Russia - A Chronology of Events

7th century B.C. Founding of Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast; occupation of south Russian steppe by Scythians

3rd century A.D. Goths settle on western steppes of Russia

4th century Huns invade southern Russia

5th century Bulgars settle middle Volga area

8th century Khazars, a Turkish tribe, take control of the steppes, settle near the Volga; Eastern Slavs establish themselves at Kiev in the south, Novgorod in the north, and Tmutarakan in the southeast

9th century Cyrillic alphabet developed by Cyril and Methodius; Varangians make contact with Constantinople and keep trade route open to the south; Rurik established at Novgorod

862 Novgorod becomes capital of Rus

882 Oleg founds the Russian state at Kiev

988 Conversion of Vladimir 1, ruler of Kiev, to Christianity

1019 - 1054 First code of Russian law established during reign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise

1147 First mention of Moscow in the Russian Chronicles

1156 First Kremlin, a wooden stockade, built

1223 Mongols begin to conquer Rus

1238 Batu, Genghis Khan's grandson, burns city of Moscow and the Kremlin

1240 Mongols sack Kiev; Alexander Nevsky defeats the Swedes on the Neva

1242 Alexander Nevsky defeats Teutonic knights at Lake Peipus (Lake Chudskoye)

1272 Nevsky's son, Prince Daniel, inherits principality of Moscow and the Kremlin

1326 The center of the Orthodox Church is moved from Kiev to Moscow

    Cornerstone laid of Cathedral of the Assumption

1326 - 1333 Cathedral of the Archangel Michael erected

1328 Metropolitan see officially transferred from Vladimir to Moscow; Ivan Kalita ("Moneybags") becomes grand prince

1330 Church of the Savior in the Forest completed

1337 Moscow and much of the Kremlin devastated by an uncontrollable flash fire

1339 Ivan Kalita begins rebuilding Kremlin, replacing its pine palisades with oak walls

1353 Black Death ravages Russia, claiming Ivan's disciple and successor, Simeon the Proud

1359 - 1374 Grand Prince Dmitri, Ivan's grandson, replaces wooden stockade with stone walls and new towers

1365 Second burning of Moscow

1368 Lithuanians attack Moscow, burning all houses outside the Kremlin walls

1370 Citizens of Tver, in league with the Lithuanians, burn Kremlin environs a second time

1380 Dmitri defeats Khan Mamai at Kulikovo pole, near the river Don, destroying myth of Mongol invincibility

1382 Khan Tokhtamysh sacks Moscow, captures Kremlin through deception

1389 Kremlin spared in third burning of Moscow

1396 - 1416 Building of first Cathedral of the Annunciation

1408 - 1409 Kremlin walls, mounted with cannon, withstand Tatar raid

1425 - 1452 Civil war between Muscovite princes

1448 Russian Church breaks with Rome

1453 Constantinople captured by the Turks

1456 Moscow takes over Novgorod

1468 Ivan III marries Sophia, the only niece of the last Byzantine emperor

1471 Two Russian architects lay the foundations for new Cathedral of the Assumption

1472 Unfinished cathedral collapses during earthquake; Ivan III (the Great) marries ZoE Palaeologa

1474 Ivan dispatches first mission to Venice to hire architects to construct new Kremlin

1475 Aristotele Fieraventi arrives in Moscow, begins rebuilding the Cathedral of the Assumption

1478 Cathedral of the Assumption completed

1480 Ivan III (the Great) finally defeats Tartars, and absorbs Tver and Vyatka into Muscovy

1482 - 1490 Construction of second Cathedral of the Annunciation, designed by Russian architects; Marco Ruffo and Pietro Solario reconstruct Kremlin walls and towers

1484 - 1493 Additional envoys dispatched to secure assistance of Western European artisans

1487 - 1491 Palace of Facets and lower section of Savior Tower, Kremlin's main gate, finished

1490 Forest Gate built by Solario, chief architect of the Italianate Kremlin

1493 Ivan III evacuates fire-damaged quarters in Kremlin

1505 Alevisio Novi commissioned to rebuild the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael; death of Ivan the Great

1508 First section of Terem Palace finished

1510 Moat built along east side of Kremlin

1515 Frescoes of Cathedral of the Assumption finished

1533 Accession of Ivan IV (the Terrible)

1534 - 1538 Masonry walls erected around the perimeter of the Kitai Gorod, Moscow's trade center

1547 Ivan IV crowned Tsar and Autocrat of All the Russias in the Cathedral of the Assumption; fire destroys 25,000 dwellings in Moscow and badly damages the Cathedral of the Annunciation

1549 First zemski sobor (parliament) convened

1552 Russians capture Kazan from Tartars and start the trek east to the Pacific

1553 English adventurer Richard Chancellor visits the Kremlin; Muscovy Company established

1556 Astrakhan, last Tatar enclave, falls to Ivan's army

1558 Grigory Stroganov begins development in the east

1560 Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed consecrated; Moscow dubbed "the Third Rome"

