Return to home1988 Jan 6,
Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze was quoted by the Afghan
news agency as saying the Kremlin wanted to pull an estimated
115,000 soldiers from Afghanistan in the coming year.
1988 Jan 10, Soviet media
reported on an interview given to Chinese journalists by Mikhail S.
Gorbachev, who praised the state of Sino-Soviet relations and called
for a summit. The Beijing government turned aside the summit call,
saying Soviet-backed Vietnamese forces first had to withdraw from
1988 Jan 11, The Soviet Union
announced it would participate in the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics.
1988 Feb 12, The Pentagon
charged that two Soviet Navy vessels deliberately bumped two U.S.
warships in the Black Sea as the American vessels sailed through
waters claimed by the Soviet Union.
1988 Feb 15, The Soviet Union
was defeated by Afghanistan, and a total withdrawal by the Soviets
occurred. In 2003 George Crile authored "Charlie Wilson's War: The
Extraordinary Story of the largest Covert Operation in History."
(www.afghan, 5/25/98)(SSFC, 5/25/03, p.M1)
1988 Feb 18, Soviet Communist
Party leaders dropped former Moscow party chief Boris N. Yeltsin
from the ruling Politburo.
1988 Feb 26, The Soviet Union's
hockey team clinched the gold medal at the Winter Olympics in
1988 Feb 28, There was an
anti-Armenian pogrom in the town of Sumgait in Azerbaijan.
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A15)
1988 Apr 14, Afghanistan,
Pakistan, the United States and the Soviet Union signed agreements
providing for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan and
creation of a nonaligned Afghan state. Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev announced the withdrawal of Soviet troops. The Soviets
pulled out of Afghanistan after nine years of fighting. Afghan
rebels rejected the pact and continued fighting.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A8)(WA, 1997,p.737)(TMC, 1994,
1988 Apr 22, Secretary of State
George P. Shultz, visiting the Soviet Union, met with President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who reportedly criticized the Reagan
administration for its "confrontational" approach to U.S.-Soviet
1988 Spring, Soviet germ
scientists transferred hundreds of tons of anthrax bacteria into
canisters with bleach and sent them for storage to Vozrozhdeniye
Island (Renaissance Island) in the Aral Sea, shared by Kazakhstan
and Uzbekistan. Western estimates had 100-200 tons buried at 5-8
feet. In 2002 Pentagon engineers dug up the site and neutralized the
(SFC, 6/2/99, p.A10,11)(SFC, 3/24/03, p.A5)
1988 May 11, Master spy Harold
"Kim" Philby, the notorious "Third Man" of a British espionage ring,
died in the Soviet Union at age 76. In 2014 Ben Macintyre authored
“A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal" and Tim
Milne authored “Kim Philby: The Unknown Story of the KGB’s Master
(AP, 5/11/98)(Econ, 4/19/14, p.76)
1988 May 12, Secretary of State
George P. Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze,
meeting in Geneva, resolved nearly all remaining questions on an
intermediate-range missile treaty.
1988 May 15, The Soviet Union
began the process of withdrawing its 115,000 troops from
Afghanistan, more than eight years after Soviet forces had entered
(AP, 5/15/98)(HN, 5/15/98)
1988 May 18, A cheering crowd
in the Soviet town of Termez greeted the first Soviet soldiers as
they withdrew from Afghanistan. Experts agree that at least
40,000-50,000 Soviets lost their lives in action, besides the
wounded, suicides, and murders. Mujahedeen continued to fight
against Najibullah's regime. Some 130,000 Red Army troops fought in
Afghanistan and 15,000 were lost.
(AP, 5/18/98)(www.afghan, 5/25/98)(SFC, 10/18/01,
1988 May 21, The Soviet news
agency Tass reported that the Communist Party leaders of Armenia and
Azerbaijan had been dismissed after fresh outbreaks of ethnic
tensions in the two southern Soviet republics.
1988 May 22, Janos Kadar,
installed by the Soviet Union as head of Hungary's Communist Party
in 1956, was replaced by Prime Minister Karoly Grosz.
1988 May 25, President Reagan
left for a trip to the Soviet Union and a superpower summit with
Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1988 May 29, President Reagan
began his first visit to the Soviet Union as he arrived in Moscow
for a superpower summit with Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1988 May 30, On the second day
of the Moscow summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev, giving a
toast at a state dinner, called for closer contacts with Americans,
adding, "This should be done without interfering in domestic
affairs, without sermonizing or imposing one's views and ways."
1988 May 31, On the third day
of the Moscow superpower summit, Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev
said maybe it was "time to bang our fists on the table" to complete
work on a strategic arms treaty. President Reagan responded: "I'll
do anything that works." Reagan received a standing ovation from
students at Moscow Univ. following a short speech with questions and
(AP, 5/31/98)(HN, 5/31/99)(WSJ, 6/18/04, p.A11)
1988 Jun 1, President Reagan
and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev concluded their Moscow summit
by exchanging documents of ratification of the intermediate-range
nuclear arms treaty they'd signed the previous December.
1988 Jun 30, There was a
surprising display of "glasnost" during a Soviet Communist Party
conference as delegate Vladimir I. Melnikov bluntly criticized
President Andrei A. Gromyko and other longtime Kremlin figures.
1988 Jul 1, A four-day national
conference of Soviet Communist Party members ended in Moscow, with
Mikhail S. Gorbachev winning approval for sweeping changes.
