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Belarus History Timeline

BC

  • (100,000 - 35,000 BC) First signs of settlements in ancient Belarus
900s - 1400s
  • (988) Adoption of Christianity in Kiew Rus
  • (1050) The Sofia Cathedral was first monumental structure built on the Belarusian land
  • (1067) Minsk, Belarus founded
  • (1228) Polish Prince Konrad of Masovia invited the Geran Christian warriors known as the Knights of the Cross to his realm; the Knights made constant military incursions into Lithuanian, Belarusian, and Muscoviet lands
  • (1237) Knights of the Sword and the Knights of the Cross merged into one Teutonic Order
  • (1240-1263) Rule of Mindouh (Mindaugas), consolidated east Lithuanian and west Belarusan territories into the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) and Rus', with capital in Navahradak
  • (1392) Grand Duke Vitaut recognized by King Jahaila as the independent ruler of the Grand Duchy
  • (1410) Lithuanian-Polish forces defeated the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Tannenberg, Prussia; halted the Knight's eastward expansion along the Baltic
  • (1410) Mercenaries from Belarus, along with Tartars and Czechs, defeated the Teutonic Kingdom between Grunvald and Tannenberg
  • (1410) War officially ended with Treaty of Thorn
  • (1432) Royal charters established equality of feudal lords of both Catholic and Orthodox confessions
  • (1468) King Kazimir's Code of Laws were first code of criminal and procedural laws of the Grand Duchy of Lithuanian (written in Belarusian) in which punishment is individualized
  • (1480) Muscovy freed of the Tatar dependency
  • (1498-99) Self-government privilege granted to Polacak and Miensk
1500s
  • (1500) Beginning of defensive wars of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Rus', and Samogitia against Muscovy (Moscow)
  • (1517-19) Francisak Skaryna of Polacak translated and published the Bible in the Belarusian native language in Prague
  • (1520) First Belarusian printing shop founded in Vilnia
  • (1529) Statute of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania written in Belarusian
  • (1582) Small Belarusian-Lithuanian force overcame a larger Muscovite force
1800s
  • (1803) Vilnia Imperial University founded, became a hotbed of Polish, Belarusian, and Lithuanian youth movements
  • (1810) Military colonies set up in Belarus
  • (1812) Napoleon marched into Russia
  • (1830-31) Gentry revolted in Poland, Belarus, right-banked Ukraine and Lithuania-Zhamojtia
  • (1830-1919) Policy of active Russification in Belarus took place
  • (1839) Abolition of the Union Church in Belarus occurred
  • (1863-64) Massive anti-tsarist uprisings in Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania
1900s
  • (1917) First All-Belarusian Congress declared Belarus a republican government in Belarus and was disbanded by Bolsheviks
  • (1918) Belarus declared independence
  • (1921) Belarusian State University established in Minsk; the Treaty of Riga divided Belarus between Poland and Soviet Union
  • (1922) Belarusian SSR became founding member of the USSR
  • (1930's) More than 100,000 people executed in Belarus, thousands sent to labor camps in Siberia
  • (1941) Nazi Germany invaded during the course of World War II; more than one million people were killed during the occupation, including many Jews
  • (1944) Soviet Red Army drove the Germans out of Belarus
  • (1945) Much of western Belarus was amalgamated into the Soviet Union at the end of the war
  • (1960's) Policy of "Russification" pushed through
  • (1986) Belarus was heavily affected by the fallout from the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl in neighboring Ukraine
  • (1988) Belarusian Popular Front formed
  • (1990) Belarusian named official state language
  • (1991) Belarus declared its independence; Soviet Union broke up; Minsk headquarters of the successor to the Soviet Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States
  • (1994) Alexander Lukashenko became president; introduced policies designed to strengthen ties with Russia
  • (1995) Friendship and cooperation pact signed with Russia
  • (1995) Presidential powers were broadened
  • (1996) Agreement on economic union signed with Russia
  • (1996) President Lukashenko increased his powers again, extended his term in office
  • (1997) Protestors against Lukashenko signed a pro-democracy manifesto "Chapter 97"; Belarus and Russia ratified their union treaty
  • (1998) Belarus ruble value halved; food rationing imposed
  • (1998) Belarus signed an accord with Russia which would see their currencies and tax systems merge

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