Chronography of Russia / Soviet Union, Belarus and Ukraine (also Baltic States)
Also Karl Marx and origins of Communist Movement
Page last modified 23/11/2021
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, Azerbaijan, Georgia)
See also Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan listed here)
See also Eastern Europe (Index here for Eastern European countries)
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.
10/3/2020, The Russian Duma approved a measure that would allow Vladimir 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 were 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 from Kyrgyzstan.
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, The 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. Nemtsov was a 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 became 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 Nemtsov�s business 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 was trying 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.
4/3/2012, Vladimir Putin was elected for a third Presidential term (now six years).
24/1/2011, Islamist 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 defence system.
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.
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.
25/2/1997, Tiit Vahi, Prime Minister of Estonia, resigned following a corruption scandal, he was replaced by Mart Siiman.
14/12/1989, Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov died.
3/6/1989. Liquid gas stored beside a railway in Chelyabinsk, USSR, exploded, killing 800.
8/4/1989, 40 soviet submariners died when a nuclear powered Mike class submarine caught fire, and refused assistance from Western merchant ships.
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.
28/5/1987, A 19-year-old West German, Mathias 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.
8/11/1986, Vyacheslav 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 in 16/6/1983.
9/2/1984, Yuri Andropov, Soviet leader, died after only 15 months in office. He was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko.
26/9/1983, The 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 USSR.
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 born.
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.
23/10/1980, The 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 Polish strikes.
13/6/1980, Car manufacturing workers in the USSR went on strike.
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) in Vienna.
21/5/1979, Elton John became the first Western rock star to perform in the Soviet Union.
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.
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 the USSR.
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 77.
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).
8/10/1971, 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.
11/6/1970, Alexander Kerensky, Russian political leader overthrown by the Bolsheviks in 1917, died in New York City aged 89.
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 Chinese invasion.
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 Alexei Kosygin.
5/11/1964, Zhou Enlai, Prime Minister of China, visited the USSR for a summit meeting of Communist States.
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.
22/4/1964, British businesswoman Greville Wynne who had been imprisoned in the USSR for a year on spying charges was exchanged for the Soviet agent Gordon Lonsdale.
31/3/1964, Oleksandr Turchynov, Ukrainian politician, economist, was born.
3/2/1964. China challenged the USSR for leadership of the Communist world.
31/8/1963, The �hot line�, linking the Kremlin and the White House, went into operation.
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�.
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.
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.
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
24/10/1961, Bertrand 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.
16/6/1961. Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union whilst in Paris, travelling with the Leningrad Kirov Ballet.
27/11/1960, Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukrainian politician and co-leader of the Orange Revolution, Prime Minister (2005, 2007-10), was born in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian SSR, Soviet Union.
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.
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.
27/3/1959, Soviet fighter aircraft buzzed US aircraft in the air corridor connecting West Berlin to West Germany.
21/2/1959, Harold MacMillan, British Prime Minister, and Selwyn Lloyd, Foreign Secretary, visited the USSR.
7/9/1958, Nikita Kruschev stated that any attack by the US on China would be regarded as an attack on the USSR.
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.
31/5/1958, The Kremlin and Washington agreed to hold talks on a ban on atmospheric atom bomb tests.
15/2/1957, In the USSR, Andrei Gromyko replaced Dmitri Shepilov as Foreign Minister.
7/1/1957. President 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 Siberia.
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 included Germany.
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.
15/4/1954, Ulo Altermann, Estonian soldier and forest brother, died (b. 1923).
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.
21/8/1953, The USSR banned lobotomies.
10/7/1953, The Soviet Minister of Internal Affairs, Lavrenti Beria, wasd dismissed.
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 under torture.
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 agricultural output.
17/8/1952, A large Chinese delegation, led by Zhou Enlai, visited the USSR for discussions.
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.
25/11/1947. The USSR demanded war reparations from Germany.
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.
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.
See France-Germany (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.
See China-Japan-Korea for events of World War Two in Pacific
13/4/1941. 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 Russia.
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 invaded Bessarabia.
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..
See France-Germany (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.
12/3/1940. Finland 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.
See also Scandinavia 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.
30/9/1939. Germany and the USSR signed a pact agreeing on the partition of Poland.
29/9/1939, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania signed �mutual assistance� pacts with the USSR.
22/9/1939, Russian forces took Lvov, Poland.
21/9/1939, Germany and Russia declared that Poland no longer existed.
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 Foreign Minister.
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, Lithuania.
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 Pokutu.
24/9/1929. Workers in the USSR were given 2 days off a week.
25/1/1928, Edvard Shevardnadze, Soviet Foreign Minister under Gorbachev, was born.
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.
29/10/1927, Russian 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 Estonia.
