Lake
Baikal, Siberia, along with their Lamaist Buddhusm. Over a two-year period
their datrsans (monasteries) were destroyed and some 10,000 Buryat massacred or
worked to death.
15/5/1934, Karlis Ulmanis
became dictator of Latvia.
30/11/1932, The USSR said its citizens could emigrate, if they
paid the government a large sum of money in foreign currency.
6/2/1932. The Fascists staged a successful coup in Memel,
agriculture and industry 1928�38
1938, Over the past decade, since 1928, 94% of the
USSR�s 26 million peasant holdings had been forcibly amalgamated into 250,000 kolkhozy, State-owned farms. Effectively
(State-) serfdom had been reimposed on the rural peasanta, at gunpoint. A
largely fictional social enemy, the kulak, or greedy affluent peasant, had been
invented by Stalin
to justify the murders of those peasants who nresisted, The effect was that
production fell 30%, creating a man-made famine.
3/8/1935, A Soviet miner, Aleksei Grigorevich Stakhanov
(1906-77), mined a record 102 tonnes of coal in 6 hours. His name became a
celebrity, with towns named after him and an entire Soviet cult of exemplary �Stakhanovite� labour for the State
being built around him.
1933, The Baltic � White Sea
Canal opened. It had been dug under Stalin by convict slave labour.
22/1/1933, The USSR launched its Second Five Year Plan.
This envisioned the growth of heavy industry but also the production of more
19/6/1931. The second Five Year Plan was
announced in the USSR. This was to begin in 1933;
the main aim was now not industrial expansion but improvement in living
announced the collectivisation of USSR agriculture. In the Ukraine a famine was politically created to destroy the
peasant kulaks, and
also the nation itself; an estimated 5 � 7 million people died as a result.
24/2/1930. Reports out
of the USSR claimed that 40 kulaks a day
were being murdered by Stalin�s agents.
Soviet government ordered all agricultural land to be collectivised.
1/10/1928. Stalin�s first Five Year Plan began.
The idea was for rapid industrialisation
of the USSR, especially in coal, iron, oil, steel, and machine building.
Output of consumer goods was also to rise sharply. Agriculture was to be collectivised, which meant disempowering the
wealthy rural peasantry, or Kulaks (�fists� in Russian, as in �tight-fisted�).
On 5/1/1930 Stalin sent thousands of government agents to the Russian
countryside to persuade the Kulaks to join the new collectives. Under Stalin�s
scheme, every poor farmer who turned his land over to the collective would be
allowed to own a house, stable, garden, and one car, and to keep the income
from any sales of garden vegetables. The
Soviet secret police (Ogpu) crushed any dissent.
2/3/1931. Birth of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
He was born in Stavropol, in the north Caucasus.
1/2/1931, Boris Yeltsin, Russian leader, was born.
4/8/1930. Soviet troops killed 200 striking workers in Odessa
� city of irony, see 1905.
21/7/1930, Maxim Litvinov became Soviet Foreign Minister.
26/6/1930, Stalin was �purging undesirables� from the
Soviet Union administration.
25/4/1930, In the USSR, the Gulag (Glavnoye Upravleniye Ispravitelno-Trudovykh
Lagerey, or Main Administratin of Corrective Labour Camps) Agency was created
to run the penal camps.
30/11/1929, Soviet planes bombed the Manchurian town of
24/9/1929. Workers in the USSR were given 2 days off a week.
-6.0, Trotsky purged
1924-40. See 1923 below
20/8/1940. Leon Trotsky was assassinated in Coyoacan, Mexico, where the exiled Bolshevik
leader had fled to. He was struck several blows on the head with an ice pick by Ramon
Mercader del Rio, one of Stalin�s agents. Aged 61, he had been
outmanoeuvred for power by Stalin in 1923.
1/2/1937, Russia executed 13, who had been accused of
11/4/1929. Germany refused asylum to Leon Trotsky.
21/2/1929. France refused asylum to Leon Trotsky, Stalin�s
most feared opponent, now exiled from the USSR.
Trotsky was expelled from Russia by
Stalin. He found asylum in Mexico.
his opponents. Many were arrested by
his security police, the OGPU, and sent to exile in Siberia.� Trotsky was exiled from the USSR.
Bukharin, Head of the Third International since 1926 and a potential
rival to Joseph
Stalin, was expelled from the Soviet Communist party.
15/11/1927, Trotsky and Zinoviev were
expelled from the Communist Party, USSR.
14/11/1927, The Central Committee of the Soviet
Communist Party voted to expel both Trotsky and Zinoviev from membership, along with 81 of their
associates. The resolution became effective on December 2, when the Fifteenth
Congress of the CPSU purged 93 other Party members associated with the
23/10/1926, In Russia, Leon Trotsky and Zinoviev
were ousted from the Politburo.
26/11/1924. The Communist party of the USSR denounced Trotsky.
25/1/1928, Edvard Shevardnadze, Soviet Foreign Minister under Gorbachev,
9/11/1927, Rebellion in the Lithuanian city of Taurag� by
citizens dissatisfied with President Antanas Smetona, 209 people were
convicted of charges arising from the insurrection, and eleven were executed.
archaeologist Peter Kozlof
discovered the tomb of Genghis Khan.
24/5/1927. Britain severed relations with the USSR amid allegations
of subversion and espionage throughout the British Empire. On 9/6/1927 the USSR
executed 20 people accused of being British spies.
8/11/1926, Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci was
jailed. He had started the Italian Communist Party in 1921, and by 1924 was
party leader and heading the fight against Mussolini�s Fascism. He was
imprisoned as part of a fascist crackdown on its opponents, and in 1928
Gramsci�s prison term was extended to 28 years. In prison in Rome he wrote
Prison Notebooks, detailing his theory of cultural hegemony, the process
whereby the working class take on the values and interests of the middle and
upper classes. Gramsci argued that the working class needed to develop its own
distinctive culture before a true Communist revolution was possible, this
process requiring intellectuals from the working class to create this culture.
He died in prison in 1937 and his sister in law, Tatiana, smuggled his works
out of the prison and sent them in a diplomatic bag to Moscow. His writings
were not published until after World War Two had ended.
2/6/1926, Jonas Staugaitis was elected head of the
Seimas in Lithuania.
1/12/1924, Communists staged a failed coup attempt in
26/1/1924. Petrograd was renamed Leningrad.
Russia struggles for, gains, international recognition 1920-34
18/9/1934. The USSR joined the League of Nations in an
16/11/1933, The USA established diplomatic relations
with the USSR for the first time since the Russian Revolution.
12/12/1932, The USSR restored relations with Japan.
29/11/1932. The USSR and France signed a non-aggression
25/7/1932. The USSR, Poland, and Japan signed a
1/6/1931. The USA was to help build 90 steel plants
in the USSR.
1/10/1929, Britain resumed diplomatic relations with
29/7/1929, Britain�s Foreign Secretary, Arthur
Henderson, had talks with his Soviet counterpart about restoring
Anglo-Soviet diplomatic relations.
1926, Soviet agriculture finally
regained its 1913 output levels.
24/4/1926. Germany signed a friendship treaty with the
12/10/1925, Germany and the USSR signed a commercial
recognised the USSR.
recognised the USSR.
Labour Government recognised the USSR.
8/5/1923, Britain protested to Russia about their
signed a trade agreement with Italy.
19/5/1922, In Russia
the Young Pioneer Movement was established as an equivalent to the Boy Scouts
restored relations with the USSR, signing the Second Treaty of Rapallo.
Secretly, the USSR agreed to let Germany build and test weapons in Soviet
territory that were forbidden within Germany under the Treaty of Versailles.
1/3/1922, Russia signed a trade agreement with
4/10/1921. League of Nations rejected Russian entry.
25/3/1921, The USA refused to restart trading with
16/3/1921, Britain and Russia signed a trade
27/5/1920, Leonid Krassin, Soviet trade delegate, arrived
of Lenin; Stalin wins power struggle against Trotsky 1922-24
Illitch Lenin died, aged
53. The middle-class lawyer who made a revolution on behalf of the workers died
of a series of debilitating strokes. A power
struggle then ensued between Leon Trotsky and Joseph Stalin, who won. Stalin
wanted to encourage the Russian peasants to produce more food for the cities by
allowing thema measure of private enterprise and profit, building up the USSR
internally first (see 1/10/1928, Stalin�s First Five Year Plan,
however, wanted to extract as much food from the countryside as possible to
facilitate urban growth and heavy industry, and then to export Revolution
9/3/1923. Vladimir Illitch Lenin retired from the Bolshevik leadership of the USSR
because of a second stroke.
was disabled by a major
stroke. In fact, although Trotsky
was pushed aside, Stalin took on some of his
-9.0, Start of the Soviet State; plan for industrial
30/12/1922. Soviet Russia was officially renamed the Union of
Soviet Socialist Republics, or USSR.
17/11/1922, Siberia voted for union with the USSR.
was appointed General Secretary of the Communist Party.
1921, Gosplan, the State Planning Commission of the USSR, was established.
Charged with State and Regional planning, and turning plans into reality, it
proved to be a liability as its excess bureaucracy was a brake on economic
22/12/1920, The Soviet Congress adopted an ambitious
plan for the electrification of Russia.
economic problems, 1921
Congress set aside US$ 20 million for food aid to starving children in the
USSR. Famine in Russia claimed some 3 million lives. Russia was humiliated by
having to accept US-organised food distribution within Russia itself.
Subsequently, the Russians employed by the US food distributors came under
Soviet Government suspicion and many were killed in future purges.
asked the world for help in overcoming the famine in Russia.
12/3/1921. Lenin announced that state planning of the
economy will end and free enterprise would be permitted. This was a move forced by the Russian famine in 1921.
The famine was caused by a drought in 1920 which wiped out the crops but
revolution and civil war exacerbated the
situation. The USA responded to Lenin�s appeal and sent 800,000 tons of food.
Soviet Union economy in 1921 was vastly smaller than in 1913, after years of
warfare, international and then civil. 1921
pig iron production stood at a fifth of its 1913 level, coal was 3%, the
railways had just half the locomotoves of 1913, livestock was down 25%, and
cereal deliveries were below� 40% of 1916
levels.On top of this, southern Russia had suffered a drought in 1916. 2
million died in the subsequent famine, and there were even reports of
23/2/1921, Thousands of workers in Moscow were now on
strike and martial law was declared.