1988 Jul 7, Russia’s PHOBOS 1
Mars Orbiter and lander was launched. Contact was lost on September
1988 Jul 12, Russia’s PHOBOS 2
Flyby and lander was launched. It failed within 480 miles of Mar’s
1988 Jul 14, The Soviet press
agency Tass reported that Azerbaijan has rejected an attempt by
Nagorno-Karabakh, a predominantly Armenian enclave, to secede and
join Armenia. Some 200,000 demonstrated in Soviet Armenia for the
incorporation of Nagorno-Karabakh.
1988 Aug 3, The Soviet Union
released Mathias Rust, the West German who landed a small plane in
Moscow's Red Square in May 1987.
1988 Sep 2, A command error to
the PHOBOS 1 Orbiter and lander caused it be lost en route to Mars.
(SFC, 11/19/96, p.B1)
1988 Sep 6, A 25-hour drama
began as technical problems kept a two-man Soviet space crew from
returning to Earth aboard a Soyuz space capsule. The problems were
cleared up, and the crew landed safely the next day.
1988 Sep 18, The Soviet Union
won the first gold medal of the Summer Olympics in Seoul, South
Korea, in the women's air rifle event, while U.S. divers picked up
silver and bronze medals in women's platform.
1988 Sep 21, The Soviet women's
gymnastics team won the gold medal at the Seoul Summer Olympics,
with Romania placing second and East Germany third.
1988 Sep 23, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard A. Shevardnadze concluded two days of talks in
Washington with Secretary of State George P. Shultz on the subjects
of arms control and human rights.
1988 Sep 30, Mikhail S.
Gorbachev retired President Andrei A. Gromyko from the Politburo and
fired other old-guard leaders in a Kremlin shake-up.
1988 Oct 1, In a continuing
shake-up of the Soviet leadership, Mikhail Gorbachev was confirmed
as president, succeeding Andrei A. Gromyko.
1988 Oct 16, Rescue workers
near Point Barrow, Alaska, continued their efforts to save three
California gray whales trapped in Arctic Ocean ice [see Oct 26].
1988 Oct 26, US-Soviet effort
freed 2 gray whales from frozen Arctic near Barrow, Alaska [see Oct
1988 Oct 27, The government of
the Soviet Union unveiled an $804 billion budget containing a
deficit of $58 billion that officials blamed on past mistakes.
1988 Oct 29, The maiden voyage
of the Soviet Union's space shuttle was delayed because of problems
with ground equipment.
1988 Nov 3, The Soviet Union
agreed to allow the teaching of Hebrew.
1988 Nov 24, A state of
emergency was declared in the cities of Kirovabad and Nakhichevan in
(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A15)
1988 Nov, The Russian Buran
space shuttle made its 1st unmanned flight. It was designed by Gleb
Lozino-Lozinsky (d.2001 at 97). The Buran orbited Earth twice,
landed, and never flew again. Russia built about a dozen shuttles,
mostly test models, and later scrapped the program.
(SFC, 12/5/01, p.A23)(WSJ, 4/11/05, p.A18)
1988 Dec 1, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev won nearly unanimous approval for a more
dynamic political structure from the Supreme Soviet, which voted
itself out of existence in favor of a new Congress of People's
1988 Dec 2, The 5 gunmen, who
hijacked Soviet Aeroflot jet, surrendered in Israel.
1988 Dec 6, Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev arrived for his second U.S. visit to address the
United Nations and meet with President Reagan and President-elect
1988 Dec 7, A magnitude 6.9-8.0
earthquake devastated Spitak in northern Armenia; an estimated
25,000 people died with some $14 billion in losses.
1988 Dec 10, Soviet President
Mikhail Gorbachev visited the republic of Armenia, the scene of a
devastating earthquake that had killed an estimated 25,000 people.
1988 Dec 11, A Soviet military
transport plane crashed, killing nearly 80 people involved in
Armenian earthquake relief efforts.
1988 "Dr. Zhivago" by Boris
Pasternak was first published in the Soviet Union.
1988 Yuri Churbanov, husband of
Galina Brezhnev (d.1998), was convicted of taking bribes after a
trial that exposed corruption at the highest levels of the Kremlin.
Galina was the daughter of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev.
(SFC, 7/1/98, p.A22)
1988 In Russia Mikhail
Khodorkovsky started a bank and began to manage government money.
The bank later rigged the auction that allowed him and associates to
acquire a majority stake in the Yukos oil company.
(Econ, 5/21/05, p.25)
1989 Jan 8, Soviet Union
promised to eliminate stockpiles of chemical weapons.
1989 Feb 4, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevardnadze wrapped up four days of high-level
talks in China, the first visit by a Soviet foreign minister in
1989 Feb 5, The Soviet Union
announced that all but a small rear-guard contingent of its troops
had left Afghanistan.
1989 Feb 15, The Soviet Union
announced that the last of its troops had left Afghanistan, after
more than nine years of military intervention.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A8)(AP, 2/15/98)
1989 Mar 7, US Secretary of
State James A. Baker III met with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard
Shevardnadze in Vienna, Austria. Baker agreed to visit Moscow the
following May to discuss prospects for a summit between Pres. Bush
and Soviet Pres. Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
1989 Mar 9, Soviet Union
officially submitted to jurisdiction of the World Court.
1989 Mar 15, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev convened a two-day meeting of the Communist
Party's Central Committee to decide on agricultural reforms.
1989 Mar 26, The first free
elections took place in the Soviet Union. Boris Yeltsin was elected.
