Russia: Timeline

Russia: Timeline


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From early Mongol invasions to tsarist regimes to ages of enlightenment and industrialization to revolutions and wars, Russia is known not just for its political rises of world power and upheaval, but for its cultural contributions (think ballet, Tolstoy, Tchaikovsky, caviar and vodka).

Below is a timeline of notable events in the world’s largest country.

Mongol Invasions

862: The first major East Slavic state, Kievan Rus, is founded and led by the Viking Oleg of Novgorod (although some historians dispute this account). Kiev becomes the capital 20 years later.

980-1015: Prince Vladimir the Great, who converts from paganism to Orthodox Christianity, rules the Rurik dynasty while spreading his newfound religion. His son, Yaroslav the Wise, reigns from 1019-1054 as grand prince, establishing a written code of law, and Kiev becomes a center of politics and culture in eastern Europe.

1237-1240: Mongols invade Kievan Rus, destroying cities including Kiev and Moscow. The Khan of the Golden Horde rules Russia until 1480.

1480-1505: Ivan III—known as Ivan the Great—rules, freeing Russia from the Mongols, and consolidating Muscovite rule.

1547-1584: Ivan IV—or Ivan the Terrible—becomes the first czar of Russia. The grandson of Ivan the Great expands the Muscovite territory into Serbia, while instituting a reign of terror against nobility using military rule. He dies of a stroke in 1584.

Romanov Dynasty

1613: After several years of unrest, famine, civil war and invasions, Mikhail Romanov is coronated as czar at age 16, ending a long period of instability. The Romanov dynasty will rule Russia for three centuries.

1689-1725: Peter the Great rules until his death, building a new capital in St. Petersburg, modernizing the military (and founding the Russian navy) and reorganizing the government. With his introduction of Western European culture, Russia becomes a world power.

1762: Russia’s longest-ruling female leader, Catherine II, or Catherine the Great, takes power in a bloodless coup and her reign marks Russia’s era of enlightenment. A champion of the arts, her 30-plus-year rule also extends Russia’s borders.

1853-1856: Stemming from Russian pressure on Turkey and religious tensions, the Ottoman Empire, along with British and French forces, fights Russia and Czar Nicholas I in the Crimean War. Russia is crippled in its defeat.

1861: Czar Alexander II issues his Emancipation Reform, abolishing serfdom and allowing peasants to purchase land. His other notable reforms include universal military service, strengthening Russia’s borders and promoting self government. In 1867, he sells Alaska and the Aleutian Islands to the United States, gilding the St. Isaac Cathedral domes in St. Petersburg with the proceeds. He is assassinated in 1881.

1914: Russia enters WWI against Austria-Hungary in defense of Serbia.

Lenin, the Bolsheviks and Rise of the Soviet Union

Nov. 6-7, 1917: The violent Russian Revolution marks the end of the Romanov dynasty and Russian Imperial Rule, as the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, take power and eventually become the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Civil War breaks out later that year, with Lenin’s Red Army claiming victory and the establishment of the Soviet Union. Lenin rules until his death in 1924.

1929-1953: Joseph Stalin becomes dictator, taking Russia from a peasant society to a military and industrial power. His totalitarian rule includes his Great Purge, beginning in 1934, in which at least 750,000 people were killed to eliminate opposition. He dies in 1953, following a stroke.

1939: World War II begins, and, in accord with a pact between Stalin and Adolf Hitler, Russian invades Poland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland. Germany breaks the agreement in 1941, invading Russia, which then joins the Allies. The Russian army’s win at the Battle of Stalingrad serves as a major turning point in ending the war.

March 5, 1946: In a speech, Winston Churchill declares “an Iron Curtain has descended across the Continent” and the Cold War grows as the Soviets promote revolution in China, Asia and the Middle and Near East. In 1949, the Soviets explode a nuclear bomb, hastening the nuclear arms race.

Oct. 4, 1957: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik I, the first artificial satellite that orbits the Earth in about 98 minutes and spurs the Space Race. In 1961, Soviet Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person to fly in space.

October 1962: The 13-day Cuban Missile Crisis leads Americans to fear nuclear war is at hand with the installation of Soviet nuclear missiles in Cuba. Soviet Leader Nikita Khrushchev eventually agrees to remove the missiles, while President John F. Kennedy agrees to not invade Cuba and remove U.S. missiles from Turkey.

July-August 1980: The 1980 Summer Olympics are held in Moscow, with several countries, including the United States, boycotting the games in protest of the December 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

Gorbachev Introduces Reforms

March 11,1985: Mikhail Gorbachev is elected general secretary of the Communist Party, and, thus, effectively Russia’s leader. His reform efforts include perestroika (restructuring the Russian economy), glasnost (greater openness) and summit talks with U.S. President Ronald Reagan to end the Cold War. In 1990, he is elected president, the same year he wins the Nobel Peace Prize for bringing the Cold War to a peaceful end.

April 26, 1986: The Chernobyl disaster, the world’s worst nuclear accident, takes place at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. Resulting in thousands of deaths and 70,000 severe poisoning cases, the 18-mile radius surrounding the plant (and no longer home to nearly 150,000 people), will remain unlivable for some 150 years.

June 12, 1991: Boris Yeltsin wins Russia’s first popular presidential election, urging democracy.

Soviet Union Falls

Dec. 25, 1991: Following an unsuccessful Communist Party coup, the Soviet Union is dissolved and Gorbachev resigns. With Ukraine and Belarus, Russia forms the Commonwealth of Independent States, which most former Soviet republics eventually join. Yeltsin begins lifting Communist-imposed price controls and reforms, and, in 1993, signs the START II treaty, pledging nuclear arms cuts. He wins reelection in 1996, but resigns in 1999, naming former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, his prime minister, as acting president.

Dec. 1994: Russian troops enter the breakaway republic of Chechnya to stop an independence movement. Up to 100,000 people are estimated killed in the 20-month war that that ends with a compromise agreement. Chechen rebels continue a campaign for independence, sometimes through terrorist acts in Russia.

March 26, 2000: Vladimir Putin is elected president, and is reelected in a landslide in 2004. Because of term limits, he leaves office in 2008, when his protege Dmitry Medvedev is elected, and serves as his prime minister. Putin is then reelected as president in 2012.

October 23, 2002: About 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical. After a 57-hour standoff, most of the rebels and around 120 hostages are killed as Russian forces storm the building.

July 25, 2016: The FBI announces an investigation into possible Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computer system. Investigations and reports are also released concerning Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election to help Donald Trump. Putin wins another election in 2018, and is sworn in for six more years.


Russia: Timeline - HISTORY

The investigation into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election has grown dramatically in both size and scope. A complex probe from the start, it is now a nearly indiscernible blur of characters, charges and counter-charges.

This timeline is a tool aimed at understanding the growing number of dots and where they connect. Think of it as a map. We spent months checking and cross-checking sources of information for each item.

Dig in. There is a lot here.

Click on the image above to zoom in on dates and characters. For a more in-depth look at individual cells, check out this spreadsheet.

Some advice on how to use this spreadsheet:

  • You can view by character (each column) or look at broader sweeps of time by date (each row).
  • The timeline tracks when each action happened, not when it was first reported. (We make occasional exceptions when the news story itself further affected events.)
  • Click on each item for a verifying story or piece of information. When possible we have linked to original documents. We cite specific news organizations in text when either they notably broke the story or when reporting rests on anonymous sources.
  • This timeline is focused on the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Other probes, including the Clinton email investigation and Stephanie Clifford case, are included only when they impact the events in the Mueller/Russia timeline.

There are hundreds of entries in the timeline, covering decades of activity. To help get you started, we’ve identified a few moments when major events overlapped in time.


  • OFFICIAL NAME: Russian Federation
  • FORM OF GOVERNMENT: Federation
  • CAPITAL: Moscow
  • POPULATION: 142,122,776
  • OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: Russian
  • MONEY: Ruble
  • AREA: 6,592,772 square miles (17,075,200 square kilometers)
  • MAJOR MOUNTAIN RANGES: Ural, Altay
  • MAJOR RIVERS: Amur, Irtysh, Lena, Ob, Volga, Yenisey

GEOGRAPHY

Russia, the largest country in the world, occupies one-tenth of all the land on Earth. It spans 11 time zones across two continents (Europe and Asia) and has coasts on three oceans (the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic).

The Russian landscape varies from desert to frozen coastline, tall mountains to giant marshes. Much of Russia is made up of rolling, treeless plains called steppes. Siberia, which occupies three-quarters of Russia, is dominated by sprawling pine forests called taigas.

Russia has about 100,000 rivers, including some of the longest and most powerful in the world. It also has many lakes, including Europe's two largest: Ladoga and Onega. Lake Baikal in Siberia contains more water than any other lake on Earth.

Map created by National Geographic Maps

PEOPLE & CULTURE

There are about 120 ethnic groups in Russia who speak more than a hundred languages. Roughly 80 percent of Russians trace their ancestry to the Slavs who settled in the country 1,500 years ago. Other major groups include Tatars, who came with the Mongol invaders, and Ukrainians.

Russia is known all over the world for its thinkers and artists, including writers like Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky, composers such as Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, and ballet dancers including Rudolf Nureyev.

NATURE

As big as Russia is, it's no surprise that it is home to a large number of ecosystems and species. Its forests, steppes, and tundras provide habitat for many rare animals, including Asiatic black bears, snow leopards, polar bears, and small, rabbit-like mammals called pikas.

Russia's first national parks were set up in the 19th century, but decades of unregulated pollution have taken a toll on many of the country's wild places. Currently, about one percent of Russia's land area is protected in preserves, known as zapovedniks.

Russia's most famous animal species is the Siberian tiger, the largest cat in the world. Indigenous to the forests of eastern Russia, these endangered giants can be 10 feet (3 meters) long, not including their tail, and weigh up to 600 pounds (300 kilograms).

GOVERNMENT & ECONOMY

Russia's history as a democracy is short. The country's first election, in 1917, was quickly reversed by the Bolsheviks, and it wasn't until the 1991 election of Boris Yeltsin that democracy took hold.

Russia is a federation of 86 republics, provinces, territories, and districts, all controlled by the government in Moscow. The head of state is a president elected by the people. The economy is based on a vast supply of natural resources, including oil, coal, iron ore, gold, and aluminum.

HISTORY

The earliest human settlements in Russia arose around A.D. 500, as Scandinavians moved south to areas around the upper Volga River. These settlers mixed with Slavs from the west and built a fortress that would eventually become the Ukrainian city of Kiev.

Kiev evolved into an empire that ruled most of European Russia for 200 years, then broke up into Ukraine, Belarus, and Muscovy. Muscovy's capital, Moscow, remained a small trading post until the 13th century, when Mongol invasions in the south drove people to settle in Moscow.

In the 1550s, Muscovite ruler Ivan IV became Russia's first tsar after driving the Mongols out of Kiev and unifying the region. In 1682, Peter the Great became tsar at the age of ten and for 42 years worked to make Russia more modern and more European.


Twelve individuals added to the EU sanctions list: the speaker of the Federation Council, Valentina Matviyenko presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin State Duma speaker Sergei Naryshkin the head of the Rossia Segodnya news agency Dmitry Kiselyov, Deputy-Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Rear Admiral Aleksandr Nosatov Deputy-Commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Rear Admiral Valery Kulikov presidential aide Vladislav Surkov Crimea Electoral Commission Chair Mikhail Malyshev Sevastopol Electoral Commission Chair Valery Medvedev the commander of Russian forces in Crimea, Lieutenant General Igor Turchenyuk and State Duma deputy Yelena Mizulina.

EU embassies in Russia ordered not to issue visas to residents of Crimea.


Russian History (A-Level) Timeline 1855-1917

Vyshnegradsky becomes the Minister of Finance, He follows a Hardline Policy of:
.Indirect Taxation
.Forced Grain Exports
.Import Tarrifs
These policies resulted in grain export increasing by about 20% and by 1892 the budget was in surplus.
However he also caused the Famine of 1891-92 which killed over 300,000

Sergei Witte

Witte becomes minister of finance and follows his 'Rapid Industrialization Programme':
.Interest rates raised
.Issued the Gold standard for the rouble
.Brought in foreign experts and workers
.relocate peasant to the un-farmed lands of Siberia
the results of this were:
.the number of workers in cities doubled
.only 750,000 peasant moved
.by 1897 Russia had the fourth largest industrial economy
. coal production increased from 3.2 million tonnes in 1880 to 25.4 million tonnes in 1910.

Pyotr Stolypin

Stolypin was Prime Minister
In 1906 Stolypin introduced a repressive Courts Martial which resulted in over 60,000 people executed, exiled and imprisoned.


Timeline of the Russian Revolutions: 1906 - 1913

January
• January 9-10: Vladivostok experiences an armed uprising.
• January 11: Rebels create the Vladivostok Republic.
• January 19: The Vladivostok Republic is overturned by Tsarist forces.

February
• February 16: The Kadets condemn strikes, land seizures and the Moscow Uprising as they try to secure the new political scene against further revolution.
• February 18: New punishments for those seeking to undermine government offices and agencies by verbal or written 'inaccuracy'.
• February 20: Tsar announces the structure of the State Duma and State Council.

March
• March 4: Provisional Rules guarantee rights of assembly and of association this and the Duma allows political parties to legally exist in Russia many form.

April
• April: Stolypin becomes Minister of Interior.
• April 23: Fundamental Laws of the Empire published, including the creation of the State Duma and State Council the former is composed of 500 delegates drawn from every Russian region and class. The Laws are cleverly written to meet the October Promises, but not diminish the Tsar's power.
• April 26: Provisional Laws abolish preliminary censorship.
• April 27: The First State Duma opens, boycotted by the left.

June
• June 18: Hertenstein, a Duma Deputy of the Kadet party, is killed by the Union of Russian People.

July
• July 8: The first Duma is deemed too radical by the Tsar and is closed.
• July 10: Vyborg Manifesto, when radicals - mainly Kadets - call for the people to snub the government via a tax and military boycott. The people don't and the 200 Duma signatories are tried from this point, the Kadets separate themselves from the views of 'the people'.
• July 17-20: Sveaborg Mutiny.
• July 19-29: Further mutiny in Kronstadt.

August
• August 12: Fringe SR's bomb Stolypin's summer home, killing over 30 people - but not Stolypin.
• August 19: The government creates a special court-martial to deal with political incidents over 60,000 are executed, imprisoned or exiled by the system.

September
• September 15: The government orders its local branches to use 'any means' in maintaining public order, including aiding loyalist groups political parties are threatened by the Tsar.
• September - November: Members of the St. Petersburg Soviet tried. Thanks to Trotsky's grandstanding, few are convicted, but he is exiled.

