Russia tests first atomic device; recognizes China's communist government.
Georgi Malenkov succeeds as prime minister, Nikita Khrushchev as the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.
Sputnik, the first artificial earth satellite orbits planet.
Khrushchev becomes prime minister.
Yuri Gagarin makes first manned orbital flight.
Cuban Missile Crisis
US-Soviet "hot line" set up
USSR joins the US and Great Britain, signing a treaty to ban atmospheric nuclear tests as well.
Khrushchev replaced by Leonid Brezhnev.
Replaced as first secretary of the Communist Party. Aleksey Kosygin becomes prime minister.
Invasion of Czechoslovakia.
In an attempt to put a stop to the trend towards liberalization. "Brezhnev doctrine" - communist countries now have the right to intervene in other communist states if their policies threaten the communist movement.
Brezhnev elected president under new constitution.
Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes.
Revolutions of 1989
USSR-imposed communist regimes topple in eastern Europe. Public rallies in East Germany lead to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9th.
Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Congress of People's Deputies votes for dissolution of the USSR, Gorbachev resigns as Soviet President, the United states recognizes independence of Soviet republics. On December 26th, the Russian government takes over offices of USSR.
Yeltsin resigns, replaced by Putin as acting president.
Suicide bombings, Moscow theatre hostage situation, bombing of Chechen government building--lead to military base in Kant, Russia's new rapid reaction force to combat terrorism.
Russia and the USA announce agreement on strategic nuclear weapons reduction.
Both cut nuclear arsenals from over 6,000 missiles each to 2,000 each within the next ten years.
Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov killed by Russian forces.
Russia fires long-distance missile.
Putin talks of new arms race, US planning to expand missile defences into Eastern Europe.
Putin becomes prime minister.
Replaced by Dmitry Medvedev.
Russia hit with financial crisis and fall in oil prices.
Medvedev signs arms agreement with US.
Cut arsenals of deployed nuclear warheads by thirty percent.
Crop failures, wildfires, peat fires.
Anti-Putin protests in Moscow cathedral.
US, European Union, human rights groups condemn imprisonment of three protesting members of a punk band.