1565 Foreign Office constructed within Kremlin walls, Reign of Terror begins

1571 Crimean Tatars plunder Moscow

1581 Yermak leads expedition to Siberia, defeats the Tatars

    Ivan accidentally kills his son and heir

1584 Death of Ivan the Terrible and appointment of Boris Godunov as Lord Protector; beginning of the "Time of Troubles"

1586 Forty-ton Tsar pushka, world's largest cannon, cast in Moscow and displayed in Cathedral Square

1589 Metropolitan of Moscow elevated to the rank of patriarch

1591 Dmitry, son of Ivan IV, found dead

    Muscovites repel last serious Tatar incursion

1598 End of old dynasty; Boris Godunov becomes tsar

1600 - 1603 Belfry of Ivan the Great erected during severe famine in Moscow

1604 False Dmitry invades Russian Ukraine

1605 Boris Godunov dies, succeeded by first False Dmitri

1605 - 1613 Time of Troubles

1606 Murder of false Dmitry; Basil Shuisky becomes tsar

1608 Second False Dmitri establishes himself at Tushino, seven miles outside Moscow

1610 Poles invade Russia; Swedes take over Novgorod

    Second false Dmitry murdered by one of his followers

1612 Moscow and the Kremlin retaken from Poles under the leadership of Prince Pozharsky

1613 Michael Romanov crowned in Cathedral of the Assumption

1625 Gothic superstructure added to Savior Tower

1642 - 1644 Vaults and walls of Cathedral of the Assumption embellished with new icons

1644 Poiarkov reaches the Amur River

1648 Traders reach the Pacific Ocean - Semyon Dezhnev discovers Bering Strait

1649 Ulozhenie (code of laws) handed down from the tsar

1650 Yerofei Khabarov leads expedition to the Amur River

    Renovation of the Terem Palace completed

1651 Work begins on the Amusement Palace

1652 Nikon, the patriarch, calls for reform of the church

1666 - 1667 Alexis I holds church council in his Kremlin palace; denounces patriarch and establishes supremacy of the State over the Church

1670 - 1671 Cossack peasant revolt led by Stepan Razin

1680 Tsar Tower, last addition to the Kremlin battlements, completed

1682 Archpriest Avvakum burned at the stake

    Mutiny of the streltsy; accession of Peter I (the Great) as co-tsar with his half brother Ivan

1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk signed by China and Russia

1694 - 1725 Peter the Great modernizes Russia with Western European technology and ideas

1695 Tsar Peter I declares war on Turkey

1696 Capture of Azov

1697 Vladimir Atlasov discovers the Kamchatka peninsula that juts into the Pacific

1697 - 1698 Peter makes grand tour of Western Europe

1698 Peter returns to suppress last streltsy rebellion; mass executions in Red Square

1700 Peace with Turkey; beginning of Northern War against Sweden

1700 - 1721 Great Northern War with Sweden

1702 - 1736 Construction of Arsenal Building at the Kremlin

1703 - 1723 Peter erects St. Petersburg, his "window to the West"; Kremlin falls into disrepair

1705 Beard tax

1707 Anticipating a Swedish attack, Peter constructs a new line of fortifications outside old Kremlin walls

1709 Battle of Poltava

1714 Battle of Gangut, first Russian victory at sea

1710 - 1713 Turkish War

1721 End of Northern War

1722 - 1723 War with Persia

1724 Vitus Bering explores Bering Strait

    Peter's second wife, Catherine I, crowned Empress of Russia in Cathedral of the Assumption, Kremlin

1725 Death of Peter I

1727 Peter's grandson and heir, Peter II, briefly moves capital back to Moscow

1732 Anne, Peter II's successor, returns with her court to St. Petersburg

c. 1745 Rastrelli erects palace on Kremlin grounds for Anne's successor, Elizabeth I

1762 Catherine II (the Great) deposes her husband, Peter III, in a bloodless coup and has herself crowned Empress of Russia in the Cathedral of the Assumption

1762 - 1796 Catherine the Great expands Russia south to the Black Sea

1769 Catherine commissions Vasili Bazhenov to undertake massive renovation of the Kremlin

1770 - 1774 War with Turkey

1773 Cornerstone of new Kremlin laid

1773 - 1774 Uprising led by Yemelyan Pugachov

1775 Pugachov tried in Kremlin palace and executed

    Bazhenov's work on Kremlin halted on Catherine's orders1778 - 87Senate Building erected

1776 -1787 Senate Building erected

1787 Catherine the Great inspects Russian possessions in the Ukraine and the Crimea

1796 Catherine dies of a stroke

1801 Tsar Paul assassinated

1812 Mikhail Speransky exiled; Napoleon invades Russia

    Napoleon occupies Kremlin; several walls and towers damaged by fires and explosions