22/1/1921, In Russia a poor harvest and the resistance
of the rural peasants to have tjheir grain requisitioned meant that the bread
ration in Russian cities was cut by a third. Workers were now getting only
1,000 calories a day.
at Kronstadt, suppressed, 1921
18/3/1921, The mutiny at Kronstadt naval base,
Petrograd, Russia, which began on 7/3/1921, was suppressed.
7/3/1921, Following a mutiny of Russian sailors at
Kronstadt naval base near Petrograd, military forces attacked the base. The
mutiny was suppressed on 18/3/1921.
sailors mutinied at Kronstadt naval base, outside Petrograd. The rebellion was
crushed by Red Army troops on 17/3/1921.
-12,0, End of the Russian civil watr;
Communists triumphant, 1919-22
The last Japanese troops left
Vladivostok.� With all anti-Bolshevik
forces gone, Soviet rule was established there.
18/10/1921. Russia granted independence to the Crimea.
13/10/1921, Turkey, Russia, and the Caucasian Republics
signed a treaty in Kars.� Turkey retained
Kars, Ardahan, and Artvin, and Russia took Batum.
27/5/1921. Anti-Bolshevik forces took Vladivistok.
21/5/1921, Andrei Sakharov, Russian physicist and human
rights campaigner, was born.
White Russian refugees from the Crimea arrived in Constantinople.
Bolsheviks defeated the White Russians in the Crimea, so ending the Russian Civil
War. The white Russian General, Baron Wrangel, fled
with his men to Turkey.
was captured by the Red Army.
1/11/1920, White Russian forces under Baron Wrangel were
pushed southwards into the Crimea by the Communists.
Russian forces ended their war with Poland, with the Peace of Tartu. This freed
up the Red Army to push back 42-year-old Baron Petrr Nikolaveich Wrangel�s forces which
then occupied much of southern Russia. On 1/11/1920 Wrangel was forced back to
Sevastopol, which he evacuated� on
14/11/1920 and fled to Constantinople ending resistance to the Russian
Latvian-Soviet peace treaty gave Latvia independence from Soviet Russia.
27/7/1920, The Red Army took Pinsk.
12/7/1920, A peace
treaty between Russia and Lithuania; Russia recognised Lithuanian independence,
11/6/1920, The Red
Army recaptured Kiev from the Poles.
Red Army invaded northern Iran.
and Ukrainian troops seized Kiev from the Red Army.
Poland wanted to bring the Ukraine under its influence, to weaken Russia.
28/4/1920, The Red
Army entered Baku.
28/3/1920, Novorossiysk, on the Black Sea, was taken
by the Red Army.
Red Army captured Archangel.
Bolsheviks captured Odessa.
Bolsheviks executed the White Russian, Commander Koltchak.
proclaimed its independence from Russia.
troops defeated White Russians under Admiral Koltchak.
White Army under Alexander
Koltchak was defeated by the Bolsheviks
and Letts captured Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Lithuania) from the Bolsheviks.
16/12/1919, German troops left Latvia and Lithuania.
captured Kharkov from the White Russians under Anton
28/11/1919. Latvia declared war on Germany. German
troops left Latvia and Lithuania on 16/12/1919.
15/11/1919. The Red Army captured Omsk.
12/10/1919. British troops pulled out of Murmansk,
27/9/1919, The last Anglo-French-US forces pulled out
of Archangel, eastern Russia. They had landed there on 2/8/1918 in order to
support anti-Bolshevik White Russian forces, since defeat of the Bolsheviks
would bring Russia back into the war against Germany. An initial contingent of
1,500 Allied troops was reinforced up to 30,000, but this was still too small a
number to control the vast and hostile terrain of the area. With no hope of a White Russian victory
against the Bolsheviks, the Allied hold on Archangel became untenable and they
-13.0, Russian Civil War 1918-19
11/9/1919, In Russia, the White Army foiled attempts
by the Red Army to recapture the city of Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd).
Russian forces under Denikin captured Kiev, and came within 250 miles of Moscow,
with backing from the UK.� However a Red
Army counter attack in December 1919 forced Denikin out of
Kharkov and eventually back to the Caucasus, where he held on until March
1920.� Denikin had a narrow Russophile view, and failed to see the
need to link with Ukrainian and Polish anti-Bolshevik forces; he even blockaded
Georgia and Azerbaijan, fearing these states would set up independent Republics.
Army troops took Ufa.
British troops arrived at Archangel, Russia.
Polish army under Pilsudski took the city of Vilnius, Lithuania, from the Soviets.
Red Army invaded the Crimea.
troops supporting White Russian troops defeated a Bolshevik force.
Comintern was formed. This was the �Communist International�, to spread
of Skoczow. Czech forces forced the Polish Army back to the town of Drogomysl,
Poland. Also the Battle of Shenkursk. The Red Army was almost surrounding
Shenkursk, Russia, and Allied Commander General Edmund Ironside ordered
the remaining American, Canadian and British force to break out and escape
towards Arkhangelsk, Russia.
Red Army occupied Kiev, capital of the Ukraine.
forces entered Vilnius, Lithiania.
of the Latvian Army defected to the Communists and Communist forces occupied
Riga, capital of Latvia.
Soviet Red Army invaded Narva, Estonia.
gained independence from Russia, then ruled by Lenin and soon to
be known as the USSR.
Lvov, the last Austrian Governor, Count Huyn, armed
the Ukrainians who proclaimed an independent Republic of West Ukraine, in
opposition to the Bolsheviks.
Soviet Assistant Foreign Commissar, Leo Karakhan, issued the Karakhan Manifesto. This renounced all former Tsarist rights
and privileges in China. Although Russia did not hand over the Chinese eastern
Railway (it in fact sold it to the Japanese in 1935), this Manifesto did much
to convince the Chi9nese radicals that Soviet Russia� was their only ally.
provisional government of Siberia was set up.
-14.0, Disintegration of Russian Empire
amidst Revolutionary chaos, 1917-18
26/6/1918. The Bolshevik government in Russia
faced enemies on all; sides. In the south, General
Anton Denikin had seized large parts of the Caucasus
and Ukraine. In the north bands of anti-Bolsheviks roamed at will. Former Czech
prisoners of war had organised themselves into the Czech legion and had seized
Osmk on the Trans-Siberian railway. Over 100 British marines had landed at
Murmansk to keep the Bolsheviks out of that port.
26/5/1918, The short-lived Transcaucasian Republic broke up.
9/4/1918. Latvia declared
24/2/1918. Estonia declared its independence.
16/2/1918, Lithuania declared its independence from Russia.
20/11/1917. The Republic of the Ukraine was declared.
29/7/1917, Taking advantage of Revolutionary chaos, the Finns declared
their independence from Russia.
29/6/1917. Ukraine declared its independence.
of the last Russian Tsar, 1917-18
last Tsar, Nicholas II, was murdered by the
Bolsheviks along with his entire family, his daughters Olga,
Anastasia, and his son Alexis, and domestic staff, and even his dog, in
the cellar of a house in Ekaterinburg. Their bodies were thrown down a
disused mineshaft, then later recovered and buried in a shallow grave. The
Bolshevik government was afraid that anti-Bolshevik White Russians or
Czechoslovak troops would liberate the Romanov family and restore them to
power. Western European powers such as Britain were afraid to give the Romanovs
sanctuary (even if they could have been physically extricated from Russia) for
fear of sparking workers� uprisings in their own territories.
30/9/1917. The ex-Tsar and family were exiled to Siberia.
21/7/1917, Alexander Kerensky, formerly Russian Minister
for War, now headed a provisional Government in Russia, replacing that of Prince Lviv.
21/3/1917. Ex-Tsar Nicholas II and his family were arrested.
15/3/1917. Czar Nicholas II abdicated
in Pskov. The 300-year Romanov dynasty ended (see 8/3/1917).
-16.0, Russian Tsarist Government collapses;
Communist Revolution, 1917-18
6/3/1918, In Russia, at the 7th Party Congress in Moscow,
the Bolshevik Party was renamed the Communist Party.
5/3/1918. Moscow was declared the new capital of Russia, in place of
3/3/1918. The Bolshevik government in Russia assigned the Treaty of Brest Litovsk with the Germans. Lenin insisted on signing,
against the wishes of Trotsky.� Trotsky wanted the
Communist Revolution to spread throughout Germany, but Lenin feared the rapid advance
of German troops into Russia, approaching Petrograd.
Russia lost heavily in terms of
land and industry (Russia lost 56
million inhabitants, 79% of its iron, and 89% of its coal production), but the Bolsheviks needed
peace at any cost before their new and shaky administration was overthrown, by Germany or by anti-Bolshevik White Russians and Czechoslovak
troops.� Under this Treaty, Finland regained its
independence from Russia.� The
Baltic Republics were ceded to Germany.�
Communists recruited from Finnish labourers joined Red Guards� to try and re-establish Communist control in
Finland.� Germany moved in to repulse
them.� See 6/4/1918.� Turkey regained territories lost to Russia
even in 1877.
14/2/1918, The Soviet Union adopted the Gregorian
Calendar. The previous day had been 31 January in Russia
28/1/1918. Lenin created a Red Army and the Cheka, a security police force.
22/12/1917. The Bolsheviks opened peace talks with Germany and Austria.
The Allies accused Russia of betrayal.
6/12/1917. As the Russian Army disintegrated after the October
Revolution into bands of raiders, Romania and Russia signed an armistice.
5/12/1917. Russia signed an armistice with Germany,
19/11/1917. A Revolutionary
Council was established in Petrograd, with Leon
Trotsky as leader.
16/11/1917. Bolshevik troops
8/11/1917, In Russia, The People's Commissars gave authority to Vladimir Lenin, Leon Trotsky, and Joseph Stalin.
7/11/1917 (25/10 in Russia). The Bolshevik Revolution, which led to the world�s first
Communist Government under Vladimir Ilich
Ulyanov Lenin. Prime Minister Alexander Kerensky�s government was overthrown. See 6/3/1918.
22/10/1919, The Bolshevik Red Army defeated a White Russian army under Nicolai Yudenich near
Petrograd. Yudenich retreated into Estonia.
Stalin joined the Bolshevik Committee.
15/9/1917. Russia was declared a Republic with a provisional government,
by Soviet Party Prime Minister Aleksandr Kerensky.
