Russia: History

  1. 1613

    The Romanov dynasty begins when the National Council elects Michael Romanov as tsar. He brings relative stability to Russia and his dynasty rules until 1917.

  2. 1904-1905

    Russia is defeated in the unpopular Russo-Japanese war, leading to a revolution.

  3. 1917

    The ruinous effects of World War I, combined with internal pressures, sparked an uprising that led Tsar Nicholas II to abdicate the throne. The Bolshevik Party, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrows the provisional government and establishes the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.

  4. 1918-1920

    A civil war breaks out between Lenin’s “Red” army and various “White” forces, with the Red army eventually winning.

  5. 1922

    A new nation, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), is formed after the Red army conquers Ukraine, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia.

  6. 1924

    A new constitution is established that creates a dictatorship of the proletariat and public ownership of land. Lenin dies and is succeeded by Joseph Stalin.

  7. 1930s

    Stalin oversees the forced collectivization of tens of millions of people in state agricultural and industrial enterprises. Millions die or are killed by the government.

  8. 1943

    The Soviets hold off the Nazi invasion at Stalingrad, and eventually turn the tables against the Nazis, invading Germany and taking Berlin in 1945.

  9. 1955

    The Warsaw Pact is created between eight communist states as a defense treaty against western forces as tensions between the USSR and the West deteriorate.

  10. 1989

    Soviet regimes in central and eastern Europe are overthrown after a series of revolutions against the USSR in many countries, including Poland, the Baltics, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania.

  11. 1990

    The Soviet Union falls into disarray. One-party rule is ended, and Boris Yeltsin is elected president, replacing Gorbachev.

  12. 1991

    Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus form the Commonwealth of Independent States.

  13. 2000

    Vladimir Putin wins the election as president, after gaining popularity for stabilizing the economy and the government.

  14. 2002

    An agreement between the United States and Russia is announced on the reduction of nuclear weapons. Russia also signs an agreement with NATO members, establishing a NATO-Russia Council.

  15. 2005

    Russia and Germany agree to a deal to build a gas pipeline connected to each country under the Baltic Sea.

  16. 2006

    Russia and China sign a number of economic agreements including agreements on sending Russian gas to China.

  17. 2008

    Relations between Russia and the West are damaged after the Russia-Georgia war and Russia’s subsequent decision to recognize the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  18. 2008

    Stock prices fall in Moscow during the beginning of the global financial crisis. The Russian parliament passes a $68 billion relief package for banks.

  19. 2010

    An agreement between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan is signed over Russian exports of oil and gas.

  20. 2010

    Russia and Norway delineate their border in the Arctic, seen as a move for further Russian exploration in the region.

  21. 2011

    Georgia and Russia agree to a trade deal, ending Georgia’s opposition to Russia’s inclusion in the World Trade Organization, stemming from the 2008 war. Russia later joins the WTO in 2012.


BBC News