1907
• January 30: Union of Russian Peoples try to murder Witte. • February 20: The Second State Duma opens, dominated by the left who cease their boycott.
• March 14: Iollos, a Duma Deputy of the Kadet party, is killed by the Union of Russian People.
• May 27: Union of Russian Peoples try to murder Witte again.
• 3 June: The Second Duma is also deemed too radical and closed Stolypin alters the Duma voting system in favor of the wealthy and landed in a move branded his coup d'etat.
• July: Stolypin becomes Prime Minister.
• November 1: The Third Duma Opens. Mainly Octobrist, Nationalist, and Rightist, it generally did as it was told. The failure of the Duma causes people to turn away from liberal or democratic groups in favor of radicals.

1911
• 1911: Stolypin is assassinated by a Socialist Revolutionary (who was also a Police agent) he was hated by the left and the right.

1912
• 1912 - Two hundred striking workers shot during the Lena Goldfield Massacre reaction to this sparks another year of unrest. The fourth state Duma is elected from a far broader political spectrum than the third as the Octobrist and Nationalist parties divide and collapse the Duma and government are soon in heavy disagreement.
• 1912 - 14: Strikes begin to grow, with 9000 during the period Bolshevik trade unions and slogans grow.
• 1912 - 1916: Rasputin, a monk and favorite of the Imperial family, accepts sexual favors for political influence his carousel of government appointments creates great division.


Assorted References

…is now the territory of Russia since the 2nd millennium bce , but little is known about their ethnic identity, institutions, and activities. In ancient times, Greek and Iranian settlements appeared in the southernmost portions of what is now Ukraine. Trading empires of that era seem to have known and exploited…

1400–1599

…of the 16th century, the Russians had established a commercial route via the Arctic to the fur-trading centre of Mangazeya on the Taz River in western Siberia. From the mouth of the Northern (Severnaya) Dvina River, the route ran coastwise, through Yugorsky Shar Strait to the west coast of Yamal…

…IV (the Terrible) and other Muscovite tsars showed interest in the little Christian kingdoms of Georgia, but the Russians were powerless to stop the Muslim powers—Ṣavafid Iran and the Ottoman Empire, both near their zenith—from partitioning the country and oppressing its inhabitants. In 1578 the Ottomans overran the whole of…

When Russia invaded the area (beginning the Livonian War, 1558–83) in an effort to prevent Poland-Lithuania from gaining dominance over it, the Livonian Knights were unable to defend themselves. They disbanded their order and dismembered Livonia (Union of Wilno, 1561). Lithuania incorporated the knights’ territory north…

…prolonged military conflict, during which Russia unsuccessfully fought Poland, Lithuania, and Sweden for control of greater Livonia—the area including Estonia, Livonia, Courland, and the island of Oesel—which was ruled by the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Knights (Order of the Brothers of the Sword).

Poland, and Russia. These reactionary manorial developments were not reversed in eastern Europe until the 19th century in most cases.

…power in the Levant, and Russia worked to extend its reach through the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles to the Aegean. Only the European enemies of the coalition, led by France and Sweden, tried to support Ottoman integrity. They were backed in that stance by neutral

The most spectacular advance of the Russians into Central Asia carried them eastward through the forest belt, where the hunting and fishing populations offered little resistance and where the much-coveted furs of Siberia could be found in abundance. Acting on behalf of the…

…formed an alliance with the Muscovite Ivan III Vasilyevich directed against Sweden, which led to an unsuccessful Russian attack on Finland in 1495. The council became discontented with Sten’s acquisition of power and in 1497 called on John, whose army defeated Sten’s. John was crowned and Sten returned to Finland.…

1600–1699

Successive elective kings of Poland failed to overcome the inherent weaknesses of the state, and the belated reforms of Stanisław II served only to provoke the final dismemberments of 1793 and 1795. Russia was a prime beneficiary, having long shown that vast size was…

Although Russian explorers and traders began entering the area north of the Amur during the 17th century, the Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689), confirmed Chinese sovereignty over the entire basin. Despite the treaty, Russians and others from the west settled north of the Amur. Further Russian encroachment…

…the Baltic region faced increasing Russian pressure. During the first decade of the 18th century, Estland and Livonia came under Russian rule. By the end of the century, the remainder of Latvia and Lithuania had likewise been incorporated into the Russian Empire. In the middle of the 17th century, peasant…

The Turks and the Russians concluded only a two-year armistice at Carlowitz, but in 1700 they signed the Treaty of Constantinople, which gave Azov to Russia (Azov was returned to the Turks in 1711 and restored to Russia only in 1783) and also allowed the tsar to establish a…

Russia’s conquest of the region began in the 17th century and continued until the last independent Uzbek khanates were annexed or made into protectorates in the 1870s. Soviet rule replaced that of the Russian tsars after the Russian Revolution of 1917, and thereafter the region…

Russia, meanwhile, had sent peaceful missions overland to Beijing, and by the end of the Ming dynasty the Russians’ eastward expansion across Siberia had carried them finally to the shores of the Pacific north of the Amur River.

…a zone of competition between Russia and China. Bands of musket-bearing Cossacks had been exacting tribute in furs from the tribes living along the Amur River, and in 1650 a Russian fort was built at Albazino on the river’s north bank. The Qing dynasty appointed a military governor to administer…

…Cossacks signed a treaty with Russia in 1654, under which their autonomy was to be respected. The Russians likewise used the Cossacks first as defenders of the Russian frontier and later as advance guards for the territorial extension of the Russian Empire. Internally, the Cossacks regained a greater degree of…

…they encountered agents of the Russian tsar. The Russians had begun to overrun the steppe and forest peoples of northern Eurasia after 1480, when the Grand Duke of Moscow formally renounced the suzerainty of the Golden Horde. By 1556 Russian soldiers controlled the length of the Volga. Others crossed the…

The line between Orthodox Russia and the rest of Christian Europe had never been so sharp as that which divided Christendom and Islam. Uncertainties engendered by the nature of Russian religion, rule, society, and manners perpetuated former ambivalent attitudes toward Byzantium. Unmapped spaces, where Europe petered out in marshes,…

The war in Russia was much more serious, and it was here that Gustavus, in a succession of difficult and indecisive campaigns, learned the rudiments of warfare. It dragged on until ended by the Peace of Stolbova in 1617, by which time it had clearly changed its character.…

…Nerchinsk, (1689), peace settlement between Russia and the Manchu Chinese empire that checked Russia’s eastward expansion by removing its outposts from the Amur River basin. By the treaty’s terms Russia lost easy access to the Sea of Okhotsk and Far Eastern markets but secured its claim to Transbaikalia (the area…

…however, no real peace with Muscovy, then going through its Time of Troubles. The support extended by some Polish magnates to the False Dmitry (who claimed to be the son of Ivan the Terrible) eventually embroiled Poland in hostilities. The victory at Klushino in 1610 by Hetman Stanisław Zółkiewski resulted…

…wars, series of wars between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the 17th–19th century. The wars reflected the decline of the Ottoman Empire and resulted in the gradual southward extension of Russia’s frontier and influence into Ottoman territory. The wars took place in 1676–81, 1687, 1689, 1695–96, 1710–12 (part of…

…as early as 1520 in Russia it was legally imposed in the Ulozhenie (Law Code) of 1649. At least in Poland, the western market for cereals was a principal factor in reviving serfdom, in bringing back a seemingly primitive form of labour organization.

The Russian was less attached to a particular site than his western counterparts living in more densely populated countries and had to be held down by a government determined to secure taxes and soldiers. The imposition of serfdom was outlined in the Ulozhenie, the legal code…

between Sweden and Russia ending Sweden’s intervention in Russia’s internal political affairs and blocking Russia from the Baltic Sea. In 1610 Muscovite leaders, faced with a succession crisis, a war with Poland, and peasant uprisings (Time of Troubles, 1606–13), offered the Russian throne to Władysław, the son of…

…its own ambitions by attacking Russia and establishing a dictatorship in Moscow under Władysław, Poland’s future king. The Russo-Polish Peace of Polyanov in 1634 ended Poland’s claim to the tsarist throne but freed Poland to resume hostilities against its Baltic archenemy, Sweden, which was now deeply embroiled in Germany. Here,…

…Sweden managed to engineer a Russian invasion of Poland in the autumn of 1632 that tied down the forces of both powers for almost two years. Meanwhile, in Germany, Oxenstierna crafted a military alliance that transferred much of the cost of the war onto the shoulders of the German Protestant…

between Poland and Russia that had their beginning with the death of Ivan IV (the Terrible) in 1584 and continued through a prolonged dispute over the Russian throne. The truce placed Smolensk, as well as other conquered western Russian territories, in Poland’s possession.

…nature has generated enormous controversy: Russian historians have emphasized Ukraine’s acceptance of the tsar’s suzerainty, which subsequently legitimized Russian rule, but Ukrainian historiography has stressed Moscow’s recognition of Ukraine’s autonomy (including an elective hetmancy, self-government, and the right to conduct foreign relations) that was virtually tantamount to independence (see Pereyaslav…

1700–1799

…they were seized by the Russian tsar Peter I the Great after his naval victory over Sweden. When the grand duchy of Finland was ceded to Russia in 1809, the islands were included with the provision that they would not be fortified. Russia began fortification in the 1830s, however, with…

In 1728 the Russian tsar Peter I (the Great) supported an expedition to the northern Pacific. Led by Vitus Bering, the expedition set out to determine whether Siberia and North America were connected and, if not, whether there was a navigable sea route connecting the commercial centres of…

…was established in 1784 by Russians at Three Saints Bay, near present-day Kodiak. With the arrival of the Russian fur traders, many Aleuts were killed by the newcomers or overworked in the hunting of fur seals. Many other Aleuts died of diseases brought by the Russians.

In 1741 the Russians sent the Dane Vitus Bering and the Russian Aleksey Chirikov on a voyage of discovery. After their ships became separated in a storm, Chirikov discovered several of the eastern islands, while Bering discovered several of the western islands. Bering died during the voyage, but…

But soon after Russia was won over to the Habsburg cause, Prussia changed sides. As the outbreak of a European war seemed imminent, attempts were made at the Congress of Soissons to relax political tensions. Spain abruptly changed its alliances and concluded a treaty (1729) with England and…

Russia joined Austria in a defensive accord in 1746, primarily to prevent Prussia from reentering the war after it had concluded the Treaty of Dresden with Austria in 1745.

…time as if the Austro-Russian forces would win. However, a terrible defeat inflicted upon the coalition in Switzerland, followed by recrimination and blame heaped upon each ally by the other, resulted in Russia’s leaving the alliance as the campaign of 1799 ended. Thugut convinced Francis to continue the struggle,…

…the independence of Poland from Russian encroachment. Its activities precipitated a civil war, foreign intervention, and the First Partition of Poland.

By way of the First Partition of Poland in 1772, Catherine II of Russia acquired the eastern portion of present-day Belarus, including the towns of Vitsyebsk (Russian: Vitebsk), Mahilyow (Mogilyov), and Homyel (Gomel). The Second Partition (1793) gave Russia Minsk and the central…

In 1710 a Russian army fighting Swedish forces barricaded in Reval (now Tallinn, Estonia) also hurled plague-infested corpses over the city’s walls. In 1763 British troops besieged at Fort Pitt (now Pittsburgh) during Pontiac’s Rebellion passed blankets infected with smallpox virus to the Indians, causing a

…powers, first Austria and then Russia, saw the Bulgarian Christians as potential allies. Austrian propaganda helped to provoke an uprising at Tŭrnovo in 1598, and two others occurred in 1686 and 1688 after the Turks were forced to lift the Siege of Vienna. Under Catherine II (the Great), Russia began…

Petersburg, Russia), German-born empress of Russia (1762–96) who led her country into full participation in the political and cultural life of Europe, carrying on the work begun by Peter the Great. With her ministers she reorganized the administration and law of the Russian Empire and extended Russian territory, adding Crimea…

… (November 1700), which drove the Russians away from the Swedish trans-Baltic provinces and the crossing of the Western Dvina River (1701), which scattered the troops of Augustus II (elector of Saxony and king of Poland)—were all planned and directed by the officers whom Charles had inherited from his father but…

…tributary ideal, Chinese relations with Russia being a case in point. The early Qing rulers attempted to check the Russian advance in northern Asia and used the Russians as a buffer against the Mongols. The Sino-Russian Treaty of Nerchinsk (1689), which tried to fix a common border, was an agreement…

This necessitated alliances with Russia and the Netherlands and, from time to time, France. This policy succeeded for the rest of the 18th century, probably because of the common European need for free access to the Baltic. Finally, in the 1770s, the Gottorp lands in Schleswig and Holstein were…

…in Catherine the Great’s vast Russian lands represented the overriding imperative, the security of the state. In Portugal, Pombal, the rebuilder of post-earthquake Lisbon, was motivated chiefly by the need to restore vitality to a country with a pioneering maritime past. Leopold of Tuscany was able to draw on a…

The “good old Swedish days” for Estonia were more a legend than reality, and they ended with the Second Northern War (Great Northern War). The Russian tsar, Peter I (the Great), was finally able to achieve the dream of his predecessors and conquer…

…threat to his plans was Russian support for Maria Theresa, which he hoped to avert by judicious bribery in St. Petersburg and by exploiting the confusion that was likely to follow the imminent death of the empress Anna. He also hoped that Maria Theresa would cede most of Silesia in…

This coalition of Austria, Russia, Turkey, and Great Britain won great successes during the spring and summer of 1799 and drove back the French armies to the frontiers. Bonaparte thereupon returned to France to exploit his own great prestige and the disrepute into which the military reverses had brought…

” In Russia, St. Petersburg’s Imperial Russian Geographical Society promoted the discipline in a variety of ways, establishing it early at Moscow State University. The Italian Geographical Society was founded in 1867, following the creation of the first university professorships in 1859 it too promoted “exploratory” geography…

…the Treaty of Georgievsk, whereby Russia guaranteed Georgia’s independence and territorial integrity in return for Erekle’s acceptance of Russian suzerainty. Yet Georgia alone faced the Persian Āghā Moḥammad Khan, first of the Qājār dynasty. Tbilisi was sacked in 1795, and Erekle died in 1798. His invalid son Giorgi XII sought…

…empire from the Austrians, the Russians, and the Persians. The Russian threat culminated in the 1768–74 war with Turkey, and the Russians subsequently claimed the right to exercise a protectorate over all the Orthodox Christians of the Ottoman Empire on the basis of their interpretation of the terms of the…

Its redevelopment was hindered by Russian attacks later in the 18th century, but in 1748 the settlement became more secure when a fortress, called Sveaborg by the Swedes and Suomenlinna by the Finns, was constructed on a group of small islands outside the harbour.