Voters in the Soviet Union filled 1,500 of more than 2,000 seats in
the new Congress of People's Deputies, beginning embarrassing
defeats for the Communist Party.
(AP, 3/26/99)(HN, 3/25/98)
1989 Mar 27, Boris N. Yeltsin
and other anti-establishment candidates claimed victory in
parliamentary elections for the new Congress of People's Deputies.
1989 Apr 2, Soviet leader
Mikhail S. Gorbachev began a visit to Cuba amid differences with
President Fidel Castro over the type of reforms Gorbachev was
instituting in the Soviet Union.
1989 Apr 6, Soviet leader
Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with British PM Margaret Thatcher in
London, holding daylong talks that were characterized as
argumentative, but friendly.
1989 Apr 7, A Soviet
nuclear-powered submarine, the Komsomolets, caught fire and sank in
the Norwegian Sea, claiming 42 of 69 lives.
(AP, 4/7/99)(SFC, 8/14/00, p.A13)
1989 Apr 8, The Soviet Union
acknowledged that one of its nuclear submarines, the Komsomolets,
caught fire and sank 210 miles north of Norway the day before. 42 of
69 lives were reported lost.
(AP, 4/8/99)(SFC, 8/14/00, p.A13)
1989 Apr 9, Troops under Gen’l
Lebed killed 18 protestors, including 16 women and children, in
Tbilisi, Georgia. Colonel Gen’l. Igor Rodionov ordered troops to
break up anti-Kremlin protests in Tbilisi.
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A12)(SFC, 6/26/96, p.A11)(WSJ,
1989 May 15, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev arrived in Beijing for the first Sino-Soviet
summit in 30 years. His 3-day visit was overshadowed by
pro-democracy demonstrations led by Chinese students.
(SFC, 2/20/96, p.A4)(AP, 5/15/99)
1989 May 16, During his visit
to Beijing, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Chinese
leader Deng Xiaoping, formally ending a 30-year rift between the two
1989 May 18, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev concluded his historic visit to China, which
officially marked the end of a 30-year Sino-Soviet rift.
1989 May 25, Mikhail Gorbachev
was elected Executive President in the Soviet Union.
1989 Jun 3, An explosion of a
liquefied gas pipeline engulfed two Trans-Siberian Railroad trains
parked outside the Central Asian city of Ufa in the Soviet Union.
575 people were killed.
1989 Jun 16, Hungarians paid
homage to former premier Imre Nagy and four associates executed for
leading the anti-Soviet revolt of 1956. At least 250,000 people
attended the ceremonial reburial of PM Imre Nagy and four others
hanged 31 years earlier and buried face down in unmarked graves. The
reburial, broadcast live on TV from Budapest's Heroes' Square, came
as Hungary's communist leadership and the democratic opposition were
beginning to negotiate the country's transition to democracy. Sandor
Racz, a 1956 veteran, called on the world to "help the Soviet Union"
withdraw its troops from Hungary. Viktor Orban, then 26 and later to
become prime minister, also urged the Russians to withdraw but
blasted the country's communist leadership for making the 1956
revolution a taboo subject.
(AP, 6/16/99)(AP, 6/16/09)
1989 Jun 20, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev greeted the speaker of Iran's parliament,
Hashemi Rafsanjani, who was visiting Moscow.
1989 Jul 2, Andrei Gromyko
(79), former Soviet Foreign Minister died in Moscow.
1989 Jul 4, Unmanned Russian
Mig-23 crashed in Bellegem-Kooigem, Belgium, and 1 person died. The
pilot had ejected over Poland.
1989 Sep 20, Soviet leader
Mikhail S. Gorbachev pulled off a major shake-up of the Soviet
Communist Party, dropping three Politburo members.
1989 Sep 26, In a speech to the
U.N. General Assembly, Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze
accepted President Bush's call for deep cuts in U.S. and Soviet
chemical weapon stockpiles. Shevardnadze called for the total
destruction of Soviet and US chemical weapons
1989 Oct 9, The official Soviet
news agency Tass reported that a spaceship of some kind, complete
with a trio of tall aliens, had visited a park in the city of
1989 Oct 25, Soviet leader
Mikhail S. Gorbachev began a three-day visit to Finland.
1989 Nov 30, President Bush
left Washington for his first summit with Soviet President Mikhail
S. Gorbachev that took place aboard ships off the Mediterranean
island of Malta.
1989 Dec 1, In an extraordinary
encounter, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Pope John
Paul II at the Vatican.
1989 Dec 2, President Bush and
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev held the first talks of their
wind-tossed Malta summit aboard the Soviet cruise ship "Maxim
1989 Dec 3, In Malta Presidents
George Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev announce the official end to the
1989 Dec 14, Nobel Peace
laureate (1975) Andrei D. Sakharov died in Moscow at age 68.
1989 Dec 17, More than 100,000
Soviet citizens turned out to honor the late human rights advocate
Andrei D. Sakharov, a day before he was buried in Moscow.
1989 Dec 18, An agreement on
trade and commercial and economic cooperation between the European
Community and the Soviet Union is signed in Brussels, Belgium.
1989 The Supreme Soviet issued
a resolution that criticized the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact as "a
personal decision by (Soviet leader Josef) Stalin that contradicted
the interests of the Soviet people."
1989 Vladimir Pasechnik
defected to the US from the Biopreparat biological weapons program.
