History of Modern Russia
(HIS 382)

Instructor: Nikolai Biryukov

Principal Dates
(before 31 Jan. 1918, by the Julian; starting with 14 Feb. 1918, by the Gregorian calendar)

Lecture 1

988                                 Russia converts to Christianity

1236-1240                    Mongols under Batu conquer Russia

1326                               Metropolitan Pyotr moves his residence from Vladimir to Moscow

1328                               Ivan Kalita of Moscow becomes Grand Prince

1448                               Jonah, bishop of Ryazan, is elected Metropolitan of Moscow; the Russian Orthodox Church becomes autocephalous

1480                               The Tatar yoke is formally thrown off

1547                               Ivan IV is crowned czar of all Russia

1549                               The first Zemski Sobor is convened in Moscow

1581                               Russians under Yermak undertake the conquest of Siberia

1589                               Metropolitan Job of Moscow is elevated to the rank of Patriarch

1604-1613                    “The Time of Troubles” (“Smuta”)

1613                               Mikhail, the first of the House of  Romanov, is elected czar by the Zemski Sobor

1619-1633                    Patriarch Philaret (Fyodor), father of Mikhail Romanov, actually rules Russia

1653                               Patriarch Nikon initiates a church reform, a move vehemently opposed by “Old Believers” (the “Schism”)

1698                               Peter I, upon his return from a trip to Western Europe (the “Great Embassy”, enforces westernization of Russia

1700                               The death of Patriarch Adrian (the end of Patriarchate)

1721                               The Holy Synod is established

1721                               Peter I assumes the title of Emperor

Lecture 2


Feb. 19                          Serfdom abolished in Russia


Mar. 1                            Assassination of Alexander II by terrorists of the Popular Will


Oct. 20                          The ascension of Nicholas II


May 18                          The coronation of Nicholas II; the catastrophe on the Khodynka Field


Mar. 1-3                        The First Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party in Minsk


Dec.                               The first issue of “Iskra” (“Spark”), the first nation-wide Russian Marxist newspaper (published by Vladimir Lenin, Yuli Martov, Georgi Plekhanov et al.)


                                        The Socialist Revolutionary Party established

Mar.                               Lenin’s What is to be Done? published


July-Aug.                       The Second Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Workers’ Party in Brussels and London adopts the party’s program; the party itself is on the verge of splitting into two factions: Bolsheviks led by Lenin and Mensheviks led by Martov (soon to be joined by Plekhanov)


Jan. 3-5                         The Constituent Congress of the Liberation Union in St. Petersburg

Jan. 27                           The Japanese attack Port Arthur (the beginning of the war with Japan)

Dec.                               Lenin starts a new Bolshevik newspaper in Geneva (“Vperyod”) after losing his struggle with the Mensheviks for control of “Iskra”


Jan. 9                             A peaceful demonstration of St. Petersburg workers seeking to present a petition to the Czar is dispersed by troops with many casualties (the “Bloody Sunday”); the beginning of the First Russian revolution

Feb. 6-25                      A major defeat of the Russian Army in the battle of Mukden (Manchuria)

Apr. 12-27                    Bolsheviks hold a congress of the RSDWP (the Third Congress)  in London (Mensheviks refuse to participate and convene their own congress in Geneva)

May 12 - July 23         A strike in Ivanovo-Voznesensk; one of the first Soviets of Workers’ Deputies is established

May 14-15                    The Japanese destroy the Russian Fleet in the Tsushima Strait

June 14-24                    A rebellion on the battleship “Potyomkin”

Aug. 23                          A peace treaty is signed in Portsmouth (New Hampshire, USA) between Russia and Japan; Russia cedes Southern Sakhalin and Liaotung Peninsula (with Port Arthur)

Oct. 7                             A general strike in Russia begins

Oct. 12-18                    The First (constituent) Congress of the Constitutional Democratic Party (the Kadets) is held in Moscow

Oct. 17                          Nicholas II issues a manifesto promising democratic freedoms and legislative rights to the State Duma

Oct. 19                          Sergei Vitte is appointed to the newly established post of Chair of the Council of Ministers

Nov.                               The Union of 17 October is established

Nov. 11-15                   A rebellion of the Russian navy in Sevastopol

Dec. 9-18                      Armed rebellion in Moscow


Feb. - Mar.                   The first Russian parliamentary election

Apr. 10-25                    Bolsheviks and Mensheviks assemble in Stockholm for the Fourth (“Unifying”) Congress of the RSDWP

April 22                         Ivan Goremykin replaces Vitte as Chair of the Council of Ministers

Apr. 23                          The Fundamental Laws of the Russian Empire issued

Apr. 27                          The First State Duma opens in St. Petersburg, Sergei Muromtsev of the Constitutional Democratic Party (179 out of the total 478 seats) elected its Chair

July 8                             Pyotr Stolypin, Minister of Interior in Goremykin’s cabinet, is appointed Chair of the Council of Ministers

July 9                             The First State Duma is dissolved by the Czar’s decree

Nov. 9                           A Czar’s Decree allows peasants to leave village communes and establish individual farmsteads (khutor or otrub), marking the beginning of the so called “Stolypin” agrarian reform


Feb. 20                          The Second State Duma is convened, Fyodor Golovin of the Constitutional Democratic Party (98 out of the total 518 seats) elected as Chair

Apr. 30 - May 19        The Fifth Congress of the RSDWP in London

June 3                            The Second State Duma is dissolved and a new election law promulgated (the so call “Coup of 3 June”)

Nov. 1                           The Third State Duma (the only one to have served its full five-year term) is opened, with Nikolai Khomyakov of the Octoberist Party  (154 out of the total 442 seats) elected as Chair


Mar.                               Aleksander Guchkov of the Octoberist Party replaces Khomyakov as Chair of the Third State Duma


Mar.                               Guchkov resigns as Chair of the State Duma protesting against a three-day suspension of the Duma and is replaced by Mikhail Rodzyanko, also of the Octoberist Party

Sept. 1                           Stolypin is mortally wounded by Bogrov in Kiev

Sept. 11                         Vladimir Kokovtsov, Minister of Finance under Stolypin, is appointed Chair of the Council of Ministers