Claimed by Russia to have been part of Rus from the 9th century, the isthmus was captured by Sweden at the beginning of the 17th century. It was ceded to Russia in 1721 with the Treaty of Nystad, but it was further negotiated as part of independent…

…to resist the encroachments of Russia from the north. The advance onto the Kazakh steppe began with the construction of a line of forts—Omsk in 1716, Semipalatinsk in 1718, Ust-Kamenogorsk in 1719, and Orsk in 1735—which was then steadily advanced southward. The Russian advance into Kazakh

…bulk of it went to Russia. However, lands southwest of the Nemunas River were annexed by the Kingdom of Prussia. This region was incorporated in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw established by Napoleon in 1807. In 1815, at the Congress of Vienna, the duchy became the Kingdom of Poland and…

…subject to the Ottoman Empire, Russian influence in the principality increased, and the region became a source of contention between the Turks and the Russians, then embroiled in the Russo-Turkish wars. In 1774 Moldavia lost its northwestern territory of Bukovina to Austria in 1812 it gave up its eastern portion,…

…with Peter I (the Great), Russia drove toward the Danube delta. The Russians occupied Moldavia five times between 1711 and 1812 and finally secured Turkey’s cession of Bessarabia—approximately half of historic Moldavia—in the Treaty of Bucharest (1812).

…Pacific trade was dominated by Russia, although explorers and traders from other countries also visited the region.

In Russia, at the height of the conservative reaction that had already secured the abolition (1762) of the service obligation imposed by Peter I, Catherine II the Great was forced to abandon liberal reforms. The Pugachov rising (1773–74) alerted landowners to the dangers of serfdom, but…

… Sea were first explored by Russian ships under Semyon Dezhnyov, in 1648. They are named for Vitus Bering, a Danish captain who was taken into Russian service by Peter the Great, in 1724. He sailed into the strait four years later but did not see the Alaskan coast, although he…

Petersburg), emperor of Russia from 1796 to 1801.

…divisions of Poland, perpetrated by Russia, Prussia, and Austria, by which Poland’s size was progressively reduced until, after the final partition, the state of Poland ceased to exist.

…Peter I (the Great) of Russia at the Battle of Poltava (Ukraine, Russian Empire) in 1709 eventually restored Augustus to the throne but made him dependent on the tsar. Having failed to strengthen his position through war and territorial acquisitions, Augustus contemplated domestic reforms while his entourage played with the…

…Catherine II (the Great) of Russia not only because he had been her lover but because she felt that he would be completely dependent on her. The Czartoryskis in turn saw him as their puppet. Thus, from the beginning Stanisław II—a highly intelligent man, a patron of the arts, and…

In the final count Russia annexed 62 percent of Poland’s area and 45 percent of the population, Prussia 20 percent of the area and 23 percent of the population, and Austria 18 and 32 percent, respectively. The three monarchs engaged themselves not to include Poland in their respective titles…

The immediate objective of Romanian boyars—the traditional leaders of society—was independence. In the last quarter of the 18th century, success seemed near, as Russia, in the Treaty of Küçük Kaynarca (1774), gained the right to protect the Orthodox Christians of the Ottoman Empire. As…

…(1700–21), military conflict in which Russia, Denmark-Norway, and Saxony-Poland challenged the supremacy of Sweden in the Baltic area. The war resulted in the decline of Swedish influence and the emergence of Russia as a major power in that region.

Saxony, Sweden, and Russia were aligned on one side against Prussia, Hanover, and Great Britain on the other. The war arose out of the attempt of the Austrian Habsburgs to win back the rich province of Silesia, which had been wrested from them by

In Russia, laws regarding apparel were used to modernize the country. As soon as Tsar Peter I the Great returned from working in the dockyards of Amsterdam and London in 1697–98, he began requiring his princes to shave their beards. Then in 1701 he ruled that…

Brandenburg and Russia, together with such older states as Denmark and Poland, were natural enemies of Sweden. Denmark, Poland, and Russia made a treaty in 1699, while Prussia preferred to wait and see. The Second Northern War (also known as the Great Northern War) began when the…

Russia penetrated deeply into what is now Kazakhstan during the 18th century, and by the mid-19th century it had established itself on the northern frontiers of Turkistan and held a line of forts running roughly east and west, on both sides of the…

…eventually gained enormous influence in Russia, within the Hetmanate itself in the course of the 18th century the church progressively lost its traditional autonomy and distinctive Ukrainian character.

Russian influence in Walachia increased during the 18th century, and in 1774 Russia asserted the right to intervene in its affairs, though it continued to recognize Turkish suzerainty.

1800–1899

China

Following the advice of the Russian negotiator, Prince Gong exchanged ratification of the 1858 treaties in addition, he signed new conventions with the British and the French. The U.S. and Russian negotiators had already exchanged the ratification in 1859, but the latter’s diplomatic performance in 1860 was remarkable.

…in 1864, which terrorized the Russian borders in defiance of the Sino-Russian Treaty of Kuldja in 1851. The Russians, therefore, occupied Kuldja in 1871 and remained there for 10 years.

…Railway was constructed by the Russians between 1896 and 1903. This railway linked the new Liaodong port of Dalian (Dairen) with Changchun, in Jilin province, as well as with Harbin in Heilongjiang province and with the then new Chinese Eastern Railway branch of the Trans-Siberian Railroad. The South Manchurian Railway…

…was in response to the Russian occupation of Port Arthur (now the Lüshunkou district of the city of Dalian). With the advent of World War I, Japan took over German interests in the peninsula and in 1915, as one of its infamous Twenty-One Demands, compelled the Chinese to give official…

>Russia and China over the Chinese region centred on the Ili (Yili) River, an area in the northern part of Chinese Turkistan (East Turkistan), near Russian Turkistan (West Turkistan).

…he lost the Caucasus to Russia by the treaties of Golestān in 1813 and Turkmanchay (Torkmān Chāy) in 1828, the latter of which granted Russian commercial and consular agents access to Iran. This began a diplomatic rivalry between Russia and Britain—with Iran the ultimate victim—that resulted in the 1907 Anglo-Russian…

… in 1879 and modeled after Russian Cossack formations. It began as a regiment and was enlarged within a few months to a brigade and later, during World War I, into a division.

…by the United States from Russia of 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 square km) of land at the northwestern tip of the North American continent, comprising the current U.S. state of Alaska.

…(essentially the governor of the Russian colonies), Aleksandr Baranov, was an aggressive administrator. His first effort to establish a settlement at Old Harbor near Sitka was destroyed by the Tlingit. His second attempt, in 1804 at Novo-Arkhangelsk (“New Archangel,” now Sitka), was successful, but not without a struggle that resulted…

France, England, and Russia colonized Northern America for reasons that differed from one another’s and that were reflected in their formal policies concerning indigenous peoples. The Spanish colonized the Southeast, the Southwest, and California. Their goal was to create a local peasant class indigenous peoples were missionized, relocated,…

…the face of Turkish and Russian domination. Armenian writers did much to awaken the national consciousness of the Armenians, who became increasingly impatient with foreign rule. Growing nationalism on the part of Armenians provoked massacres by the Turks and confiscations by the Russians. The greatest single disaster was the Armenian…

…of the 19th century the Russians advanced into the Caucasus. In 1813 the Persians were obliged to acknowledge Russia’s authority over Georgia, northern Azerbaijan, and Karabakh, and in 1828 they ceded Yerevan and Nakhichevan. Contact with liberal thought in Russia and western Europe was a factor in the Armenian cultural…

Bakunin had been a supporter of nationalist revolutionary movements in various Slav countries. In the 1840s he had come under the influence of Proudhon, and by the 1860s, when he entered the International, he had not only founded his own proto-anarchist organization—the…

…believed that an alliance with Russia in late 1804 would deter rather than encourage Napoleon from attacking either of the eastern empires. Napoleon had gathered his major force along the French Atlantic coast for a possible invasion of Great Britain, and the Austrian statesmen believed that, even should they receive…

…the Kingdom of Sardinia against Russia. Since the mid-18th century, Austrian statesmen had generally agreed that it was better to have as the monarchy’s southeastern neighbour a weak Ottoman Empire than any strong power—especially Russia. So, in this war the monarchy declared its neutrality but also insisted that Russia not…

…in a possible confrontation with Russia over problems in the Balkans. The Dreikaiserbund (Three Emperors’ League) of 1873, by which Franz Joseph and the German and Russian emperors agreed to work together for peace, gave expression to that policy and made a change of the status quo in the Balkans…

…the possibility of conflict with Russia in this area, Austria-Hungary had looked for an ally, with the result that in 1879 Austria-Hungary and the German Empire had joined in the Dual Alliance, by which the two sovereigns promised each other support in the case of Russian aggression. The signing of…

…series of wars between the Russian Empire and Iran, the treaties of Golestān (Gulistan 1813) and Turkmenchay (Torkmānchāy 1828) established a new border between the empires. Russia acquired Baku, Shirvan, Ganja, Nakhichevan (Naxçıvan), and Yerevan. Henceforth the Azerbaijani Turks of Caucasia were separated from the majority of their linguistic and…

…of particular groups was common: Russia aided the Serbs and Bulgarians, while Britain, France, and Russia intervened for the Greeks. The Romanians benefited from the wars of Italian and German unification, and Albanian independence would have been impossible had the Balkan states not smashed Ottoman power in Europe in the…

…Lithuania, which were ceded to Russia. As a result of the third and last partition, the bulk of the ethnographically Lithuanian lands passed to Russia as well. Only the southwestern part, between the Neman River and East Prussia, was annexed by Prussia. In 1815 that area also came under Russian…

…13 and then pursued the Russian and Austrian allied armies into Moravia. The arrival of the Russian emperor Alexander I virtually deprived Kutuzov of supreme control of his troops. The allies decided to fight Napoleon west of Austerlitz and occupied the Pratzen Plateau, which Napoleon had deliberately evacuated to create…

…fought during Napoleon’s invasion of Russia, about 70 miles (110 km) west of Moscow, near the river Moskva. It was fought between Napoleon’s 130,000 troops, with more than 500 guns, and 120,000 Russians with more than 600 guns. Napoleon’s success allowed him to occupy Moscow. The Russians were commanded by…

…Russians at Eylau (modern Bagrationovsk, Russia), 23 miles (37 km) south of Königsberg (Kaliningrad). The unrelenting winter conditions added to the horror of the fighting, as the wounded froze to death in the battle’s aftermath.

…then waited for the slow-moving Russians under M.I. Kutuzov to join him. Mack expected Napoleon to have no more than 70,000 troops to meet him. Napoleon, however, chose to make Germany the main battleground and massed the Grand Army to annihilate Mack before the Russians arrived. On September 25 the…

…which had been signed by Russia and Turkey (March 3, 1878) at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. Officially convoked by the Austrian foreign minister, Count Gyula Andrassy, the congress met in Berlin on June 13.

Then Russia, whose interest in the area had developed during the 18th century (it had occupied the region five times between 1711 and 1812), acquired Bessarabia and half of Moldavia (Treaty of Bucharest, 1812). The name Bessarabia was applied to the entire region. Russia retained control…

Russia came into the war on their behalf in the following year. After the Serbo-Turkish War ended in 1878, the other great powers of Europe intervened at the Congress of Berlin to counterbalance Russia’s new influence in the Balkans. The congress decided that Bosnia and…

…sultan refused to implement them, Russia declared war. In the ensuing campaign, Bulgarian volunteer forces fought alongside the Russian army, earning particular distinction in the epic battle for Shipka Pass.

The Russian horizontal tricolour of white-blue-red was modified in the Bulgarian flag by the substitution of green for blue.

Implicitly directed against Russia, which had signed the Tilsit (1807) and Erfurt (1808) agreements with Napoleonic France, the Treaty of Çanak offered security to the British against the entry of the Russian fleet from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean. It also reaffirmed in full Great Britain’s capitulary…

…in Manchuria (northeastern China) by Russia in the late 19th century. The privileges for the line were obtained from China in the wake of the Sino-Japanese War (1894–95) as part of a secret alliance (1896) between Russia and China. Two years later Russia extracted from China a further agreement to…

Ottoman Empire and Russia, whereby the Ottomans accepted, under threat of war, Russia’s demands concerning Serbia and the Danube principalities of Moldavia and Walachia.

…the Crimean Peninsula between the Russians and the British, French, and Ottoman Turkish, with support from January 1855 by the army of Sardinia-Piedmont. The war arose from the conflict of great powers in the Middle East and was more directly caused by Russian demands to exercise protection over the Orthodox

…main naval base of the Russian Black Sea fleet. Sevastopol’s defenses had been built by the military engineer Colonel Eduard Totleben, and the Russian troops were commanded by Prince Aleksandr Menshikov. The siege lasted 11 months because the allies lacked heavy artillery to smash the defenses effectively, while all Russian…

Russia, which was eager to acquire an ice-free port on the Pacific, occupied the Liaodong Peninsula in 1897 after the Germans had taken Jiaozhou (Kiaochow) on the southern side of the Shandong Peninsula. In 1898 Russia acquired a lease of the Liaodong Peninsula and the…

of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia, devised by German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. It aimed at neutralizing the rivalry between Germany’s two neighbours by an agreement over their respective spheres of influence in the Balkans and at isolating Germany’s enemy, France.

…that developed between France and Russia from friendly contacts in 1891 to a secret treaty in 1894 it became one of the basic European alignments of the pre-World War I era. Germany, assuming that ideological differences and lack of common interest would keep republican France and tsarist Russia apart, allowed…

Russia, victorious on the Balkan and Caucasus fronts, preferred a weakened Ottoman Empire to one that was dismembered by other powers. The treaty allowed Russia to annex the islands controlling the mouth of the Danube River and the Caucasus coastal strip of the Black Sea,…

…who had revolted against the Russian tsar. Their revolt was ruthlessly suppressed, and Poland was incorporated into the Russian Empire. Revolts in Italy and the German kingdoms were equally unsuccessful. Belgium declared its independence from the Netherlands, and it was recognized in 1831 as a separate nation. For several years…

…1861), manifesto issued by the Russian emperor Alexander II that accompanied 17 legislative acts that freed the serfs of the Russian Empire. (The acts were collectively called Statutes Concerning Peasants Leaving Serf Dependence, or Polozheniya o Krestyanakh Vykhodyashchikh iz Krepostnoy Zavisimosty.)

Russia, indeed, seemed largely exempt from the political currents swirling in the rest of the continent, partly because of the absence of significant social and economic change. A revolt by some liberal-minded army officers in 1825 (the Decembrist revolt) was put down with ease, and…

Russia continued a reformist mode for several years after the emancipation of the serfs. New local governments were created to replace manorial rule, and local assemblies helped regulate their activities, giving outlet for political expression to many professional people who served these governments as doctors,…

15, 1899) a Russian imperial proclamation that abrogated Finland’s autonomy within the Russian Empire. After Finland was ceded by Sweden to Russia in 1809, it gained the status of a grand duchy, and its constitution was respected beginning in 1890, however, unconstitutional “Russification” measures were introduced. The February…

…near Helsinki capitulated to the Russians. In 1809 the Finns themselves had to carry the responsibility of coming to terms with Russia. Alexander I offered to recognize constitutional developments in Finland and to give it autonomy as a grand duchy under his throne.