16/7/1917. The provisional government in Petrograd, Russia, crushed the Bolshevik uprising. The Bolshevik
leader, Vladimir Lenin, fled to Switzerland. However on 7/11/1917 Kerensky, leader of the Russian
provisional government, was ousted by Lenin.
16/6/1917. The first pan-Soviet Congress opened in Petrograd.
18/5/1917. Trotsky returned to Russia
from the USA
17/5/1917, Kerensky became head of the Soviet
17/4/1917. On his return to Russia (from Zurich) with the other
Bolshevik leaders, Vladimir Illyich Lenin demanded a transfer of power to workers Soviets.
13/4/1917, Stalin was released from
exile in Siberia (imposed 1913).
Illyich Lenin returned
to Moscow from exile.
16/3/1917, An interim Soviet
Russian government was set up.
the official daily newspaper of the USSR, was founded.
10/3/1917, A Soviet, or
council, of workers and soldiers was set up in Russia.
Russian �February� (old style calendar) Revolution began at Petrograd.
Widespread demonstrations were sparked by food shortages; more ominously for Tsar Nicholas II, soldiers refused to open fire on the
crowds. The Russian army had suffered severe casualties against the Germans and
was more on the people�s side. Soldiers were defecting and joining the
demonstrators. See 15/3/1917
9/1/1917. The Russian Prime Minister, Aklexander
Trepov, resigned in the face of strikes, food
shortages, and anti-war protests. He was succeeded by Dimitri Golitzin.
-17.0, Russia in World War One, 1915-16
31/12/1916, By the end of
1916, Russia had seen some 3,600,000 of its citizens killed or wounded in the
Great War, and a further 2,000,000 taken prisoner by the Central Powers.
Tsar Nicholas II opened the Duma (Parliament).
For main events of World War One see France-Germany
30/4/1915. Germany invaded the Russian Baltic
-18.0, Rasputin 1869-1916
30/12/1916. In Russia, Gregory Rasputin, the infamous
Siberian �seer� and miracle worker, was murdered, aged 47.
11/1905, Rasputin was first introduced to
the Tsar and Tsarina. He was brought in as a �miracle worker� who coukd cure
the Tasr�s infant son, Alexis (born 12/8/1904) of his haemophilia. Rasputin
prophesied that Alexis
would not die but that his haemophilia would disappear when he reached the age
of 13. In fact Alexis, along with the
rest of his family, was assassinated by the Bolsheviks just a few days short of
his 14th birthday,
Russian priest Grigory
Rasputin was born, to parents Yefim and Anna in Pokrivskoe.
31/8/1914. St Petersburg was renamed Petrograd.
15/6/1914, Yuri Andropov, Russian President, was born in the village
of Nagutskyoye, north of the Caucasus Mountains.
5/5/1912. The first issue of Pravda, meaning Truth, appeared in Russia.
civil strife in Russia, heavy State repression, 1910-12
Lena massacre: Russian soldiers fired into a crowd of gold miners,
who had gone on strike in Siberia to demand a reduction in the workday and improved
food and sanitation. According to official figures, 270 miners were killed and
another 250 wounded, and the dead were buried in a mass grave. This incident was a key landmark in the unrest leading
to the 1917 Revolution.
Russia, 10,000 workers went on strike in St Petersburg.
Prime Minister Pyotr
Stolypin was assassinated when a police double agent shot him at the
opera in Kiev; he died on 18/9/1911. He had held the post for 6 years; his
predecessor managed only one year, in the turmoil of Russian politics. He was
ruthless and simply crushed any opposition, which made him unpopular and he
fell out with the Tsar, Nicholas, also his Council of Ministers
and the Duma (Parliament).
Ekaterina Breshkovskaya, 66, sometimes
referred to as the "Grandmother of the Russian Revolution" was
convicted on charges of conspiracy and sentenced to exile in Siberia, but her co-defendant Nikolai Tchaikovsky was
1/1/1912. Harold �Kim� Philby, the British traitor who spied for Soviet
intelligence, was born.
16/4/1911, Guy Burgess, English
civil servant who spied for the Russians, was born in Devonport. He died in
August 1963 in a Moscow hospital.
6/7/1909, Andrei Gromyko, President
of the USSR, was born near Minsk, to a peasant family.
19/11/1908, A court in St Petersburg was adjourned when the
prosecuting council refused to deal with Russia�s first female barrister.
9/6/1908, King Edward VII
of Britain met Tsar Nicholas II of Russia at Reval, Russia.
The Tsar agreed to introduce social reform in Macedonia (which was still
nominally under Ottoman Turkish control).
-20.0, Duma meets, fails to achieve liberal
31/12/1907. 167 Duma (Parliament) deputies jailed for treason in
Russia. See 14/10/1907.
14/12/1907, In St Petersburg, 38 soldiers were
sentenced to life imprisonment for surrendering to the Japanese at Port Arthur.
14/11/1907, The Third Duma met in Russia; it sat until
on a restricted franchise, it suppressed revolutionary activities.
parliament (Duma) formed in St Petersburg. See 31/12/1907.
31/8/1907, The UK and Russia agreed an entente, defining
spheres of influence in Persia, Tibet, and Afghanistan.� There was an implicit agreement that Britain
would not allow Russia to control the Bosporus, and the entente opened up the London money markets
to Russia, allowing it to recover from the Japanese defeat of 1904/5. France was also part of this
agreement, forming a Triple Entente
to contain the newly unified Prussian-dominated Germany.
civil strife in Russia; Government concessions but retains autocratic power,
Russian parliament (Duma) was dissolved by Tsar Nicholas II on grounds of treason after
reactionary parties attempted to force concessions. An electoral reform in Russia increased the representation of the
propertied classes, and reduced the representation of national minorities.
3/4/1907. Russia reported that 20 million people were starving in the
worst famine on record.
Parliament (Duma) met in St Petersburg.
Prefect of St Petersburg was assassinated at the Institute of Experimental
of Leonid Brezhnev.� He was born in
Kamenskoye (now Dneiprodzherzhinsk), in the Ukraine.
22/11/1906, Stolypin introduced agrarian reforms in Russia.
2/11/1906. Jewish revolutionary Leon Trotsky was exiled for life to Siberia.
5/10/1906. In Russia, 1,000 prisoners a day were being exiled
21/7/1906. In Russia, the Duma (Parliament) was dissolved and martial law set up. The Cadets withdrew to Finland where they issued the
Viborg manifesto, calling on Russians to refuse to pay taxes.
21/6/1906. The Russian Parliament, the Duma, was
exiled. On 23/6/1906 it called on Russians to refuse to pay taxes.
became Russian Foreign Secretary.
28/5/1906. The Russian government decided to redistribute 25
million acres of land to peasants.
24/5/1906. Czar Nicholas II granted
universal suffrage but refused an amnesty for
political prisoners as suggested by the Duma.
Russian Duma and the Tsar disputed over the release of political prisoners.
10/5/1906. The first
Russian Parliament, or Duma, met in St Petersburg. There was deadlock as the Cadet�s
party opposed the Fundamental Laws.
6/5/1906, Tsar Nicholas II
promulgated the Fundamental Law of the Russian
Empire, reaffirming autocratic rule.
5/5/1906, In Russia, Count Witte was replaced by the more conservative Ivan Goremykin.
4/4/1906, Elections were
held for the first Duma (Parliament) in Russia.
20/3/1906. Russian army officers were killed by
soldiers in a mutiny at Sevastopol, Crimea.
2/3/1906, Tsar Nicholas
II ceded some power to the Russian
7/12/1905. Russian revolutionaries occupied the
fortress at Kiev, Ukraine.
1/12/1905, 20 Russian
army officers and 230 guards were arrested at St Petersburg after a plot to
kill the Tsar was uncovered.
16/11/1905, Count Sergei Witte was appointed Prime Minister of Russia.
Nicholas II of Russia, on advice from Sergei Yulevitch
issued a decree to turn his country from an absolute aristocracy into a
semi-constitutional monarchy in an attempt to quell growing popular unrest,
issuing the October Manifesto. However by the end of 1906 Czar Nicholas, with the opposition divided as to the acceptability of his reforms, was
able to resume autocratic rule again.
The first meeting of the Soviet (Council) of Workers Deputies met in St St
Petersburg. There was widespread disorder across Russia, with a train strike
preventing the British Ambassador leaving St Petersburg.
A railway strike began in Russia, which
became nation-wide by 25/10/1905. By the end of October this had become a
general strike across Russia.
2/9/1905. Russia suffered its worst famine since
1891. Several million people died.
-22.0, Russia turns back its
mutineers from the battleship Potemkin
were sentenced. Eight were condemned to death. Heavy taxation, Russia�s defeat
by Japan, and the Czar�s opposition to constitutional government were causing
19/8/1905, Tsar Nicholas
II of Russia proposed an Impoerial Duma (parlkiament), which would
only be elected on a limited franchise and have only deliberative powers.
Russia the Union of Unions was formed
Miliukov, demanding Parliamentary reform.
24/7/1905, Kaiser William
of Germany and Czar
Nicholas of Russia signed the Treaty of Bjorko at a meeting in
Finland. This proposed a mutual defence pact between the two countries if
either was attacked by another European power. However the Russian Foreign
Office opposed the Treaty because it threatened Russia�s relationship with
France, upon whom Russia was dependent for aid. The German Chancellor, Von Bulow
also opposed the Treaty, and Franco-German tension over the Morocco crisis left
the Treaty dead in the water.
8/7/1905. The crew of
the battleship Potemkin surrendered to the Romanians after a mutiny.
Romania refused to extradite them back to Russia because it said the mutiny was
a political act. The mutiny began as the battleship was watching the rioters in
the city of Odessa. A sailor complained about bad food and was shot. The crew
mutinied, on 27/6/1905, and threw the captain and several officers overboard;
the remaining 8 officers joined the mutiny. A steamer laden with coal was
seized and the coal transferred to the Potemkin.
Russian troops killed more then 6,000
people in Odessa to restore order after a general strike.
Mutiny on the Russian battleship Potemkin,
Cossacks charged at rioting crowds in St
23/6/1905, Tsar Nicholas
II broke his promise regarding an elected
-23.0, Russian liberalisation, 1905
30/4/1905, Tsar Nicholas II
guaranteed freedom of conscience and
freedom of worship in Russia.