Nov. 15                         The Fourth State Duma is convened, Rodzyanko elected as Chair  (Octoberists holding 98 out of the total 442 seats)

Lecture 3


Jan. 30                           Goremykin is re-appointed Chair of the Council of Ministers

July 19                           Germany declares war on Russia

Aug. 4 - Sep. 2            Russians are defeated by Germans in Eastern Prussia

Aug. 5 - Sep. 8            Russians defeat Austrians in the battle of Galicia


Jan. - Oct.                     Russians retreat in Galicia and Poland

May - July                    Military-industrial committees are instituted

July 19 - Sep. 3           The fourth session of the Fourth State Duma; Liberals (including Kadets and Octoberists) unite in the Progressive Bloc  (Aug. 22)


Jan. 20                           Boris Shtyurmer replaces Goremykin as Chair of the Council of Ministers

May 22 - July 31         “Brusilov’s Break-Through”; a major defeat of the Austro-Hungarian army

Nov. 1 - Dec. 16         The fifth session of the Fourth State Duma

Nov. 10                         Aleksander Trepov is appointed Chair of the Council of Ministers

Dec. 18                          The murder of Rasputin

Dec. 27                          Prince Nikolai Golitsyn is appointed Chair of the Council of Ministers (to prove the last head of government of Imperial Russia)


Feb. 23                          Mass demonstrations on the International Women’s Day (the second Russian revolution begins )

Feb. 27                          Soldiers in Petrograd join the revolution; the government is arrested; the Duma forms a “Provisional Committee for Restoration of Order in Petrograd and Contacts with Institutions and Persons”; the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies is instituted, with Nikolai Chkheidze (leader of the Menshevik faction in the Duma) as Chair

Mar. 2                            The Provisional Government is formed, with prince Georgi Lvov as Chair and Minister of the Interior; Milyukov, Foreign Minister; Guchkov, Army and Navy Minister; Aleksander Kerenski, Minister of Justice; Nicholas II abdicates the throne

Mar. - July                    The period of “dual power”

Apr. 3                            Lenin returns to Russia from exile

Apr.                                The “April crisis”

May 5                            The 1st Coalition Provisional Government is formed following resignations of Milyukov and Guchkov, with Lvov as Chair and Minister of the Interior; Kerenski, as Army and Navy Minister; Victor Chernov (of the Socialist Revolutionary Party), as Agriculture Minister

June 3-24                      The First All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies meets in Petrograd; the Congress elects the All-Russian Central Executive Committee with Chkheidze as Chair

July 4                             Clashes in Petrograd between demonstrators demanding “All power to the Soviets” and troops loyal to the Provisional Government; the end of “dual power”

July 24                           The 2nd Coalition Provisional Government is formed with Kerenski as Chair and Army and Navy Minister

Aug. 25-30                    The so called “Kornilov affair”

Aug. 27                          Resignation of Kadet ministers leads to a prolonged cabinet crisis

Aug. 31                          Bolsheviks win majority in Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies

Sep. 1                            Pending formation of a new cabinet, state power is transferred to the Council of Five, or the Directory, with Kerenski as Chair; the Directory proclaims Russia a republic

Sep. 9                            Leon Trotsky becomes Chair of the Petrograd Soviet

Sep. 25                          The 3rd Coalition Provisional Government is formed with Kerenski as Chair

Oct. 6                             The Fourth State Duma is formally dissolved

Oct. 7                             The Provisional Council of the Russian Republic (the so called “Pre-Parliament”) is convened; Nikolai Avksentiev (of the Socialist Revolutionary Party) is elected Chair

Oct. 16                          The Central Committee of the Bolshevik party resolves to prepare for an armed revolt

Oct. 25-26                    The October revolution; the Pre-parliament is dissolved; the Provisional Government, arrested; the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies proclaims Soviet power, reelects the Central Executive Committee (with Lev Kamenev as Chair, soon to be replaced by Yakov Sverdlov) and appoints the Council of People’s Commissars with Lenin as Chair; Trotsky, as People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs; Alexei Rykov, for the Interior; Joseph Stalin, for Nationalities; Victor Nogin, for Trade and Industry; Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko, Nikolai Krylenko and Pavel Dybenko, for Army and Navy; the Congress passes decrees on land and peace

Nov. 12                         Election to the Constituent Assembly brings victory to Socialist Revolutionaries (ca. 40% of the vote; Bolsheviks get 24%; Kadets, less than 5%, Mensheviks, less than 3%)

Nov. 28                         Kadets are denounced as “enemies to the people”,  their leaders arrested

Dec. 2                            The Supreme Council of National Economy (VSNKh) is instituted

Dec. 7                            The extraordinary Commission for Struggle with Counterrevolution and Sabotage (the Cheka) is instituted


Jan. 5-6                         The Constituent Assembly meets in Petrograd; Chernov is elected Chair. The Assembly is dissolved by Bolsheviks after its first and only sitting

Jan. 26                           The Soviet troops take Kiev

Feb.                                The Volunteer Army under General Kornilov retreats to the Kuban (the Icy March)

Mar. 1                            The Germans occupy Kiev

Mar. 3                            The Brest-Litovsk Treaty

Mar. 6                            Allied troops land in Murmansk

Mar. 6-9                        The Seventh Congress of the RSDWP(b); the party is henceforth called the Russian Communist Party (Bolsheviks)

Mar. 10-11                   The Soviet government moves to Moscow

Apr. 5                            The Japanese land in Vladivostok

Apr. 29                          Skoropadsky’s coup in Kiev

May                                Pyotr Krasnov is elected Ataman of the Don Cossacks

May 25                          The revolt of the Czechoslovak corps

June 8                            The Committee of Members of the Constituent Assembly (the Komuch), chaired by V. Volski of the Socialist Revolutionary Party, assumes power in Samara

June 11                          Committees of Poor Peasants (Kombedy) instituted

July 4-10                       The Fifth Congress of the Soviets adopts a new constitution

July 6-7                         The Left Socialist Revolutionaries rebel in Moscow

