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Russia History Timeline

Russia's Information

Flag of Russia
Land Area 16,377,742 km2
Water Area 720,500 km2
Total Area 17,098,242 km2
Population 142,355,415
Population Density 8.33 / km2
Government Type Semi-Presidential Federation
GDP (PPP) $3,750.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $26,100
Currency Ruble (RUB)
Largest Cities
  • Moscow (10,381,222)
  • Saint Petersburg (5,028,000)
  • Novosibirsk (1,419,007)
  • Yekaterinburg (1,349,772)
  • Nizhniy Novgorod (1,284,164)
  • Samara (1,134,730)
  • Omsk (1,129,281)
  • Kazan (1,104,738)
  • Rostov-na-Donu (1,074,482)
  • Chelyabinsk (1,062,919)
  • (1200sBC) Cimmerians, (Balkan people), settled in present-day Ukraine
  • (700sBC) Scythians, (Iranian people) conquered the Cimmerians
  • (200BC) Samaritans conquered the Scythians, introduced Greek and Roman influence
200AD - 800s
  • (200) German Visigoths conquered the area
  • (370) Huns, led by Attila, took control
  • (800s) Eastern Slavs settled in various areas of Russia
  • (862) Region became known as the Land of the Rus
  • (882) Kiev became the capital
1200 - 1400
  • (1237) Mongols, led by Batu Khan, invaded Russia, set fire to Moscow, slaughtered, enslaved inhabitants
  • (1237 - 1480) Mongols ruled Russia
  • (1328) Prince of Moscow, Ivan I, appointed grand prince by the Mongols
  • (1341) Ivan I died, succeeded by son Simeon
  • (1353) Simeon died, succeeded by Ivan II
  • (1359) Ivan II of Moscow died, was succeeded by nine-year old Dmitrii
  • (1462) Ivan III became ruler of Moscow, reorganized it as an absolutist state
  • (1480) Ivan III freed Russia from the Mongols
  • (1480) Ivan III of Moscow assumed title of Tsar of Russia
  • (1497) Ivan issued new legal code, Sudebnik, standardized laws, expanded criminal justice system, reduced the ability of serfs to leave their masters.
  • (1505) Ivan died, his son Vasili III took control
  • (1532) Vasili III conquered Tatar kingdom of Kazan
  • (1533) Vasili III died, son Ivan IV, (The Terrible), succeeded him; Vasili's wife, Elena Glinskaya, became regent
  • (1547) Ivan IV crowned first tsar of Russia
  • (1552) Ivan IV began conquest of Kazan, Tatarstan and Astrakhan in the Volga delta
  • (1552) Kazan, capital of Tatarstan, conquered by Ivan IV
  • (1582) Russia ceded Livonia and Estonia to Poland, lost access to Baltic Sea
  • (1584) Ivan IV died of mercury poison, throne fell to son Feodor I, who was mentally retarded; son-in-law Boris Godunov took de facto charge of government
  • (1598) Feodor I died, Godunov was elected the first non-Rurikid tsar
  • (1601) Famine killed more than one million people
  • (1605) Boris Godunov was killed; his son Feodor II was pronounced tsar
  • (1605) Feodor and his mother were killed, impostor False Dmitriy I was crowned tsar
  • (1610) Sweden helped Russia defeat Tushino rebels; Poland invaded Russia to counter Sweden's intervention
  • (1613) Michael Romanov elected as tsar by national council beginning the Romanov dynasty
  • (1624) Peasants rebelled in Ukraine against Polish rule
  • (1648) Townspeople in Moscow revolted when tax on salt was introduced
  • (1654) Nobles and landowners declared secession of Ukraine from Poland-Lithuania, demanded integration into Russia
  • (1654) Russia declared war on Poland, captured Minsk and Vilna
  • (1655) Sweden invaded Poland-Lithuania, millions died
  • (1687) Russia and Poland signed treaty of "eternal peace"
  • (1689) Peter the Great became tsar
  • (1689 - 1725) Peter the Great introduced new reforms, including creation of regular conscript army and navy, subordinated the church to himself, created new government structures, laid foundation for the Russian Empire
  • (1700 - 1721) Great Northern War - Conflict in which a coalition led by Russia to contest supremacy of the Swedish Empire in Northern, Central and Eastern Europe
  • (1713) Capitol moved from Russia to Saint Petersburg
  • (1721) Treaty of Nystad ended Great Northern War; Sweden ceded Estonia, Livonia, Ingria to Russia
  • (1735 - 1739) Russo-Turkish War fought between Russia and the Ottoman Empire
  • (1739) Russo-Turkish War ended with Treaty of Nissa; Russia ceded claims on Crimea and Moldavia, its navy was barred from the Black Sea
  • (1745) England, Austria, Saxony and the Netherlands formed alliance against Russia
  • (1756 - 1763) Seven Years War - France, Great Britain clashed in Europe and North America; France, Russia, Austria, Saxony, Sweden and Spain sided against Great Britain, Prussia and Hanover
  • (1762) Treaty of Saint Petersburg ended Russian participation in Seven Years War
  • (1762) Tsar Peter III overthrown by Imperial Guard, replaced by his wife, Catherine II
  • (1772 - 1814) Russia acquired Crimea along with parts of Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia
  • (1796) Catherine II died, son Paul I took over the throne
Russia timeline