He revealed that the Soviet program was ten times larger than US
(WSJ, 3/10/98, p.A22)
1989 Alexander Smolensky
established Bank Stolichny, one of the Soviet Union’s 1st private
(WSJ, 10/4/00, p.A10)
1989 Soviet nuclear test
explosions ended in Kazakhstan. Between 1949 and the cessation of
atomic testing in 1989, 456 explosions were conducted at the STS,
including 340 underground shots and 116 atmospheric.
1989 Mintimer Shaimiyev became
First Secretary of Tatar Regional CPSU Committee in Kazan,
1989 In Russia a group of
sociologists led by Yuri Levada began to study what they called the
Soviet Man, an artificial construct of doublethink, paternalism,
suspicion and isolationism.
(Econ, 12/10/11, p.27)
1989-1991 In 1999 Angela E. Stent authored "Russia
and Germany Reborn," which focused on this period.
(WSJ, 8/5/99, p.A16)
1989-1992 The state enterprise natural gas
monopoly Gazprom was run by Victor Chernomyrdin.
(WSJ, 3/5/96, p. A-11)
1989-1992 South Ossetia defended itself from
Georgia with aid from Russia and about 1,000 people died in the
fighting. Some 25-40,000 people fled the area.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A10)
1990 Jan 11, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev visited Lithuania, where he sought to assure
supporters of independence that they would have a say in their
1990 Jan 15, Soviet leader
Gorbachev and the Soviet Presidium declared a state of emergency in
parts of Azerbaijan and Armenia in the wake of escalating ethnic
1990 Jan 16, The Soviet Union
sent more than 11,000 reinforcements to the Caucasus to halt a civil
war between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
1990 Jan 20, The Soviets
attacked Baku, leaving dozens dead and wounded. Gen’l. Lebed led
Russian forces in Baku to crush the nationalist Azeri Popular Front.
62 civilians were killed and more than 200 wounded when the Soviet
army stormed into the city of Baku to end what Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev called fratricidal killing between Muslim Azerbaijanis and
(WSJ, 12/18/96, p.A21)(CO, Grolier’s Amer. Acad.
Enc./ Azerbaijan)(WSJ, 8/7/96, p.A15)(AP, 1/20/00)
1990 Jan 21, Azerbaijan Pres.
Aliyev made his first public appearance since his 1987 resignation
from the Soviet Politburo. He broke the information blackout and
urged int’l. condemnation of the Soviet attack. Mutinous military
cadets fired on troops patrolling the capital during a crackdown on
a nationalist uprising.
(WSJ, 12/18/96, p.A21)(AP, 1/21/00)
1990 Jan 31, McDonald's Corp.
opened its first fast-food restaurant in Moscow.
1990 Feb 4, Cheering protesters
thronged Moscow streets to demand that the Communists surrender
their stranglehold on power.
1990 Feb 5, Soviet leader
Mikhail S. Gorbachev told the Communist Party it had to earn the
right to rule, instead of treating it as an unchallenged right.
1990 Feb 6, Soviet Communist
Party leaders decided to extend a two-day party session by an extra
day amid controversy over Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev's
proposals to revamp the country's political structure.
1990 Feb 7, The Soviet Union's
Communist Party agreed to let other political parties compete for
control of the country, thereby giving up its monopoly on power.
1990 Feb 26, USSR agreed to
withdraw all 73,500 troops from Czechoslovakia by July, 1991.
1990 Mar 4, Voters in the
Soviet republics of Russia, Byelorussia and the Ukraine participated
in local and legislative elections, resulting in notable gains for
reformists and nationalists.
1990 Mar 13, The Soviet
Congress of People's Deputies approved Mikhail S. Gorbachev's
proposals for a multiparty political system headed by a powerful
1990 Mar 14, The Soviet
Congress elected Mikhail S. Gorbachev president of the Soviet
Congress, a day after creating the post.
(HN, 3/14/98)(AP, 3/14/00)
1990 Mar 19, Kremlin warned
Lithuania against taking over factories, putting up border posts.
1990 Mar 24, Soviet military
vehicles rumbled through the heart of the Lithuanian capital of
Vilnius as lawmakers in the breakaway Baltic republic voted to
transfer their power to foreign soil if they were attacked or
1990 Apr 1, More Soviet
military vehicles rolled through the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius,
a day after Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev warned the Baltic
republic to annul its declaration of independence.
1990 Apr 13, The Soviet Union
accepted responsibility for the World War II murders of thousands of
imprisoned Polish officers in the Katyn Forest, a massacre the
Soviets had previously blamed on the Nazis.
1990 Apr 18, The Soviet Union
shut off a pipeline that supplied the rebellious republic of
Lithuania with crude oil; a day later, the Soviets severely reduced
the flow of natural gas.
1990 May 1, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev and other Kremlin leaders were jeered by
thousands of people during the annual May Day parade in Red Square.
1990 May 14, In separate
decrees, Soviet President Gorbachev declared that the republics of
Estonia and Latvia had no legal basis for moving toward
1990 May 17, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev met in Moscow with Lithuanian Prime Minister
Kazimiera Prunskiene, Gorbachev's first face-to-face meeting with a
senior official of the defiant Baltic republics.
1990 May 26, Soviet maverick
politician Boris N. Yeltsin failed in a second round of voting to
win the presidency of the Russian Federation. He succeeded in a
third round of balloting three days later.
1990 May 27, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev tried to calm his nation’s economic nerves with
a hastily scheduled television address. The radical Democratic Party
held its 1st political meetings in Moscow.
1990 May 29, Boris N. Yeltsin
was elected president of the Russian republic in the third round of
balloting by the Russian parliament. This gave him a base from which
to attack Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev.