…conflict between Habsburg-ruled Austria-Hungary and Russia—and France, which desired revenge against the German victors. Each might spark a general European conflagration that would inevitably involve Germany.

After Napoleon’s disastrous Russian campaign, Hardenberg preserved the appearance of the alliance but increased armaments and watched for the favourable moment for liberation. With great discretion, he advised the king to break away only when Prussia had an alliance with Russia. This was achieved, on the basis of…

…1815, by Alexander I of Russia, Francis I of Austria, and Frederick William III of Prussia when they were negotiating the Second Peace of Paris after the final defeat of Napoleon. The avowed purpose was to promote the influence of Christian principles in the affairs of nations. The alliance was…

…appealed for help to the Russian tsar, who sent an army across the Carpathians. Bitter fighting went on for some weeks more, led by György Klapka and other generals, but the odds were too heavy. On August 12, Kossuth fled the country, transferring his authority to Görgey, who the next…

…between the Ottoman Empire and Russia at the village of Hünkâr İskelesi, near Istanbul, by which the Ottoman Empire became a virtual protectorate of Russia.

…as a point from which Russia could threaten British India or Britain could embarrass Russia. Lord Auckland (served 1836–42) was sent as governor-general, charged with forestalling the Russians, and from this stemmed his Afghan adventure and the First Anglo-Afghan War (1838–42). The method adopted was to restore Shah Shojāʿ, the…

Russia’s glacial advance into Turkistan sufficiently alarmed Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and his secretary of state for India, Robert Salisbury, that by 1874, when they came to power in London, they pressed the government of India to pursue a more vigorous interventionist line with the…

…Insurrection, (1863–64), Polish rebellion against Russian rule in Poland the insurrection was unsuccessful and resulted in the imposition of tighter Russian control over Poland.

In 1804 another Russian envoy, N.P. Rezanov, visited Japan—this time at Nagasaki, where the Dutch by law were allowed to call—to request commercial relations. The bakufu refused Rezanov’s request, and during the next three years Russians attacked Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands. Earlier in 1804, the bakufu had…

…with him, false rumours aroused Russian mobs in more than 200 cities and towns to attack Jews and destroy their property. In the two decades following, pogroms gradually became less prevalent but from 1903 to 1906 they were common throughout the country. Thereafter, to the end of the Russian monarchy,…

… in Manchuria were more than Russia, with its long-cherished dream of southward expansion in East Asia, could tolerate. With German and French support, Russia pressured Japan to return the peninsula to China. At the same time, encouraged by Russia, the Korean government began to take an anti-Japanese course. The Japanese…

…(1851), treaty between China and Russia to regulate trade between the two countries. The treaty was preceded by a gradual Russian advance throughout the 18th century into Kazakhstan.

…Bugu voluntarily submitted to the Russians, and it was at their request that the Russians built the fort of Aksu in 1863.

The earliest Russian labour organizations emerged among artisans in the form of legal guilds, which were not autonomous or spontaneous institutions but rather subject to close state supervision. Late in the 19th century, these were joined by mutual-aid societies, which spread among the more skilled and literate…

Attended by the monarchs of Russia, Austria, and Prussia and their chief ministers, the kings of the Two Sicilies and Sardinia-Piedmont, the dukes of Modena and Tuscany, and British and French observers, the congress proclaimed its hostility to revolutionary regimes, agreed to abolish the Neapolitan constitution, and authorized the

Das Kapital was translated into Russian in 1872. Marx kept up more or less steady relations with the Russian socialists and took an interest in the economic and social conditions of the tsarist empire. The person who originally introduced Marxism into…

…in the Treaty of Adrianople, Russia pushed the frontier south to include the Danube delta. After the Crimean War, the Treaty of Paris in 1856 restored southern Bessarabia (at that time divided into three districts: Izmail, Kagul [or Cahul], and Bolgrad) to Moldavia, but in 1878, despite Romania’s having fought…

…most quixotic aggression—an invasion of Russia designed to humble “the colossus of Northern barbarism” and exclude Russia from any influence in Europe. The Grand Army of 600,000 men that crossed into Russia reached Moscow without inflicting a decisive defeat on the Russian armies. By the time Napoleon on October 19…

In Russia, the penetration of nationalism produced two opposing schools of thought. Some nationalists proposed a Westernized Russia, associated with the progressive, liberal forces of the rest of Europe. Others stressed the distinctive character of Russia and Russianism, its independent and different destiny based upon its…

…that unsuccessfully tried to overthrow Russian rule in the Congress Kingdom of Poland as well as in the Polish provinces of western Russia and parts of Lithuania, Belorussia, (now Belarus), and Ukraine.

European nations and Japan at the end of the 19th century spread their influence and control throughout the continent of Asia. Russia, because of its geographic position, was the only occupying power whose Asian conquests were overland. In that respect there is…

…never to find France and Russia arrayed together against Britain and to practice the technique of “restraint by cooperation.” The France of Louis-Philippe acted for most of the 1830s as Britain’s ally, and Palmerston’s riposte to Metternich’s coalition of the three emperors (of Austria, Prussia, and Russia) at Münchengrätz in…

Russia, it was decided, would deal with Sweden, while Napoleon, allied to Spain since 1796, summoned (July 19) the Portuguese “to close their ports to the British and declare war on Britain.” His intention was to complete the Continental System designed to make economic war…

…reconstitute Poland in union with Russia. This approach failed when Alexander committed himself to a struggle against France on the side of Prussia.

Illegal under Russian rule, it had a counterpart in Galicia in the Polish Social Democratic Party led by Ignacy Daszyński. The dominant figure in the PPS was Józef Piłsudski, who saw the historic role of socialism in Poland as that of a destroyer of reactionary tsardom.

They were even adopted by Russia, a country that became France’s enemy. In 1811 Tsar Alexander I created a Ministry of Police on the French model although the ministry was abolished in 1819, Tsar Nicholas I reinstated a secret Third Department for intelligence and an associated Corps of Gendarmes. Indeed,…

…Walachia, which became protectorates of Russia in 1829, were placed under international protection in 1856 and in 1878 united to form the independent state of Romania.

…the Napoleonic Wars, by Britain, Russia, Austria, and Prussia, for the purpose of defeating Napoleon, but conventionally dated from Nov. 20, 1815, when it was officially renewed to prevent recurrence of French aggression and to provide machinery to enforce the peace settlement concluded at the Congress of Vienna. The members…

…secret agreement between Germany and Russia arranged by the German chancellor Otto von Bismarck after the German-Austrian-Russian Dreikaiserbund, or Three Emperors’ League, collapsed in 1887 because of competition between Austria-Hungary and Russia for spheres of influence in the Balkans. The treaty provided that each party would remain neutral if the…

In 1853 the first Russians entered the northern part. By an agreement of 1855, Russia and Japan shared control of the island, but in 1875 Russia acquired all Sakhalin in exchange for the Kurils. The island soon gained notoriety as a Russian penal colony. As a result of the…

Ottoman government by Russia at the conclusion of the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. It provided for a new disposition of the European provinces of the Ottoman Empire that would have ended any effective Turkish control over the Balkans if its provisions had not later been modified.

…most of Carinthia and Carniola Russia, having backed Napoleon, received the Tarnopol section of East Galicia the Grand Duchy of Warsaw obtained West Galicia, with Kraków and Lublin and Bavaria acquired Salzburg, Berchtesgaden, the Innviertel, and half of the Hausruckviertel. Austria also

…situation was most complex in Russia. Stung by the loss of the Crimean War (1854–56) to Britain, France, and the Ottoman Empire, literally in their own backyard, Russian leaders decided on a modernization program. The key ingredient was an end to the rigid manorial system, and in 1861 Alexander II,…

…Ottomans and an alliance of Russia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1787, the Austrian emperor called upon the Serbs to rise once more against the Turks, which they did with some success. The Treaties of Sistova (1791) and Jassy (1792), which concluded hostilities, included guarantees of the rights of the…

…war on the Ottoman Empire Russia entered the conflict in 1877. Following the defeat of the Turks, the Treaty of San Stefano (March 1878) proposed a radical redrawing of frontiers in the Balkans, including the creation of a large Bulgarian state extending westward to Lake Ohrid. This solution was unacceptable…

Only then did Russia present an ultimatum to the Turks and force them to conclude an armistice (Oct. 31, 1876).

The serfs of Russia were not given their personal freedom and their own allotments of land until Alexander II’s Edict of Emancipation of 1861.

Russian history, member of a 19th-century intellectual movement that wanted Russia’s future development to be based on values and institutions derived from the country’s early history. Developing in the 1830s from study circles concerned with German philosophy, the Slavophiles were influenced greatly by Friedrich Schelling.…

When France and Russia signed the Treaty of Tilsit in 1807, Gustav stubbornly accepted war, even with Russia. Denmark, which had sided with France in October 1807, declared war against Sweden in 1808. England, at the moment busy in Spain, could offer little help. Sweden thus became politically…

Russian conquests in Central Asia in the 1860s and ’70s brought a number of Tajiks in the Zeravshan and Fergana valleys under the direct government of Russia, while the emirate of Bukhara in effect became a Russian protectorate in 1868.

Russian encroachments in the eastern Balkans culminated in the Russo-Turkish Wars (1828–29 and 1877–78), but Russia failed to create a “Greater Bulgaria” that would include the northern portions of Thrace at the expense of Turkey. The whole of Thrace therefore remained under Turkish domination. During…

…agreements that France signed with Russia and with Prussia (respectively) at Tilsit, northern Prussia (now Sovetsk, Russia), after Napoleon’s victories over the Prussians at Jena and at Auerstädt and over the Russians at Friedland.

During the 18th century Russia occupied the northern Caucasus, annexing part of Georgia in 1801. Throughout the 19th century Russia extended its occupation to much of Caucasia western Armenia, however, was subject to Turkish rule. Nationalist movements emerged in the region at the end of the 19th century. With…

…terms of the treaty allowed Russia to annex Bessarabia but required it to return Walachia and the remainder of Moldavia, which it had occupied. The Russians also secured amnesty and a promise of autonomy for the Serbs, who had been rebelling against Turkish rule, but Turkish garrisons were given control…

…the principal opponents of the Russian invasion in the 1860s and ’70s, the other tribes either failed to support them or helped the Russians.

Following the abolition of autonomy in the Hetmanate and Sloboda Ukraine and the annexation of the Right Bank and Volhynia, Ukrainian lands in the Russian Empire formally lost all traces of their national distinctiveness. The territories were reorganized into regular Russian provinces (guberniyas)…

…slowed the southward advance of Russian forces, Bukhara was invaded in 1868 and Khiva in 1873 both khanates became Russian protectorates. An uprising in Kokand was crushed in 1875 and the khanate formally annexed the following year, completing the Russian conquest of Uzbek territory the region became part of the…

Prussia, Russia, and Great Britain, the four powers that were chiefly instrumental in the overthrow of Napoleon, had concluded a special alliance among themselves with the Treaty of Chaumont, on March 9, 1814, a month before Napoleon’s first abdication. The subsequent treaties of peace with France,

…his 1887 Reinsurance Treaty with Russia. Superficially, this decision again could be justified, but it opened the way for Russia in 1891 to make an alliance with France.

1900–1916

Economic recession early in the 1900s was followed by a shocking loss in a war with Japan (1904–05). These conditions led to outright revolution in 1905, as worker strikes and peasant rioting spread through the country. Nicholas II responded with a number of concessions. Redemption payments were eased on peasants,…

World War I

…one last year of war, Russia succumbed. In three years of war Russia had mobilized roughly 10 percent of its entire population and lost over half of that number in battle. The home economy was stretched to the limit, and even the arms and food it could produce were subject…

…relying on Germany to deter Russia from intervention. Though the terms of the ultimatum were finally approved on July 19, its delivery was postponed to the evening of July 23, since by that time the French president, Raymond Poincaré, and his premier, René Viviani, who had set off on a…

…were rapidly fading away in Russia proper during the late summer and autumn of 1917. The Bolshevik Revolution of November (October, O.S.) 1917 overthrew the provisional government and brought to power the Marxist Bolsheviks under the leadership of Vladimir I. Lenin. The Bolshevik Revolution spelled the end of Russia’s participation…

…in terms of casualties, and Russia lacked the resources to exploit or repeat this success.

…that end Aehrenthal met the Russian foreign minister, Aleksandr P. Izvolsky, at Buchlau, in Moravia and, on Sept. 16, 1908, Izvolsky agreed that Russia would not object to the annexation. Aehrenthal pledged that in return Austria would not object to opening the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits to Russian warships, an…

…19th and 20th centuries, the Russians used Cossacks extensively in military actions and to suppress revolutionary activities. During the Russian Civil War (1918–20), the Cossacks were divided. Those in southern Russia formed the core of the White armies there, and about 30,000 fled Russia with the White armies. Under Soviet…

…France had had none but Russia, soon to be discredited in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904–05. The agreement was consequently upsetting to Germany, whose policy had long been to rely on Franco-British antagonism. A German attempt to check the French in Morocco in 1905 (the Tangier Incident, or First Moroccan…

…Finland if such laws affected Russian interests. Direct attempts at Russification were then made. The gradual imposition of Russian as the third official language was ordered in 1900, and in 1901 it was decreed that Finns should serve in Russian units and that Finland’s own army should be disbanded. Increasing…

By contrast, Russian Futurism was fragmented into a number of splinter groups (Ego-Futurists, Cubo-Futurists, Hylaea [Russian Gileya]) associated with a large number of anthologies representing continually regrouping artistic factions. While there was an urbanist strand to Russian Futurism, especially in the poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky and Yelena…

…emancipation of the serfs in Russia (1861), and the adoption of free trade by the major European states all seemed to justify faith in the peaceful evolution of Europe toward liberal institutions and prosperity.

…the German boundaries when the Russian Revolution intervened.