The Russian Government stopped censoring private telegrams.
9/3/1905, Russia agreed
to pay �65,000 compensation for the Dogger
Bank incident of 1904.
3/3/1905, Czar Nicholas
II agreed to form a Consultative Assembly.
25/1/1905, Czar Nicholas
II promised reforms.
-24.0, Civil disorder in Russia, 1905
17/2/1905, Grand Duke
Sergei was killed in Moscow by an
Sunday in St Petersburg when 140,000 striking workers were fired on and
105 killed as they marched on the Winter palace to protest peacefully at Tsar Nicholas II�s regime. The workers
movement had begun on 16/1/1905 as a local strike but soon grew to encompass
over 100,000 workers. They planned to present to the Tsar a petition calling
for universal suffrage, equality for all classes, an 8-hour day, civil
liberties and release of political prisoners. The workers were led by
priest Georgi Gapon.� Workers in St
Petersburg elected a �Soviet� (�Council� in Russia), to debate matters such as
pay and working conditions. This event sparked
the Russian Revolution.
19/1/1905. 75,000 Russian workers went on strike amid growing
civil disturbances, and anti-monarchist sentiments, fuelled by defeats by Japan.
In Russia the Putilov Works was hit by a
strike in support of four workers who had been dismissed. See 22/1/1905.
26/12/1904, After months
of unrest and riots in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II made
decrees to improve the lot of the peasants.
-25.0, Russo-Japanese War 1904 see also Japan, 1904
22/10/1904, The �Dogger Bank� incident nearly caused
war between Britain and Russia. The Russian
Baltic fleet sank two Hull trawlers on the Dogger bank. The Russian Commander,
Admiral Rozhdestvensky, later claimed he thought they were Japanese torpedo boats, sent under
false flags to attack, but there was widespread disbelief and indignation in
Britain. The Russians were fearful of Japanese attack and on edge, guns ready;
they suddenly found themselves surrounded by a flotilla of small boats. However
when they realised their mistake they did not stop tin help but steamed off
into the night. The people of Hull were furious and demanded the British navy
chase after the Russians to �teach them a lesson�. Only French diplomatic
intervention prevented the incident from escalating further. The Russian fleet
was on its was to fight the Japanese navy in the Pacific.� Russia expressed regret and provided
For Russo-Japanese war 1904 see China-Japan-Korea
protested to Russia about attacks on neutral merchant shipping.
The Russo-Japanese war broke out.� This
was provoked by Russian penetration into Manchuria and Korea.� By 1898 Russia had secured the Pacific
ice-free port of Port Arthur and had linked it to the Trans-Siberian railway
going to Vladivostock and beyond.� Japan
ousted the Russians from Seoul, Korea.�
The Russian army numbered 1,000,000 peacetime standing, plus 4,500,000
reserves; the Japanese army only comprised 150,000 men with 900,000 reserves.
However the Russians faced a huge logistical problem because most of their
forces had to be transported from Europe. The Trans-Siberian railway, still
incomplete, was not up to the job.� In an
effort to resist the |Japanese they sent their Baltic Fleet around the Cape to
the Pacific; en route they sank two British North Sea trawlers, thinking they
were Japanese warships. See 30/1/1902. Fighting started when the Japanese
attacked Port Arthur without warning, sinking two battleships and a cruiser,
trapping the rest of the fleet in port. Only after this event did Japan declare
war on Russia.
12/8/1904, Tsarervich Alexis was born.
He was haemophiliac and this resulted in the intervention of Rasputin in
-26.0, Russian expansionism; Trans-Siberian
Railway opened, 1858-1903
29/9/1903, Count Witte, Russian Financial Minister,
was dismissed. This signalled the supremacy of the Russian Government faction
favouring continued Russian expansion in Manchuria and Korea.
3/7/1903, The UK and Japan demanded that Russia
withdraw from Manchuria.
15/5/1903, British Foreign Secretary Lord Lansdowne
announced that Britain would strongly resist the establishment of any fortified
base by another power on the Persian Gulf. This was aimed at countering expansionist plans by Russia.
22/9/1902. Czar Nicholas
II abolished the nominal independence of Finland and appointed a Russian
2/4/1901, A proposed agreement between Russia and
China for Russian occupation of Manchuria was cancelled by China, after Chinese
appeals for support from Britain, Japan and Germany. For details see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manchuria
ceased exiling criminals to Siberia.
Russia occupied Port Arthur.
1895, Emigration increased
markedly from the Russian heartland, mostly to Siberia,along the newly-built
Trans-Siberian Railway. In 1895 108,000 people left Russia, compared to
just 10,000 in 1882. Population pressures had forced Czar Nicholas II to ease restrictions on travel. By 1899
annual emigration to Siberia was 223,000.
1893, The city of Novosibirsk was founded. In 1891 a
survey party located a site for the Transiberian Railway to cross the River Ob.
At the site they selected there was just a village called� Krivoshchokovo (�crooked creek�). Work began
on the railway bridge in 1893; by the time the railway through here was
complete, the rail workers settlement on the right bank of the Ob had a
population of 7,832. By 1925 the town was knwn as Novonikolaevsk and had over
100,000 inhabitants; in that year it changed name to Novosibirsk.
30/3/1885, Russian troops, having already taken Merv
(Mary), were now close to Herat, Afghanistan, which unnerved the British as it
could threaten India. Russian troops were ordered to halt their advance until
the borders of Afghanistan could be fixed. However against orders they fought
and heavily defeated the Afghans at Al Tepe this day. Britain seemed likely to
declare war on Russia, a move averted by British Prime Minister William
Gladstone (1809-98), who devised a settlement whereby Russia gained
Pendjeh District and Afghanistan secured the Zulfkar Pass. The Russian-Afghan
border was fully delineated in 1887.
18/11/1877, In the
Caucasus, Russia captured the fortress of Kars from Ottoman Turkey.
1875, Russia completed its colonisation of
Sakhalin. Sakhalin was a Chinese dependencey until ca. 1800. The Japanese
occupied southern Sakhalin until 1875, when it was ceded to Russia. In 1905,
following the Russo-Japaanese war, southern Sakhalin was returned to Japan.
Japan occupied northern Sakhalin in 1920 during the Siberian Intervention but
returned that portion of the island in 1925. Southern Sakhalin was taken again
by the USSR in August 1945, a few days before Japan�s surrender. See also China-Japan.
Fedchenko, Russian explorer of central Asia, died (born 7/2/1844).
26/7/1867. Russia formed the governor-generalship of
Turkestan, having moved into the area to prevent Muslim incursions into their
28/5/1858. Russia acquired from China the territory on
the left (north) bank of the middle and upper River Amur, along with the
territory on both sides of the lower Amur. This was under the Treaty of Aigun.
unrest in Russia; Future Communist leaders, 1900-04
20/2/1904, Alexei Kosygin, Soviet
Communist leader and Prime Minister, was born in Leningrad.
1903, Josef Stalin (born 1879) joined
the Bolshevik Party.
17/11/1903. Vladimir Lenin
emerged as leader of the Bolsheviks within the Russian Social Democratic party.
A walk-out by disgruntled Jewish Social Democrats gave him the slight majority
he needed. The opposition Mensheviks (minority) feared Lenin would suppress
free debate and institute a one man dictatorship.
3/7/1902. After riots in Russia which killed several thousand people,
Czar Nicholas II offered to talk to the people.
15/4/1902, In Russia,
socialist revolutionaries assassinated the Interior Minister, Sipyagin. He was succeeded
by Viacheslav Plehve, who suppressed the peasants revolt and attacked the Armenian Church.
students began a political protest against the Tsar.
1/3/1902, Lenin published a pamphlet entitled �What is to be Done�,
outlining his ideas for liberating the working masses through a Communist
8/1/1902, Georgi Malenkov,
Soviet politician, was born in Orenburg.
3/1901, Students and workers protested across major
cities; several Russian
provinces were placed under martial law.
17/3/1901. Anti-Czarist protests by students in St Petersburg were broken up by Cossack troops.
27/2/1901, The Russian
Propaganda Minister was assassinated after his repression of student agitators.
1900, The average size of a peasant�s landholding in Russia had
shrunk to 8 acres, from 13 in 1860, because of rising population.
However Russia was beginning to industrialise, in the cities.
and his wife
left Russia to begin a 5-year exile in Switzerland.
29/1/1900, Lenin returned from three year�s exile in Siberia.
29/1/1901, Joseph Gourko,
Russian General, died (born 15/11/1828).
1/11/1900, Tsar Nicholas
II fell ill with typhoid fever, precipitating a crisis in the
Russian Empire for the entire month.
23/9/1900, The fifth Congress of the Socialist Second International
met in the Salle Wagram in Paris. Of the 1,300 delegates, 1,000 were French;
the second biggest contingent, 95, came from Britain. Just 6 were from the
Americas and the only Japanese delegate was unable to afford the boat fare.
Opinion was divided as to whether the working class should gain power through
revolution or through campaigning for universal suffrage.
whilst in exile in Siberia, published his book �The Development of Capitalism
1/3/1898, The first Communist Party meeting in Russia; the Russian
Social Democratic Workers Party met in Minsk.
30/8/1896, Alexis Lobanov-Rostovski, Russian statesman,
died (born 30/12/1824).
1/11/1894, Alexander III,
Tsar of Russia, died (24/10).� Nicolas II became Tsar of Russia.
17/4/1894, Nikita Kruschev,
leader, was born in Kalinovka, near Kursk.
10/2/1894, Germany signed a commercial treaty with
4/1/1894, Russia and France signed a treaty of mutual
defence. Despite huge differences between their political systems, both
countries felt threatened by encirclement. France felt threatened by a rare
entente between Germany and Britain. Russia saw itself threatened to the south
and east by the British Empire in central and eastern Asia.
1892, A drought through the
summer of 1891 affected a large area of Russia from the Urals to the Black Sea,
an area twice the size of France with a population of 36 million. There was no
rain fdor 3 months, and the harvest sharnk by over 90%. The result was a
cholefra and typhus epidemic by the end of 1892.
17/8/1892. Russia and France signed a military convention.
8/5/1891, Helena Blavatsky, Russian theosophist, died in
London (born at Ekatirnoslav 31/7/1831).
