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Chronology of U.S.S.R. Since 1917 With PM-Soviet, Bjt

December 26, 1991 GMT

Undated (AP) _ 1917

Revolution begins in February. Czar Nicholas abdicates in March. Bolsheviks take control in October.


Lenin establishes Soviet Republic of Russia and moves capital to Moscow from Petrograd (St. Petersburg). Nicholas and family executed.


Ukrainian and Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republics are established. Komintern, the Communist International, is created.


Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan proclaimed Soviet Socialist Republics.



10th Communist Party Congress creates one-party system. Georgia is forcibly absorbed into the Soviet Union.


Joseph Stalin elected general-secretary of Communist Party’s central committee.


Lenin dies. Troika comprised of Stalin, and two others takes over, but Stalin manages to outmaneuver the others. The Uzbek, Turkmen and Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republics are formed.


Stalin orders collectivization of farmlands.


The Tadzhik republic admitted to the Soviet Union.


Stalin begins bloody purges to consolidate his power. Kirghizia admitted to Soviet Union as constituent republic.


Soviets invade Finland. Nazi Germany and Soviet Union sign non-aggression pact.


Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania are annexed to Soviet Union as a result of a Soviet-German agreement.


Germany invades Soviet Union. Soviets switch to Allied side. An estimated 27 million Soviets die in war.


World War II ends. Soviets assert control over Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Poland, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria and East Germany.


Soviet Union is first foreign nation to recognize People’s Republic of China led by Mao Tse-tung.


Stalin dies. Nikita Khrushchev comes to power.


Khrushchev denounces Stalin; Chinese Communists accuse Soviets of revisionism. Soviet tanks end uprising in Hungary.


Kremlin withdraws all 1,300 Soviet technicians assigned to China, heralding a split.



Khrushchev backs away from brink of war with the United States over arming Cuba with Soviet missiles.


Khrushchev is deposed and replace by Leonid I. Brezhnev.


Soviets crush ″Prague Spring″ uprising in Czechoslovakia.


Soviets invade Afghanistan to prop up Marxist government.


Brezhnev dies, replaced by Yuri Andropov, former head of the KGB.


Andropov dies, replaced by Konstantin Chernenko.


Chernenko dies, Mikhail S. Gorbachev is elected general-secretary of Communist Party, which adopts his platform of ″perestroika,″ or restructuring of the Soviet system.


Communist governments in eastern Europe fall after Gorbachev says he won’t use force to save them. Soviet troops complete pullout from Afghanistan.


Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia declare independence. Boris Yeltsin is elected president of Russian Republic, which declares sovereignty. By year’s end, all 15 Soviet republics declare some form of sovereignty and Gorbachev proposes a Union Treaty to retain a form of central control. Yeltsin and other radicals quit party. Gorbachev purges several hard-line members from Politburo.


Jan. 13 - Fourteen people are killed when Soviet tanks attack the main television tower in Vilnius, Lithuania.

March 17 - Union Treaty is approved in nationwide referendum.

April 2 - Consumer goods prices increase, some by as much as 1,000 percent.

June 27 - Ukraine lawmakers reject Union Treaty.

July 26 - Communist leaders overwhelmingly approve Gorbachev’s new party platform, abandoning decades of Marxist dogma.

Aug. 18 - One day before Gorbachev plans to sign Union Treaty, hard-line Communist group tries to overthrow him.

Aug. 21 - Coup fails, Gorbachev returns to Moscow.

Aug. 22 - Lithuania outlaws Communist Party.

Aug. 24 - Gorbachev resigns as head of Communist Party and urges it be disbanded; Ukraine becomes seventh of 15 Soviet republics to declare itself independent.

Aug. 27 - Gorbachev appeals to 15 Soviet republics to preserve military and economic union; European Community recognizes independence of Baltic republics.

Aug. 29 - Soviet lawmakers suspend Communist Party activities nationwide and freeze its bank accounts because of party’s role in failed coup attempt; Russia and Ukraine bypass Kremlin to form military and economic alliance.

Aug. 30 - Azerbaijan declares independence and begins forming own army.

Aug. 31 - Uzbekistan and Kirgizia become ninth and 10th republics to declare independence.

Sept. 2 - Congress of People’s Deputies approves plan to reduce Kremlin authority in the Soviet Union but retain a loose federation of states; United States formally recognizes Baltic republics.

Sept. 5 - Soviet lawmakers approve creation of interim government to usher in new confederation of sovereign states.

Sept. 6 - Soviet Union recognizes independence of Baltic states.

Sept. 12 - Officials of Baltic states and 12 Soviet republics agree to maintain collective defense framework and single control over Soviet Union’s nuclear arsenal.

Sept. 21 - Armenia votes in favor of independence from Soviet government.

Oct. 1 - Twelve Soviet republics agree to new economic union to coordinate everything from communications to defense.

Oct. 18 - Gorbachev and presidents of eight Soviet republics sign treaty to create economic union.

Oct. 28 - Twelve Soviet republics agree to share responsibility for repaying nation’s foreign debt.

Nov. 16 - Yeltsin issues 10 decrees declaring Russian federation’s control over Soviet money supply and trade in oil, gold, diamonds and foreign currency.

Nov. 22 - World’s richest democracies defer $3.6 billion in debt payments, and eight of the 12 republics agree to repay entire Soviet debt, estimated at more than $100 billion.

Nov. 25 - Seven republics fail to endorse Union Treaty but promise to send it to their individual legislatures for consideration.

Dec. 1 - Ukraine voters approve referendum declaring independence.

Dec. 3 - Gorbachev issues appeal to save Soviet Union, warning of possible warfare and ″catastrophe for all mankind.″

Dec. 4 - Supreme Soviet endorses Union Treaty; seven republics say they will sign.

Dec. 8 - Russia, Ukraine, Byelorussia form a ″commonwealth″ and declare Gorbachev’s government and the Soviet Union dead.

Dec. 17 - Yeltsin and Gorbachev agree to dissolve Soviet Union and proclaim new commonwealth by new year.

Dec. 21 - Leaders of 11 sovereign republics meet in Alma-Ata, Kazakhstan, to sign a commonwealth agreement. Georgia is only republic not to join the commonwealth.

Dec. 22 - European Community agrees to recognize the Russian republic as the successor to the Soviet Union.

Dec. 25 - Gorbachev formally resigns as president of the Soviet Union. U.S. extends recognition to Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Byelorussia, Kazakhstan and Kirghizia.