  • (1798 - 1814) Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars - Russia intervened
  • (1802) Paul I assassinated by nobles, his son Alexander I became czar
  • (1812) Napoleon invaded Russia
  • (1814) Napoleon was defeated
  • (1824) Russo-American Treaty gave Russian claims on Pacific Northwest coast of North America(Oregon), to the United States
  • (1825) Alexander I died, succeeded by Nicholas I
  • (1834 - 1859) Caucasian War - Russian forces faced resistance to their bid to annex North Caucasus
  • (1853 - 1857) Crimean War
  • (1853) Russia invaded Ottoman provinces of Wallachia and Moldavia
  • (1853) Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia
  • (1854) Britain and France declared war on Russia
  • (1855) Nicholas I died, son Alexander II became tsar
  • (1856) Treaty of Paris ended Crimean War
  • (1861) Alexander II issued Emancipation Edict ending serfdom
  • (1861) Rapid industrialization led to growth of working middle class, revolutionary ideas
  • (1867) United States bought Alaska from Russia
  • (1877 - 1878) Russo-Turkish War: Russia declared war on Ottoman Empire
  • (1878) Russia and Ottomans signed the Treaty of San Stefano ending Russo-Turkish War; several Slavic states, including MontenegroSerbiaRomaniaBulgariareceived independence or autonomy
  • (1881) Alexander II was assassinated, succeeded by son Alexander III
  • (1882) May Laws introduced by Alexander III, expelled Russian Jews from rural areas and small towns, restricted their access to education
  • (1884) Alexander III commissioned jeweler Carl Gustavovich Faberge to make Easter egg for the Empress
  • (1891) Severe famine affected nearly half of Russia's provinces, over 500,000 died
  • (1894) Alexander III died, succeeded by son Nicholas II
  • (1897) Russian Social Democratic Labor Party established by the Marxists


  • (1901) Socialist-Revolutionary Party founded
  • (1903) At second congress of Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, party split into two factions: Mensheviks and Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin
  • (1904) Japan launched a surprise torpedo attack on the Russian navy at Port Arthur, China
  • (1905) Demonstrators staged at Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg to present a petition to the tsar; Imperial Guard fired on the crowd, killed around 200, wounded 800
  • (1905) Tsar Nicholas II issued October Manifesto, which established Russia's first parliament (Duma)
  • (1906) Duma was dissolved by Tsar Nicholas II
  • (1907) Second Duma began
  • (1907) Second Duma dissolved
  • (1907) Tsar Nicholas II changed electoral laws, gave greater value to votes of nobility and landowners
  • (1907) Third Duma established
  • (1912) Lena gold fields massacre - Russian army fired on striking miners, killed 150
1900s continued
  • (1912) Third Duma ended
  • (1912) Fourth Duma began
  • (1914) World War I began in BalkansBritainFrance,Italy, Russia, JapanUSA fought against Austria,GermanyTurkey; 400,000 Russian soldiers died
  • (1917) Bolsheviks, led by Lenin and Leon Trotsky, overthrew government; workers and sailors captured government buildings and Winter Palace in St Petersburg; took over Moscow; Lenin became new leader
  • (1918) Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ended Russia's participation in World War I; relinquished Finland,EstoniaLatviaLithuaniaPolandBelarusUkraine; ceded all territory captured in Russo-Turkish War to Ottoman Empire
  • (1918) Tsar Nicholas II and family executed on orders from Lenin
  • (1918) Russia became Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic
  • (1918) Lenin changed name of Bolshevik party to Russian Communist Party
  • (1918 - 1922) Civil War between Red Army and White Russians (anti-communists)
  • (1922) Russia became part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR)
  • (1924) Lenin died, succeeded by Joseph Stalin
  • (1924) Stalin and Thirteenth Party Congress denounced Trotsky and his faction
  • (1925) Trotsky forced to resign
  • (1929) Stalin became dictator of USSR
  • (1930) Gulag (government agency that administered forced labor camps) was established
  • (1933) USA and Russia established diplomatic relations
  • (1933) Sergei Kirov, Stalin's main advisor, was assassinated
  • (1933) Stalin began "great purge", sending thousands of communists to gulags
  • (1939) World War II began when Germany invadedPoland
  • (1939) Russian aviator, Igor Sikorsky, invented helicopter
  • (1941) Germans advanced into Russia, captured Vilnius, Brest-Litovsk and Kaunas
Russia timeline

