Timeline: USSR
From the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 to to Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika

by David Johnson

1900s 1920s 1940s 1960s 1980s 1990s Next Timeline
1917
Bolshevik Revolution: Czar Nicholas abdicates; Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, take control; Russian Soviet Socialist Republic established; capital moves to Moscow
1918
Bolsheviks assassinate czar
1918-1921
Red Terror: Lenin purges Communist Party, socializes economy; 5 million die of famine
1921
Lenin inaugurates New Economic Policy, allows limited free-market measures
1922
Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Transcaucasia (present-day Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) form Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
1924-1929
Joseph Stalin consolidates power; inaugurates first Five-Year Plan, collectivizes agriculture, industrializes; famine returns
1936
Millions die in Stalin's Great Purge (through 1953)
1941
Germany invades Russia
1945
World War II ends; Russia occupies Eastern Europe, establishes puppet governments, Cold War takes shape
1949
Soviets explode atomic device
1953
Stalin dies; Nikita Khrushchev becomes first secretary of Communist Party
1956
Khrushchev denounces Stalin
1961
Soviets launch world's first manned space flight
1962
Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev withdraws missiles from Cuba
1964
Leonid Brezhnev helps engineer Khrushchev's fall from power, becomes first secretary of Communist Party
1969
Major border clashes with China
1972
Détente: President Richard Nixon visits USSR, signs arms control treaties with Chairman Brezhnev
1978-1982
Soviets invade Afghanistan
1985-1991
General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev attempts to improve faltering economy with glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring)

Infoplease Links
  • Timeline: Russian Culture
  • Timeline: Chechnya
  • Crisis in the Caucasus
  • Russia vs. Chechnya: Round Two
  • Russian Roulette: Recent Reshuffling
  • Country Profile: Russia
  • Encyclopedia: Russia
  • Biography: Vladimir Putin
  • Timeline: Boris Yeltsin's career
  • More Timelines
  •  More Resources
    Academic, university:
    Boston University Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy
    Harvard University, Davis Center

    Academic, K-12:
    TeacherVision.com, Russia

    Government:
    Embassy of the Russian Federation to U.S.
    CIA World Factbook, Russia

    News:
    Moscow Times
    Russia Today
    St. Petersburg Times

    Nuclear/Environment:
    Bellona Foundation

    Religion:
    Russian Orthodox Church (official)

    Fact Monster™ Database, © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.