9/3/1890, Molotov, Soviet
politician, was born in Kukaida under the surname Skriabin.
18/3/1889, Lavrenti Pavlovich Beria,
Russian secret police chief from 1938 and one of the most feared men in the
USSR until his execution in 1953, was born.
22/12/1888, Michael Loris-Melikov, Russian statesman,
1/11/1888, Nikolay Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky, Russian
27/5/1883, Alexander III was crowned as �Tsar of all the
11/3/1883, Alexander Gorchakov, Russian statesman, died
7/7/1882, Michael Skobiev, Russian general, died (born
15/5/1882, Constantine Kauffman, Russian General, died
13/3/1881, Alexander II, Tsar
of Russia since 1855, aged 62, died from injuries sustained when a bomb was
thrown at him near his palace, by a Polish student. The assassination was devised
by a group of Nihilists headed by Sophia Perovskaya. He was succeeded by his
36-year old son, Alexander III, who reacted to the assassination with great
severity, determined to root out sedition in Russia. He also authorised a
systematic campaign against Russian Jews, imposing severe restrictions on their
worship from 5/1882 onwards. Millions of Jews emigrated from Russia over the
next three decades.
published Das Kapital, worker demomstrations, Marx, Engels, died, Fabian
Society formed, 1858-95
died in London, aged 74. He was an immigrant businessman who,
along with Marx, founded the
political philosophy called communism. Marx was the better of the two at theory
but Engels could communicate these ideas better to the public.
1889, The Second International
(working men�s association, see 1876), also lnown as the Socialist
International, was founded in Paris.
4/1/1884. The Fabian Society was founded, to promote
17/3/1883, Karl Marx was buried in Highgate
14/3/1883. Karl Marx, born 5/5/1818, died. He
was aged 64, and was buried at Highgate cemetery, London. He had lived in
London since his expulsion from Prussia and Paris in 1849. Marx and Engels drew up the
Communist Manifesto in January 1848, calling for workers of all lands to unite.
He published Volume One of Das Kapital in 1867. He, his wife Jenny, and their children
lived in poverty in two rooms in Soho, while Marx
studied economic history in the British Museum.
2/12/1881, Karl Marx�s wife Jenny died.
demonstration by socialist marchers in Trafalgar Square led to violent clashes
with mounted police and guardsmen.
1876, The �First International� (working men�s
association) broke up after severe ideological splits. See 28/9/1864 and 1889.
1872, Marx�s Das capital was first
published in Russia. It got past the censors because it was considered too dull
to have much impact.
5/3/1871, Rosa Luxemburg, German Socialist leader and founder of
the left-wing Spartacus movement, was born.
radicals in London formed an International Workingmen�s Association to
help unite the world�s workers in revolution. led by Marx and Engels.
22/1/1858, Beatrice Webb, founder member of the
Fabian Society, was born.
17/2/1880, Tsar Alexander II narrowly escaped an
assassination attempt by Nihilists as a bomb exploded outside the Winter
Palace, St Petersburg.
21/12/1879, Joseph Stalin was born in Gori,
Georgia, as Joseph Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, son of a shoemaker.
26/10/1879, Leon Trotsky was born in
Yanovka, Ukraine, as Lev Davidovich
23/1/1878, In Moscow, a trial
of nearly 200 revolutionaries ended in acquittals. However the Russian police
arrested most of them afterwards and sent them to Siberia anyway.
13/6/1876, Mikhail Bakunin, Russian anarchist (born 1814)
died in Bern,
13/1/1874, Conscription was introduced in Russia.
9/6/1872, Peter I, Tsar
of Russia, was born.
Illyich Lenin, Russian Communist leader, was born in
Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), as Vladimir
Ilyitch Ulyanov, the
son of a schools inspector.
Menshikov, Russian statesman, died (born
18/5/1868, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, was born, the son of
1865, Censorship laws were
relaxed in Russia.
1864, Local govermment
assemblies (zemstvos) were set up in
most Russian provinces. However, to ensure the continued dominance of the
Russian nobility, the zemstvos were
kept at the territorial level of the province and district (uezd); the smaller units of township (volost) and village (village assembly, shkod) were kept as ;largely
self-governing by the local peasantry.
1863, Russian universities were
given more autonomy.
3/3/1861. Russian serfs were emancipated by Czar Alexander II as a part of a programme of
modernisation.� 20 million serfs, about a third of the
population, were given the right to own the land they cultivated. But they had to pay for this right, both to
the government and the former landowner so many serfs remained un-free.
2/7/1858. Czar Alexander II of Russia ordered all serfs
working on imperial land to be freed.
-29.0, Crimean War,
30/3/1856. The Treaty of Paris ended the Crimean War. Russia agreed to demilitarise the Black Sea,
demolishing its naval bases at Sevastopol and three other locations. It also
renounced its claim to protect the Holy Places in Palestine.� Russia ceded a part of Bessarabia, forcing it
back from the Danube River. The Treaty also stipulated that the Aland Islands
should not be fortified, by the army or navy. This allayed British fears over threats to its
trade in the Baltic, see Russia-1854.
agreed to preliminary peace conditions for ending the Crimean War.
11/9/1855. During the Crimean
War, the Russian Black Sea port of Sevastopol fell to Anglo-French forces after an 11 month siege.
The Russians demolished the fort as they abandoned it. However the Allies were unable to occupy the port
facilities before winter set in and British troops faced a second winter in the
16/8/1855, Battle of
Chermaia, in the Crimean War. The Russians were defeated by a combined force of
British troops and Piedmontese soldiers sent by Count Cavour of Savoy.
28/6/1855, Lord Raglan, British Army officer and commander of the
expeditionary force in the Crimea,
2/3/1855, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia died
during hostilities during the Crimean
War.� His successor, Alexander
was more disposed to make peace with Britain, but negotiations broke down.
1854, During the Crimean War, Anglo-French forces attacked and
destroyed the Russian fortress of Bomarsund,
which the Russians had erected in the 1830s on the Aland Islands (see 17/9/1809). At the time, Palmerston had protested against
this fort, without effect, because it potentially threatened British trade in
combined English and French armies defeated the Russians at the Battle of Inkerman, in the Crimean
War. British forces now spent their first winter in the Crimea, poorly
supplied. Public opinion in Britain began to turn against the war, outraged by
daily reports in The Times from war
25/10/1854. Battle of Balaclava and the Charge of the Light Brigade, led by Lord Cardigan. The Russians were
attacking a combined force of English, French, and Turks, who were themselves
besieging Sevastopol. Of the 607 who rode out, only 198 returned. In poor visibility, Lord Raglan noted that
the Russians, at the north end of a valley, were attempting to move some guns,
and ordered the Light Brigade to capture them; he was unaware of other Russian
artillery along the valley. However the British and French won the battle
in the end.
17/10/1854. The Allies
(French and British) laid siege to the Russians at Sevastopol.
20/9/1854. The Allies,
on the banks of the River Alma, gained a major victory over a 40,000
strong Russian force in the Crimean War; 2,000 British casualties.
French and British
troops landed in the Crimea.
8/8/1854, Britain and France put forward the Vienna Four
Points they considered essential for a peace settlement with Russia in the
Crimean War. These were, firstly
guarantees of the independence of Serbia, secondly free passage for vessels
along the Danube, thirdly a revision of the Straits Convention, and fourthly
that Russia abandoned its claim to a protectorate over the Sultan of Turkey�s
Christian subjects. Russia rejected
Russian Baltic fort of Gustavfarm was destroyed by a British fleet, with 1,500
Russian PoWs being captured.
War began; Britain and France declared war on Russia.� On 12/3/1854 the British and French formally
allied with Turkey. See 30/11/1853. The ostensible cause of the Crimean War was
a dispute between Russia, France, and Turkey
over control of the Christian Holy Places in Turkish-controlled Palestine. The
Turks refused Russia�s demands and Russia marched into the Turkish vassal
states of Wallachia and Serbia. This threatened Russian occupation of Istanbul
and hence Britain�s communications with its Indian Empire, so Britain entered
the war against Russia.
20/3/1854, Russia sent troops southwards across the Danube,
threatening Ottoman Turkey. Ultimately this posed the threat of Russia on the
Mediterranean, putting communications between Britain and India at risk, and so
was unacceptable to the UK.
6/2/1854, Russia broke off diplomatic relations with Britain
4/10/1853. The Russians refused to withdraw from the Danubian
Principalities, and Turkey declared war on Russia. On 23/10/1853 the Turks,
under Omar Pasha, crossed the Danube into Wallachia. See 30/11/1853.
31/5/1853, Tsar Nicholas I of Russia despatched troops to protect Christian
minorities in Ottoman-ruled Moldavia and Wallachia.
1853-56, Crimean War
-30.0, Marx, Engels, born. They
meet, Marx moves to England, 1818-1849
24/8/1849, Karl Marx moved from France to England.
Communist Manifesto, written by Karl Marx and Freidrich Engels, was published.
21/2/1848, The Communist Manifesto was first
8/12/1847. In Britain, an international convention of
the Communist League adopted Karl Marx�s principles of the overthrow of the middle
classes and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
1/6/1847. The Communist Party, then called the League of the Just, met at a
congress in London organised by Joseph Moll. The
purpose of the meeting was to secure the co-operation of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in formulating the Party programme. Marx did
not attend because of the cost of travel from Brussels. The Party aims were the
downfall of the bourgeoisie, the rule of the proletariat, and the establishment
of a new society without class or private property. The first Russian Communist
meeting was at Minsk on 1 � 3 March 1898, where 9 delegates met. All were
subsequently arrested and none played a significant role in later politics.
Karl Marx settled in Brussels after being expelled from
Karl Marx met Friedrich Engels in Paris; their lifelong collaboration began.
19/6/1843, Karl Marx married Jenny von Westphalen, daughter of a Prussian aristocrat.
1843, Engels published �The Condition of the Working
Class in England.
27/11/1820, Friedrich Engels, German socialist and associate of Karl Marx, was born in Barmen.
5/5/1818, Karl Heinrich Marx,
father of Communism, was born in Trier, Germany, son of a
Muraviev, Russian statesman, was born (died 21/6/1900).
10/3/1845, Alexander III,
Emperor of Russia, second son of Alexander II, was born (died 1894).
7/2/1844, Alexis Fedchenko,
Russian explorer of central Asia, was born (died� 15/9/1873).