26/1/1924. Petrograd was renamed Leningrad.
End of the Russian civil watr; Communists triumphant
25/10/1922, 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.
19/11/1920, 100,000 White Russian refugees from the Crimea arrived in Constantinople.
16/11/1920. The 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.
14/11/1920, Sebastopol was captured by the Red Army.
1/11/1920, White Russian forces under Baron Wrangel were pushed southwards into the Crimea by the Communists.
12/10/1920, Communist 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 revolution,
11/8/1920, A 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.
19/5/1920. The Red Army invaded northern Iran.
7/5/1920. Polish and Ukrainian troops seized Kiev from the Red Army. Poland wanted to bring the Ukraine under its influence, to weaken Russia.
28/3/1920, Novorossiysk, on the Black Sea, was taken by the Red Army.
20/2/1920. The Red Army captured Archangel.
8/2/1920. The Bolsheviks captured Odessa.
7/2/1920. The Bolsheviks executed the White Russian, Commander Koltchak.
2/2/1920. Estonia proclaimed its independence from Russia.
9/1/1920. Bolshevik troops defeated White Russians under Admiral Koltchak.
8/1/1920, The White Army under Alexander Koltchak was defeated by the Bolsheviks at Krasnoyarsk.
5/1/1920. Poles and Letts captured Dvinsk (now Daugavpils, Lithuania) from the Bolsheviks.
16/12/1919, German troops left Latvia and Lithuania.
13/12/1919, Soviets captured Kharkov from the White Russians under Anton Denikin.
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, Russia.
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 were evacuated.
11/9/1919, In Russia, the White Army foiled attempts by the Red Army to recapture the city of Tsaritsyn (now Volgograd).
2/9/1919, White 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.
9/6/1919, Red Army troops took Ufa.
3/6/1919. More British troops arrived at Archangel, Russia.
20/4/1919, A Polish army under Pilsudski took the city of Vilnius, Lithuania, from the Soviets.
8/4/1919. The Red Army invaded the Crimea.
1/4/1919,� British troops supporting White Russian troops defeated a Bolshevik force.
4/3/1919, The Comintern was formed. This was the �Communist International�, to spread Communism worldwide.
24/1/1919, Battle 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.
22/1/1919, The Red Army occupied Kiev, capital of the Ukraine.
11/1/1919. Soviet forces entered Vilnius, Lithiania.
3/1/1919, Part of the Latvian Army defected to the Communists and Communist forces occupied Riga, capital of Latvia.
27/11/1918, The Soviet Red Army invaded Narva, Estonia.
18/11/1918. Latvia gained independence from Russia, then ruled by Lenin and soon to be known as the USSR.
1/11/1918, In Lvov, the last Austrian Governor, Count Huyn, armed the Ukrainians who proclaimed an independent Republic of West Ukraine, in opposition to the Bolsheviks.
25/7/1919, The 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.
17/7/1918. The last Tsar, Nicholas II, was murdered by the Bolsheviks along with his entire family, his daughters Olga, Tatiana, Marie, 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.
10/7/1918. A provisional government of Siberia was set up.
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 its independence.
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 Petrograd.
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.
24/2/1918. Estonia declared its independence.
16/2/1918, Lithuania declared its independence from 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, at Brest-Litovsk.
20/11/1917. The Republic of the Ukraine was declared.
19/11/1917. A Revolutionary Council was established in Petrograd, with Leon Trotsky as leader.
16/11/1917. Bolshevik troops took Moscow.
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.
9/10/1917, Stalin joined the Bolshevik Committee.
30/9/1917. The ex-Tsar and family were exiled to Siberia.
15/9/1917. Russia was declared a Republic with a provisional government, by Soviet Party Prime Minister Aleksandr Kerensky.
29/7/1917, Taking advantage of Revolutionary chaos, the Finns declared their independence from Russia.
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.
29/6/1917. Ukraine declared its independence.
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 interim government.
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).
3/4/1917, Vladimir Illyich Lenin returned to Moscow from exile.
21/3/1917. Ex-Tsar Nicholas II and his family were arrested.
16/3/1917, An interim Soviet Russian government was set up.
15/3/1917. Czar Nicholas II abdicated in Pskov. The 300-year Romanov dynasty ended (see 8/3/1917).
12/3/1917,� Izvestia, 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.
8/3/1917. The 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.
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.
1/1/1912. Harold �Kim� Philby, the British traitor who spied for Soviet intelligence, was born.
24/9/1911, Konstantin Chernenko, Soviet politician, was born.
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).
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.
26/12/1904, After months of unrest and riots in Russia, Tsar Nicholas II made decrees to improve the lot of the peasants.
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 compensation.
