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Timeline: USSR

From the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 to to Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika

by David Johnson
1900s 1920s 1940s 1960s 1980s 1990s Next Timeline

1917

Bolshevik Revolution: Czar Nicholas abdicates; Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, take control; Russian Soviet Socialist Republic established; capital moves to Moscow

1918

Bolsheviks assassinate czar

1918-1921

Red Terror: Lenin purges Communist Party, socializes economy; 5 million die of famine

1921

Lenin inaugurates New Economic Policy, allows limited free-market measures

1922

Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Transcaucasia (present-day Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan) form Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

1924-1929

Joseph Stalin consolidates power; inaugurates first Five-Year Plan, collectivizes agriculture, industrializes; famine returns

1936

Millions die in Stalin's Great Purge (through 1953)

1941

Germany invades Russia

1945

World War II ends; Russia occupies Eastern Europe, establishes puppet governments, Cold War takes shape

1949

Soviets explode atomic device

1953

Stalin dies; Nikita Khrushchev becomes first secretary of Communist Party

1956

Khrushchev denounces Stalin

1961

Soviets launch world's first manned space flight

1962

Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev withdraws missiles from Cuba

1964

Leonid Brezhnev helps engineer Khrushchev's fall from power, becomes first secretary of Communist Party

1969

Major border clashes with China

1972

Détente: President Richard Nixon visits USSR, signs arms control treaties with Chairman Brezhnev

1978-1982

Soviets invade Afghanistan

1985-1991

General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev attempts to improve faltering economy with glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring)




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