1841, Czar Nicholas I forbade the
auctioning of serfs.
13/7/1841, The Straits
Convention, signed by the five great European powers, guaranteed Ottoman
sovereignty and closed the Bosporus and Dardanelles to all foreign warships.
This was directed at preventing Russian expansion.
21/4/1834, Count Aleksei Arakcheev, Russian soldier and
statesman, died (born 1769).
1833, Czar Nicholas I forbade the
spltting up of families by the sale of serfs.
29/1/1832, Nicholas Ignatiev, Russian diplomat, was born
31/7/1831, Helena Blavatsky, Russian theosophist, was
born at Ekatirnoslav (died in London 8/5/1891).
12/7/1831, Vasily Golovnin, Russian Vice-Admiral, died.
He was given the mission, accomplished 1817-19, of sailing a Russian ship
around the world. He was born on 20/4/1776.
27/6/1831, Pavlovich Constantine, Grand Duke of Russia,
died (born 27/4/1779).
10/6/1831, Hans Karl Diebitsch, Russian Field Marshal,
died (born 13/5/1785).
26/5/1831, The Russians defeated the Poles at the Battle of Ostrolenska.
25/2/1831, The Poles halted the Russian advance at the Battle
15/11/1828, Joseph Gourko, Russian General, was born
26/12/1825, The Decembrist
Army Revolt in St Petersburg was crushed; it had begun on 1/12/1825. Young
men inspired by the ideals of the French Revolution had attempted to overthrow
the Tsarist rulers. Five rebels were hanged and 121 were exiled to Siberia.
18/12/1825, Tsar Nicholas I became ruler of Russia.
13/12/1825, Tsar Alexander I died in agony, aged 47, after
eating poisonous mushrooms in the Crimea. He was succeeded by his 21-year-old
1824, Russia gained control over the
fortresses of Abkhazia. However the general population was not subdued until
30/12/1824, Alexis Lobanov-Rostovski, Russian statesman,
was born (died 30/8/1896).
4/9/1821, Czar Alexander declared that Russian influence in Alaska extended as far south as
Oregon and closed Alaskan waters to foreigners.
21/5/1820, Nicholas Giers, Russian statesman, was born
29/4/1818, Alexander II, Tsar of Russia, was born.
3/3/1818, Constantine Kauffman, Russian General, was
born (died 15/5/1882).
25/3/1813, Mikhail Kutusov, Russian Field Marshal, died
Battle of Berezina. The Russians won; French plans to over-winter at Smolensk had
forces closing in on the retreating French in western Russia won the Battle of
troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at
troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at
24/10/1812, Battle of
Maloyaroslavets. The French had planned a retreat from Moscow through undamaged
terrain, white they might gather sustenance. However the Russians positioned
artillery to cover the bridges over the River Luzha, which the French had to
cross to achieve this planned retreat. After a series of fierce battles, the
French did capture the town, but the Russian artillery still commanded the
bridges. The French now had no choice but to attempt a retreat through the
devastated terrain they had previously advanced through.
forces began their retreat from Moscow.
forces defeated the French at the Battle of Tarutino, south of Moscow.
14/9/1812. Napoleon entered Moscow, which had been abandoned and burned by the Russians in
their scorched earth policy.� This
denied Napoleon�s army much-needed winter
quarters. Winter was approaching (see 9/11/1812) and Napoleon was forced to retreat. Napoleon failed to persuade Czar Alexander to come to terms, and his army
began to leave Moscow to return to France on 19/10/1812.
7/9/1812. Napoleon�s forces marching to Moscow defeated the Russians under Kutzov at the Battle of Borodino, 70 miles west of the city. Each side lost some
16/8/1812, The Battle of Smolensk began. The
Russians initially defended the city with a tenacity that the French had not
anticipated, then managed to withdraw to avoid encirclement. The Russians
destroyed all buildings and bridges as they fell back, leaving Napoleon�s
forces having captured nothing but ruins.
24/6/1812. Napoleon began his conquest of Russia. France and Russia had been
allies but relations had deteriorated between them. This day La Grande Armee crossed the River
Niemen into Russia. On 28/6/1812 he captured Vilnius, capital of Poland. Napoleon headed
the biggest army ever assembled up to that time, 614,000 men of at least 20
different nationalities. Within 6 months, 90% of
them would be dead. Napoleon wanted Russia under Tsar Alexander I to join the French blockade
of Britain. Napoleon�s army was welcomed as he entered
Lithuania and Poland, as liberators from
the Russians, who had taken control of these countries in 1795.
events of Napoleonic Wars see France-Germany
17/9/1809, In February 1808 Tsar Alexander invaded Finland,
then part of Sweden,
without a declaration of war.� On this
day the Treaty of Fredrikshamn ended the war; Sweden ceded Finland and the
Aland Islands to Russia. Sweden was unable to secure an undertaking by Russia
not to fortify the Aland Islands, which were close to Stockholm, but see
21/2/1808. Russia occupied Finland, which was formerly under
Tsar Paul I
11/3/1801, Paul I, Tsar of
Russia, was strangled in a scuffle with his officers, who were
conspiring to compel him to abdicate. Aged 46 hi was succeeded by
his 23-year-old son, who ruled until 1825 as Alexander I Pavlovich.
Bezborodko, Grand Chancellor of Russia, died in St Petersburg (born
in Gluchova 14/3/1747).
Gorchakov, Russian statesman, was born (died 11/3/1883).
6/11/1796. Death of Czarina Katherine the Great of Russia. She died at Czarskoye
Selo (The Czar�s Village) near St Petersburg, aged 67.� She had been Empress of Russia since 1762. She was succeeded by her 42-year old son, Paul I,
who ruled until 1801.
6/7/1796, Nicholas, Tsar of Russia, was born.
28/3/1795, The Duchy of Courland was incorporated into the
State of Russia.
9/11/1794, Russian forces entered Warsaw, ending the Polish
10/10/1794, The Polish army, 7,000 men� under Tadeusz Kosciusko was heavily defeated by the
Russians, 16,000 men, at Maciejowice, and its leader taken prisoner. Kosciusko
was released by Czar
Paul in 1796, and died on 15/10/1817 when his horse fell over a
25/3/1793. By the Treaty of London, Russia joined the
coalition against France.
23/1/1793, Prussia signed a treaty with Russia.� Poland was partitioned, with Prussia
obtaining Danzig, Thorn, Posen, and most of Great Poland.� Russia received Minsk, Pinsk, and the
frontier on the Zbrucz.� Austria received
promises of help in re-conquering Belgium, as well as some Polish territories.
18/5/1792. Russian troops invaded Poland.
30/9/1788, Lord Raglan, the Field Marshall responsible for the Charge of the Light Brigade at Balaklava,
was born at Badminton, Gloucestershire.
11/7/1787, Alexander Menshikov, Russian statesman, was
born (died 2/5/1869).
1785, Katherine II of Russia
introduced the Charter of the Nobility.
It was a device to enrich the Russian nobles, at the exoense of the peasants,
so as to ensure their continued loyalty to her. Under this Charter, the Russian nobles were freed from tax and military
service oblicagions, and had no duties except to keep the serfs subdued. The civil condition of the peasants
worsened, and many were now virtual slaves to their noble, forced both to
slave for him and fight in the Russian Army when required. This Charter made inevitable the future
Communist Revolution in Russia.
6/1/1784, Under the Treaty of Constantinople, Ottoman Turkey
ceded the Crimea to Russia.
1783, Russia conquered the Crimea,
from the Tatars.
3/5/1783. Katherine II of Russia, who was thought of as
an enlightened monarch by Europeans, officially introduced serfdom in
14/12/1780, Karl Nesselrode, Russian statesman, was born
27/4/1779, Pavlovich Constantine, Grand Duke of Russia,
was born (died 27/6/1831).
23/12/1777. Tsar Alexander I,
who defeated Napoleon�s
invasion of Russia in 1812, was born.
20/4/1776, Vasily Golovnin,
Russian Vice-Admiral, was born. He was given the mission, accomplished 1817-19,
of sailing a Russian ship around the world. He died on 12/7/1831.
27/7/1774, Samuel Gmelin
died whilst exploring the Caspian area.
Russians and Turks signed the Treaty of
Kuchuk-Kainardji, ending their six-year war. Moldavia and Wallachia were
returned to Turkey and the Crimea became independent. Russia gained control of
much of the northern Black Sea coast. The Sultan was allowed to remain
spiritual leader of the Crimean Moslems; however Russia gained the right to
build and protect an Orthodox church in Istanbul. Russian merchants were to
have unrestricted access to the Black Sea and Mediterranean across Ottoman
territories. This gave Russia a pretext
to intervene in Turkish internal affairs.
28/12/1772, Ernst Biren,
21/4/1768, Alexius Bestuzhev-Ryumin,
Grand Chancellor of Russia, died (born in Moscow 1/6/1693).
5/7/1764, Ivan II, Tsar of Russia, was murdered.
12/9/1762, Catherine II The Great was crowned Empress of
17/7/1762, Peter III, Tsar of Russia, was murdered. He
was about to divorce his wife of 17 years, Catherine; she struck first, with
the help of her lover Orlov, by rallying the support of the army and
church, and had herself proclaimed Empress.
The Seven Years War; Russia against Prussia
22/5/1762, Peace was
formally agreed between Russia and Prussia (Treaty of Hamburg). Russian forces
began to return home.
5/1/1762, Elizabeth I of
Russia died; her successor Tsar Peter III made peace with Prussia.� This was fortunate for Frederick of Prussia because
after the end of the Pitt Ministry in England, the English were
moving towards making peace with France and therefore no longer giving
financial support to Prussia.� See
15/2/1763 and 5/10/1761.
communicated to Russia that it desired peace in the war against Prussia.
Austria communicated similarly to Russia the following day. However Russia
rejected this proposal, as its original purpose in eliminating the threat it
saw in Prussia, would then remain unsatisfied.
and Austria signed a secret convention, never shared with France, that would
give East Prussia to Russia as compensation for its war losses in supporting
the Austrians against Prussia.
Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Russian diplomat, died in Paris (born 1688),
19/9/1757, Elizabeth I of
Russia had a fainting fit at Tsarskoe Selo; the start of a serious
troops advanced on Konigsberg, Prussia.