>Russia—which he regarded as the alliance most likely to favour the implementation of Greece’s remaining irredentist ambitions. The entente had, in an effort to lure Greece into the war, held out the luring prospect of territorial gain for Greece at the expense of Turkey, which…

Meanwhile, France, Russia, and Germany were not willing to endorse Japanese gains and forced the return of the Liaotung Peninsula to China. Insult was added to injury when Russia leased the same territory with its important naval base, Port Arthur (now Lü-shun), from China in 1898. The…

In 1893 he settled in St. Petersburg and became actively involved with the revolutionary workers. With his pamphlet Chto delat? (1902 What Is to Be Done?), he specified the theoretical principles and organization of a Marxist party as he thought it should be constituted. He took part in the second…

…the 20th century, Japan and Russia were competing to expand their empires into northeastern Asia at the expense of the Qing (Manchu) rulers in China. Russia had encroached southward into northern Manchuria. Meanwhile, Japan had fought and won the Sino-Japanese War of 1894–95 and had demanded that China cede the…

…1916 Great Britain, France, and Russia had reached an agreement (the Sykes-Picot Agreement) according to which, inter alia, the bulk of Palestine was to be internationalized. Further complicating the situation, in November 1917 Arthur Balfour, the British secretary of state for foreign affairs, addressed a letter to Lord Lionel Walter…

…and unification came from the Russian commander in chief, Grand Duke Nicholas, on August 14, 1914. Subsequent moves by the Russian government, however, revealed the hollowness of such promises. Russian concessions to the Poles, culminating in the tsar’s Christmas Day 1916 order, were made only in reaction to the Central…

Theodore Roosevelt, the defeated Russians recognized Japan as the dominant power in Korea and made significant territorial concessions in China.

Russia encountered a new opponent in the Far East in the rise of Japan. The Japanese, fearful of Russian expansion in northern China, defeated the tsarist forces in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904–05, winning Korea in the process. The unstable Russian regime looked for compensatory…

…with the assent of imperial Russia, for the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. The agreement led to the division of Turkish-held Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine into various French- and

The Russian intelligence service initially enjoyed great success against the Austrians because of the treason of an Austrian general staff officer, but it subsequently performed no better than the services of other countries involved in the war. The British succeeded in breaking German naval codes, and…

1917–1991

…civil code of the former Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (1964) provided the following order of intestate succession: (1) children, spouse, and parents of the decedent, in equal shares, a deceased child being represented by his child or children and a deceased grandchild by his child or children, and (2)…

Insurance in Russia was nationalized after the Russian Revolution of 1917. Domestic insurance in the Soviet Union was offered by a single agency, Gosstrakh, and insurance on foreign risks by a companion company, Ingosstrakh. Ingosstrakh continues to insure foreign-owned property in Russia and Russian-owned…

After the Nazi attack on Russia in 1941, the Japanese were torn between German urgings to join the war against the Soviets and their natural inclination to seek richer prizes from the European colonial territories to the south. In 1940 Japan occupied northern Indochina in an attempt to block access…

…planners first defined hypothetical enemies, Russia, the United States, and France fell into this category. From the geostrategic standpoint, the Army would have the major role in a war against Russia, the Navy in one against the United States. Except for a few occasional revisions, the gist of this war…

Russia then argued in support of Serbia and promoted its own plan for a partition of Bosnia. Clinton vetoed any plan that rewarded “Serbian aggression,” yet he also refused to lift the arms embargo on the beleaguered Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks).

…in 2002, Belarus’s relations with Russia had deteriorated, partly over the desire of Gazprom, the Russian state-owned natural gas company, to raise the price of gas exported to Belarus to world levels. Another source of discord was Russia’s military conflict with Georgia in 2008, as Lukashenko failed to follow Russia’s…

…Caucasus republic of North Ossetia, Russia, in September 2004. Perpetrated by militants linked to the separatist insurgency in the nearby republic of Chechnya, the attack resulted in the deaths of more than 330 people, the majority of them children. The scale of the violence at Beslan and, in particular, the…

Dudayev pursued aggressively nationalistic, anti-Russian policies, and during 1994 armed Chechen opposition groups with Russian military backing tried unsuccessfully to depose Dudayev.

…the oldest petroleum institute of Russia (established in 1920) and also a teacher-training institute.

…from the United States and Russia (following the breakup of the Soviet Union), the UN Conference on Disarmament adopted the CWC treaty on September 3, 1992, and the treaty was opened to signature by all states on January 13, 1993. The CWC entered into force on April 29, 1997, 180…

…was formed in 1991 by Russia and 11 other republics that were formerly part of the Soviet Union. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) had its origins on December 8, 1991, when the elected leaders of Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus (Belorussia) signed an agreement forming a new association to replace…

In the 21st century, under Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin, Cossacks resumed their historical relationship with Moscow. Cossack auxiliaries bolstered local police forces within Russia, most notably at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games, but their use of harsh tactics and enforcement of a conservative moral code sparked concerns among human…

…new agreement was reached with Russia in 1992, in which the two countries simply pledged to settle disputes between them peacefully. Finland, now freed from any restrictions, applied for membership to the European Community (from 1993 the European Union [EU]), which it joined in 1995. In 1999 it adopted the…

Beginning in 1994, Russia joined the discussions, and the group became known as the Group of 8 (G8) or the “Political Eight” Russia officially became the eighth member in 1997. In March 2014 Russia precipitated an international crisis when it occupied and annexed Crimea, an autonomous republic of…

…built a media empire in Russia in the late 20th century. His holdings included television, radio, newspapers, and magazines known both for their professionalism and for the critical stance they often adopted toward Kremlin policies.

…two reactors was completed with Russian assistance and began operation in 2011, using nuclear fuel provided by Russia there were no plans to complete the second reactor. The revelation in 2002 of a previously undeclared uranium enrichment facility under construction in Iran provoked suspicions that Iran was seeking to construct…

Relations with Russia have remained decidedly cool. A formal peace treaty was never concluded with the Soviet Union before its dissolution. The major sticking point for the Japanese has been the disposition of the “northern territories,” the four small islands in the southern Kuril chain that the…

…its military with that of Russia, establishing a joint command for training and planning and for border patrols. During the Soviet period, a vast nuclear arsenal was stationed in Kazakh territory. Kazakhstan ratified the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty in 1993, however, and by 1995 it had dismantled or returned to Russia…

…of tension, Kazakhstan’s relations with Russia in the years since independence have remained close, marked by economic partnerships, treaties of accord, and cooperation on matters of security and intelligence. In consideration of both demographic and cultural factors, Russian continues to function as an official language. Kazakhstan also maintains an important…

…announced in September 1993 that Russia would oppose NATO expansion unless Russia were included. Defense Secretary Aspin floated Clinton’s attempt at a solution on October 21, 1993, when he announced that NATO would offer less formal partnerships for peace to former Soviet-bloc states, including Russia. Clinton toured Europe in January…

…of NATO membership to include Russia. Most suggested alternative roles, including peacekeeping. By the start of the second decade of the 21st century, it appeared likely that the EU would not develop capabilities competitive with those of NATO or even seek to do so as a result, earlier worries associated…

Yeltsin first rose to prominence in 1985 as an ally of Gorbachev, but he bristled at the slow pace of reform and soon found himself cast into the political wilderness. During his short time as the mayor of Moscow, however, Yeltsin won great popular…

…of eastern Europe, above all Russia. Western relations with the new Russia began auspiciously. In early 1992 Yeltsin toured western Europe and signed friendship treaties with Britain and France in exchange for aid and credits. On January 3, 1993, Bush and Yeltsin signed the START II pact, promising to slash…

Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Russia. In May 1992 the Lisbon Protocol was signed, which allowed for all four to become parties to START I and for Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan either to destroy their strategic nuclear warheads or to turn them over to Russia. This made possible ratification by…

…with the Soviet Union (later Russia) over maritime boundaries around Svalbard. The issue was resolved in 2010, when the two countries agreed on a border in the Barents Sea. The negotiated boundary divided the region into roughly equal areas. The Svalbard Science Centre (opened 2006) houses the Norwegian Polar Institute,…

…military intervention, but Syria’s allies Russia and Iran continued to object, calling for the Syrian government to be given more time to deal with internal unrest. In October, Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Syrian crackdown, effectively blocking the path to UN sanctions or a…

…resulting in an agreement between Russia, Syria, and the United States on September 14 to place all of Syria’s chemical weapons under international control so that they could be destroyed. The UN inspectors’ report, released two days later, confirmed that rockets carrying the nerve gas sarin had been used on…

…turned in Assad’s favour when Russia launched its own military intervention in Syria in support of his regime. Following a buildup of Russian troops and military equipment, Russia began launching air strikes in September 2015. At first Russian officials claimed that it was targeting ISIL, but it soon became clear…

…earlier the United States and Russia, a key supporter of the Assad regime, had brokered an agreement on a framework under which Syria would accede to the international Chemical Weapons Convention and submit to the controls of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, provide a comprehensive listing of…

Russia, China, and Iran spoke out against military action, and Assad vowed to fight what he described as Western aggression.

)—a federation of Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, and the Transcaucasian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (S.F.S.R.)—was proclaimed. The first constitution for the new multinational federation was ratified in January 1924. Although the constituent republics retained the formal right of secession, their jurisdiction was limited to domestic affairs, while authority over…

…and membership were assumed by Russia in 1991), the United Kingdom, and the United States—concur on the admission of new members at times posed serious obstacles. By 1950 only 9 of 31 applicants had been admitted to the organization. In 1955 the 10th Assembly proposed a package deal that, after…

395–1399

The Russians lay far outside the Roman jurisdiction. Their warships, sailing down the Dnepr from Kiev to the Black Sea, first attacked Constantinople in 860. They were beaten off, and almost at once Byzantine missionaries were sent into Russia. The Russians were granted trading…

Russian interest in the Caucasus began early. In ad 943 Varangian, or Russified Norse, adventurers had sailed down the Caspian from the Volga River and captured the fortress of Bärdä. Subsequently, certain marriage alliances were concluded between the Russian and Georgian royal families, and in…

…are some scattered data on Russia. For some time a Russian guards regiment existed in Dadu, and some Russian soldiers were settled in military colonies in eastern Manchuria. As a whole, however, the civilizations of Europe and China did not meet, although contacts were made easy Europe remained for the…

…made on the area, where Russians and Germans also traded.

The Russian princes, particularly those of Muscovy, soon obtained responsibility for collecting the local tribute. The Horde carried on an extensive trade with Mediterranean peoples, particularly their allies in Mamlūk Egypt and the Genoese.

…the West—with which, through the Russians, they had excellent links—offered a more fertile ground for further expansion than the sunbaked deserts of Turkistan. The khans of the Golden Horde, instead of controlling the Russian and Lithuanian princes, increasingly relied upon their help in internal and dynastic struggles that were rending…

…armies into Iran, Iraq, and Russia. With the sacking of Kiev in 1240, the Mongols finally crushed Russian resistance. In the next year Mongol forces defeated a joint army of German and Polish troops and then marched through Hungary and reached the Adriatic Sea. Thereafter for more than 200 years…

…December 1240—with incalculable consequences for Russian history—was followed by a Mongol invasion of Hungary in 1241–42. Although victorious against the forces of King Béla IV, the Mongols evacuated Hungary and withdrew to southern and central Russia. Ruled by Batu (d. c. 1255), the Mongols of eastern Europe (the so-called Golden…

…in imposing their rule on Russia. By defeating a Swedish invasion force at the confluence of the Rivers Izhora and Neva (1240), he won the name Nevsky, “of the Neva.”

…principality of Novgorod (now in Russia) and Norway. The conflicts took place in what was then generally known as Finnmark (including the present Norwegian province of Finnmark and Russia’s Kola Peninsula). The treaty, rather than delimiting a clear frontier between Norway and Novgorod, created a buffer zone, the “common districts.”…

…the trade routes along the Russian rivers to the Baltic Sea acquired enhanced importance. In the second half of the 9th century, Swedish peasant chieftains secured a firm foothold in what is now western Russia and Ukraine and ruthlessly exploited the Slav population. From their strongholds, which included the river…

…them into the heart of Russia. The extent of this penetration is difficult to assess, for, although the Scandinavians were at one time dominant at Novgorod, Kiev, and other centres, they were rapidly absorbed by the Slavonic population, to which, however, they gave their name Rus, “Russians.”

…which had suzerainty over the Russian lands) over the Lithuanian ruler Vytautas, which ended his attempt to extend his control over all southern Russia.


Russian Revolution timeline 1920-24

This Russian Revolution timeline lists significant events and developments in Soviet-controlled Russia between 1920 and 1924. This timeline has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors.

Note: Entries in this Russian Revolution timeline use the Gregorian or New Style calendar, which was adopted by the Soviet government on January 24th 1918.

February: White army commander Kolchak is captured and executed.
February: The Bolshevik government makes an offer of peace to the US but this is rejected.
March: Yudenich’s White Army is evacuated from Estonia by British shipping.
April: Fighting intensifies in Poland, where the Poles drive back the Red Army and reclaim more territory.
April: White army commander Denikin passes control to General Wrangel and flees Russia via the Black Sea.
June: The autonomous ‘mountain republics’ of Chechnya, Ossetia and Dagestan are overrun by the Red Army.
August: The beginning of the peasant insurrection in Tambov by Antonov’s ‘Blue Army’.
September: The death of Inessa Armand, his confidante and possibly his lover, leaves Lenin stricken with grief.
October: The Treaty of Riga brings most fighting in the Russo-Polish War to a halt.
November: General Wrangel’s White Army, under siege from the Reds in Crimea, evacuates via the Black Sea.
November: Most major fighting in the Civil War is at concluded, though localised skirmishes and peasant uprisings still continue.

January: The Tambov peasant leader, Antonov, now commands a force in excess of 20,000, with which he attacks Bolshevik positions.
January: Alexander Shlyapnikov publishes an article in Pravda, in which he summarises the ideas and perspectives of the Workers’ Opposition.
February 28th: Rebellious sailors in Kronstadt meet, vote to form their own soviet and call for “Soviets without Bolsheviks”. They draw up a 15-point list of demands for the national government and ready themselves to fight against a Red Army incursion.
March: The Tenth Party Congress of the Communist Party. Lenin announces the New Economic Policy (NEP) and demands an end to factionalism in the party.
March: Red Army troops enter the streets of Kronstadt and arrest the last rebel sailors.
March: Britain signs a bilateral trading agreement with Russia other nations also lift trading blockades.
May: The rebellions in the Tambov are finally suppressed, after a massive injection of Red Army troops into the region.
July: The writer Maxim Gorky makes a worldwide plea for famine aid, declaring millions of Russian lives to be in danger.
August: An American famine relief group agrees to distribute millions of tons of grain in Russia.

February: The Soviet government replaces the CHEKA with a new security agency, the OGPU, which is also headed by Dzerzhinsky.
April: Doctors operate on Lenin’s neck to remove a bullet still lodged there since the August 1918 assassination attempt.
April: Joseph Stalin is appointed General Secretary of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union).
May: Lenin suffers the first of several strokes.
December: Lenin proclaims the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a federation of all soviet states.
December: Lenin dictates his ‘political testament’, a series of letters containing his views about the future of Soviet Russia, the Communist Party and its potential leaders.