1900s continued

  • (1948) Cold War began with tense relations betweenUSA and USSR
  • (1953) Stalin suffered stroke and died
  • (1953) Malenkov succeeded Stalin as Premier and First Secretary of the Communist Party; Khrushchev became First Secretary
  • (1958) Khrushchev became Premier of Soviet Union
  • (1961) Russian Cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin became first man in space.
  • (1962) Novocherkassk massacre: Workers gathered in town square of Novocherkassk to protest increases in food prices and work quotas; shots were fired at the rioters, 25 killed, 87 injured
  • (1962) Cuban Missile Crisis: USA President Kennedy shown surveillance images of SS-4 launch sites in Cuba
  • (1962) President Kennedy declared any nuclear missile attack from Cuba would be considered as attack by Soviet Union
  • (1962) Soviet Union offered to withdraw missiles in return for USA's guarantee not to invade Cuba orsupport any invasion
  • (1962) Khrushchev ordered removal of Soviet missiles inCuba
  • (1964) Khrushchev deposed by party rivals, Leonid Brezhnev became First Secretary, Alexci Kosygin, Premier
  • (1965) Soviet Union backed North Vietnam againstUSA
  • (1979) Anthrax spores leaked from secret germ-warfare plant, spread over Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Russia; at least 105 people died of anthrax poisoning
  • (1982) Soviet leader Brezhnev died, succeeded by Yuri Andropov
  • (1985) Mikhail Gorbachev became Soviet Union leader, announced economic reforms known as perestroika (reconstruction and opening)
  • (1986) Nuclear accident in Chernobyl killed 49, spread nuclear radiation around Europe
  • (1986) Permanent space station, MIR, was launched
  • (1989) First free elections since 1917 were held
  • (1990) Boris Yeltsin elected president of Russian Federation
  • (1991) Russia became independent when Soviet Union collapsed; Russia, UkraineBelarus formed Commonwealth of Independent States
  • (1993) President Yeltsin suspended parliament, called for new elections following differences with MPs; MPs took over Parliament building
  • (1993) Yeltsin ordered army to attack Parliament building, caused bloody battle
  • (1993) New constitution approved, gave president sweeping powers; new legislature, State Duma replaced former parliament, the Supreme Soviet
  • (1994) Russian troops invaded Chechnya
  • (1996) Boris Yeltsin won presidential election
  • (1998) Ruble collapsed, government gave notice of intent to default on foreign debts
  • (1999) State Duma confirmed the appointment of Vladimir Putin as Prime Minister of Russia
  • (1999) After series of bomb explosions in Russia, which were blamed on Chechen extremists, Putin sent Russian troops back to Chechnya
  • (1999) Yeltsin resigned, Putin became acting president


