Russian History


Beginning of Course

1 January 1855

Nicholas I dies

18 February 1855

Third Section disbanded

6 August 1880

The Special Corps of Gendarmes and the Third Section were disbanded; their functions and most capable officers were transferred to the new Department of State Police under the MVD.

Assassination of Alexander II

13 March 1881



Severe famine affects almost half of Russia's provinces

Alexander III dies

November 1 1894

Nicholas II crowned tsar

May 26 1896

The First Duma

23 April 1906 - 21 July 1906

The Second Duma

20 February 1907 - 3 June 1907

The Kadets dropped seats, benefiting the RSDLP and the Socialist-Revolutionary Party.

The Third Duma

1 November 1907 - 9 June 1912

Nicholas II abdicates

March 15 1917

Nicholas II abdicates and includes his son. The following day, Nicholas' brother, Mikhail announced his refusal to accept the throne. Provisional Government formed.

Alexander Kerensky becomes Prime Minister

July 24 1917

Romanovs executed

17 July 1918

The murder had been ordered in Moscow by Vladimir Lenin and Yakov Sverdlov to prevent the rescue of the Imperial Family by approaching White forces during the ongoing Russian Civil War.

Lenin dies

21 January 1924


1932 - 1933

Estimates range from 4 to 7 million deaths, the majority of them being Ukranians.



Famine kills one million people in Russia and Ukraine.

Stalin dies

March 5 1953

Krushchev deposed

14 October 1964

Khrushchev's rivals in the party deposed him at a Central Committee meeting. Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin assumed power as First Secretary and Premier, respectively.

End of Course

31 December 1964

Revolution, Repression & Reform

Emancipation of the Serfs


Tsar Alexander II issued a decree giving serfs the right to buy the land they worked and reducing their dependence on the land owning nobility.

Zemstva established

1 January 1864

Zemstva were established for the local self-government of Russian citizens.

Judcial reform of Alexander II

20 November 1864

A royal decree introduced new laws unifying and liberalizing the Russian judiciary.

Land and Liberty split

August 1879

Land and Liberty split into the moderate Black Repartition and the radical terrorist group People's Will.

Factory Inspections


Alexander III introduces factory inspections and restricts working hours for women and children

Peasant Land Bank set up


The Peasants' Land Bank was a financial institution of the Russian Empire founded by the Minister of Finance, Nikolai Bunge. He created the Peasants' Land Bank in 1883 to help peasants purchase their own farms.

Lenin's brother hanged

May 8 1887

Lenin's brother, Alexander Ulyanov, is hanged for plotting to kill Czar Alexander III

Lenin imprisoned

December 20 1895

Lenin is arrested, kept in solitary confinement for 13 months, and then exiled to Siberia for three years

RSDLP party split

July 30 1903 - August 23 1903

The Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP) meeting in which the Party splits into two factions: Mensheviks ("minority") and Bolsheviks ("majority")

Russian Revolution of 1905

3 January 1905 - 17 October 1905

Bloody Sunday

January 22 1905

First Soviet formed

28 May 1905

Potemkin Mutiny

14 June 1905

A mutiny occurred aboard the battleship Potemkin.

The October Manifesto

17 October 1905

The October Manifesto, issued by Tsar Nicholas II, brings an end to the 1905 Russian Revolution by promising civil liberties and an elected parliament (Duma)

Legislative Election

March 1906

The first free elections to the Duma gave majorities to liberal and socialist parties.

The Fundamental Laws

May 3 1906

A constitution (the Fundamental Laws of 1906) is created, reflecting the promises made in the October Manifesto

Lena goldfields massacre

4 April 1912

The Russian army fired on a crowd of striking miners, killing 150

Rasputin is murdered

December 30 1916

Putilov strike

22 February 1917

The workers at the Putilov Plant in Petrograd went on strike.

February Revolution

22 February 1917 - 2 March 1917

Duma decrees Provisional Government

26 February 1917

Nicholas ordered the dissolution of the Fourth Duma. The Duma ignored his order and decreed the establishment of a Provisional Government with Georgy L'vov as Prime Minister.