January: The relationship between Lenin and Stalin breaks down after Stalin is rude and insulting to Krupskaya, Lenin’s wife.
March: Lenin suffers a third stroke that leaves him paralysed and barely able to speak.
May: Lenin’s last article, on the development of the Soviet bureaucracy, appears in the communist newspaper Pravda.
May: Lenin is removed to a party sanitorium at Gorki, with Stalin given responsibility for attending to his security, medical needs and well-being.
June: American charitable organisations end famine relief to Russia after they discover the Soviet government is exporting grain abroad.
July: Two secret factions within the Communist Party, the ‘Workers’ Group’ and ‘Workers’ Truth’, are discovered and purged.
September: A troika of Politburo members – Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoviev – emerges as a controlling faction.
October: The ‘scissors crisis’, a gross difference in between the availability and prices of agricultural and manufactured goods, reaches its peak.
October: In a letter to the Politburo, 46 leading Bolsheviks criticise the growing lack of democracy in the CPSU.

January: Lenin passes away after a fourth severe stroke. He is later embalmed and preserved in a mausoleum in Red Square, while the city of Petrograd is renamed Leningrad in his honour.
February: The USSR is formally recognised by Great Britain and other Commonwealth nations.


Timeline: Russian Federation

By David Johnson

Soviet Union disintegrates 14 former republics become independent nations. Russian Federation formed Boris Yeltsin appointed, later elected president

Yeltsin ends supremacy of Communist Party, privatizes state-run enterprises, guarantees free press businessmen, mobsters begin to take over economy, massive corruption sets in

1994-1996

Russia invades breakaway province of Chechnya humiliated, withdraws with heavy casualties

Russian stock market crashes, economy collapses

1999-2000

Second Chechen war, Russia crushes rebels Vladimir Putin elected president

Russian Orthodox Church bestows sainthood on Czar Nicholas and 1,000 others killed by Communists

Chechen rebels seize a crowded Moscow theater and detain 763 people. Armed and wired with explosives, the rebels demand that the Russian government end the war in Chechnya. Government forces storm the theater after releasing a gas into the theater that kills not only all the rebels but more than 100 hostages.

Chechens vote in a referendum that approves a new regional constitution making Chechnya a separatist republic within Russia. Agreeing to the constitution means abandoning claims for complete independence, and the new powers accorded the republic are little more than cosmetic.

President Vladimir Putin is reelected with 70% of the vote. In September, dozens of heavily armed guerrillas seize a school in Beslan, near Chechnya, and hold about 1,100 young schoolchildren, teachers, and parents hostage. Hundreds of hostages are killed, including about 156 children.

Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who was responsible for the horrific Beslan terrorist attack, is killed.

Former president Boris Yeltsin dies in April.

Dmitry Medvedev is elected president, succeeding Vladimir Putin. Parliament elects Putin, head of the United Russia party, as prime minister.

Russia enters the conflict between Georgia and a breakaway region, South Ossetia, with troops and tanks pouring into South Ossetia to support the region in August.

Russia intensifies its involvement, moving troops into Abkhazia, another breakaway region, and launching airstrikes at Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. Dozens are killed, hundreds are wounded, and thousands of people in South Ossetia flee their homes.

President Medvedev orders an end to military action in Georgia, although sporadic fighting continues.

Russian tanks occupy Gori, a strategic town 40 miles from Tbilisi, and hundreds of Russian soldiers cross the border into South Ossetia. Leaders of EU nations, the United States, and NATO have warn Russia to end the conflict in Georgia.

Medvedev signs a revised cease-fire, but Russian troops remain in Georgia. Georgia demands that a provision in the original agreement be amended to allow only those Russian peacekeepers who were in Georgia before the hostilities began to remain. The deal is tentative at best.

Parliament approves a bill extending the president's term from four to six years. The bill goes into effect for the next president's term.

Russia dissolves its counter-terrorism operation against separatist rebels in Chechnya. The operation had been going on for nearly ten years.

President Barack Obama makes his first official visit to Moscow and meets with President Medvedev. The two begin outlining a replacement for the 1991 Start 1 treaty with an agreement to cut down on the nuclear weapon stockpiles in both countries.

In March, two suicide bomb attacks on the Metro in Moscow kill 39 people. More than 60 others are injured. Russian officials blame North Caucasus militants.

Chechen rebel leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for the Metro suicide attacks last month in Moscow.

Russia and the United States sign a new arms deal in which both countries agree to cut back on their nuclear weapon stockpiles by 30%.

Ten low-level Russian spies are arrested in the United States after a multi-year investigation. According to the FBI, the ten arrested are part of a network using cold war tactics such as Morse code messages and invisible writing to communicate with the Russian government.

A suicide bomb attack at Domodedovo airport in Moscow kills at least 35 people and injures 100 more. Chechen military rebels, led by Doku Umarov, claim responsibility for the attack.

Russia is allowed to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the country completes a trade deal with Georgia. Georgia has blocked Russia from being a WTO member since their 2008 war.

Vladimir Putin wins a third term as president. Thousands of protestors hold demonstrations over the election results in several cities. Hundreds are arrested. Putin appoints Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister.

Three members of the punk band Pussy Riot are arrested while participating in an anti-Putin demonstration at a Moscow cathedral. Their arrest and two year hard labor sentencing gets international attention and is condemned by human rights groups, the European Union, and the United States.

Russia grants a temporary one year asylum to Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee who leaked information about the NSA surveillance program to the media. Snowden's asylum further erodes the relationship between Washington and Moscow and ratchets up tension between Obama and Putin. President Obama cancels a September summit meeting with Putin.

Russia's State Duma passes an anti-gay bill. Those caught breaking the new law can be arrested. Foreigners can be deported. The new bill sparks international protest and outrage. Athletes throughout the world threaten to boycott the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games in protest.

In February, Russia hosts the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. Despite security concerns, increased by terrorist attacks and threats as the Olympics approached, the Sochi Games are a success.

After Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych flees his country, Russian forces invade Crimea. Days later, Crimea holds a referendum and nearly 97% of voters choose to secede from Ukraine and join Russia. The United States and some European countries impose economic sanctions on Russia.


Timeline of US-Russia Relations (1983-2020)

Below is an evolving timeline of key events shaping the U.S.-Russia relationship along with hyperlinks to resources with more detailed information . This chronology has been compiled by Mari Dugas and RM staff Nini Arshakuni, Angelina Flood, Simon Saradzhyan, Aleksandra Srdanovic and Natasha Yefimova-Trilling. First published February 2018 last updated January 2021.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan calls the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire ” in a public address and announces the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), also known as “Star Wars.”

Downing of Korean Airlines Flight 007.

U.S. and NATO hold Able Archer command post exercise amid Soviets’ increasing concerns that a surprise nuclear strike by U.S./NATO could be in the works.

Soviet Politburo elects Mikhail Gorbachev as Communist Party General Secretary.

Gorbachev launches campaign of glasnost and perestroika, and reaches out to the West.

1st Reagan-Gorbachev summit, in Geneva.

Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs in Ukrainian SSR.

2nd Reagan-Gorbachev summit, in Reykjavík.

  • The two almost agree to eliminate all nuclear weapons, but negotiations eventually stall over SDI.

Reagan delivers his “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this [Berlin] wall” speech.

3rd Reagan-Gorbachev summit, in Washington, D.C.

  • Reagan and Gorbachev sign the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
  • Time magazine names Gorbachev man of the decade.

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict erupts between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

4th and final Reagan-Gorbachev summit, in Moscow.

  • Gorbachev hopes to use the summit as an opportunity to agree to the START Treaty, but Reagan is not interested in further arms control agreements.

Soviet combat forces withdraw from Afghanistan.

Estonia becomes first Soviet republic to declare sovereignty.

In a speech at the United Nations, Gorbachev announces that the USSR will begin to withdraw Soviet forces from Eastern Europe.

Anti-government demonstrations in Soviet Georgia are dispersed by Soviet Army, leaving 20 dead.

Fall of Communism in Eastern Europe:

  • More Soviet republics declare sovereignty.
  • In May, Hungary begins dismantling its 150-mile border fence with Austria.
  • Poland's electorate votes the Communists out of government in June, and Gorbachev subsequently announces that the Soviet Union will not interfere with the internal affairs of the Eastern European countries.
  • Latvia declares sovereignty in July, followed by Azerbaijan in September.
  • By October, Hungary and Czechoslovakia follow Poland's example and, on Nov. 9, the East German government opens the Berlin Wall.
  • In November, Soviet Georgia declares sovereignty.

1st summit between President George H.W. Bush and Gorbachev in Malta “officially” ends Cold War.

Discussions on the reunification of Germany: In Ottawa, the four major World War II Allies (the United States, United Kingdom, France and the Soviet Union), as well as the two Germanys, agree on a framework for negotiating the unification of Germany.

Gorbachev elected president of the USSR.

2nd Bush-Gorbachev summit in Washington, reunification of Germany discussed, but no agreements signed the following day ethnic violence breaks out in the Soviet Kyrgyz republic (then Kirghizia, now Kyrgyzstan), leaving hundreds dead.

3rd Bush-Gorbachev summit in Moscow, START I is signed.

German reunification: U.S. Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze join the foreign ministers of France, Britain and the two Germanys to sign the Treaty on the Final Settlement with Respect to Germany. Reunification is completed by October.

Crackdowns on independence movements in Latvia and Lithuania, which turn deadly.

Putsch against Gorbachev soon after the coup is rebuffed, four of the 15 Soviet republics—Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia—officially leave the USSR.

Bush announces initiatives on unilateral reductions of non-strategic nuclear weapons.

Gorbachev announces that the Soviet Union will not only reciprocate Bush’s initiatives on non-strategic nuclear weapons, but also proposes that the USSR and the United States eliminate entire categories of such weapons.

Nunn-Lugar bill on cooperative nuclear threat reduction is signed by Bush into law, after being passed by the Senate in November.

Dissolution of the Soviet Union: On Dec. 8, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine declare that the Soviet Union has ceased to exist and proclaim a Commonwealth of Independent States. Eleven former Soviet republics join the CIS on Dec. 21. The resignation of Gorbachev on Dec. 25 formally ends the Soviet Union.

Russian President Boris Yeltsin visits the U.S., meets Bush.

  • U.S. promises to promote future Russian admission to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, a major economic goal for Russia.
  • A joint proclamation is issued, stating that the U.S. and Russia don’t see each other as potential adversaries and are beginning a new era of “friendship and partnership.”

The U.S. establishes diplomatic relations with Moldova on Feb. 18 and with Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on Feb. 19. On March 24, it extends diplomatic recognition to Georgia.

Belarus announces the completion of the withdrawal to Russia of all tactical nuclear warheads deployed on Belarusian territory.

By May, all tactical nuclear weapons are moved from Ukraine to Russia.

On May 23, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine sign the Lisbon Protocol to the START I Treaty, becoming parties to the treaty as legal successors to the Soviet Union, with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine committing to accede to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear states. Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan all commit to eliminate all strategic nuclear delivery vehicles from their territories.

Bush-Yeltsin summit in Washington:

  • Bush and Yeltsin agree to continue START process set goal of reducing nuclear forces by 3,000-3,500 warheads by 2003.
  • The U.S. agrees to cut submarine-based nuclear weapons by half.
  • Yeltsin is initially very reluctant to negotiate this reduction, seeing it as benefitting the U.S. arsenal over Russia’s a more attractive aid package is negotiated in order to sway Russia.
  • Bush had previously proposed that Moscow give up its land-based, multiple-warhead ballistic missiles. The Kremlin counters with a proposal for the two sides to reduce their arsenals to 2,500 warheads each, and to give up their land-based and sea-launched multiple-warhead missiles.
  • The U.S. pledges $4.5 billion in economic assistance to Russia.
  • The U.S. launches its Peace Corps volunteer program in Russia.
  • Both states declare bilateral support for U.N. operations in Bosnia.

Yeltsin attends G7 meeting in Munich and meets privately with Bush. The G7 promises another $1 billion in aid to Russia but links it to economic reform. Yeltsin announces that Russia will soon begin to withdraw troops from the Baltics.

Bush signs the Freedom Support Act, providing $4 billion in aid to Russia and eliminating some of the U.S. restrictions on trade that existed during the Cold War.

Bush-Yeltsin summit in Moscow:

  • START II is signed.
  • In the first phase of START II, states have to reduce nuclear weapons to 3,800-4,250 warheads.
  • By the end of phase 2, neither is to have more than 3,000-3,500 warheads (to be completed by 2003).

Yeltsin-Clinton summit in Vancouver:

  • First meeting between Yeltsin and U.S. President Bill Clinton leaders declare a “new democratic partnership.”
  • The U.S. pledges $1.6 billion in additional aid to Russia in light of its economic stagnation (pre-approved by Congress).
  • The two leaders discuss START I and II Ukraine is delaying the ratification of START I, and until it does so, Russia will not ratify START II.

NATO summit proposes Partnership for Peace.

  • U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher assures Yeltsin that the Partnership for Peace was about including Russia, not creating a new membership list of just some European countries for NATO Yeltsin responds, “This is genius!”

Yeltsin-Clinton summit in Moscow:

  • Clinton and Yeltsin agree that their countries’ strategic nuclear missiles will no longer target each other.
  • The U.S. will purchase $12 billion of low-enriched uranium from Russia over 20 years, after Russia converts it from highly enriched uranium.
  • Russia will participate in NATO’s Partnership for Peace program.
  • Clinton and Yeltsin also agree that the sovereignty of former Soviet states should be respected, as well as rights of Russian speakers in the Baltics, though Yeltsin opposes any early accession of Central European countries to NATO.
  • Leaders of Ukraine, Russia and the U.S. agree that Ukraine will give up all nuclear weapons and sign the NPT in exchange, the U.S. and Russia will negotiate security guarantees with Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

NATO summit launches Partnership for Peace.

First joint U.S.-Russian Space Shuttle mission launches on Feb. 3 with Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev on board the U.S. space shuttle Discovery.

Moscow Declaration implemented: The U.S. and Russia officially no longer aim nuclear weapons at each other.

Yeltsin-Clinton summit in Washington:

  • The Partnership for Economic Progress is created, opening new paths for bilateral trade and economic development.
  • No resolution is reached on Bosnian conflict or Iranian cooperation Moscow states it will keep its existing contracts with Iran.

Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances is signed by Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Russia, United States and the United Kingdom:

  • Involves assurances by the U.S., U.K. and Russia to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. These assurances are a key factor in persuading Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to eliminate their nuclear arsenals.

Kazakhstan returns all nuclear warheads to Russia.

Clinton visits Russia for WWII Victory Day:

  • Clinton and Yeltsin agree that START II should be ratified early.
  • Clinton urges Yeltsin to stop the war in Chechnya and comply with the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty by November 1995, the CFE treaty would require large withdrawal of weaponry from Chechnya.
  • Yeltsin proposes that Moscow build nuclear reactors in Iran Clinton objects.

The U.S. Senate ratifies the START II Treaty on Jan. 26.