July 31                           The end of Baku Commune

Aug. 2                            Allied troops land in Arkhangelsk

Aug. 4                            The British troops arrive in Baku

Aug. 15-16                    The US troops land in Vladivostok

Aug. 30                          Lenin is wounded by a Socialist Revolutionary terrorist

Sep.-Nov.                     The Red Army restores Soviet power on the Volga

Sep. 15                          The Turks take Baku

Sep. 23                          The Komuch yields power to the so called Ufa Directory (chaired by Avksentiev), later to move to Omsk

Nov. 13                         The Brest-Litovsk Treaty is annulled following the defeat of Germany in World War I

Nov. 14                         The Ukrainian Directory (chaired by Vladimir Vinnichenko) assumes power in Kiev

Nov. 18                         Admiral Kolchak’s coup in Omsk; the Ufa Directory is abolished

Nov.                               British and French troops land in Odessa


Jan. 4                             The Soviet Southern Front’s offensive against P. Krasnov

Jan. 11                           The Council of People’s Commissars issues a decree on prodrazvyorstka

Feb. 10                          Simon Petlyura replaces Vinnichenko as chair of the Ukrainian Directory

Mar. 2-6                        The First Congress of the Communist International

Mar. 14                         Cossacks rebellion on the Don

Mar. 18-23                   The Eighth Congress of RKP(B) adopts a new party program

Mar. 30                         Following the death of Sverdlov, Mikhail Kalinin becomes Chair of VTsIK

Mar. - Apr.                   The offensive of Kolchak’s Western (General M. Khanzhin) and Siberian (General R. Gaida) armies

May 13 - June 20        Yudenich’s 1st offensive against Petrograd

May 28 - June 20        The Soviet counteroffensive against Kolchak between Volga and the Urals

June                                Denikin occupies the Don, the Donbass and part of Ukraine

Sep. 12 - Oct. 13        The Volunteer Army’s offensive in the direction of Oryol and Kursk

Sep. 28 - Oct. 20         Yudenich’s 2nd offensive against Petrograd

Oct. 11 - Nov. 18        The Soviet Southern Front’s counteroffensive against Denikin


Apr. 25 - May 14        The Poles occupy Ukraine

May 26 - July 3           Soviet counteroffensive against Poles

June 6                            Vrangel starts offensive in the Northern Tauria

Aug.                               The Poles thwart the Red Army’s offensive against Warsaw

Aug.                               A peasant revolt (led by Antonov) begins in Tambov region

Nov. 7-12                     Vrangel is defeated in the Crimea

Dec. 22-29                    The Eighth Congress of Soviets approves the State Plan for Electrification of Russia (GOELRO)

Lecture 4


Feb. 22                          The State General Planning Commission (Gosplan) is established (headed by Gleb Krzhizhanovski)

Feb. 28 - Mar. 18        The Kronstadt revolt

Mar. 8-16                      The Tenth Congress of the RCP(B) bans factions within the party and proclaims New Economic Policy (NEP); the appropriate decrees by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, substituting taxation in kind (prodnalog) for requisitioning (prodrazvyorstka), and by the Council of People’s Commissars, allowing free trade in agricultural products, passed the same month

Summer                         The famine

Aug.                               The revolt of Tambov peasants is finally suppressed


Mar. - Apr.                   The Eleventh Congress of the RCP(B); following the Congress Stalin becomes Secretary General

Apr. 10 - May 19        The Genoa conference; the Soviet regime is de facto recognized by western countries

Aug.                               Prominent intellectuals are exiled from Russia

Oct. 25                          The Japanese are forced out of Vladivostok; the end of the Civil War

Dec. 30                          The USSR is declared by what becomes the First Congress of Soviets of the USSR; the Congress elects the Central Executive Committee (TsIK) under joint chairmanship of Mikhail Kalinin, Grigori Petrovsky, Nariman Narimanov and Aleksander Chervyakov)

Lecture 5


Apr. 17-25                    The Twelfth Congress of the RCP(B)

July 6                             The Central Executive Committee (TsIK) adopts the first USSR constitution (subject to approval by the Congress of Soviets)


Jan. 21                           The death of Lenin

Jan. 31                           The Second Congress of Soviets of the USSR endorses the new constitution; Petrograd is renamed Leningrad

Feb. 2                            Alexei Rykov succeeds Lenin as Chair of the Council of People’s Commissars

May 23-31                    The Thirteenth Congress of the RCP(B); despite Lenin’s proposal to remove Stalin (expressed in Lenin’s Letter to the Congress) Stalin succeeds in retaining his post of Secretary General


Dec. 18-31                    The Fourteenth Congress of the Communist Party condemns the “new opposition” (Grigori Zinoviev, Lev Kamenev) and proclaims industrialization of the Soviet Union; the party is henceforth called “All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks)”


Apr.                                Zinoviev is expelled from the Politburo

Oct.                                Trotsky and Kamenev are expelled from the Politburo


Autumn                         Peasants’ refraining from selling grain to the state at low fixed prices leads to considerable shortage of bread

Nov. 14                         Trotsky and Zinoviev are expelled from the party

Dec. 2-19                      The Fifteenth Congress of the AUCP(B) proclaims collectivization of agriculture; expulsion of Trotsky and Zinoviev’s supporters


Jan. 16                           Trotsky is exiled to Alma-Ata

May - July                    The Shakhty trial (the first trial of “saboteurs”)

June 1-5                        The All-Union Congress of Kolkhoz Farmers


Jan. - Feb.                     Trotsky is exiled from the USSR

Apr.                                The Sixteenth Conference of the AUCP(B) approves the First Five Year Plan (1928-1932)

May                               The Fifth Congress of Soviets endorses the First Five Year Plan

Autumn                         Total collectivization of agriculture begins

Nov.                               The Plenary Session of the AUCP(B) Central Committee condemns “the right deviation” (Nikolai Bukharin, Alexei Rykov, Mikhail Tomsky); Bukharin is expelled from the Politburo


Mar. 2                            Stalin denounces “excesses” in collectivization

