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Russia

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Index
  1. Russia Main Page
  2. The Bolshevik Revolution
  3. Emergence of the USSR
  4. The Berlin Blockade and the Cold War
  5. Dissolution of the USSR
  6. Financial Crisis and Political Upheaval
  7. Putin's Rise to Power
  8. Attempts at Chechen Independence Fail
  9. A Shocking Hostage Situation, a Move Towards Climate Change, and Radiation Poison
  10. Crumbling Relations with the United States
  11. Putin Retains Power
  12. Conflict with Georgia and the Demise of the Western Friendship
  13. String of Suicide Bombs Sparks Fear of a Crackdown by Putin
  14. Putin to Return to the Presidency
  15. 2011 Parliamentary Elections Spark Massive Protests
  16. Russia Blocks U.N. Action in Syria
  17. Assassination Plot Uncovered Before Putin Wins the Presidential Election
  18. Protests Become Violent Ahead of Putin's Third Inauguration
  19. Massive Flood Kills More Than 100 People
  20. The Kremlin Takes Action against Political Activists
  21. Russia enters the World Trade Organization
  22. One Punk Band Member Released as Case Continues to Draw International Attention
  23. Russia Won't Renew Weapons Pact with United States
  24. Opposition Leader Says He Was Forced to Confess
  25. Meteorite Fragments Injure Hundreds
  26. Anti-Gay Bill Ignites International Protests
  27. American Fugitive Seeks Asylum in Russia
  28. Russia Assists with Chemical Weapons Investigation in Syria
  29. Multiple Bombings Raise Fears for Olympics
  30. Russia Seizes Control of Crimea
  31. Putin Announces Annexation of Crimea
Dissolution of the USSR

Gorbachev's promised reforms began to falter, and he soon had a formidable political opponent agitating for even more radical restructuring. Boris Yeltsin, president of the Russian SSR, began challenging the authority of the federal government and resigned from the Communist Party along with other dissenters in 1990. On Aug. 29, 1991, an attempted coup d'état against Gorbachev was orchestrated by a group of hard-liners. Yeltsin's defiant actions during the coup—he barricaded himself in the Russian parliament and called for national strikes—resulted in Gorbachev's reinstatement. But from then on, power had effectively shifted from Gorbachev to Yeltsin and away from centralized power to greater power for the individual Soviet republics. In his last months as the head of the Soviet Union, Gorbachev dissolved the Communist Party and proposed the formation of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which, when implemented, gave most of the Soviet Socialist Republics their independence, binding them together in a loose, primarily economic federation. Russia and ten other former Soviet republics joined the CIS on Dec. 21, 1991. Gorbachev resigned on Dec. 25, and Yeltsin, who had been the driving force behind the Soviet dissolution, became president of the newly established Russian Republic.

At the start of 1992, Russia embarked on a series of dramatic economic reforms, including the freeing of prices on most goods, which led to an immediate downturn. A national referendum on confidence in Yeltsin and his economic program took place in April 1993. To the surprise of many, the president and his shock-therapy program won by a resounding margin. In September, Yeltsin dissolved the legislative bodies left over from the Soviet era.

The president of the southern republic of Chechnya accelerated his region's drive for independence in 1994. In December, Russian troops closed the borders and sought to squelch the independence drive. The Russian military forces met firm and costly resistance. In May 1997, the two-year war formally ended with the signing of a peace treaty that adroitly avoided the issue of Chechen independence.

Next: Financial Crisis and Political Upheaval
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