Yeltsin-Clinton summit in Moscow:

  • Both leaders agree to seek Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) by September 1996 to fulfill Non-Proliferation Treaty obligation.
  • Modifications to the CFE Treaty are discussed, given Russia’s concerns over its provisions in regards to Chechnya.
  • Yeltsin objects again to NATO enlargement plans Clinton promises there will be “no surprises.”

The last nuclear warheads are transferred from Ukraine to Russia on June 1.

  • Yeltsin and Clinton sign NATO-Russia cooperation pact, stating that the two sides no longer consider themselves adversaries.
  • NATO asserts that it will continue to expand.
  • NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council created to facilitate transparency and cooperation.
  • All parties agree to work toward a solution for the Bosnian conflict.

Yeltsin-Clinton summit in Helsinki:

  • Clinton and Yeltsin agree to start negotiations on a new arms reduction treaty that will span the next decade, but formal talks can happen only after Russia’s State Duma, the lower house of parliament, ratifies START II.
  • Clinton supports Russia’s accession to the G7, making it the G8.
  • Yeltsin notes that NATO expansion is inevitable, and Russia will just have to mitigate any negative consequences that stem from expansion.

Yeltsin-Clinton summit in Moscow:

  • Each country will remove 50 metric tons of plutonium from their nuclear weapons programs Clinton urges Duma to approve START II so the next round of START can begin.
  • Both leaders agree to implement the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons.
  • Yeltsin says Russia is against the use of force in Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan.
  • Yeltsin states that Russia is not dependent on Western economic aid, but does welcome increased Western investment and continued aid from the U.S.
  • Despite disagreement over NATO enlargement, Russia will participate in upcoming NATO summit and says it has no plans to expand westward.

Launch of International Space Station (ISS): The joint international project to establish a manned space station begins with launch of Russian-built control module on Nov. 20.

Bombing of then-Yugoslavia over its actions in Kosovo and expansion of NATO leads to seriously strained relationship between U.S. and Russia by the end of the Clinton administration.

In fourth wave of NATO expansion since the alliance’s inception, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland are admitted. (First wave was Greece and Turkey second was West Germany third was Spain.)

Vladimir Putin is appointed prime minister of Russia.

Yeltsin resigns Putin becomes acting president.

Putin is elected president of Russia.

  • In the first meeting between Clinton and Putin (in his role as president), Clinton disagrees with Putin’s harsh Chechnya policy.
  • Both agree to establish a data exchange to share early warning missile threat information, which would be the first case of joint U.S.-Russian major military cooperation, and to continue the disposal of weapons-grade plutonium.
  • Clinton addresses State Duma and sits for an interview with Ekho Moskvy, a liberal radio station.
  • Clinton again tries to propose a missile defense shield, but Putin rejects this.

Clinton and Putin meet in Okinawa ahead of G8 summit and discuss a range of political and security issues. These include the recent Middle East peace initiative, the Iranian nuclear program, Chechnya, Slobodan Milosevic's regime in Belgrade and Clinton’s call for rule of law in Russia.

First crew on manned ISS: A Russian Soyuz rocket delivers the first permanent resident crew to the ISS on Nov. 2. One American astronaut, Bill Shepherd, and two Russian cosmonauts, Sergei Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko, remain in space until March 21, 2001.

President George W. Bush and Putin meet at G8 summit:

  • Both agree to hold new talks on the reduction of nuclear weapons, in particular, to discuss the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.
  • Putin and Bush announce a Russian-American business dialogue.
  • Putin expresses concern that the U.S. has not been consistent in its support of Russia’s WTO bid.

Putin becomes first foreign leader to call Bush after 9/11 attacks.

Mutual U.S.-Russian Legal Assistance Treaty signed. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Russian Ambassador Yuri Ushakov state that the U.S. and Russia will jointly fight crime and terrorism.

The term "axis of evil" is used by Bush in his State of the Union address on Jan. 29.

Treaty of Moscow signed on strategic offensive reductions:

  • The treaty reduces levels of operationally deployed warheads to 1,700-2,000 by 2012.
  • It also gives Putin more clout on the international stage as a partner to the U.S.
  • Bush and Putin agree to create the NATO-Russia Council, which will work toward cooperation in areas of common interests, including nonproliferation and a joint peacekeeping force in Bosnia.

The G8 Global Partnership against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction is established at Kananaskis, Canada. U.S. pledges $10 billion, and others another $10 billion over 10 years.

U.S. withdraws from ABM Treaty signed in 1972.

  • The withdrawal is accompanied by a statement from Bush, saying the U.S. is committed to moving forward with missile defense programs.
  • In response, the Kremlin announces that it is no longer bound by START II, a treaty that had never entered into full force. However, Putin notes that Bush’s decision “does not threaten Russia's national security” and that “the existing level of bilateral relations must not only be preserved but used to work out a new framework of strategic relations as soon as possible.”

Bush flies to St. Petersburg after a NATO summit in Prague to meet with Putin. Bush personally thanks Putin for his support on a recent U.N. resolution on Iraq. The two also discuss efforts against terrorism, NATO expansion, NATO-Russia cooperation, energy, technology and strategic stability, and they issue a joint statement on the development of a U.S.-Russian Energy Dialogue, offering support for closer governmental ties on energy issues and for closer commercial cooperation in this area.

Russia opposes U.S.-led invasion of Iraq:

  • Putin calls the invasion an error in policy and intelligence and claims he had warned the U.S. about the 9/11 attacks two days prior to their occurrence.

The Roadmap for Middle East Peace, developed by the U.S. in cooperation with Russia, the European Union and the United Nations (“the Quartet”), is presented to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Fifth wave of NATO expansion: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia admitted.

Putin elected president for a second term.

Bush-Putin summit in Bratislava:

  • Putin and Bush discuss nuclear security, particularly the possibility of nuclear terrorism.
  • Both agree to help countries processing uranium move to low-enriched fuel.
  • A new joint senior group on nuclear issues is created that will update the governments and work together on best practices, reactor conversion, enhancing nuclear security and bettering emergency response systems on both sides.
  • The U.S. and Russia also agree to work toward Russian membership in the WTO.

Bush and Putin establish the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism at St. Petersburg G8 summit:

  • The joint initiative increases nuclear facility security and work against nuclear terrorism incidents.
  • Thirteen countries join initially. By 2016, 86 are party to the treaty.

Russia opposes U.S. plans to build missile defense shield in Poland:

Russia formally notifies NATO member states of its intention to suspend participation in the CFE Treaty at the end of the year, largely in protest of the U.S. missile-defense plans in Eastern Europe.

  • Putin personally attends to avert granting of Membership Action Plans (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine. Although the plans are ultimately blocked by Germany, the U.S. and many NATO allies agree that Georgia and Ukraine will one day be NATO members. However, no action plan is extended to these countries.
  • NATO members invite Albania and Croatia to join, and agree that expansion should continue.

Dmitry Medvedev is elected president of Russia with Putin’s blessing.

Putin’s presidency ends and he becomes prime minister under Medvedev.

U.S. and Poland agree to 10 two-stage missile interceptors on Polish territory.

  • Russia responds that it will increase its Western border defenses and place short-range Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad exclave.
  • Russia claims its citizens and Russian-speaking compatriots were being targeted in South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Georgian forces Georgia claims Russian peacekeeping troops were targeting Georgian civilians and planning to invade Georgia.
  • Russia and Georgia mobilize and fight a five-day war over the two separatist provinces, ending in a stalemate and internationally negotiated treaty.
  • The U.S. supported Georgia throughout the war and condemned Russia’s actions, although Bush called on President Mikhail Saakashvili to stand down.
  • The U.N. reports after the war that human rights violations were committed on both sides.

Sixth wave of NATO expansion: Albania and Croatia admitted.

  • After conflict in Georgia, U.S. President Barack Obama calls for the U.S. and Russia to reset relations and renew cooperation to address nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea.

On Sept. 17, Obama announces the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to missile defense in Europe, with stated purpose of countering threat posed by Iranian short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles.

  • The U.S. and Russia sign New START after START treaties expired in December 2009.
  • Treaty cuts deployed strategic warheads by 30 percent, down to 1,550.
  • ICBMs and SLBMs are limited to 700.

The U.S. and Russia cooperate on tightening sanctions on Iran over nuclear program.

The U.S. announces it has arrested 10 Russian spies living in America.

  • Putin is highly critical, though says he doesn’t want this to hamper the reset in relations.
  • The Russian Foreign Ministry says arrests are an “unjustified throwback to the Cold War.”

U.S. and Russia bring into force the 123 Agreement on nuclear cooperation.

Russia vetoes a U.S.-backed U.N. resolution condemning the Assad regime in Syria.

  • Russian U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin claims that Syria needs a gradual and apolitical approach, as opposed to the options the U.S. has proposed.
  • His U.S. counterpart, Susan Rice, affirms that a resolution condemning the human rights abuses will not lead to military action in Syria.

Massive protests in Moscow after allegations of rigged Duma elections. Putin blames the U.S. and accuses Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of personally interfering.

Putin is elected to third presidential term, which will end in 2018.

USAID is expelled from Russia.

Congress passes the Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on a group of Russian officials and repeals the effects of the Jackson–Vanik amendment on Russia and Moldova.

U.S. citizen Edward Snowden arrives in Russia, after exposing NSA domestic surveillance program.

Russia, which does not have an extradition agreement with the U.S., grants asylum to Snowden.

G20 summit in St. Petersburg:

  • Russian and other world leaders pressure Obama not to intervene militarily in Syria, marking an ongoing rift between the U.S. and Russia over how to deal with Syria’s civil war.
  • Putin gives Obama a plan on Syria, later agreed to by Assad, to remove all of the chemical weapons from the country.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych flees the country after mass protests in Kiev’s Maidan Square urging him to sign an Association Agreement with the EU, which had started the previous fall.

Following the ouster of Yanukovych, Russia annexes Crimea. The U.S. and EU impose two rounds of sanctions in March-April, targeting primarily Russian individuals and companies involved in the annexation, and they suspend Russia’s membership in the G8.

Fighting begins in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

  • The conflict has continued through 201 8, despite numerous ceasefires and internationally mediated meetings between Ukraine and Russia.
  • Sectoral sanctions (third round) are imposed on Russia by the EU and U.S. over Ukraine.
  • Separately, the U.S. accuses Russia of violating the INF Treaty by testing and deploying a new cruise missile system (identified by U.S. sources as SSC-8). The State Department would renew the complaint each subsequent year through 2017. Russia in turn would accuse the U.S. of violating the treaty by deploying an MK41VLS launcher capable of launching cruise missiles as part of the Aegis Ashore missile defense system in Romania.

Russia counter-sanctions the U.S. and EU countries, banning imports of agricultural products.

Minsk II Accord signed, laying out principles to end the conflict in Ukraine.

Moscow stops taking part in the Joint Consultative Group on the CFE Treaty, effectively withdrawing from the 1990 arms-control pact.

Obama and Putin discuss Syria during the G20 summit in Turkey, agree to a U.N. framework for a ceasefire and eventual peaceful transition in Syria.

Russia refuses to attend the final Nuclear Security Summit.

Russia and the U.S. announce joint peace plan for Syria. After meetings in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, announce that the two countries have agreed on the provisions of a peace plan for Syria, but implementation of the agreement stalls.

Russia suspends the U.S.-Russia Plutonium Disposition Agreement, concerning the management and disposal of plutonium. Terms set forth by Moscow for resuming cooperation include the repeal of and compensation for U.S. sanctions and a rollback of U.S. forces in NATO member states admitted after Sept. 1, 2000. The Russian government then also suspends a 2013 agreement with the U.S. on nuclear energy research and development and terminates another, signed in 2010, on cooperation on the conversion of Russian research reactors to low-enriched uranium fuel.

Businessman and TV personality Donald Trump elected U.S. president with an exceptionally pro-Russia stance in his campaign.

  • U.S. intelligence organizations say they have information confirming that Russian hackers intervened in the U.S. election in an effort to sway it in favor of Donald Trump, the president-elect.
  • Obama expels 35 Russian diplomats.

The U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases a declassified version of the Intelligence Community’s assessment that “Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election” that “Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency” and that “Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.”

After Trump fires FBI director James Comey, his predecessor Robert Mueller is officially appointed special counsel with the purpose of investigating “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump and … any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” Meanwhile, several congressional committees pursue their own investigations.

  • Donald Trump holds first face-to-face meeting as president with Putin, in which he asks the Russian leader about election hacking and concludes that it’s “time to move forward” on the issue.
  • The two leaders are able to reach an agreement for a ceasefire in Syria, to be monitored by Russian military police in coordination with the U.S. and Jordan.
  • The meeting also yields the announcement of a new U.S. special envoy for Ukraine who would have a special communication channel with a Russian counterpart.
  • Trump signs a bill passed overwhelmingly by Congress that imposes new sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine and alleged election interference. At the same time, Trump calls the bill “seriously flawed” because it limits his ability to negotiate with Moscow.
  • In the period leading up to and following the signing of the sanctions bill, Moscow and Washington exchange in a tit-for-tat with Russia ordering that U.S. diplomatic staff in Russia be cut by 755 employees and the U.S. ordering the closure of Russia’s diplomatic headquarters in San Francisco.

After briefly meeting with Putin on the sidelines of a summit in Vietnam, Trump says the Russian leader again denied interfering in the U.S. election, and Trump says he believes him. The two leaders also announce agreement on a deconfliction plan in Syria and the broad outlines for a peace process in the war-torn country.