Nov. - Dec.                  The trial of the so called “Industrial Party” (Prompartiya)

Dec. 19                          Vyacheslav Molotov replaces Rykov as Chair of the Council of People’s Commissars


Aug. 7                            A law introducing capital punishment for violation of public (socialist) property


Nov. 16                         The USSR and the USA establish diplomatic relations

Lecture 6


Jan. 26 - Feb. 10         The Seventeenth Congress of the AUCP(B) approves the Second Five Year Plan (1933-1937)

Aug.                               The First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers

Sep. 18                          The USSR joins the League of Nations

Dec. 1                            The assassination of Kirov in Leningrad marks the beginning of Terror


Aug. 19-24                    The first “Moscow trial” (Zinoviev, Kamenev and 14 other persons are sentenced to death)

Dec. 5                            The Extraordinary Eighth Congress of Soviets endorses a new Soviet constitution


Jan.                                The second “Moscow trial” (Pyatakov, Radek et al.)

June                                Top military commanders (including Mikhail Tukhachevsky) are tried and executed

Sep. 25                          Nikolai Yezhov replaces Genrikh Yagoda as People’s Commissar for the Interior

Dec. 12                          Election to the first Supreme Soviet; Kalinin becomes Chair of the Presidium


Mar.                               The third “Moscow trial” (Bukharin, Rykov et al.)

July 29 - Aug. 11         The battle at Changkufeng (Lake Khasan)

Dec.                               Lavrenti Beria replaces Yezhov as People’s Commissar for the Interior


Mar.                               The Eighteenth Congress of the AUCP(B) approves the Third Five Year Plan (1938-1942)

May 3                            Molotov replaces Maksim Litvinov as People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs

May 11 - Sep. 16        The battle at Nomonhan Bridge (Khalkhin-Gol)

Aug. 23                          The Soviet-German non-aggression pact (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact)

Sep. 1                            Germany attacks Poland; World War II begins

Sep. 17                          The Red Army occupies Eastern Poland (Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia)

Sep. 28                          The Soviet-German treaty on “friendship and boundary”

Nov. 1-2                        Western Ukraine and Western Belorussia are formally annexed

Nov. 30                         The Soviet-Finnish War begins

Dec. 14                          The USSR is expelled from the League of Nations for attacking Finland


Mar. 12                         The peace treaty ends the war with Finland

Mar. 31                         The Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic is established

June                                Occupation of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

June 26                          A Supreme Soviet decree disallows workers to “arbitrarily” quit their jobs; absenteeism and delays are to be punished under criminal code; the working day is extended to 8 hours and the 7-day week is reinstated

June 28                          Romania is forced to return Bessarabia and cede Bukovina to the USSR

Aug. 2                            Moldavia is formally included in the USSR as a Soviet Socialist Republic

Aug. 3-6                        Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are formally included in the USSR as Soviet Socialist Republics

Aug. 20                          Trotsky is murdered in Mexico

Nov. 25                         The USSR proposes to join the Tripartite Pact (of 27 Sep.)


Apr. 13                          The Soviet-Japanese neutrality pact

May 6                            Stalin replaces Molotov as Chair of the Council of People’s Commissars


Lecture 7

June 22                          Germany invades the USSR; the Great Patriotic War begins

June 22 - July 20         Defense of Brest Fortress

June 28                          The German Panzer Groups 2 and 3 complete a double development at Minsk trapping the Soviet 3rd and 10th Armies in Bialystok pocket; the fall of Minsk

June 30                          The State Defense Committee (GKO) is instituted as the extraordinary supreme body of state power with Stalin as Chair

July 10 - Sep. 10         The battle of Smolensk

July 11 - Sep. 19         The defense of Kiev

July 19                           Stalin becomes People’s Commissar for Defense

Aug. 3                            The German Panzer Group 1 and 11th Army close the Uman pocket, trapping the Soviet 6th Army

Aug. 5 - Oct. 16          The defense of Odessa

Aug. 8                            Stalin becomes Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the USSR

Aug. 30 - Sep. 8          The battle at Elnya (the first Soviet military success)

Sep. 8                            The German Army Group North reaches Lake Ladoga; The Siege of Leningrad begins

Sep. 16                          The German Panzer Groups 1 and 2 contact south of Romny trapping the Soviet troops in Kiev pocket

Sep. 19                          The fall of Kiev

Sep. 30                          The Germans’ assault on Moscow (Operation Typhoon) begins

Oct. 7                             The German Panzer Groups 2 and 3 link up to form Vyazma pocket

Oct. 30                          The defense of Sevastopol begins

Nov. 15                         The Germans resume their offensive against Moscow

Dec. 6                            The Soviet counter-offensive at Moscow begins


May 8-15                      The Soviet troops are destroyed in Kerch peninsula

May 12-29                    The Soviet unsuccessful offensive results in a major defeat at Kharkov

June 28                          The Germans begin offensive in the Don Bend (Operation Blau, renamed Braunschweig)

July 4                             The fall of Sevastopol

July 25                           The German Army Group A advances towards the Caucasus (Operation Edelweiss)

Aug. 21                          The Germans reach the Main Caucasus Ridge

Sep. 13 - Nov. 19       The defense of Stalingrad

Nov. 19-30                   The Soviet counter-offensive at Stalingrad (Operation Uranus)

Dec. 12-19                    The Germans’ attempt to relieve the 6th Army in Stalingrad pocket (Operation Winter Tempest) fails


Jan. 20 - Feb. 2           The German 6th Army is annihilated in Stalingrad (Operation Ring)

Jan. 12-30                     The blockade of Leningrad is broken (Operation Iskra)

Mar. 6                            Stalin becomes Marshal of the Soviet Union

May 15                          The Communist International is dissolved

July 5 - Aug. 23           The battle of Kursk

July 5                             The Germans attack the Kursk salient (Operation Citadel)

July 12                           The tank battle at Prokhorovka

July 12                           The Soviet counter-offensive in the Kursk salient begins

Aug. 3                            Operation Belgorod-Kharkov (the concluding phase of the battle of Kursk) begins