1814 Alexander I enters Paris in triumph; reconstruction of Red Square begins under supervision of Osip Beauvais

1818 Monument honoring Minin and Pozharsky unveiled in Red Square

1825 Decembrist revolt crushed by Nicholas I

1826 Beauvais lays out Alexandrovsky Park along the eastern side of the Kremlin

1830 Amusement Palace restored

1836 Tsar Bell mounted on a granite base

1839 Konstantin Ton begins construction of Cathedral of the Redeemer to commemorate victory over Napoleon

1839 - 1849 Grand Kremlin palace, designed by Ton, erected

1853 - 1856 Crimean War

1855 Death of Nicholas 1

1861 Alexander II frees the serfs, but most continue to live in great poverty

1863 Imperial serfs freed

1864 Russian troops wipe out rebels in Caucasus Mountains

1865 - 1885 Russia establishes control over Central Asia

1867 Russia sells Alaska to the United States

1870 Kornilov is born the son of a Cossack officer

1874 -1883 Historical Museum built along western edge of Red Square

1875 Acquisition of Sakhalin

1881 Alexander II assassinated

1891 - 1905 Trans Siberian Railroad built

1894 Accession of Nicholas II to the throne of Russia

1896 Coronation of Nicholas II and Alexandra in the Cathedral of the Assumption

1901 Socialist Revolutionary Party founded

1898 First Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Party is held

1896 May Coronation of Nicholas as Czar of all the Russians

1903 Congress of Social Democrats in London splits into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks

1904 February 8 Russo-Japanese War begins with the Japanese attack on the Russian fleet at Port Arthur

1905 January 22 "Bloody Sunday." Lenin returns from Switzerland to St. Petersburg. Marchers fired on by Imperial Troops. After internal riots and unrest Nicholas re-establishes his power

    September 5 Russia defeated. Treaty of Portsmouth marks the end of the Russo-Japanese War.

    October 26 First meeting of the St. Petersburg Soviet

    October 30 Czar proclaims October Manifesto including the establishment of a Duma

1906 Duma - Russia's first elected parliament

1907 Russia, England, and France form Triple Entente

1911 - 1913 Series of Balkan wars

1914 August 1 Germany declares war on Russia

1915 September Czar Nicholas assumes active command of military operations

1916 December 29 Assassination of Rasputin

1917 March 16 Abdication of Nicholas II and formation of the Provisional Government

    April 16 Lenin returns to Petrograd

    July 17 Uprising led by the Bolsheviks crushed by the Provisional Government. ("July Days")

    September Kornilov refused to resign as commander-in-chief of the army. His march on Petrograd fails

    November 6-7 Bolsheviks seize key points including the Winter Palace. Provisional Government is overthrown and Bolshevik government is formed

1918 March 3 Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Bolsheviks negotiate a separate peace with Germany

    March 12 Capital is transferred from Petrograd to Moscow

    May Civil War begins, Red armies vs White armies

    July 16 Czar Nicholas and his family executed at Ekaterinburg

    November 11 World War I ends

1919 Founding of the Communist International.

1920 Civil War continues in the Ukraine, the Baltic and Siberia.

1921 March Lenin announces the New Economic Policy {NEP)— temporary postponement of socialist measures in agriculture and commerce.

    War gradually comes to an end with victories of Red Army.

    Uprising at Kronstadt naval base brutally suppressed.

    Ban on factions within the Communist Party.

1922 March Stalin is named General Secretary of the Communist party at the eleventh Party Congress

    Formation of Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).

1922 May Lenin suffers first stroke

    Beklemishev Tower at Kremlin damaged during the bombardment, fully restored

    Diplomatic recognition of Soviet Union by Great Britain

1923 Communists convert Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed (at Kremlin) into an anti-religious museum

1924 January 21 Lenin dies

1925 Work begins on Lenin's red granite mausoleum

    Struggle for leadership of Communist Party gradually won by Stalin and his supporters.

1927 Trotskv (Stalin's leading opponent) exiled.

    Winter grain crisis.

1928 Publication of first part of "The Quiet Don" by M. Sholokhov.

    Stalin begins enforced collectivization. Millions of peasants resist and are killed

    End of NEP. Beginning of first 5-year plan and campaign for the collectivization of agriculture.

1930 Temporary halt to collectivization.

    Suicide of the revolutionary poet Mayakovskv.

1931 Collectivization recommenced.

1932 Many prominent citizens, including senior Bolsheviks, put on trial for political "crimes".

1933 Widespread famine caused by collectivization.

    Diplomatic recognition of Soviet Union by USA.

1934 Setting up of Writers' Union.

    Murder of Kirov (Leningrad Party chief) followed by mass arrests and trials.