For Russo-Japanese war 1904 see China-Japan-Korea
16/8/1904, Britain protested to Russia about attacks on neutral merchant shipping.
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.
4/2/1902. In Moscow, 30,000 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 Revolution.
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.
29/1/1901, Joseph Gourko, Russian General, died (born 15/11/1828).
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.
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.
16/7/1900, Lenin 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.
1898, Lenin, whilst in exile in Siberia, published his book �The Development of Capitalism in Russia�.
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, Soviet leader, was born in Kalinovka, near Kursk.
10/2/1894, Germany signed a commercial treaty with Russia.
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.
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, died.
1/11/1888, Nikolay Mikhaylovich Przhevalsky, Russian explorer, died.
27/5/1883, Alexander III was crowned as �Tsar of all the Russias�.
11/3/1883, Alexander Gorchakov, Russian statesman, died (born 16/7/1798).
7/7/1882, Michael Skobiev, Russian general, died (born 29/9/1843).
15/5/1882, Constantine Kauffman, Russian General, died (born 3/3/1818).
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.
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 Bronstein.
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.
22/4/1870, Vladimir Illyich Lenin, Russian Communist leader, was born in Simbirsk (now Ulyanovsk), as Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov, the son of a schools inspector.
2/5/1869, Alexander Menshikov, Russian statesman, died (born 11/7.1787).
8/1/1869, Russian priest Grigory Rasputin was born, to parents Yefim and Anna in Pokrivskoe.
18/5/1868, Nicholas II, the last Tsar of Russia, was born, the son of Alexander III.
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.
19/4/1845, Michael 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 (died 3/7/1908).
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 of Grochow.
15/11/1828, Joseph Gourko, Russian General, was born (died29/1/1901).
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 brother, Nicholas I.
1824, Russia gained control over the fortresses of Abkhazia. However the general population was not subdued until 1864.
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 (died 26/1/1895).
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 (born 16/9/1745).
26/11/1812, The Battle of Berezina. The Russians won; French plans to over-winter at Smolensk had been thwarted.
18/11/1812, Russian forces closing in on the retreating French in western Russia won the Battle of Polotsk.
16/11/1812, French troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at Krasnoi.
3/11/1812, French troops retreating from Moscow successfully broke through a Russian roadblock at Vyazama.
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.
19/10/1812, Napoleon�s forces began their retreat from Moscow.
18/10/1812, Russian 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 40,000 men.
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.
For main 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 30/3/1856.
21/2/1808. Russia occupied Finland, which was formerly under Swedish domination.
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 rebellion.
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 precipice.
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 the Ukraine.
14/12/1780, Karl Nesselrode, Russian statesman, was born (died 23/3/1862)
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.
16/7/1774. The 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, Russian, died.
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 Russsia.
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
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 conflict.
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 a coup.
8/11/1739, Vasily Dolgoruki, Russian politician, was executed (born 1672).
30/6/1737, The Russians attacked the Ottoman fortress of Ochakov, Romania.
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 Ottomans.
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
1/6/1693, Alexius Bestuzhev-Ryumin, Grand Chancellor of Russia, was born in Moscow (died 21/4/1768).
1691, Russians discovered the Kamchatka Peninsula.
19/2/1690, Alexius Petrovich, Tsarevich, was born (died 1718).
27/1/1689, Peter the Great of Russia married Eudoxia Lopukhina.
15/4/1684, Katherine I of Russia was born (died 1727).
27/4/1682, Theodore III, Tsar of Russia, died.
1612, The Poles retreated from Russia,
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.
19/5/1606, Vasili IV became Tsar of Russia.
10/7/1605, Theodore II, Tsar of Russia, was murdered.
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.
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 (Ivan III), 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 the Russians.
1462, Basil II, Grand Duke of Muscovy, died aged 47 after a 27-year reign marked by civil war. He was succeeded by his son, Ivan 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.
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 of Russia.
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.
8/2/1191, Yaroslav II, Grand Prince of Vladimir, was born.
1054, The Kievan Rus State, in existence since the 9th century, split into several smaller states.
4/10/1052, Vladimir 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 Prince Rurik. He stablished the Russian Royal Family which ruled until 1598.
16/11/2021, Belarus, 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 Term.
3/2006, Lukashenko won a 3rd Presidential term; however the election was disputed.
17/10/2004, In Belarus, voters approved an amendment to the Constitution that allowed President Alexander 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.
23/5/1997, Russia and Belarus agreed a Union Charter, aimed at eventual union between the two countries.
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 all three.
27/7/1990 Belarus 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 people died.
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.
1921, The Treaty of Riga awarded Poland a large area of western Belarus.
1919, In the chaos following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Poland invaded.
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 was executed.
1835, Czar Nicholas I decreed that Jews 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.