Aug. 13 - Dec.             The battle of the Dnieper

Sep.                                The Soviet Government permits election of the Russian Orthodox Patriarch

Nov. 6                           Kiev is liberated

Nov. 28 - Dec. 1         The Teheran conference

Dec. 27-30                    The Kalmyk Autonomous Republic is abolished, the Kalmyks exiled


[Dec. 24] - Apr. 17     The German Army Groups A and South are defeated in the Right Bank Ukraine in a series of 10 operations
— The Winter phase, Dec.-Feb.:
(1) Operation Zhitomir-Berdichev, [24 Dec.]-14 Jan.;
(2) Operation Kirovograd, 5-16 Jan,;
(3) Operation Korsun-Shevchenkovski, 23 Jan.-17 Feb.;
(4) Operation Rowne-Luck, 27 Jan.-11 Feb.;
(5) Operation Nikopol-Krivoi Rog, 30 Jan.-29 Feb.;
— The Spring phase, Mar.-Apr.:
(6) Operation Proskurov-Chernovtsy, 4 Mar.-17 Apr.;
(7) Operation Uman-Botoşani, 4 Mar.-17 Apr.;
(8) Operation Bereznegovatoye-Snigirevka, 6-18 Mar.;
(9) Operation Polesie, 15 Mar.-5 Apr.;
(10) Operation Odessa, 26 Mar.-14 Apr.

Jan. 14 - Mar. 1           Operation Leningrad-Novgorod

Jan. 27                           The Siege of Leningrad ends

Jan. 23 - Feb. 17         Operation Korsun-Shevchenkovski

Feb. 23                          The Checheno-Ingush Republic is abolished, the Chechenians and Ingushes exiled

Mar. 8                            The Kabardino-Balkar Republic is reorganized as Kabardinian Republic, the Balkars exiled

Apr. 8 - May 12          The Crimean Operation leads to liberation of Sevastopol

May 17-18                    The Crimean Republic is abolished, the Crimean Tatars exiled

June 23 - Aug. 29        The Soviet offensive in Belorussia (Operation Bagration) consisting of 9 component operations:
— 1st phase, 23 June-4 July
(1) Operation Bobruisk, 24-29 June;
(2) Operation Vitebsk-Orsha;
(3) Operation Mogilev;
(4) Operation Polotsk;
— 2nd phase, 5 July-25 Aug.
(5) Operation Šiauliai;
(6) Operation Vilna;
(7) Operation Kaunas;
(8) Operation Bialystok;
(9) Operation Lublin-Brest.

July 3                             Minsk is liberated

July 13 - Aug. 29         Operation Lwow-Sandomierz

Aug. 20 -Sep. 27         Operation Jassy-Kishinev

Aug. 23-24                    Rumania withdraws from the war with the USSR and declares war on Germany

Aug. 31                          The Soviet forces enter Bucharest

Sep. 4                            Finland withdraws from the war

Sep. 5                            The USSR declares war on Bulgaria; no hostilities however take place

Sep. 8 - Nov. 30          The East Carpathian Operation

Sep. 9-10                      Bulgaria declares war on Germany

Sep. 16                          The Soviet forces enter Sofia

Oct. 6-28                       Operation Debrecen

Oct. 11-13                    The Tuva People’s Republic joins the USSR

Oct. 20                          The Soviet and Yugoslav Liberation Army enter Belgrade

Oct. 29 - [Feb. 13]      Operation Budapest

Dec. 24                          The 2nd and 3rd Ukrainian Fronts link up, encircling Budapest


Jan. 12 - Feb. 7           Operation Vistula-Oder consisting of:
(1) The Sandomierz-Silesian Operation;
(2) The Warsaw-Poznań Operation.

Jan. 13 - Apr. 25         The East Prussian Operation

Jan. 17                           The Soviet and Polish Armies takes Warsaw

Feb. 4-11                      The Yalta Conference

Feb. 10 - Apr. 4           The East Pomeranian Operation

Feb. 13                          The fall of Budapest

Mar. 5-16                      The German counter-offensive at Lake Balaton (Operation Spring Awakening)

Mar. 16 - Apr. 15        Operation Vienna

Apr. 4                            The Soviet forces enter Bratislava

Apr. 5-9                         The assault on Koenigsberg

Apr. 13                          The Soviet forces enter Vienna

Apr. 16                          The Soviet assault on Berlin begins

Apr. 25 - June 25        The United nations conference in San Francisco

May 2                            The Soviet Army captures Berlin

May 6-11                      Operation Prague

May 8                            Germany surrenders

May 9                            The German troops in Prague surrender; the end of the Great Patriotic War

June 27                          Stalin becomes Generalissimo of the Soviet Union

July 17 - Aug. 2           The Potsdam Conference

Aug. 8                            The USSR declares war on Japan

Aug. 9 - Sep. 2            The Soviet offensive in Manchuria

Sep. 2                            Japan surrenders; the end of World War II

Oct. 24                          The United Nations Organization is established


Feb. 9, Mar. 5              Stalin’s address to his voters and Churchill’s Fulton speech mark the beginning of the Cold War

Mar. 15                         The Council of People’s Commissars is transformed into the Council of Ministers of the USSR, with Stalin retaining chairmanship

Aug. 14                          The “Zhdanov campaign” (Zdanovshchina) against Western influences begins


Sep.                                The Kominform (the Information Bureau of Communist Parties) is established


July 31 - Aug. 7           A session of the All-Union Academy of Agricultural Sciences (the VASKhNIL) condemns genetics (Lysenkovshchina)


Jan. 5-10                       The Academy of Sciences session in Leningrad marks the beginning of the anti-cosmopolitanism campaign

Jan. 25                           The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance is instituted

Apr. 4                            The NATO is established

Sep. 25                          The TASS announcement about the Soviet nuclear bomb


Sep. 30                          The execution of Nikolai Voznesensky, Deputy Chair of the Council of Ministers ends the Leningrad Affair


Oct. 5-14                       The Nineteenth Congress of the Communist Party; the Party is renamed the CPSU; the Politburo is replaced by a larger body called the Presidium of the Central Committee