(AP, 5/29/97)(HN, 5/29/99)
1990 Jun 5, Vasily V. Kuznetsov
(b.1901), president of USSR supreme soviet (1982-83, 85), died in
1990 Jun 12, In a speech to the
Supreme Soviet legislature, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev eased his
objection to a reunified Germany holding membership in NATO.
1990 Jun 12, Boris Yeltsin led
a vote at the Congress of Peoples Deputies on a "declaration of
Sovereignty for Russia." Russia Day became a national holiday
honoring this day, when Russian lawmakers decided that Russian laws
should take priority over Soviet Union laws.
(SFC, 6/10/96, p.A16)(AP, 6/12/12)
1990 Jun 20, The Communist
Initiative created its neoconservative Russian Communist Party.
Among the founders were Gennady Zyuganov, Valentin Kuptsov, and
Alexander Rutskoi. Gorbachev still ran the country.
(SFC, 6/10/96, p.A16)
1990 Jun, In Kyrgyzstan about
300 people were killed in a violent land dispute between Kyrgyz and
Uzbeks in Osh, and only the quick deployment of Soviet troops
quelled the fighting.
(SFC, 10/21/99, p.AA5)(AP, 6/13/10)(Econ,
1990 Jul 2, The Soviet Union’s
28th Communist Party congress opened with an address by President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, who conceded mistakes while defending
1990 Jul 3, In Moscow, Kremlin
hard-liner Yegor K. Ligachev received an enthusiastic reception at a
Communist Party congress as he criticized reforms by President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, saying perestroika had been marred by
1990 Jul 10, Mikhail S.
Gorbachev handily won re-election as leader of the Soviet Communist
1990 Jul 11, Leaders of the
so-called "Group of Seven" nations concluded their summit in Houston
by encouraging Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev to enact
reforms in return for Western aid.
1990 Jul 12, Russian republic
president Boris N. Yeltsin shocked the 28th congress of the Soviet
Communist Party by announcing he was resigning his party membership.
1990 Jul 13, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev closed the Communist Party’s 28th congress by
saying he would welcome Western aid without political strings.
1990 Jul 15, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev and visiting West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl
held talks on the issue of a united Germany’s membership in NATO.
1990 Jul 15, Tens of thousands
of people marched in Moscow to protest the Communist Party’s control
of the government, the army and the KGB.
1990 Jul 27, White Russia
1990 Aug 30, Tatarstan
proclaimed sovereignty. This was not recognized by Russia. The
declaration on the Republic of Tatarstan state sovereignty was
adopted immediately after the declaration on the sovereignty of the
Russian Federation, which provided the peoples' right "to
self-determination in the national-state and national-cultural forms
they have chosen."
1990 Aug, South Ossetia, a
region of north central Georgia with a population of about 100,000,
declared itself sovereign. Ethnic Ossetians speak a language similar
to Persian. Georgia abolished South Ossetia’s autonomous status
following the attempted break. Georgian leader Zviad Gamsakhurdia
declared South Ossetia part of Georgia and marched on Tskhinvali,
the declared capital.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1990 Sep 5, In Moscow, Soviet
President Mikhail S. Gorbachev met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq
1990 Sep 9, Alexandr Men,
Russian Biblical scholar and writer, was murdered by an ax-wielding
assailant just outside his home of Semkhoz, Russia.
1990 Sep 12, Representatives of
the World War Two allies and West and East Germany signed the Two
Plus Four Treaty in Moscow giving international sanction to German
1990 Sep 21, During a meeting
of the Supreme Soviet, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev scolded
legislators for dragging its feet on an economic rescue plan, and
asked for sweeping new emergency powers to stabilize the economy.
1990 Sep 24, The Supreme Soviet
voted to give preliminary approval to a plan for switching the
Soviet Union to a free-market economy.
1990 Sep 24, East Germany
signed a treaty with the Soviet Union ending its membership in the
1990 Oct 13, The 1st Russian
Orthodox service in 70 yrs was held in St. Basil's Cathedral.
1990 Oct 16, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev submitted to the Soviet legislature a
scaled-back plan to transform the Soviet economy to a free-market
1990 Oct 19, The Supreme Soviet
voted to approve President Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s economic reform
1990 Oct 30, In Russia the
Solovetsky stone was erected in Moscow. It was from the Stalin-era
Solovki prison camp as a memorial to victims of Soviet repression.
1990 Nov 9, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed a historic non-aggression treaty with
Germany, winning praise from German leaders in Bonn for his role in
the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall.
1990 Nov 16, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev told an angry Soviet legislature he would fire
government and military officials blocking his reform plans.
1990 Nov 19, Leaders of 16 NATO
members and the remaining six Warsaw Pact nations signed treaties in
Paris making sweeping cuts in conventional arms throughout Europe
and pledging non-aggression toward one another. The Treaty on
Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) was signed by the United
States and 21 other NATO and WTO countries at a CSCE summit in
1990 Nov 20, The Soviet Union
again rebuffed President Bush’s efforts to rally support for a UN
Security Council resolution authorizing military force against Iraq.
1990 Dec 10, A stand-in for
Mikhail Gorbachev accepted the 1990 Nobel Peace Prize.
1990 Dec 20, Soviet Foreign
Minister Eduard Shevardnadze shocked Soviet lawmakers by announcing
his resignation, warning that "dictatorship is coming."
1990 Dec 25, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev won sweeping new powers from the Congress of
1990 The Moscow Union of
Lesbians and Gays was founded.