16/1/1756. George II
secured an agreement, the Convention of
Westminster, by which Frederick of Prussia guaranteed to help
England if Hanover was attacked, and England promised to help Prussia if
Silesia was attacked.� This guaranteed
the neutrality of the Prussian states under Frederick II in the escalating
Anglo-French dispute.� However it was also alarming to Russia, who
saw the Treaty as a potential Anglo-Prussian alliance against them. See
The Seven Years War; Russia against Prussia
1/10/1754, Paul I, Tsar of Russia, was born.
14/3/1747, Aleksander Bezborodko, Grand Chancellor of
Russia, was born in Gluchova (died in St Petersburg 6/4/1799).
16/9/1745, Mikhail Kutusov, Russian Field Marshal, was
born (died 25/3/1813).
1743, Russians reached the
Taymyr Peninsula, the northernmost point of Asia.
23/1/1743, Russia and Sweden began negotiations to end their
19/12/1741, Vitus Bering, Danish born explorer of Russia, who
gave his name to the Bering Strait and Bering Sea, died of scurvy on Bering
Island after being shipwrecked. On earlier expeditions he had mapped the Bering
Strait and much of the coast of Siberia.
6/12/1741, Elizabeth Petrovna became Empress of Russia in
8/11/1739, Vasily Dolgoruki, Russian politician, was
executed (born 1672).
30/6/1737, The Russians attacked the Ottoman fortress of
14/4/1737, Dmitry Golitsun, Russian statesman, born 1665,
died in prison after being denounced for anti-monarchical sentiments.
19/6/1736, The Russians took Azov, Romania, from the
30/1/1730, Peter II, Tsar of Russia, died of smallpox aged
14. This day he was to have married Catherine, second daughter of Alexis
Dolgoruki. He was succeeded by Anna of Russia.
12/11/1729, Alexander Menshikov, Russian statesman, died.
2/5/1729, Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, was
born in Stettin, Germany (died 1796). She became ruler of Russia in 1762 in a
coup in which her husband Peter III was assassinated.
14/8/1728, Danish explorer Vitus Bering discovered that the
Bering Strait was the easternmost limit of Siberia.
21/2/1728, Peter III, Tsar of Russia and grandson of Peter the Great, was born in Kiel.
16/5/1727, Katherine I of
Russia died aged 44. She was succeeded by her 12-year-old son Peter,
who reigned until 1730.
8/2/1725. Katherine I became Empress of Russia on the
death of her husband Peter the Great.
For more on Great Northern
War see Sweden
Tsar Peter the Great 1696 - 1725
28/1/1725. Peter the Great, Tsar of
Russia from 1682, died in St Petersburg after a 42-year reign. Aged 52, he had
established Russia as a major European power.
30/8/1721, Conclusion of the Peace of Nystad. Peter the Great obtained Swedish lands including
Estonia, and an outlet to the Baltic and the West.
4/8/1717. A treaty of friendship was signed between France
1716, The city of Omsk was
founded as a fortress.
18/10/1715, Peter II, Tsar of Russia, was born.
6/8/1714, Naval Battle of Gangut, in the Baltic;
Russia defeated Sweden.
21/7/1711, Peter the Great
of Russia had to sign the Treaty
of Pruth after his defeat , alongside his Wallachian and Moldavian allies,
by the Ottoman Turks. Turkey recovered the Fortress of Azov, and King Charles
XII of Sweden was permitted safe return to Stockholm.
Petrovna. Empress of Russia, was born (died 5/1/1762).
22/8/1709, Ivan Mazepa,
Hetman of the Cossacks, died.
8/7/1709, The Battle of Poltava (in modern day
eastern Ukraine). Peter the Great of Russia destroyed the Swedish army. Hanover and
Denmark joined with Russia in attacking the Swedish Empire.
9/10/1708, Battle of Lesnaya; Russia beat Sweden.
4/7/1708, Battle of Holovsin; Sweden beat Russia.
2/7/1708, Battle of Kliszow; Sweden beat Russia.
1706, Russia occupied the Kamchatka Peninsula.
9/8/1704, The Russians under Tsar Peter I took Narva, (seaport, now in Estonia) by
force from Sweden.� Narva remained a
Russian port until Estonia� independence
27/5/1703. Tsar Peter the Great founded St
Petersburg and proclaimed it the new capital of Russia. The mouth of the River Neva was low lying, frozen
for half the year, a misty swamp during summer. However it was a vital window
for Russia onto the Baltic. Earth was piled onto the marches to raise their
level, and then wooden pilings sunk to support the buildings. Stone was scarce
demanded that every ship arriving carry at least 30 stone blocks, and every
carriage arriving bring at least 3 paving stones. Even so, stone across Russia
was so scarce that Peter forbade any other building in stone
across all of Russia, on pain of confiscation and exile. 30,000 labourers died
building the city, of malaria and dysentery.
13/4/1703, Battle of Pultusk; Sweden defeated
Russia, and then laid siege to Thorn.
18/7/1702, Battle of Hummelsdorf; Russia defeated
7/1/1702, Battle of Errestfer; Russia defeated Sweden.
forces under King
Charles XII relieved Riga, which had been under siege by Saxony
troops (Great Northern War). Charles XII then went on to invade Poland.
20/11/1700, Sweden defeated the Russians at Narva
the Great changed New Year�s day in
Russia from September 1 to January 1.
29/11/1699, Patrick Gordon,
Scottish-born Russian General, died (born 1635).
Peter I of Russia imposed a tax on
beards in an effort to move his country from Asiatic to European customs.
28/7/1696, Russian forces
the Great captured the fortress commanding the Sea of Azov from its
Ottoman defenders. Russian troops also conquered Kamchatka.
18/7/1696, The Fleet of Tsar Peter I of Russia occupied Azov, at the mouth of
the River Don.
29/1/1696, Ivan V, Tsar of Russia, died.� Peter the Great became Tsar. He decreed that all Russians should be clean �
shaven, or pay a beard tax.
1/6/1693, Alexius Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Grand Chancellor of
Russia, was born in Moscow (died 21/4/1768).
1691, Russians discovered the
19/2/1690, Alexius Petrovich, Tsarevich, was born (died
27/1/1689, Peter the Great of Russia married Eudoxia
15/4/1684, Katherine I of Russia was born (died 1727).
27/4/1682, Theodore III, Tsar of Russia, died.
14/4/1682, In Russia a priest called� Avvakum was burned at the stake for resisting
reforms to the Russian Orthodox Church.
8/2/1676, Czar Alexis Mikhailovich died aged 47 after a
reign of 31 years. He was succeeded by his eldest sutrving son, aged 15, who
ruled as Theodore
III until his death in 1682.
26/10/1673, Demeter Cantemir Prince of Moldavia was born.
He acceded to the throne in 1710, but then joined forces with Peter the Great
of Russia against Ottoman Turkey. The Turks were victorious, and Prince
Cantemir emigrated to Russia.
30/5/1672. Peter the
Great of Russia was born in Moscow. He was the son of Tsar Alexei.
After eight years war between Russia and Poland, the Treaty
of Andruszow between them divided up Ukraine between them, along the
Russian postal service was inaugurated.
18/1/1654. The Ukraine came under Russian
1652, The Siberian city of
Khabarovsk was founded as a fortress by a Russian explorer of the same name.
1649, A new code of Russian laws
legitimised the serfdom of peasants.
1648, Russians reached the
Bering Strait, which was unnamed at the time.
Michael (1613-1645), first of the Romanov Dynasty (1613-1917)
Romanov, died aged 49. He was succeeded by his 16-year old son, Alexis
Mikhailovich (1629-76), who ruled until 1676.
1643, Russians reached Lake Baikal.
1/3/1634, The Poles
and Cossacks lifted the Russian siege of Smolensk.
1632, The Russians besieged Smolensk.
1632, The Siberian city of Yakutsk was founded by Russian fur traders.
9/3/1629, Tsar Alexis I of Russia was born (died 1676).
1621, Sweden seized Riga.
of Delino ended the Russian-Polish war.
1/12/1618, Russia and Poland signed a 15-year
armistice, ending the war between them. Polamnd retained control of Smolensk.
27/2/1617, The Treaty
of Stolbovo ended the Ingrian War between Sweden and Russia.� Sweden
gained Ingermanland and Karelia.
1614, The Romanovs defeated the
21/2/1613. Michael Romanov was elected Tsar of Russia,
founding the House of Romanov, which ruled until the Revolution began on
4/11/1612, A Russian anti-Polish rebellion ensued (see
8/10/1612), Romanov (1565-1645) was elected the new Russian Czar, and Polish
troops, exhausted, began a retreat back to the Polish border.
8/10/1610, Polish forces seized Moscow, and the Russian throne
was offered to Ladislas
(1595-1648),� the son of Sigismund III King
of Poland (1566-1632). However Sigismund objected to this, wanting thr
Russian throne for himself.
9/1610, Battle of Klushino; Polish
forces defeated a Russian relief force attempting to raise the siege of
12/3/1610, Swedish troops under Jacob de la Gardie took Moscow.
Sweden was alarmed at a Polish-Lithuanian attempt to take over Russia.
1609, Tsar Vasili IV (1552-1612)
massacred the Poles in Moscow and allied Russia with Sweden, This provoked a Polish
invasion of Russia. Poland besieged Smolensk.
19/5/1606, Vasili IV became Tsar of Russia.
10/7/1605, Theodore II, Tsar of Russia, was murdered.
23/4/1605, Death of Tsar Boris Godunov (born ca.
1601,A famine began in Russia,
lasting until 1603. Up to 2 million people, a third of the population,may have
died. The Poles and Lithuanians, hoping to claim Orthodox Russia for the
Catholic Church,and supported inside Russia by disaffected nobility,invaded the
21/2/1598, On the death of Tsar Fedor, Boris Godunov was elected Tsar.
17/1/1598, Death of Tsar Fedor I (born 31/5/1557).
1589, The Patriarchate of Moscow was established by Tsar Godunov; this was
the basis for the Romanov Dynasty.
Czar Ivan IV, Ivan the Terrible, died aged
54, whilst about to play a game of chess. He may have died of grief for his
son, whom he had killed in a mad fit of rage three years previously.He was
succeeded by his feeble-minded son Fedor,
aged 27, who ruled until 1598. Fedor
was dominated by Boris
Federovich Godunov, a son-in-law and favourite of Ivan the Terrible.