Jan. 13                           The so called Doctors’ Conspiracy

Mar. 5                            The death of Stalin

Lecture 8

Mar. 6                            Georgi Malenkov becomes Chair of the Council of Ministers

Mar. 15                         The first post-Stalin Triumvirate (Malenkov, Beria, Molotov)

Apr. 4                            The Doctors’ Conspiracy is disavowed

July 9                             Beria is arrested and executed; the second post-Stalin Triumvirate (Malenkov, Molotov, Khrushchev)

Aug. 20                          The official announcement about the Soviet hydrogen bomb test

Sep.                                Nikita Khrushchev becomes First Secretary of CPSU Central Committee

Sep. 7                            Agricultural taxes are reduced and arrears pardoned


Mar. 2                            A Plenary Session of the CPSU Central Committee passes a resolution on cultivation of virgin lands

June 27                          The world’s first nuclear power station is opened


Feb. 8                            Nikolai Bulganin replaces Malenkov as Chair of the Council of Ministers

May 14                          Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, Poland, Rumania and the USSR sign the Warsaw Treaty


Feb. 14-25                    The Twentieth Congress of the CPSU; Khrushchev’s secret report about Stalin’s “personality cult” (25 Feb.)

Apr.                                The Kominform is dissolved

Apr. 25                          Criminal responsibility for “arbitrary” quitting jobs and absenteeism “without valid excuse” is abolished

June 30                          A Plenary Session of the CPSU Central Committee passes a resolution on Stalin’s “personality cult and its consequences”

Oct.-Nov.                      The Hungarian revolution


July 4                             The “anti-party” group is denounced; Malenkov, Molotov, Kaganovich and Shepilov are dismissed

July 4                             Compulsory deliveries of agricultural products by peasants’ households to the state are abolished

Oct. 4                             The first sputnik is launched

Oct. 26                          Marshal Zhukov is dismissed


Feb. 25-26                    “Machinery-tractor stations” are abolished

Mar. 27                         Khrushchev replaces Bulganin as Chair of the Council of Ministers

Oct. 23                          Boris Pasternak is awarded Nobel Prize for Doctor Zhivago


Jan. 27 - Feb. 5           The Twenty-First Congress of the CPSU approves the Seven Year Plan


Apr. 12                          The first space flight by Yuri Gagarin

Aug.                               The Berlin Wall is built

Oct. 17-31                    The Twenty-Second Congress of the CPSU adopts a new Party Program and votes to have Stalin’s body removed from the Mausoleum


June 2                            A demonstration of workers in Novocherkassk is dispersed with many casualties

Oct.                                The Caribbean Missile Crisis

Nov.                               Aleksander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is published


Aug. 5                            The Partial Test Ban Treaty is signed in Moscow


Oct. 14                          Khrushchev is dismissed; Leonid Brezhnev replaces him as First Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee

Oct. 15                          Alexei Kosygin replaces Khrushchev as Chair of the Council of Ministers

Lecture 9-10


Sep. 27-29                    A Plenary Session of the CPSU Central Committee proclaims economic reform


Feb. 10-14                    The trial of Andrei Sinyavsky and Yuli Daniel

Mar. 29 - Apr. 8          The Twenty-Third Congress of the CPSU; the Politburo is re-instituted as well as the office of General Secretary


May 22-27                    Solzhenitsyn addresses a Letter to the Fourth Congress of Soviet Writers denouncing censorship


Apr. 30                          The first issue of the Chronicle of Current Events

June                                Andrei Sakharov’s Thoughts about Progress, Co-existence and Intellectual Freedom circulated in Samizdat

July 1                             The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

Aug. 21                          The Warsaw Pact intervention in Czechoslovakia


Mar. 2-15                      The Sino-Soviet conflict over Damanski Island


Oct.                                Solzhenitsyn is warded Nobel prize in literature


May 22-30                    Richard Nixon’s visit to Moscow marks the beginning of détente; the Basic Principles Agreement and the SALT I pact


Aug.-Sep.                      Solzhenitsyn addresses an open Letter to the Leaders of the Soviet Union


Feb. 12-13                    Solzhenitsyn is arrested and exiled


Aug. 1                            The Helsinki Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe

Dec.                               Andrei Sakharov is awarded Nobel Peace Prize


June 16                          Brezhnev becomes Chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, retaining his post of General Secretary

Oct. 7                             The new (fourth) Soviet Constitution is promulgated


Dec. 24-26                    The Soviet intervention in Afghanistan


Aug.                               Solidarity movement in Poland

Oct.                                Nikolai Tikhonov replaces Kosygin as Chair of the Council of Ministers


Dec.                               Martial law is introduced in Poland


Nov. 10                         The death of Brezhnev

Nov. 12                         Yuri Andropov (formerly Soviet ambassador to Hungary, 1954-1957; Secretary of the Central Committee, 1962-967; Chair of the KGB, 1967-982) is elected General Secretary


Feb. 9                            The death of Andropov

Feb. 12                          Konstantin Chernenko is elected General Secretary


Mar. 10                         The death of Chernenko

Lecture 11

Mar. 11                         Mikhail Gorbachev is elected General Secretary

Apr. 23                          A Plenum of the Central Committee launches program of perestroika and acceleration

May                                Anti-alcohol campaign is launched

July 1                             Anatoly Gromyko becomes Chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet; Eduard Shevardnadze replaces him as foreign minister

Oct.                                Nikolai Ryzhkov replaces Tikhonov as Chair of the Council of Ministers


Jan.                                 Boris Yeltsin replaces Victor Grishin as head of the Moscow party organization

Feb. 25 – Mar. 6         The Twenty-seventh Congress of the CPSU

Apr. 26                          The Chernobyl nuclear disaster

June                                The Eighth Congress of Writers’ Union signals onset of glasnost’

Dec.                               Sakharov is released from his Gorky exile

Dec.                               Riots in Alma-Ata following replacement of Kazakhstan party leader Kunayev


Jan. 27-28                     A Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee launches program of democratization including multi-candidate secret elections for state and party posts

May                                Matthias Rust lands aircraft in Red Square

June                                First multi-candidate elections to local soviets