  • (2000) Putin elected president with 53 percent of the vote.
  • (2000) Kursk nuclear submarine sunk in Barents Sea, entire crew was lost
  • (2002) Chechen rebels seized House of Culture theater in Moscow, took approximately 700 theatergoers hostage, demanded immediate Russian withdrawal fromChechnya; police pumped anesthetic into building, then broke in, executed 42 terrorists, 120 hostages died
  • (2002) Foreign ministers from Russia and NATO agreed to establish NATO-Russia Council, Russia and 19 NATO countries would have equal roles in decision making on policies to counter terrorism and other security threats
  • (2002) Russia and USA announced agreement on strategic nuclear weapons reduction, both would reduce their nuclear arsenals from over 6,000 missiles to about 2,000 each in the next 10 years
  • (2002) More than 50 people were killed when suicide bombers attacked headquarters of Moscow-backed Chechen government in Grozny
  • (2003) Chechen rebels blew up train killing 40 people
  • (2003) Government axed last independent TV channel
  • (2003) 15 killed by suicide bomb attacks at rock festival outside Moscow
  • (2003) 50 killed by suicide bomb attack on military hospital in Mozdok near Chechen border
  • (2003) Kyrgyzstan granted Russia military base at Kant to house rapid reaction force for combating terrorism
  • (2003) Russia, Ukraine signed agreement on joint use of Kerch Strait and status of Azov Sea
  • (2004) President Putin sacked government of Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov
  • (2004) Mikhail Fradkov became prime minister
  • (2004) President Putin won re-election with 71 percent of the vote
  • (2004) Chechen President Adhmad Kadyrov killed by Chechen terrorists

Russia timeline

2000s continued
  • (2004) Russia, China settled 2,700-mile border dispute during visit by President Putin
  • (2004) Assets of Yuganskneftegaz, the production unit of oil company Yukos, seized by authorities to offset tax debts
  • (2004) Chechen terrorists took more than 1,300 hostages at school in Beslan, over 300 children were killed
  • (2005) Massive demonstrations by retirees demanding restoration of state benefits, such as free public transportation and subsidized medicine took place across the country
  • (2005) Russian forces killed Chechen separatist leader Aslan Maskhadov
  • (2005) State gained control of gas company Gazprom
  • (2005) Russia withdrew from border treaty with Estoniaafter Estonian Parliament referenced Soviet occupation prior to ratifying
  • (2005) Spill of heavy fuel from derailed train flowed into waterways that supplied Moscow with drinking water
  • (2005) Russia, Germany signed deal to build gas pipeline under Baltic Sea between the two countries
  • (2005) Militants launched simultaneous attacks on police, government buildings in Nalchik, 139 killed
  • (2006) Russia cut gas supply to Ukraine in dispute over prices
  • (2006) Insurgents in Iraq, demanding Russian withdrawal from Chechnya, kidnapped and killed four Russian diplomats
  • (2006) Two newspapers were shut down after reprinting cartoons about Islamic prophet, Mohammed
  • (2006) Four Russian army officers were detained inGeorgia on spying charges causing Russia to impose sanctions and expel hundreds of Georgians
  • (2006) Aleksandr Litvinenko, former Russian security officer, died in London after being poisoned by radioactive substance
  • (2006) New gas deal signed with Belarus after tense negotiations, price doubled with further increases to be phased in over next four years
  • (2007) Russia expanded territorial claims during Arcticexpedition, planted flag on seabed at North Pole
  • (2007) Landslide nearly obliterated one of Russia's most noted natural wonders, Valley of Geysers
  • (2007) During diplomatic row, Russia expelled fourBritish diplomats, placed visa ban on British officials and suspended bilateral counter-terrorism cooperation
  • (2008) Dmitry Medvedev won presidential election, Putin appointed prime minister
  • (2008) Russia sent tanks into Georgia, bombed Georgian air bases after Georgia launched military offensive to retake the breakaway province of South Ossetia
  • (2008) Russia, Georgia signed French-brokered peace agreement; Russia withdrew its combat troops
  • (2008) Russia hit by world financial crisis, fall in oil prices causing stock markets to lose as much as 50 percent of their peak value
  • (2008) Parliament voted in favor of bill extending next president's term of office to six years from current four
  • (2009) Gas supplies to Ukraine were stopped over unpaid bills and gas prices; supplies to southeasternEurope were disrupted for several weeks
  • (2009) President Medvedev and US President Barack Obama reached agreement to cut back countries' stockpiles of nuclear weapons