(SFC, 6/23/96, BR, p.6)
1990 Vladimir Putin began
working as an aide to Leningrad city boss Anatoly Sobchak.
(WSJ, 2/23/05, p.A14)
1990 The Soviets pulled out of
the Hradcany air force base north of Prague, Czechoslovakia, and
left behind some 6,500 tons of jet fuel soaked into nearly 15 acres
of foul-smelling land.
(WSJ, 4/5/96, p.B-3A)(Econ, 5/31/08, SR p.11)
1991 Jan 8, Pro Soviet
demonstrators protested price rises and surrounded the parliament in
Vilnius. Fresh Soviet troops began rolling across Baltic borders
from Pskov, Russia, allegedly to deal with Baltic youth who have
been evading the Soviet draft.
1991 Jan 13, Soviet troops
besieged the Vilnius TV tower and crushed a woman under a tank, but
failed to quash the drive for independence. The assault claimed 14
lives. The Soviets occupied strong points in Vilnius, Lithuania, in
an attempt to stop the independence movement.
(Wired, Dec., '95, p.94)(DrEE, 9/28/96, p.1)(AP,
1991 Jan 26, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev granted the KGB and Soviet Interior Ministry
sweeping search-and-seizure powers to combat economic crime.
1991 Jan, Valentin Pavlov
(d.2003), former finance minister, became the Soviet prime minister.
1991 Feb 9, In a national poll
3 quarters of Lithuanian citizens called for independence from the
Soviet Union in a non-binding plebiscite.
(AP, 2/9/01)(LHC, 2/9/03)
1991 Mar 3, Latvia and Estonia
voted to become independent of the USSR.
1991 Mar 10, Hundreds of
thousands of people demonstrated in Moscow, demanding that President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev resign.
1991 Mar 17, Millions of people
voted in a landmark referendum on whether to preserve the
splintering Soviet Union.
1991 Mar 18, Results from a
non-binding Soviet referendum showed overwhelming support for
preserving the union, a victory for President Mikhail S. Gorbachev.
However, in a boost for Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin, voters
in his republic also endorsed electing the federation president by
1991 Mar 28, Fire seriously
damaged the US Embassy in Moscow.
1991 Mar 28, Tens of thousands
of supporters of Boris N. Yeltsin marched in Moscow in defiance of
President Mikhail S. Gorbachev’s ban on rallies.
1991 Apr 1, The Warsaw Pact was
1991 Apr 9, Georgia SSR
declared independence from the USSR.
1991 Apr 16, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev began a visit to Japan.
1991 Apr 18, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev ended a summit in Japan without winning the
major aid package he’d been hoping for.
1991 Apr 19, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev arrived in South Korea for talks with President
1991 Apr 23, In Russia Pres.
Gorbachev signed the so-called '9+1' agreement on a new Union
Treaty. Under this agreement he accepted in principle the transfer
of a major share of his central presidential authority to the
republics, not only in economic management but also in important
areas of political power.
1991 Apr 25, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev, facing harsh criticism during a closed-door
meeting of the Communist Party’s Central Committee, offered to
resign as party leader, an offer that was rejected.
1991 May 10, Alexander
Bessmertnykh became the first Soviet foreign minister to visit
Israel as he met with Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and Foreign
Minister David Levy.
1991 May 18, Helen Sharman
became the first Briton to rocket into space as she flew aboard a
Soviet Soyuz spacecraft.
1991 May 20, Lawmakers in the
Soviet Union voted to liberalize foreign travel and emigration.
1991 May, The Victory Day
parade, celebrating the WW II Soviet victory over Germany, was
suspended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. It was revived in
1996 without the display of military hardware.
(SFEC, 5/10/98, p.A22)
1991 Jun 5, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev delivered his delayed Nobel Peace lecture in
Oslo, Norway, warning that Western failure to heed his call for
economic aid could dash hopes for a peaceful new world order.
1991 Jun 12, Russians went to
the polls and elected Boris Yeltsin as president.
1991 Jun 18, Russia’s newly
elected president, Boris Yeltsin, arrived in the United States for
visits with American officials, including President Bush.
1991 Jun 20, Boris Yeltsin, the
newly elected president of the Russian republic, was welcomed to the
White House by President Bush.
1991 Jun 23, The Group of Seven
finance ministers and central bankers, meeting in London, agreed
that the Soviet Union should become the first associate member of
the International Monetary Fund.
1991 Jul 10, Boris N. Yeltsin
took the oath of office as the first elected president of the
1991 Jul 17, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev made a personal appeal for Western aid at the
conclusion of the Group of Seven economic summit in London.
1991 Jul 20, Russian President
Boris N. Yeltsin banned political activity in government offices and
republic-run businesses, effectively curtailing the influence of the
1991 Jul 23, The draft of a new
platform for Soviet Communist Party was published, calling for
private property, economic integration into world market and freedom
1991 Jul 24, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced a final agreement on a treaty
designed to preserve the Soviet federation while giving more power
to the republics.
1991 Jul 25, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev urged Communist leaders at a Central Committee
meeting to reject "outdated ideological dogmas" and embrace a market
1991 Jul 29, President Bush
arrived in Moscow for a superpower summit with Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev that included the signing of the Strategic Arms
1991 Jul 31, President Bush and
Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev signed START I, the Strategic
Arms Reduction Treaty in Moscow. The agreement included the
deactivation and removal by May, 1995, of 150 Minuteman II missiles
in Missouri. The treaty was set to expire in Dec, 2009.
