A Timeline of Russian History

862 – Rurik, a Varangian chieftain who ruled over Ladoga, constructed the Holmgard settlement and established the Rurik Dynasty which controlled Galicia-Volhynia and Kievan Rus. Rurik founded what was considered to be the first Russian Monarchy, but throughout history his achievements remained a mystery.

988 – Prince Vladimir I converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. St. Adalbert, the Bohemian monk was killed among the Prussians while preaching. Vladimir was the one who converted the Poles to the Eastern Orthodox religion. He was also the one originally sent to Kiev to attempt to convert the Rus to the catholic belief but failed. Vladmir took on the role of a Grand Duke.

1200 – Genghis Khan and the Mongols conquered Russia. Kievan Rus was the first Slavic state founded by the Viking, Oleg, ruler of Novgorod. It became eastern Europe's chief political and and cultural centre until the Mongols took over.

1480 – Ivan III freed the Russians from the Mongols. Ivan III is considered to be the first national ruler of Russia. At one point, Russia was cut off from Western Europe and did not share in the cultural developments of the Reformation Period or the Italian Renaissance. It is said that the modern history of Russia began with Ivan III.

1547 – Ivan IV became the first Czar of Russia at the age of seventeen. He is also known as Ivan the Terrible. He changed many of the Russian laws, created a standing army, established the land, created the Chosen Council, and confirmed the position of the church with the Council of the Hundred Chapters, which regulated the rituals of the entire country.

1682 – Peter the Great was crowned as the Czar of Russia at the age of 22. As the man who brought Russia out of medieval times, He was only 10 years old when he was given power over the throne next to Ivan III. He helped develop military standards, opened Russia up to western trade, and improved education in Russia.

1812 – Russia defeats Napoleon Bonaparte. Napoleon wanted to torture Czar Alexander I for the way that he lead the Continental System, but Alexander knew Napoleon wanted to go to war and instead of attacking head on with his army, Alexander and his troops retreated deeper and deeper into Russian territory, eventually leading Napoleon and his troops into a trap.

1853 – The Ottoman Empire and Russia fight in what was called the Crimean War. This war was a result of the French and Russian religious dispute over who should have right to holy areas in the Middle East, including Nazareth and Jerusalem.

1894 – Nicholas II takes over as Czar and during his reign, Imperial Russia went from being one of the most greatest powers in the world to an economic disaster.

1914 – The first world war erupted between the Russians, Austrians and Germans and eventually a number of other nations, including the United States joined the war effort, which became one of the most extreme conflicts in history.

1917 – Czar Nicholas and the Russian government were removed from power by Russian revolutionaries..

1918 – The last ruling family of Russia, including Czar Nicholas, his wife, and their five children were executed.

1939 – World War II began as a result of German military invading Poland.

1945 – U.S. bombs Hiroshima and Nagasaki resulting to the end of World War II.

1959- U.S. President Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev, Secretary of the Communist party, argued the merits of communism and capitalism. This discussion is known as the Kitchen Debate.

1961 – the first Russian astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, was sent into space.

1965 – U.S. attacked by Soviet Union during North Vietnam battle.

1989 – The Berlin Wall was destroyed. It was built in 1961 to keep oppressed East Germans from entering West Berlin for asylum.

1999 – Vladimir Putin takes over and is credited for re-establishing the rule of law during his eight years in office.

2002 – NATO allows Russia to join together to handle security issues and joint projects between NATO and Russia.


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