The USSR from Stalin to Gorbachev - Timeline

Here is a timeline of key dates and statistics for the AQA A2 history spec. I've tried to make it as detailed as possible and if you find any typos or errors, pleeease let me know so I can correct them, because I'll be revising off these notes myself.

I hope they're useful and good luck in your exams, everybody :)

HideShow resource information
Preview of The USSR from Stalin to Gorbachev - Timeline

First 542 words of the document:

The Collapse of the USSR - Timeline of Events
Joseph Stalin ­ late 1920s to March 1953
1930s Ukrainian Terror-Famine
1937 Stalin's purge ­ 35,000 officers were imprisoned or shot
1939 `Winter War' with Finland ­ although the USSR was victorious, 126,000 Soviet Soldiers
died and it indicated to Hitler that the Soviet Union's military was weak.
1939 The Stakhanovite movement ­ over 3 million exceptionally hardworking Russians
inspired by the deeds of Aleksandr Stakhanov.
1939 The Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact ­ Stalin put great faith in this.
22nd June 1941 After Stalin receiving 84 warnings of German invasion and German aircraft
crossing into Soviet airspace 180 times, the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa. They
bombed major Soviet air bases and the cities of Minsk, Kiev and Sevastopol ­ At least 1,200
aircrafts were destroyed within a few hours of the attack.
14th July Hitler became over-confident (the Germans believed "you could spit on a Soviet
tank and it would explode") and order that the German army on the Eastern Front should be
July 1941 thousands of Russians became guerrilla fighters and took up weapons even after
the Germans had taken over their land.
11th August The Army Chief of Staff noted that the Soviets were known to have 360
divisions, when the original pre-invasion estimate had been only 200.
16th September A huge battle took place near Kiev and nearly 600,000 Russian soldiers were
taken prisoner.
Mid-October to mid-November the `Season of Mud.'
Winter The temperature reached -20°C and tens of thousands of German troops died of
During the first year of war the USSR lost 50% of its food producing area, 75% of its coal,
steel and iron ore and 1/3 of its rail network.
In 1941 the people of Leningrad and Moscow worked to dig anti-tank ditches to defend
their city.
October 1942 Commissars were abolished in small units so those with proper expertise
could prevail.
In 1941 there were only 100 priests and 7 bishops but, after the revival of the Russian
Orthodox Church, the church raised 150 million roubles for the war effort.
By 1942 the military was taking up 57% of the national budget.
July 1942 Stalin issued Order 227 (`Not a step back') ­ the army was ordered to stand and
fight to the death ­ as a result of this order and other harsh punishments, 158,000 Soviet
soldiers were condemned to be shot.
By the end of the war Andrey Vlasov's Russian Liberation Army (which aimed to "fight as
Germany's ally for a socialist Russia and rid the country of Stalin's system of terror")
numbered 50,000 (defeated on 1st August 1946).
January 1945 Russian troops began the final push to Berlin, bringing the war to an end when
Hitler committed suicide.
By 1945 The war had cost 19 million civilian deaths, 9 million soviet deaths and the
destruction of 1,200 towns, 70,000 villages, 65,000 km of railway, 40,000 hospitals, 70% of
the country's industrial production and 100,000 collective farms.
1st August 1946 Vlasov and several other leaders of the Russian Liberation Army were tried
and hanged.
1946 Stalin introduced the Fourth Five Year Plan aimed at national reconstruction and
concentrated on heavy industry and transport.

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

The grain harvest of 1946 was barely half that of 1940 and the state had to rely upon grain
procurements (seizures), which accounted for 70% of the harvest.
By 1947 the number of people in labour camps had risen to 4.7 million (from 1.6 million in
1942), the Dneiper Dam was back in operation and coal production in the Danets Basin
had overtaken that of 1940.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

Stalin's crimes (including "mass arrests and deportations of thousands
of people, execution without trial...").
1956 Khrushchev sent tanks into Hungary after anti-Soviet demonstrations in Budapest
and the leader Imre Nagy announcing his intention to leave the Warsaw Pact. Over 20,000
Hungarians were killed and Khrushchev's reputation very badly damaged.
When Khrushchev visited the Yugoslavian leader, Tito in 1956 and bestowed Soviet favour,
the idea was strengthened that the Kremlin had accepted Yugoslavia's right to develop its
own brand of Communism.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

October 1962 The Cuban Missile Crisis ­ following the installation of highly powerful Soviet
missiles in Communist Cuba, which were capable of reaching almost any state in the USA,
(`Operation Anadyr') President Kennedy announced a naval blockade of Cuba and placed US
armed forces on nuclear war alert. Khrushchev decided not to risk a nuclear war, but back
down, damaging his international standing.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

In the early 1970s the USSR overtook the USA in terms of numbers of inter-continental
ballistic missiles and submarine launched missiles. The Soviets also developed the
anti-ballistic missile which could destroy enemy missiles.
1971-1975 Average grain output was 181.6 million tons per year.
1972 Average grain output was 156 million tons per year.
1972 A Strategic Arms Limitation Treat (SALT 1) was signed.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

Yuri Andropov (November 1982 ­ February 1984)
He tried to make improvements to people's lives, saying "first we'll make enough
sausages and then we won't have any dissidents."
He believed that the party needed to "acquire an understanding of the society in which we
live" ­ in February 1983 he visited a lathe-making factory and held brief conversations with
July 1983 A degree was passed to provide industrial associations with greater autonomy
from the central planning authorities.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

November 1985 ­ Gosagropom ­ A new super-ministry for the cultivation and processing
of foodstuffs, which merely added another level of bureaucracy and was expected to work
on the `placebo principle.'
1985 Ligachev's anti-alcohol campaign to limit the production/sale of alcohol led to a
huge increase in illicit distilling and cost the USSR 67 billion roubles in loss of revenue (9% of
the 1985 level of GNP) and Gorbachev became known as `Mineral water General Secretary.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

The Estonian People's Front announced the restoration of Estonian as the national
language, the appointment of Estonians to leading positions and the replacement of the
command economy with the market economy. Latvian and Lithuanians groups followed
Estonia's example.
1988 Clashes between the Azeris and Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh (where 80% of
the population was Armenian but Gorbachev disallowed the move to Armenian jurisdiction),
when 26 Armenians and 6 Azeris were killed.…read more

Page 9

Preview of page 9

Here's a taster:

March 1990 the Congress of People's Deputies elected Gorbachev President of the USSR.
March 1990 Hungary elected a non-Communist leader, after a peaceful decision to move
towards free elections.
11th March 1990 Lithuania declared itself independent; its president Landsbergis stated,
"We have never considered ourselves a genuine part of the USSR. That is something
Gorbachev does not quite understand. We wish his perestroika well, but the time has come
for us to go our own way.…read more

Page 10

Preview of page 10

Here's a taster:

August and stated that the republics would have sovereign power and the USSR would stand
for "Union of Sovereign States", a single economic unit with Gorbachev as the President.
12th June 1991 Yeltsin was formally elected President of the Russian Federation. The man
who came bottom was the communist Bakatin, with just 3% of the vote.
June 1991 American Secretary of State James Barker warned Gorbachev of signs of an
up-coming coup.…read more



Absolutely fantastic!


This timeline actually saved my life XD Thank you so much.


I can't open it! I keep clicking on the link but nothing is happeneing!!


@Zeid1997 Try using a different browser?

Similar History resources:

See all History resources »See all resources »