2000s continued

  • (2009) Bomb blast derailed Moscow-St. Petersburg express train, dozens killed
  • (2010) Muslim women staged double suicide bombings on Moscow metro, 39 killed
  • (2010) New Start Treaty signed by President Medvedev and President Barack Obama, cuts arsenals of deployed nuclear warheads by 30 percent
  • (2010) Wildfires caused by severe heat wave killed dozens of people, devastated crops
  • (2010) Russia, Norway signed agreement to delineateArctic maritime border
  • (2010) President Medvedev sacked Moscow's corrupt mayor, Yuri Luzhkov
  • (2010) Report issued by Transparency International ranked Russia as most corrupt country in Europe and one of the most corrupt in world
  • (2011) Suicide bomb blast at Moscow's Domodedovo airport killed 35, injured 110
  • (2011) European Union invited Russia to take part in space missions to Mars in 2016 and 2018, in order to help with funding
  • (2011) Thousands of people attended the biggest anti-government rally in Moscow since fall of the Soviet Union, condemned ballot-rigging in parliamentary elections, demanded re-run
  • (2012) Prime Minister Vladimir Putin won presidential election, began six-year term
  • (2012) NATO activated missile defense system inEurope despite strong Russian opposition; Russia launched program of rearmament
  • (2012) Tens of thousands of people protested again Putin's rule
  • (2012) Three members of female punk rock band, Pussy Riot, sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of hooliganism for performing song critical of President Putin
  • (2012) Russia joined World Trade Organization (WTO)
  • (2012) Flooding, caused by heavy rains, in Krasnodar region killed over 140
  • (2012) Iraq canceled $4.2 billion agreement to buy arms from Russia
Russia timeline

2000s continued
  • (2012) US passed bill blacklisting Russian human rights violators, causing deterioration of Russian-US relations
  • (2012) President Putin signed new law banning adoption of Russian children by US families
  • (2013)President Putin replaced leader of Dagestan republic, Magomedsalam Magomedov, due to failure to stop Islamist and criminal unrest; Ramzan Abdulatipov succeeded him
  • (2013) Meteor crashed in Ural Mountains, injured 950 people, blew out windows, rocked buildings
  • (2013) President Putin announced stimulus program, included using pension reserves of up to $43.5 billion
  • (2013) New amnesty bill for imprisoned while-collar criminals could release as many as 13,000
  • (2013) Alexei Navalny, leading opposition activist, was convicted of misappropriation of funds, barred from running for elected office
  • (2013) Anti-gay bill passed in advance of 2014 Sochi Olympics
  • (2013) National Security Agency information leaker, Edward Snowden, given temporary one-year asylum in Russia, US announced it was "extremely disappointed by the decision"
  • (2013) Armed mob attacked Russian Embassy in Tripoli,Libya after Russian woman was accused of killing Libyanair force pilot
  • (2013) Russian polar expedition ship with 74 people on board, got trapped in ice off Antarctica
  • (2014) Winter Olympics held in Sochi
  • (2014) Chinese helicopter from nearby icebreaker rescued passengers from ship stuck for ten days inAntarctic ice
  • (2014) Gunmen seized government buildings in Black Sea peninsula of Crimea in Ukraine after President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted
  • (2014) US and European allies accused Russia of stoking separatism in Ukraine, imposed sanctions
  • (2014) Lawmakers in Crimea voted in favor of leavingUkraine for Russia
  • (2014) European Union and US announced travel bans, asset freezes against number of officials from Russia andUkraine
  • (2014) Russian forces stormed Ukrainian military bases
  • (2014) Pro-Russian protesters stormed government buildings in three eastern Ukrainian cities, hung Russian flags from buildings, called for referendum on independence
  • (2014) Russia, UkraineUS and European Unionagreed to take steps to de-escalate crisis in Ukraine, including dissolving illegal military formations, amnesty for anti-government protesters, more autonomy for Russian-speaking areas of Ukraine
  • (2014) US imposed sanctions on seven Russian citizens and 17 companies due to the continued illegal intervention in Ukraine
2000s continued
  • (2014) Russia and Iran negotiated an $8 to $10 billion energy deal in which Russia would export 500 megawatts of electricity to Iran and construct new thermal and hydroelectric generating plants and a transmission network
  • (2014) Russia and China agreed to 30-year natural gas deal sending gas by pipeline from Siberia to China

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