Russia and the Republics


Start of the revolution

March 8, 1917

International Women’s Day: strikes and demonstrations in Petrograd, growing over the next few days, starts the Russian Revolution

Nicholas II (the last czar of Russia) leaves the throne.

March 15, 1917

Russia is declared a republic


Vladimir Lenin

October 1917

Bolsheviks overthrow provisional government led by Alexander Kerensky, and Vladimir Lenin takes over. He established a communist government.

The Russian Revolution ends

November 8, 1917

War with Poland


Peace treaty with Poland is signed


Joseph Stalin


Lenin dies and is replaced by Joseph Stalin. Stalin was a dictator and sent millions to labor camps.

Yalta Conference

February 4, 1945

The cold war begins

"Iron Curtain"

March 1946

Winston Churchill delivers "Iron Curtain" Speech

Marshall Plan

June 1947

Marshall Plan is announced

Communist takeover in Czechoslovakia

February 1948

Berlin blockade begins

June 24, 1948

Berlin blockade ends

May 12, 1949

NATO ratified

July 1949

Korean War begins

June 1950

Stalin dies

March 1953

Stalin dies and is succeeded by Georgi Malenkov as prime minister and by Nikita Khrushchev as first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party.

Korean War ends

July 1953

Warsaw pact formed

May 1955

Khrushchev becomes prime minister - in addition to Communist Party chief


Cuba is taken over by Fidel Castro

January 1959

Berlin border closed

August 13, 1961

Construction of the Berlin wall begins

August 17, 1961

Cuban missile crisis

October 1962

Leonid Brezhnev


Khrushchev is replaced as first secretary of the Communist Party by Leonid Brezhnev; Aleksey Kosygin becomes prime minister. Brezhnev invaded Czechoslovakia, and achieves parity with the U.S. on strateigic nulear weapons.

Yuri Andropov.


Brezhnev dies and is replaced by KGB chief Yuri Andropov.

Konstantin Chernenko.


Andropov dies and is replaced by Konstantin Chernenko.

Mikhail Gorbachev


Chernenko dies and is replaced by Mikhail Gorbachev as general secretary of the Communist Party. Gorbachev begins an anti-alcohol campaign and promulgates the policies of openness, or glasnost, and restructuring, or perestroika. His reforms hastened the end of communism



Chernobyl nuclear power station explodes, showering large areas in Ukraine, Belarus and beyond with radioactive material.

Gorbachev replaces Gromyko as president


Berlin wall falls

November 1989

Boris Yelstin


Yeltsin elected president of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic by the latter's parliament and leaves the Soviet Communist Party.

Congress of People's Deputies vote

September 1990

Congress of People's Deputies votes for the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Commonwealth of Independent States.

December 8, 1991

Leaders of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus sign agreement setting up Commonwealth of Independent States.

Independence of the republics

December 25, 1991

Gorbachev resigns as Soviet president; US recognizes independence of remaining Soviet republics.

Fall of the Soviet Union

December 26, 1991

Russian government takes over offices of USSR in Russia.