June 25-26                    A Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee adopts economic reform program providing for a new Law on State Enterprises

Oct. 23                          At a Central Committee plenum Yeltsin calls for more radical changes

Nov.                               Yeltsin is dismissed from the Politburo and is replaced by Lev Zaikov as head of Moscow party organization

Dec.                               The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is signed in Washington providing for all such weapons to be destroyed within three years


Feb. 20                          The Supreme Soviet of Nagorno-Karabakh votes to secede from Azerbaijan and reunite with Armenia; massacre of Armenians in Sumgait

Mar. 13                         Sovetskaya Rossiya publishes a letter by Nina Andreyeva condemning liberalization

April 5                            Pravda responds to Andreyeva

Apr.                                An agreement is reached at the UN on phased withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan

May                                Democratic Union, the first independent party since the 1920s, is established

June 28 – July 1          The Nineteenth Party Conference confirms process of democratization

Oct. 1                             Gorbachev replaces Gromyko as Chair of the Supreme Soviet Presidium

Oct.                                Popular Fronts are established in the three Baltic republics

Dec. 1                            The Supreme Soviet adopts constitutional amendments


Feb. 15                          Last Soviet troops leave Afghanistan

Mar. 26                         First general multi-candidate elections

Apr. 25                          “Plenum of long knives”

May 25 – June 9         The First Congress of People’s Deputies; Gorbachev is elected Chair of the Supreme Soviet

Dec. 12-24                    The Second Congress of People’s Deputies

Dec. 14                          The death of Sakharov


Jan.                                 Civil war begins in Nagorno-Karabakh

Mar. 4, 18                     Republican and local elections in Russia

Mar. 11                         Lithuania declares independence

Mar. 12-15                   The Third Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR

Mar. 13                         Abolition of Article 6 of the 1977 Soviet Constitution enshrining the CPSU’s “leading role” in politics

Mar. 14                         Gorbachev elected President of the USSR by the USSR Congress of People’s Deputies

May                                The founding congress of Confederation of Caucasian Mountain Peoples (later renamed Confederation of Caucasian Nations) is held in Sukhumi

May 16 – June 22       The First Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR

June 12                          The First Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR declares sovereignty of Russia

July 2-13                       The (last) Twenty-eighth Congress of the CPSU

July 16                           Ukraine declares sovereignty

Nov. 27 - Dec. 15       The Second Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR

Dec. 17-27                    The Fourth Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR votes to institute a Cabinet of Ministers to replace the former Council of Ministers; Eduard Shevardnadze resigns as foreign minister

Lecture 12


Jan. 13                           Soviet Special Forces storm the television tower in Vilnius

Jan. 14                           Valentin Pavlov (formerly finance minister) appointed Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers

Jan. 20                           A mass rally in Moscow demonstrates solidarity with the Baltic republics

Feb. 23                          A demonstration in Moscow in support of “firm measures”

Feb. 24                          A counter-demonstration in support of Yeltsin

Mar. 17                         Referendum on the preservation of the USSR

Mar. 28                         Confrontation in Moscow on opening day of the Russian Congress; demonstrators defy ban on mass rallies and the troops introduced to impose it

Mar. 28 – Apr. 4         The Third (Extraordinary) Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR convened by to weaken Yeltsin results in Yeltsin gaining extra powers pending election to the newly established post of President of Russia

Apr. 23                          Novo-Ogarevo “9 plus 1” political truce between Gorbachev and Yeltsin and eight other republics

May 21-25                    The Fourth Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR ratifies constitutional changes strengthening the powers of the presidency

June 12                          The first direct election of the president of Russia is won by Yeltsin in the first round

June 17                          Agreement reached by the “9 plus 1”on the draft of the new Union Treaty

July 10-17                     The Fifth Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR (first stage) fails to elect Chair of the Presidium to succeed Yeltsin; Ruslan Khasbulatov, First Deputy Chair, is appointed Acting Chair

July 20                           Yeltsin’s decree banning political parties from state organizations and enterprises

July 25-26                     Plenum of the CPSU Central Committee endorses a new (“social democratic”) program to be adopted by a party congress to be held later that year

July 29                           Russia recognizes independence of Lithuania

Aug. 18                          A State Committee for the State of Emergency (the GKChP) headed by the Vice President Gennady Yanaev is established

Aug. 19-21                    A coup launched by the GKChP

Aug. 23                          Yeltsin decrees suspension of the CPSU throughout Russia

Aug. 24                          Gorbachev resigns as General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee; the Ukraine declares independence (the move is soon followed by other republics)

Aug. 26                          The emergency session of the USSR Supreme Soviet; Anatoly Lukyanov is removed from his post as Chair

Aug. 29                          The USSR Supreme Soviet votes itself out of existence

Sep. 2-5                         The Fifth Congress of People’s Deputies of the USSR establishes a Council of State composed of Gorbachev and the leaders of the republics willing to maintain the union and a provisional Inter-Republican Economic Committee

Sep. 6                            The State Council recognizes independence of the Baltic republics

Sep. 6                            Coup in Chechnya

Oct. 21                          A new Supreme Soviet meets (without representatives from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) chaired by Konstantin Lubenchenko

Oct. 21 – Nov. 5         The Fifth Congress of People’s Deputies of the RSFSR (second stage) grants Yeltsin extraordinary powers to implement radical economic reforms; Khasbulatov is elected Chair of the Supreme Soviet

Nov. 6                           The CPSU is banned by Yeltsin’s decree

Nov. 6, 8, 15                Yeltsin forms a new Russian government with himself as head, Gennady Burbulis, Yegor Gaidar and Akeksandr Shokhin as Deputy Prime Ministers

Dec. 1                            A referendum for Ukrainian independence; Leonid Kravchuk is elected President of the Ukraine;      
Nursultan Nazarbayev is elected President of Kazakhstan;
A referendum for independence of the Trans-Dniestrian Moldovan Republic; Igor Smirnov is elected President;
A referendum for establishment of a separate Ingush republic

