Russia: History

  1. 1547

    Grand Prince Ivan the Terrible of Moscow establishes the Stardom of Russia.

  2. 1721

    Russia acquires territory of modern day Estonia and Latvia after 21 years of war with Sweden.

  3. 1772-1814

    Russia conquers Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Moldova, and parts of Poland.

  4. 1861

    The practice of serfdom is abolished throughout the Russian empire. The government's focus on the military and industrial sector leads to the growth of the working class along with rapid industrialization.

  5. 1865

    Russia annexes the territories that now constitute the modern day Central Asian republics.

  6. 1904

    Russian expansion into Manchuria sparks the Russo-Japanese War. Both the Russian Army and Navy face a series of crippling defeats in the war, including the destruction of the Baltic fleet. This disastrous war, along with several political discontents, leads to great unrest throughout the empire. 

  7. 1905

    In January of 1905, a group of protesting workers march on the palace of the tsar and are subsequently fired upon by troops. This massacre, known as Bloody Sunday, started the Revolution of 1905, which culminated in the declaration of general strike and the formation of a soviet (council) in the capital city of St. Petersburg. Soon after this declaration, Tsar Nicholas II gives in the revolutionists' demands by granting a constitution and establishing a parliament, known as the Duma

  8. 1914

    Bad blood between Russia and Austria-Hungary contributes to the outbreak of World War I, in which Russia fought along side the Allied Powers of Britain, France, Italy, and the United States

  9. November 1917

    The Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, easily overthrow the weak Provisional Government in the second revolution of the year. The Bolsheviks go on to establish "Dictatorship of the Proletariat" under Communist Party rule, which crushes any dissent. 

  10. February 1917

    Poor military performance in World War I, coupled with the mismanagement of the war disrupted economy leads to the first revolution of 1917, which saw the overthrow of the imperial government. The imperial government was replaced by a weak temporary Provisional Government, which was undone by opting to continue the war, continuing economic collapse, and incompetence.

  11. 1918

    The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk effectively ends the war with Germany by ceding territory in eastern Europe and the Baltic.

  12. 1918-1922

    The communist Bolsheviks' Red Army defeats the anti-communist White Russians in the Russian Civil War. The White Russians are supported by many foreign nations including the Allied Powers of World War I and Japan. The victorious Bolsheviks reorganize the remaining territories of the Russian Empire as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). During the war, the Bolsheviks carried out an economic policy of War Communism, which centered on the expropriation of private business, nationalization of industry, and the forced requisition of agricultural surplus.

  13. 1921-1928

    The party congress implements the New Economic Policy, which allowed for experiments with market mechanisms and private business. This relaxation of War Communism eventually gives way to a state-run command economy under Joseph Stalin, who rose to power as the party's dictator in 1929. 

  14. 1930s

    Rapid industrialization occurs under Stalin's rule. 

  15. 1941

    A surprise attack by Nazi Germany in July forces the Soviets into World War II. The USSR joins Allied Powers of Great Britain, the United States, and France

  16. 1945

    The Allied victory in Europe leads to heavy Soviet influence in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as the Balkans. The USSR occupies parts of Germany and Austria along with the other Allied Powers. Stalin extends his policy of heavy industrialization into these territories. 

  17. 1947

    The 'Cold War' with the West begins as Soviet influence spreads and the USSR promotes pro-Soviet revolutions throughout Asia and the Middle East. The 'Cold War' becomes a global conflict by the 1950's as competition for power stretches into Africa and Latin America. 

  18. 1964-1982

    The Soviet economy is in great distress under the rule of Leonid Brezhnev. Economic stagnation resulting from a multitude of factors including low productivity, inefficient production, and increased government spending places the nation's economy on the brink of collapse. 

  19. 1991

    Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Russian Federation, Russia continues to face economic crisis. The government is forced to transition the nation from a command economy to a market-based one. This transition is fraught with difficulties, the most significant of which being hyperinflation. 

  20. 1991

    The Soviet Union collapses, and the former Soviet republics, including Russia, become independent nations. 

  21. 1996

    Russia is admitted to the G-7 group of industrialized countries. 

  22. 1998

    Newly appointed Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov stabilizes the collapsing ruble and carries out major tax reforms, effectively ending the danger of a Russian debt default. 

  23. 2006

    The ruble becomes a convertible currency.

  24. 2008

    The Russian parliament approves $68 billion to aid banks hurt by the global financial crisis. 

  25. 2010

    A customs union between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan enters into force. 

  26. 2014

    Russia invades Crimea, promoting the United States and European Union to impose multiple rounds of sanctions against Russia. 

  27. 2015

    The Eurasian Economic Union enters into force. 


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