Abolition of the death penalty

12 March 1917

Lenin returns from exile

April 16 1917

The July Days

July 16 1917 - July 20 1917

The July Days begin in Petrograd with spontaneous protests against the Provisional Government; after the Bolsheviks unsuccessfully try to direct these protests into a coup, Lenin is forced into hiding

The Kornilov Affair

September 4 1917 - September 9 1917

A failed coup by General Lavr Kornilov, commander of the Russian Army

October Revolution

24 October 1917 - 25 October 1917

The October Revolution was a seizure of state power instrumental in the larger Russian Revolution of 1917. It took place with an armed insurrection in Petrograd. The revolution was led by the Bolsheviks, who used their influence in the Petrograd Soviet to organize the armed forces. Bolshevik Red Guards forces under the Military Revolutionary Committee began the takeover of government buildings on 24 October 1917 (O.S.). The following day, the Winter Palace (the seat of the Provisional government located in Petrograd, then capital of Russia), was captured.

Sovnarkom in control of Russia

25 October 1917

The Winter Palace, the last holdout of the Provisional Government, is taken by the Bolsheviks; the Council of People's Commissars (abbreviated as Sovnarkom), led by Lenin, is now in control of Russia

The Bolshevik Party becomes the Communist Party

March 8 1918

Lenin shot by Fanny Kaplan

30 August 1918

After giving a speech at a Moscow factory, Lenin was shot twice by SR Fanny Kaplan, but survived.

Red Terror

2 September 1918 - Approx. October 1918

The Red Terror in Soviet Russia refers to a campaign of mass killings, torture, and systematic oppression conducted by the Bolsheviks after seizing power in Petrograd and Moscow.The mass repressions were conducted by the Cheka (the Bolshevik secret police),[3] together with elements of the Bolshevik military intelligence agency (the GRU).[4]

Krondstadt rebellion

1 March 1921 - 17 March 1921

1924 Soviet Constitution

31 January 1924

The 1924 Soviet Constitution legitimated the December 1922 Treaty on the Creation of the USSR between the Russian SFSR, the Ukrainian SSR, the Belarusian SSR, and the Transcaucasian SFSR to form the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

In essence, it was but an expansion of the Treaty, as most of the key points were already outlined there. The Constitution contained the identical to the Treaty Declaration, reflecting the current world order, and the common good causes of such a Union, allowing for a potential expansion.

Expulsion of Trotsky

23 October 1926

Trotsky was expelled from the Politburo.

Trotsky and Zinoviev were expelled from the Communist Party.

12 November 1927

Bukharin expelled from the Politburo

17 November 1929

Great Purge

1934 - 1940

The Great Purge was a campaign of political repression in the Soviet Union involving a large-scale purge of the Communist Party and government officials, repression of peasants and the Red Army leadership, and widespread police surveillance, suspicion of "saboteurs", imprisonment, and arbitrary executions.

Moscow Trials

1936 - 1938

Lavrentii Beriia arrested

28 June 1953

Lavrentii Beriia, head of KGB, arrested. (He was executed in December.)

Vote to dismiss Khrushchev overturned

June 1957

Malenkov, Molotov and Lazar Kaganovich orchestrated a Presidium vote to dismiss Khrushchev by a vote of 8-4 (Suslov, Furtseva and Mikoyan supported Khrushchev), but the Central Committee overturned the vote. Malenkov sent as director of a power station in a remote corner of Central Asia; Kaganovich made director of a cement factory in Sverdlovsk; and Molotov became ambassador to Mongolia.

Stalin's body removed from mausoleum


Novocherkassk massacre

2 June 1962

Soviet workers gathered in the town square of Novocherkassk to protest an increase in food prices and work quotas. Shots were fired at the rioters, killing 25 and injuring 87 people.


Crimean War

4 October 1853 - 30 March 1856

The Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia.

4 October 1853

Britain and France declared war on Russia.

28 March 1854

Treaty of Paris

30 March 1856

The Treaty of Paris was signed, officially ending the war. The Black Sea was demilitarized. Russia lost territory it had been granted at the mouth of the Danube, abandoned claims to protect Turkish Christians, and lost its influence over the Danubian Principalities.

Russo-Turkish War

24 April 1877 - 3 March 1878

Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire. It originated in emerging 19th-century Balkan nationalism. Additional factors included Russian hopes of recovering losses suffered during the Crimean War, re-establishing itself in the Black Sea, and attempting to free Balkan nations from the Ottoman Empire.

Treaty of San Stephano

3 March 1878

The Treaty of San Stephano was signed, ending the war. Several Slavic states, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria, received independence or autonomy.


8 February 1904 - 5 September 1905

World War I

28 July 1914 - 11 November 1918

Nicholas II assumes supreme command of the Army

September 18 1915

Russian Civil War

7 November 1917 - October 1922

The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war fought between the Bolshevik Red Army and the White Army, the loosely allied anti-Bolshevik forces. Many foreign armies warred against the Red Army, notably the Allied Forces and the pro-German armies.