1935 First stage of Moscow metro opened.

    Launching of Stakhanovite campaign for higher production.

1936 Death of Maxim Gorky.

    New "Stalin" constitution introduced.

    Beginning of carefully managed "show trials" for political crimes.

1937 Record harvest.

1938 Show trials continue. Tens of thousands of ordinary people, as well as three fifths of all army officers and many famous wrilters and artists sent to prison camps in Siberia, where most of them die.

1939 Pact between Nazi Germany and Soviet Union - Poland divided between the two of them.

    War between Finland and Soviet Union.

1940 Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania forcibly incorporated into USSR.

    Trotsky murdered in Mexico by Soviet agent.

1941 June: Germany invades Soviet Union. Stalin taken by surprise.

    December Battle for Moscow - Germans held back.

1942 Germans in occupation of most of western Russia.

    Battle of Stalingrad: Germans eventually thrown back.

1943 Two-thirds of occupied territory recaptured by Russians.

    German army defeated at Stalingrad

1944 Liberation of all Soviet territory from Germans. Russians advance on Berlin.

1945 May
Second World War ends in defeat of Germany.

    Soviet troops occupy East Germany, Poland, Hungary, and
    Czechoslovakia. All become Soviet states with Romania and Yugoslavia

    Germany divided into zones occupied by allies. Russians occupy part of Berlin and most of eastern Germany.

1946 Reconstruction of towns and factories begun.

    Arbitrary arrests resumed - continue until 1953.

    Resumed persecution of artists and writers.

1946 - 1950 Kremlin walls and battlements restored

1947 Czechoslovakia becomes a Soviet satellite.

1948 Russians break with Yugoslav communists; Tito maintains independent pollcy.

1949 First Soviet Atom Bomb exploded.

    Formation of Comecon to promote economic co-operation between communist countries.

1951 Deepening of "cold war" between USA and Soviet bloc.

1953 Death of Stalin.

    Leadership taken over by Malenkov, Molotov and Khrushchev.

1954 Khrushchev visits China.

    Launching of plan to plough up the "virgin lands" of Kazakhstan and southern Siberia.

1955 Khrushchev emerges as new dominant figure.

    Signing of military pact by communist countries of eastern Europe (the Warsaw Pact).

    Kremlin opened to the public

1956 Khrushchev denounces Stalin in "secret speech" to 20th Party Congress. Demotion of some of Stalin's close associates, rehabilitation of some of his victims.

    Rebellion crushed in Hungary.

1957 Launching of Sputnik I.

1958 "Doctor Zhivago" published in Italy. Pasternak awarded, but forced to reject Nobel Prize for literature.

1959 Khrushchev visits USA.

1960 Stalin's bodv removed from mausoleum in Red Square.

    Rift between Soviet Union and China.

    Death of Pasternak.

1961 First flight in space by Yuril Gagarin.

    Decision to build wall dividing Berlin.

    Kremlin Palace of Congresses completed

1962 Publication of "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Solzhenitsyn — based on his experience of prison camps.

1963 International crisis over placing of Soviet missiles on Cuba.

1964 Khrushchev voted out of office by his colleagues. Replaced by Joint leadership consisting of Brezhnev, Kosygin and Podgorny.

1965 Nobel Prize for literature awarded to M.Sholokhov.

1966 Trial of young writers Sinyavskii and Daniel for publishing abroad.

1967 Completion of Bratsk High Dam.

1968 Armed action taken by Soviet Union and allies to keep Czechoslovakia firmly in Soviet bloc and to reverse liberalization measures.

1970 Solzhenitsyn awarded Nobel Prize for literature.

1971 Death of Khrushchev.

1972 Brezhnev and U.S. President Nixon sign an arms control agreement in Moscow.

1974 Solzhenitsyn expelled from Soviet Union.

    Second visit by President Nixon to Moscow.

1975 Helsinki agreement on co-operation and security in Europe.

    Apollo-Soyuz link-up in space.

1977 New constitution adopted.

    Podgorn\ retired from office: Brezhnev becomes president as well as Party leader.

1978 Prominent dissidents put on trial.

1979 Armed intervention by Soviet Union in Afghanistan.

1980 Olympic Games held in Moscow, boycotted by USA and some other countries

1982 Brezhnev dies and is replaced by Andropov

1984 Andropov dies and is replaced by the elderly Konstantin Chernenko

1985 Chernenko dies and Gorbachev replaces him

1986 Gorbachev begins policies of perestroika and glasnost

1987 Arms reduction treaty signed between Soviet Union and U.S.A.

1988 Soviet Army withdraws from Afghanistan

1989 Yeltsin elected leader of Russia

1991 Coup to overthrow Gorbachev fails. Yeltsin gains influence

    Eleven republics form the C.I.S.

1992 A Federation Treaty is signed by 15 Russian republics