(AP, 7/31/01)(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-1)(WSJ, 12/1/07,
p.A8)(Econ, 3/14/09, p.64)
1991 Jul 31, In Lithuania 7
border guards were shot to death and one was wounded as OMON
commandos from the Soviet Interior Ministry raided the Medininkai
checkpoint on the border of Lithuania and Belarus.
1991 Aug 16, In Moscow,
Alexander Yakovlev, a top adviser to Soviet President Mikhail S.
Gorbachev, resigned from the Communist Party, warning that
hard-liners were plotting "a party and state coup."
1991 Aug 18, Soviet hard-liners
(State Emergency Committee), led in part by PM Valentin Pavlov,
launched a coup aimed at toppling President Mikhail S. Gorbachev,
who was vacationing in the Crimea. They were unhappy with the drift
toward the collapse of the USSR. Gorbachev and members of his family
remained effectively imprisoned until the coup collapsed three days
(AP, 8/18/97)(HN, 8/18/98)(AP, 4/1/03)
1991 Aug 19, A putsch began in
Moscow. Soviet hard-liners, Gennady Yanayev (1937-2010) and the KGB,
removed Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev from power. Yanayev
was one of 12 members of the so-called State Emergency Committee
that announced Gorbachev was being replaced. In defiance Russian
federation Pres. Boris N. Yeltsin called for a general strike. The
coup collapsed two days later.
(DrEE, 1/4/97, p.4)(AP, 8/19/04)(AP, 9/24/10)
1991 Aug 20, More than 100,000
people rallied outside the Russian Parliament building as protests
against the Soviet coup increased. President Bush said he would
never deal with the coup leaders.
1991 Aug 21, The hard-line coup
against Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev collapsed in the face
of a popular uprising led by Russian federation President Boris N.
Yeltsin. The coup failed in part when General Alexander Lebed
refused to move troops to surround Yeltsin’s Moscow stronghold. 3
young men were killed on the night of the failed coup.
(SFC, 10/18/96, A15)(AP, 8/21/97)(Econ, 12/3/11,
1991 Aug 21, Boris Yeltsin
assured the Foreign Ministers of NATO, who were convened in
Brussels, that the coup attempt was failing.
(DrEE, 1/4/97, p.4)
1991 Aug 22, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev returned to Moscow following the collapse of
the hard-liners' coup. Later that day, he purged his government of
the men who'd tried to oust him.
1991 Aug 23, In the wake of a
failed coup by hard-liners in the Soviet Union, President Mikhail S.
Gorbachev and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin acted to strip the
Communist Party of its power and take control of the army and the
1991 Aug 24, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev resigned as head of the Communist Party,
culminating a stunning Kremlin shakeup that followed the failed coup
by hard-liners. In Moscow, thousands of people held a martyrs'
funeral for three men killed fighting the coup.
1991 Aug 24, Ukraine declared
independence from USSR.
1991 Aug 25, White-Russia
(Belarus) declared it's independence.
1991 Aug 26, In an address to
the Supreme Soviet, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev promised national
elections in a last-ditch effort to preserve his government, but
leaders of Soviet republics told him the hour of central power had
1991 Aug 27, Moldova (Moldavia)
declared independence from USSR.
1991 Aug 28, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev ordered a shake-up of the KGB and sacked his
cabinet in the wake of the failed coup by hard-liners.
1991 Aug 29, In a stunning blow
to the Soviet Communist Party, the Supreme Soviet legislature voted
to suspend the activities of the organization and freeze its bank
accounts because of the party's role in the failed coup.
1991 Aug 31, Uzbekistan and
Kirghizia declared their independence, raising to 10 the number of
republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.
1991 Sep 2, In Moscow, the
Soviet Congress of People's Deputies opened its first session since
the failed coup, taking up proposals aimed at drastically
restructuring the country.
1991 Sep 5, In Moscow, Soviet
lawmakers approved the creation of an interim government to usher in
a new confederation.
1991 Sep 6, In the Soviet
Union, the State Council, a new executive body composed of President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev and republic leaders, recognized the
independence of the Baltic states of Estonia Latvia, and Lithuania.
All three were admitted into the UN later this month.
1991 Sep 11, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced the Kremlin would withdraw thousands
of troops from Cuba, a move bitterly denounced by the Havana
1991 Sep 28, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev praised President Bush's pledge to drastically
reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal, and promised to "reciprocate."
1991 Oct 5, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev announced sweeping cuts in nuclear weapons in
response to President Bush's arms reduction initiative.
1991 Oct, Vil S. Mirzayanov, a
veteran of the Soviet chemical weapons program, went public with
disclosures that a binary chemical weapon was under development.
(SFC, 9/5/98, p.A12)
1991 Nov 2, Chechnya proclaimed
independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.A11)
1991 Nov 6, Pres. Yeltsin fired
Ivan Silayev as prime minister. Yeltsin served as acting prime
minister until Yegor Gaidar (1956-2009) was appointed in Jun 1992.
(SFC, 5/13/99, p.A19)(Econ, 12/19/09, p.149)
1991 Nov 6, Russian president
Yeltsin outlawed Communist Party.
1991 Nov 7, Pro- and
anti-Communist rallies took place in Moscow on the 74th anniversary
of the Bolshevik Revolution.
1991 Nov 11, Yegor Gaidar
(1956-2009), appointed by Pres. Boris Yeltsin, began serving as
Russia’s finance minister. Foreign-exchange reserves stood at $27
million and the foreign debt, inherited from the soviet Union, was
$72 billion. Gaidar and his team were forced to adopt price
regulation and to allow free trade.