1584, The port city of
Archangel was founded by Ivan the
Terrible. Originally known as New
Kholmogory, the city was renamed after an earlier monastery in the
1582, Cossack troops under Yermak Timofeyevich
defeated the Tatar ruler of Siberia. From now on, Russia imposed a tax on
Siberians, paid in furs.
10/8/1582. After 25 years
of conflict, Russia made peace with Poland and gave up its claim on the Baltic state
15/1/1582, Ivan IV, The
Terrible, of Russia ceded, at the Peace of Zapoli, Livonia and
Polotsk to Stephen Bathory of Poland. He also ceded this day, by the Trucve of
Ilyusa, Ingria to Sweden. Muscovy lost the Baltic seaboard for over a century.
9/1581, Russian forces in Pskov were besieged by a Polish-Lithuanian army.The
Russians subsequently gave up claims on Livonia.
Timofeyevich, the Cossack leader of a band of thieves who plundered
the Russian countryside, and who was wanted by the Russian military for murder,
fled up the Volga River where he was hired by the Stroganov Merchants to protect theor interests in western
Siberia from the Tartars. This day he set out across the Urals, reaching the
Tartar Khanate of Sibir by Spring 1582. With superior armaments, guns and
cannons against the bows and arrows of a larger Tartar army, Timofeveyich
captured the Tartar capital of Kashlyk (Sibir). Czar Ivan IV �The Terrible� now
however a band of tartars managed to kill him in 1584.
1571, Tatar raids into Russia;
100,000 Russians captured as slaves.
5/1571, The Crimean Army under Devlet I started the Great Fire of Moscow.
25/7/1570, Ivan the Terrible had many of his advisers and
ministers publicly executed in Moscow.
first trade mission to England reached London.
27/2/1557, The first
Russian Embassy in London opened.
1556, Ivan the Terrible completed
the conquest of Kazan and Astrakhan, paving the way for further expansion of
Russia eastwards. Russian troops now stood on the shores of the Caspian Sea.
2/10/1552, Ivan the Terrible took the Tartar city of Kazan, using artillery to break
down the city walls. The Volga became a Russian river.
20/8/1552, Ivan IV (The Terrible) began an attack on Kazan with an army of
150,000 men, after a faction in Kazan promised him the Khanate.
21/6/1547, Moscow was destroyed by
a fire which consumed 25,000 of the city�s wooden houses. 1,700 people died and
80,000 were made homeless.
16/1/1547. Ivan the
Terrible, first Russian to assume the title of Tsar, was crowned.
6/7/1535. Sir Thomas Moore was beheaded in London, for refusing to
accept Henry VIII as head of the Church of England. Thomas More was born in 1477 in London. He published Utopia
in 1515 which described a pagan, communist, city state in which the
institutions and policies are governed entirely by reason. His ideas contrasted
with the self-interest and greed for power seen in Europe�s Christian states.
1533, Basil III, Grand Duke of
Muscovy, died aged 54 He was succeeded by his 3-year-old son who ruled until
1584 as Ivan
IV (the Terrible).
25/8/1530, Ivan the Terrible of Russia was born. As Ivan IV,
he killed over 3,000, including the royal heir.
8/9/1514, At the Battle of Orsha, a combined force of Poles
and Ukrainians defeated the Russians.
27/10/1505.� Ivan the Great
Czar of Russia, died aged 65. He was
succeeded by his 26-year-old son who ruled as Basil III Ivanovitch until 1553.
30/10/1495, An explosion at Vyborg castle deterred Russian
forces who were invading Sweden through Karelia.
6/1/1478, Novgorod was taken by Ivan III.
1480, Ivan III defeated the Tatars.
1471, Yaroslav, some 300
kilometres NE of Moscow, formerly an independent principality, was conquered by
1462, Basil II, Grand Duke of Muscovy,
died aged 47 after a 27-year reign marked by civil war. He was succeeded by his
III,aged 22, who effectively became the first Russian monarch. Ivan III
ruled for 23 years and greatly expanded Russian territory.
1389, Death of Prince Dimitri
Donskoi (born 1350, Grand Prince of Vladimir from 1359). He defeated
an invasion threat from Lithuania in 1375 and in 1370 recovered Tver for the
Russians from the Golden Horde. Born as Dimitri Ivanovich, he took the surname
Donskoi (of the Don).
1363, Algirdas of Lithiania defeated
the Mongols; he extended Lithuanian territory as far as the Black Sea.
23/4/1343, Estonian peasants rose up this day, St Georges
Day,against an oppressive and exploitative Danish and German nobility. The
revolt began in Harjumaa County and spread to Oesel island. Over 1,800 nobles
were killed by the peasants, who besieged revel (now, talinn) and asked for
help from Swedish military posts in Finland. Meanwhile the Teutonic Knights of
Prussia came in ti settle metters, and killed the peasant leader at a �peace
confetrence�. The Teutonic Knights then roiuted the peasant forces near Revel
before Swedish help could arrive. Denmark�s King Waldemar then sold northern
Estonia for 19,000 silver marks to the Tutonic Knights, in 8/1346, because
controlling the region was a drain on his resources. The Teutonic Knights then
gave the area to a fellow order, the Livonian Knights.
14/11/1263, Alexander Nevsky, Russian leader, died; on his
death Russia fragmented.
1252, Aleksandr Nevski became Grand
Duke of Vladimir, and made preparations to resist any further Mongol invasions.
5/4/1242. Russian troops defeated the Teutonic Knights at Lake Piepus, thwarting their planned invasion
15/7/1240. Alexander Nevski defeated the Swedish army,
led by General
Briger Jarl, on the banks of the Neva.
1237, Tatar invasion of Russia.
1233, The city of Narva (now Estonia) was founded by Waldemar
II, King of Denmark. It came under Russian rule in 1704.
1233, Mongol forces defeated the
Rus State at the Battle of Kalka River.
2/2/1207, Terra Mariana, comprising present-day Estonia and
Latvia, was established as a principality of the Holy Roman Empire.
1201, The city of Riga (now in
Latvia) was founded.
II, Grand Prince of Vladimir, was born.
1054, The Kievan Rus State, in existence
since the 9th century, split into several smaller states.
Yaroslavich, Prince of Novgorod, died.
988, Vladimir, Grand Prince of Kiev,
sent envoys to study the Jewish, Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Islamic religions.
He spurned Islam
because it banned alcohol, but was impressed by the glory of Santa Sophia Cathedral
in Coinstantinople. Therefore Greek Orthodox became the basis of the state
religion of Russia.
913, Prince Igor became ruler of the
Kievan Rus. He ruled to 945.
882, The Kievan Rus State was founded.
879, Prince Oleg, a Rus prince
(reigned 882-912) turned on and defeated his rivals,Askold and Dir, and seized the city of Kiev for hiumself. He transferred his
the capital to there from Novgorod.
863, The Cyrillic alphabet, used in Russia and Bulgaria, was invented by
Cyril (36), a Macedonian missionary and his brother Methodius (35).
862, The city of Novgorod was founded by
He stablished the Russian Royal Family which ruled until 1598.
having flown in large numbers of migrants, mainly Iraqi Kurds, to the capital
Minsk, now transported them to the Polish border. Poland declined to accept
them and a border standoff ensued, as the harsh winter weather approached.
9/8/2020, In an
election widely held to have been flawed, Lukashenko won an implausible 80% of the vote.
Tye Opposition leader, Ms Tikhahovskaya, was credited a tiny 9.9%. Popular
protests against the �result� were met by a heavy police crackdown. Lukashenko
was backed by Russia and China.
10/2015, Lukashenko �won� a 5th Presidential
Term, however no Opposition candidate was allowed to compete.
7/2011, Widespread anti-Government ptotests in Belarus were met by
a heavy-hended police crackdown.
4/2011, A terrorist bomb killed 15 on the Minsk Metro.
1/2011, Lukashenko was �elected� for a 4th
3/2006, Lukashenko won a 3rd Presidential
term; however the election was disputed.
Belarus, voters approved an amendment to the Constitution that allowed
Lukashenko to stand for a third term.
2001, Lukashenko won a second Presidential tern;
however there had been a clampdown on the Opposition.
1997, Reunification was proposed between Belarus and Russia;
however this initiative has lapsed.
and Belarus agreed a Union Charter, aimed at eventual union between the two
1996, Lukashenko was awarded extended powers in
reforms to the Constitution. He instituted an economic union with Russia.
1994, Alexander Lukashenko became President of Belarus. He
promised an end to post-USSR dissolution chaos; he retained many many old
Soviet symols and institutions such as the KGB
1991, A referendum in Belarus produced an 83% vote in favour of
remaining unified with the USSR. However the USSR fell apart; instead Russia,
Belarus and Ukraine established a Commonwealth of Independent States linking
declared its �sovereignty�, a step towards independence from the USSR.
1989, Belarusian was adopted as
the official language.
1988, The nationalist Belarusian Popular Front (BPP) was
formed, partly as a response to popular outrage when evidence of mass
executions by the Soviets 1937-41 near Minsk emerged, in which over 100,000
1986, 70% of Belarus suffered radioactive
contamination from Chernobyl.
1941-44, German occupation of Belarus. Two
million people, including most of its large Jewish popualton, died.
1939, Western Belarus, taken by
Poland in 1921, was restored to Belarus when the Soviet Srmy invaded Poland.
1929, Stalin began
collectivisation of agriculture in Belarus.
18/3/1921, The Treaty of Riga awarded Poland a large area of
1919, In the chaos following the
1917 Russian Revolution, Poland invaded.
26/3/1918, In Minsk the independent Byelorussian National
Republic was declared.
1/1/1916, During the German invasion of Russia in World War
Marshal von Hindenburg decreed that the Byelorussian language had
official status., in German-occupied areas of Belarus.
1882, Yanka Kupala, Belarusian
national poet, was born.
1863, Uprising in Belarus
against Russian rule, led by Kastus Kalinowski. The rebellion was
suppressed and Kalinowski
1835, Czar Nicholas I decreed
were allowed to reside in Minsk.
1772, 1795, After the Partition of Poland,
Belarus came under Russian domination.
1324, The Grand Duchy of
Lithuania now ruled the territory of Belarus.
1000, Emergence of the Polotsk
Principality, which became modern Belarus.
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