Dec. 7                            The leaders of Russia, the Ukraine and Belorussia meet in Belovezhska Pushcha and sign an agreement denouncing the Union Treaty of 1922 and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

Dec. 12                          The Russian parliament ratifies the agreement on the CIS

Dec. 21                          The Alma-Ata Declaration on the foundation of the Commonwealth of Independent States is signed by leaders of 11 former Soviet republics (except the Baltic republics and Georgia)

Dec. 25                          The RSFSR is renamed the Russian Federation

Dec. 25                          Gorbachev resigns as President of the USSR

Dec. 31                          Official end of the USSR

Lecture 13


Jan. 2                             Liberalization of prices: the beginning of “shock therapy”

Mar. 31                         The Federal Treaty is signed consisting of three separate treaties, viz. between Russia and 18 “sovereign” (former autonomous) republics (except Cecheno-Ingush Republic and Tatarstan), between Russia and 57 territorial units (6 krais, 49 regions, oblasts, and 2 cities); between Russia and 11 autonomous units (1 autonomous region, oblast and 10 autonomous districts, okrugs)

Apr. 6-21                      The Sixth Congress of People’s Deputies endorses (after bitter debate and with reservations) the government’s reform program, but fails to adopt a new constitution

June 15                          Gaidar is appointed Acting Prime Minister

Oct. – Nov.                  The Ingush-Ossetian conflict

Dec. 1-14                      The Seventh Congress of People’s Deputies

Dec. 14                          Victor Chernomyrdin becomes Prime Minister


Jan. 3                             The START II Treaty is signed in Moscow

Mar. 10-13                   The Eighth Congress of People’s Deputies; the Congress refuses to sanction referendum on the new constitution

Mar. 20                         President Yeltsin declares “special rule” for 5 weeks and referendum on 25 Apr.

Mar. 26-29                   The Ninth Congress of People’s Deputies fails to impeach Yeltsin by 72 votes

Apr. 25                          A nation-wide referendum is held asking four questions: confidence in Yeltsin (59 percent of the vote, 37 percent of the electorate in the affirmative), support for his economic policies (53 percent of the vote, 34 percent of the electorate in the affirmative), and whether pre-term presidential (49.5 percent of the vote, 32 percent of the electorate in the affirmative) and parliamentary (67 percent of the vote, 43 percent of the electorate in the affirmative) elections are required

May 1                            Demonstrators clash with police

June 5-16                      A Constitutional Conference meets in Moscow to work on the draft of the new constitution

Sep. 21                          Yeltsin signs a decree "On the Step-by-Step Constitutional Reform (No. 1400) providing for the suspension of the Congress of People’s Deputies and the Supreme Soviet and election to the new Federal Assembly; the Constitutional Court rules the decree unconstitutional and ascertains grounds for impeachment; the Supreme Soviet meets at midnight to declare the President’s powers “terminated”; Vice-President Rutskoi assumes presidential powers

Sep. 23                          The Tenth Congress of People’s Deputies opens (with doubtful quorum)

Oct. 3-4                         Demonstrators break the siege of the White House, attack the Ostankino TV Center; the government troops assault the White House

Dec. 12                          The new constitution is approved by the nation-wide referendum; election to the new Federal Assembly brings an unexpected success to Zhirinovski’ Liberal Democratic Party (……..)


Jan.                                 The [fifth] State Duma opens; Ivan Rybkin, of the Agrarian Party, is elected Chair

Apr. 28                          A Treaty on Public Consent is signed

Nov.                               Anti-Dudayev forces undertake to capture Grozny

Dec. 10                          The Chechen War begins

Dec. – [Jan. 1995]      The battle of Grozny


Apr. 7-8                         The punitive expedition to Samashki

June 14-19                    A Chechen armed party under Shamil Basayev take hostages in Budyonnovsk

Dec. 17                          Election to the State Duma brings success to the Communist Party (22 percent of the party lists vote; Zhirinovsky’s Liberal Democrats get 11; the pro-government Russia, Our Home, 10; Yavlinski’s Yabloko, 7 percent)


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Jan. 5                             Andrei Kozyrev resigns as foreign minister, succeeded by Evgeny Primakov

Jan. 9                             Chechenian terrorists under Salman Raduyev take hostages in Kizlyar

Jan. 16                           Anatoly Chubais is dismissed from his post of First Vice Premier

Jan. 16                           The new [Sixth] Duma opens; Gennady Seleznev, of the Communist Party, is elected Chair

Mar. 15                         The State Duma denounces the Belovezhska Pushcha agreement

Apr. 3                            Belorussia and Russia sign a Treaty that establishes the Community of Sovereign States

Apr. 22/22                    President Dudayev of Chechnya is killed in an air raid

May 27                          Chernomyrdin and the new Chechenian President, Yandarbiyev, agree to stop the Chechenian war

June 16                          Presidential election results in Yeltsin, with 35, and Zyuganov, with 32 percent of the vote, going for the second round; Alexander Lebed’ is the third (with 15 percent)

June 17                          Pavel Grachev is dismissed as Defense Minister, replaced by Rodionov

June 19                          Lebed’ is appointed Secretary of the Security Council and President’s National SecurityAide

June 20                          First Vice Premier Soskovets, Chiefs of Federal Security Service, Barsukov, and of President’s Security Service, Korzhakov, are dismissed

July 3                             Yeltsin wins the second round of presidential election with 54 percent of the vote (Zyuganov loses with 40 percent)

Aug. 6                            The Chechenians recapture Grozny

Aug. 22                          Lebed’ and Maskhadov meet in Novye Atagi and agree to stop hostilities

Aug. 30                          Lebed’ and Maskhadov meet in Khasavyurt and sign two agreements, viz. on the principles of future negotiations and on the deadline for political settlement (by 31 Dec. 2001)

Oct. 17                          Lebed’ is dismissed as Secretary of the Security Council (replaced by Rybkin) and President’ Security Aide

Nov. 5                           Yeltsin undergoes successful heart operation


Mar.                               Reorganization of the government; Anatoly Chubais and Boris Nemtsov are appointed First Vice Premiers

Apr.                                Belorussia and Russia sign a Union Treaty