Germany invades Russia

18 February 1918

Russia is all but defenceless as virtually the entire army has deserted.

The Red Army conquer Kiev

18 February 1918

Conscription to Red Army begins

23 February 1918

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk

March 3 1918

The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, between Germany and Russia, is signed and takes Russia out of World War I

British intervene

6 March 1918

Czecho-Slovak regions revolt

26 May 1918

The Czecho-Slovak Legions began its revolt against the Bolshevik government.

Poland invades Russia

25 April 1920

The Great Patriotic War

09/01/1939 - 2 September 1945

Soviet Union invades Poland

17 September 1939

Cold War

1947 - 1991

The Cold War was a state of political and military tension after World War II between powers in the Western Bloc (the United States, its NATO allies and others) and powers in the Eastern Bloc (the Soviet Union and its allies in the Warsaw Pact).

Korean War

25 June 1950 - 27 July 1953

The Korean War was a war between North and South Korea, in which a United Nations force led by the United States of America fought for the South, and China fought for the North, also assisted by the Soviet Union. The war arose from the division of Korea at the end of World War II and from the global tensions of the Cold War that developed immediately afterwards. The war has been seen both as a civil war and as a proxy conflict in the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Vietnam War

1 November 1955 - 30 April 1975

Berlin Crisis

4 June 1961 - 9 November 1961

The Berlin Crisis was the last major politico-military European incident of the Cold War about the occupational status of the German capital city, Berlin, and of post–World War II Germany. The USSR provoked the Berlin Crisis with an ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of Western armed forces from West Berlin—culminating with the city's de facto partition with the East German erection of the Berlin Wall.

Construction begins on Berlin Wall

13 August 1961

The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic (GDR, East Germany)that completely cut off (by land) West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the "will of the people" in building a socialist state in East Germany. In practice, the Wall served to prevent the massive emigration and defection that marked East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period.

Cuban Missile Crisis

October 14 1962 - October 28 1962

The Cuban missile crisis was a 13-day confrontation in October 1962 between the United States and Cuba backed by the Soviet Union. It is widely regarded as the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full scale nuclear war[1] and is also the first documented instance of mutual assured destruction (MAD) being discussed as a determining factor in the outcome of an international incident.

Industry & Economy

Witte's Great Spurt


Witte's Great Spurt increases industrial growth after he becomes financial minister

New Economic Policy

21 March 1921

After the hardship of civil war, the Russian economy was stagnating. Lenin signed a decree introducing the New Economic Policy which, in a step back from the principles of the revolution, allowed small businesses to once again operate in the Soviet Union, and to seek to profit from their work.

First Five-Year Plan

1928 - 1932

Collectivisation in the USSR

17 November 1929

A Central Committee resolution began the collectivisation of Soviet agriculture.

Creation of Comecon

January 1949

was an economic organization from 1949 to 1991 under the leadership of the Soviet Union that comprised the countries of the Eastern Bloc along with a number of socialist states elsewhere in the world. Comecon was meant to prevent countries in the Soviets’ sphere of influence from moving towards that of the Americans and South-East Asia.

Proposal of the Virgin Lands Campaign


Khrushchev’s 1953 plan to dramatically boost the Soviet Union’s agricultural production in order to alleviate the food shortages plaguing the Soviet populace.

Russification and the World

January Uprising

22 January 1863 - 5 August 1863

An anti-Russian uprising began in Poland. IT was put down when the leader was hanged.

Ems Ukaz

May 1876

Alexander signed the Ems Ukaz, banning the use of the Ukrainian language in print.

May Laws

3 May 1882

Alexander III introduced the May Laws, which expelled Russian Jews from rural areas and small towns and severely restricted their access to education

Russification of Finland

6 February 1900

As part of the Russification of Finland, Nicholas issues the Language Manifesto of 1900, making Russian the official language of Finnish administration.

Kishinev pogrom

6 April 1903

A three-day pogrom began, which would leave forty-seven Jews dead

Poland established

5 November 1916

The German government established the nominally independent Kingdom of Poland in the Act of 5 November

The Maapäev took office

14 July 1917

Armenia and Azerbajan declare independence

28 May 1918

Hungarian Revolution crushed

October 1956 - November 1956

An anti-communist popular uprising led by Imre Nagy in Hungary is crushed by Soviet troops killing 2,800 people

Nuclear test bad treaty signed

August 1963


Sergius affirmed the loyalty of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Soviet government.

29 July 1927