  • Trump presents his National Security Strategy, which warns that China and Russia “challenge American power, influence and interests” and “are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.” In a speech announcing the strategy, Trump refrains from directly criticizing Russia and instead speaks positively of a phone call from Putin a few days earlier in which the Russian president credited the CIA with helping to avert a terror attack in St. Petersburg.
  • Separately, the Trump administration approves the limited sale of lethal weaponry to Ukraine, a move reportedly backed by the secretaries of defense and state, but not welcomed by Moscow.
  • The U.S. Treasury publishes a list of 210 people allegedly close to Vladimir Putin who may be designated for sanctions in the future. The list includes all members of the Russian Cabinet and presidential administration, other senior officials, the heads of state-run firms and 96 of Russia’s wealthiest businessmen.
  • The newly released 2018 U.S. National Defense Strategy says the U.S. must prepare to wage a great-power competition with China and Russia. The document highlights Russian actions to undermine democratic processes in Georgia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine, as well as Moscow’s efforts to “shatter” NATO.
  • Sergei Naryshkin, the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, or SVR, and Alexander Bortnikov, head of the FSB, visit the U.S. to meet with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and discuss counterterrorism issues. Naryshkin also meets with U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.
  • Trump names Russia and China as rivals of the U.S. in his State of the Union address .
  • The Trump administration’s Nuclear Posture Review states that the world has seen “the return of Great Power competition” and puts Russia at the core of U.S. nuclear strategy. The new document gives short shrift to arms control and diplomacy, but calls for two new systems—lower -yield nuclear weapons deployed on submarine-launched ballistic missiles and new nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles—to create “ credible deterrence against regional aggression.” As part of its rationale the document cites Russia’s recent statements on its nuclear posture and the Kremlin’s reported belief that “limited nuclear first use, potentially including low-yield weapons,” would give Russia a strategic advantage.
  • The U.S. and Russia both declare that they have met the Feb. 5 deadline for compliance with the New START treaty, with Moscow and Washington posting their respective numbers of warheads and delivery systems.
  • Robert Mueller unveils an indictment of 13 Russian citizens and three Russian companies for interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections by creating fake online personas to help Trump’s presidential campaign and hurt Clinton’s.
  • In Syria, U.S. forces clash with Russian mercenaries allegedly working for an opaque private military firm (with reported links to the Kremlin and Defense Ministry via entrepreneur Yevgeny Prigozhin) the precise number of Russian casualties is unknown, but early reports put the figure as high as 300 killed and injured, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who headed the CIA at the time of the fighting, later told Congress that “ a couple of hundred ” Russians were killed .
  • T he U.S. Intelligence Community’s Worldwide Threat Assessment reiterates U.S. allegations that Russia has developed a ground-launched cruise missile that Washington believes to be in violation of the INF Treaty.
  • The White House accuses “the Russian military” of launching the devastating June 2017 cyberattack known as NotPetya , which caused billions of dollars in damage worldwide.
  • In his address to parliament , Putin gives a litany of new long-range attack systems being developed by Russia’s defense industry , including: the Avangard strategic missile system a high-precision hypersonic aircraft missile system the Sarmat multiple-warhead ICBM, equipped with nuclear warheads, including hypersonic warheads a miniature nuclear propulsion unit that can be installed on Russia’s air-to-surface Kh-101 missiles and a high-speed underwater drone tested in 2017 with an "intercontinental" range and capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could target both aircraft carriers and coastal facilities.
    • The U.S. responds by accusing Russia of developing destabilizing weapons systems in direct violation of its treaty obligations and of failing to exhibit “the behavior of a responsible international player.”
    • The U.S. issues new sanctions under CAATSA and earlier executive orders against Russian oligarchs, including Oleg Deripaska, Suleiman Kerimov, Viktor Vekselberg, Alexei Miller and Vladimir Bogdanov .
    • The Senate Intelligence Committee says it sees no reason to dispute the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
    • The U.S. issues new sanctions against a handful of Russian companies and nationals—including Digital Security, ERPScan, Divetechnoservices and Divetechnoservices-connected individuals Alexander Tribun, Oleg Chirikov and Vladimir Kaganskiy —for cyberattacks on U.S. energy and other interests.
    • The Justice Department secures an indictment against 12 members of Russia’s military intelligence agency, known as the GRU, for hacking the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, as well as conspiring to hack into state election systems and other entities. The Justice Department also charges a Russian national, Maria Butina, with conspiring against the U.S. as an unregistered agent for the Russian government.
    • Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki, Finland . Putin and Trump both hail the meeting as a success.
      • The meeting establishes separate working groups of business leaders and foreign-policy experts, and follow-up meetings between the national security council staffs of both countries.
      • The Russian delegation passes a proposal to its U.S. counterparts for the two countries to reaffirm their commitment to New START, the INF Treaty, the Vienna document and the Open Skies treaty.
      • The longest encounter between the two presidents to date, lasting over two hours, included no other officials or notetakers, just interpreters.
      • The United States imposes a ban on arms sales, arms-sales financing, U.S. government credit or other financial assistance, exports of national-security-sensitive goods and most foreign assistance to Russia under the terms of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.
      • The U.S. State Department imposes fresh sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter, with a second tranche of sanctions to be activated after 90 days.
      • In the 60th sanctions package since 2011, the U.S. blacklists 33 Russian nationals and three entities.
      • Russia holds its Vostok-2018 military exercises with China participating for the first time directly in the exercise itself.
      • Trump announces his intention to have the United States pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.
      • John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, visits Moscow to meet with his Russian counterpart, Nikolai Patrushev, and other senior officials, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
      • U.S. Justice Department officials announce charges against seven officers of Russia's GRU (including three who had been indicted for election interference) in connection with the leaking of athletes' drug-test data and efforts to steal information from organizations probing Russia's alleged use of chemical weapons, including the Skripal poisoning.
      • U.S. Cyber Command, with intelligence from the National Security Agency, reportedly blocked internet access to the Russian Internet Research Agency during congressional mid-term elections, in what unnamed sources called the first offensive cyber-campaign against Russia designed to thwart attempts to interfere with a U.S. election.
      • Putin and Trump speak during a leaders' luncheon in Paris marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, but do not have a formal meeting (reportedly at the request of French President Emmanuel Macron). At the time Trump and Putin were expected to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina later in the month.
      • Trump cancels his scheduled G20 meeting with Putin at the last minute, citing Russia’s capture of Ukrainian ships and crew off Crimea.
      • The U.S. says it will withdraw from the INF Treaty if Russia does not return to compliance within 60 days.
      • Trump announces that he is pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, declaring the Islamic State defeated. However, his administration is then reported to have revised the withdrawal timeline amid concerns from allies and military leaders.
      • Trump unveils the new Missile Defense Review (MDR),saying that Washington’s goal is “to ensure we can detect and destroy any missile launched against us, anywhere, anytime, anyplace.” The document says “the United States relies on deterrence to protect against large and technically sophisticated Russian and Chinese intercontinental ballistic missile threats to the U.S. homeland.”
      • The U.S. National Intelligence Strategy says Russia's efforts to expand its influence and the modernization of China's military are among the "ever more diverse" threats facing the United States.
      • The U.S. Intelligence Community releases the new Worldwide Threat Assessment , describing Russia as a major threat to U.S. interests not just in its own right but particularly in tandem with China—a pairing mentioned about twice as often as in the previous year’s assessment.
      • Former U.S. Marine Paul Whelan is detained in Russia on charges of espionage, which he denies.
      • The United States suspends its obligations under the INF Treaty, with plans to formally withdraw in six months if Russia does not return to compliance. In response, Russia also suspends its involvement in the treaty. Later in the month, Putin tells parliament that Russia does not intend to be the first to deploy INF-range missiles in Europe, but would have to target the U.S. if it deploys weapons that Russia sees as a direct threat.
      • In his state-of-the-nation address Putin says Russia does not want confrontation with the U.S., but accuses Washington of ignoring Russia's "legitimate interests" and of organizing "anti-Russian activities."
      • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accuses Russia of "grand designs of dominating Europe” and the U.S. ambassador to Poland says Washington plans to significantly increase its troop numbers in the country.
      • Russia detains investor Michael Calvey on embezzlement charges, which he denies, linking them to a dispute with a Russian bank.
      • Russia sentences two cybersecurity experts, including an FSB colonel whose work had officially included liaising with U.S. cyber-crime investigators, to lengthy prison terms for passing classified information to Western intelligence agencies.
      • The U.S. sanctions six Russian individuals and eight entities for involvement in the November 2018 attacks on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait and other Ukraine-related actions.
      • A summary of the Mueller report released by the U.S. attorney general says the special counsel investigation found no evidence that Trump or any of his aides coordinated with the Russian government’s 2016 election interference while the “report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” according to the summary.
      • The U.S. halts deliveries to Turkey related to the F-35 fighter-jet program in response to Ankara's decision to move ahead with the purchase of the Russian S-400 air-defense system.
      • The Justice Department posts a redacted version of Mueller’s report online, revealing a trove of details about the two-year investigation. While the report explicitly “does not exonerate” Trump from any crimes, U.S. Attorney General William Barr, said in his presentation of the report “that the evidence … is not sufficient to establish that the president committed an obstruction of justice.”
      • Twenty-four Democratic senators write a letter urging Trump to renew New START.
      • Russia launches a special-purpose, nuclear-powered submarine, Belgorod, that is believed capable of carrying nuclear-tipped Poseidon underwater drones that could threaten U.S. coastal cities.
      • The U.S., Russia and China agree on the goal of withdrawing foreign forces from Afghanistan and to seek an "inclusive Afghan-led" peace process, the three countries declare in a joint statement.
      • Lavrov describes U.S. and Russian positions in the Venezuela crisis as “incompatible.”
      • When passing a $750 billion draft National Defense Authorization Act, the Senate Armed Services Committee acknowledges that “our margin of military supremacy has eroded and is undermined by new threats from strategic competitors like China and Russia.”
      • After Iran halts compliance with elements of JCPOA, the Kremlin states that the Trump administration's "poorly conceived, reckless decisions" have led Iran to curtail its commitments.
      • The U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designates five individuals and one entity pursuant to the Magnitsky Act.
      • U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency Director Robert Ashley says that "the United States believes that Russia probably is not adhering to its nuclear testing moratorium in a manner consistent with the 'zero-yield' standard." The Russian Foreign Ministry calls the statement a “crude provocation.”
      • The U.S. agrees to station "about 1,000" more military personnel in Poland. The Russian Foreign Ministry says the move represents a “further dangerous build-up of military capabilities on the continent.”
      • In a Financial Times interview , Putin claims “the liberal idea” has “outlived its purpose,” sparking disagreement from Western leaders.
      • Putin and Trump meet at the G20 summit in Japan and discuss a range of issues, including improving economic ties, arms control issues, Syria and China. The two leaders reportedly agree “that improved relations between the United States and Russia was in each countries' mutual interest and the interest of the world,” and Putin invites Trump to Moscow to mark the anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany.
      • Russian and Chinese bombers conduct their first long-range joint air patrol in the Asia-Pacific. The mission trigger s hundreds of warning shots from South Korean warplanes and accusations from Seoul that Russian military aircraft violated South Korean airspace.
      • In his testimony before Congress, Mueller clarifies that he had not exonerated Trump of acting to obstruct the Russia probe. He disagrees with the president’s characterization of his investigation as a “witch hunt” and warns that Russian meddling threatens the 2020 U.S. election.
      • Trump signs an executive order imposing fresh sanctions on Russia over the 2018 poisoning of Sergei Skripal .
      • The U.S. formally withdraws from the INF Treaty after determining that Moscow is in violation of the treaty, a claim the Kremlin repeatedly denied. Putin says Russia would respond in kind if the U.S. develops short- and intermediate-range, land-based nuclear missiles following the demise of the INF. In February 2019, Russia had suspended its participation in INF in a “symmetrical” response to the Trump administration’s announcement that it would withdraw from the Treaty in six months, should Russia not come into compliance.
      • Trump reiterates his call for Russia to be allowed to rejoin the G7.
      • Jon Huntsman submits his resignation from the post of U.S. Ambassador to Russia.
      • U.S. Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says "Russia is a competitor, and the NATO advantage over a resurgent Russia has eroded."
      • U.S. media report the CIA in 2017 extracted a Russian who provided top-secret intelligence on Putin, including information about alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election.
      • Trump withdraws most U.S. troops from Syria.
      • Western security officials reportedly conclude that operations such as the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and a thwarted coup in Montenegro are part of a coordinated and ongoing campaign to destabilize Europe, executed by an elite unit known as Unit 29155 inside the Russian intelligence system.
      • Russia formally proposes to the U.S. that the two nuclear superpowers extend New START, which expires in February 2021, by five years.
      • Trump and Pompeo host Lavrov in Washington, agreeing with him on the need for denuclearization of North Korea, but disagreeing on whether to extend New START, as the U.S. side insists on including China in a new arms control deal.
      • The U.S. approves sanctions on companies and governments working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, causing Western contractors to stop constructing the pipeline.
      • Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), creating the U.S. Space Force, the sixth branch of the armed forces.
      • Following the killing of Iranian Maj. Gen. Qassim Soleimani by an American drone strike, the Russia Foreign Ministry condemns the act as a “reckless step which could lead to a growth of tensions across the region.”
      • The entire Russian government resigns, including Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev after Putin proposes a series of amendments to the Russian Constitution meant to enable him to continue steering Russia after his fourth presidential term expires in 2024. Putin appoints Mikhail Mishustin as the new prime minister.
      • The Trump administration cracks down on “birth tourism” by making it harder for pregnant women, including hundreds of Russian women, to travel to the U.S. to secure American citizenship for their babies by giving birth in the country.
      • Pompeo sets off on a trip to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. In Uzbekistan, he meets with the foreign ministers of all five Central Asian nations.
      • Chief of the Russian Armed Forces’ General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov meets Commander-in-Chief of NATO forces in Europe Gen. Tod Wolters in Baku to discuss strategic stability, situations in crisis regions and practical steps to prevent incidents in the process of the two sides’ military activity.
      • U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan presents his diplomatic credentials to Putin and Lavrov.
      • The Trump administration’s budget proposals for fiscal year 2021 call for $4.5 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a fund started by the Obama administration in the aftermath of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, representing a precipitous drop from the $6 billion enacted for the current fiscal year and $6.5 billion the year before.
      • A median of 50 percent of respondents in 16 NATO member states believe their country should not defend a fellow NATO ally against a potential attack from Russia, with the share of those who hold such views reaching 66 percent in Italy, 60 percent in Germany and 53 percent in France, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center.
      • Lavrov tells Rossiiskaya Gazeta that counter-terrorism dialogue with the U.S. resumed last year. Lavrov says the U.S. over the past few years has on a couple of occasions shared information that helped prevent terrorist attacks in Russia. "We have been sharing relevant information, too, since the Boston Marathon incident. It looks like we’ve resumed contacts," Lavrov said.
      • American military and diplomatic officials say Russian military personnel have increasingly had run-ins with U.S. troops on highways in northeastern Syria, breaking agreements between the two countries to steer clear of each other. Russian helicopters are flying closer to American troops.
      • Facebook removes two unconnected networks of accounts, pages and groups “engaging in foreign or government interference,” one originating in Russia and the other one in Iran, both of which have alleged ties to intelligence services.
      • Russia adds the legal entity of the U.S.-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty news organization to its list of “foreign agent” media under a controversial law that requires listed outlets to disclose their funding sources.
      • Georgia, the U.S. and U.K. blame Russia for a massive coordinated cyberattack that took thousands of Georgian websites offline in October 2019. The U.K. and U.S. say they believe the attacks were perpetrated by the Sandworm team, a unit operated by Russia’s military intelligence service.
      • When asked by the New York Times if Russia continues on its current course in Ukraine and other former Soviet states, should the United States regard it as an adversary, or even an enemy, all of America’s Democratic presidential candidates answered in the affirmative.

      Russia begins reporting COVID-19 cases.

      The United States designates Russian far-right group Russian Imperial Movement as a foreign terrorist organization, the first time it has targeted white supremacist groups with tools regularly used against jihadist groups.