1991 Nov 28, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev expressed unhappiness over reports that the
United States might move toward diplomatic recognition of Ukraine
after the republic's upcoming independence referendum.
1991 Nov 30, Boris Yeltsin's
Russian Federation agreed to bail out Mikhail S. Gorbachev's central
Soviet government from a budget crisis that threatened to cut off
the salaries of millions of workers and paralyze the country.
1991 Dec 8, Russia, Byelorussia
and Ukraine declared the Soviet national government dead, forging a
new alliance to be known as the Commonwealth of Independent States.
Boris Yeltsin, Ukrainian Pres. Leonid Kravchuk, and Belarus Pres.
Stanislav Shuskevich met in a hunting lodge to proclaim the Soviet
Union null and void and to form a loose Commonwealth of Independent
States. The declaration later became known as the "Belavezha
1991 Dec 9, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev challenged Boris Yeltsin's declaration that the
Soviet Union was dead, branding a new Slavic commonwealth "illegal
1991 Dec 12, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin won landslide approval in the Russian legislature for
his new commonwealth, while Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev
edged closer to resigning, saying, "The main work of my life is
1991 Dec 13, Five Central Asian
republics of the Soviet Union (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan) agreed to join the new Commonwealth of
Independent States (CIS) being organized by Russian President Boris
1991 Dec 15, Russian Foreign
Minister Andrei Kozyrev asked U.S. Secretary of State James Baker
for formal U.S. recognition of the various Soviet republics that had
1991 Dec 16, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin met for four hours with visiting U.S. Secretary of
State James Baker, after which Yeltsin said the new Commonwealth of
Independent States would begin operating by the end of the year.
1991 Dec 17, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin and Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev agreed to
dissolve the Soviet Union by the new year.
1991 Dec 21, 11 of the 12
former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of
1991 Dec 23, President George
H.W. Bush spoke by telephone with Russian President Boris Yeltsin,
after which a senior Bush administration official said the United
States would extend diplomatic recognition to the Russian republic.
1991 Dec 24, A day before
resigning, Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev briefed Russian
President Boris Yeltsin on nuclear weapons-firing procedures.
Gorbachev also held a farewell meeting with staff members.
1991 Dec 25, Soviet President
Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation
as the eighth and final leader of a Communist superpower that had
already gone out of existence. He was ousted as Soviet leader Boris
Yeltsin established his position. This effectively ended the cold
war. In 2002 Derek Leebaert authored "A Fifty-Year Wound," a history
of the cold war.
(TMC, 1994, p.1991)(SFC, 12/3/97, p.C6)(AP,
12/25/97)(WSJ, 4/16/02, p.D7)
1991 Dec 26, The Republic of
Tatarstan declared entry into the Commonwealth of Independent States
1991 Dec 28, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin ordered state land privatized as he pushed ahead with
1991 Dec 29, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin announced that Russia would create its own army; in a
separate year-end address, he also congratulated his countrymen for
avoiding the kind of violence seen in Yugoslavia.
1991 Dec 30, Leaders of the
Commonwealth of Independent States (Russia et al) agreed to
establish unified command over nuclear weapons, while allowing
member states to form their own armies.
1991 Dec 31, This was the last
day of existence for the USSR.
1991 Dec, Some remains of
Russia’s Czar Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra, and their
five children, executed in 1918, were exhumed from a mine shaft in
Yekaterinburg. The remains were identified using DNA analysis in
1992, but the skeletons of 2 children remained unaccounted for.
1991 Russian sculptor Zurab
Tsereteli built a colossal statue of Christopher Columbus, titled
"Birth of a New World," to commemorate the 500th anniversary of
Columbus' 1492 arrival in the Western Hemisphere. Several US cities
including New York, Miami and Baltimore refused to accept it for
reasons ranging from cost to appearance. Puerto Rico accepted the
statue as a gift in 1998, using $2.4 million in public funds to
bring it to the island after a former mayor envisioned it as the
main attraction for Catano, a seaside suburb of San Juan. But
officials said it would block airplane flight paths while residents
protested plans to demolish homes to make room for it. In 2008 it
was placed in storage in Mayaguez. In 2011 San Juan Mayor Jorge
Santini said he would consider setting up the statue somewhere in
the island's capital.
1991 The Afghan War Invalids
Fund was founded in Russia to serve 14,000 amputees and other
seriously injured veteran of the 10-year war.
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A13)
1991 In Russia the St.
Petersburg Organization of Soldier’s Mothers was founded.
(SFC, 11/6/98, p.A14)
1991 Yuri Luzhkov, vice-mayor
of Moscow, issued Decision No. 285 transferring ownership of prime
city real estate to a private company called AO Orgkomitet, of which
he was president.
(WSJ, 5/20/99, p.A14)
1991 Anatoly Sobchak, a law
professor, was elected mayor of St. Petersburg. Vladimir Putin, an
agent in the KGB, was soon named as his deputy mayor.
(SFC, 1/1/00, p.D2)
1991 Vadim Bakatin (b.1937),
head of the Soviet KGB, presented US Ambassador Robert Strauss with
blueprints for the bugs in the US Embassy. Bakatin served as the
interior minister of the Soviet Union from 1988 to 1990. He was the
last chairman of KGB in 1991 before it ceased to exist with the
collapse of the Soviet Union. He later served as the first chairman
of Interrepublican Security Service between 1991 and 1992. In 1993
he noted that although the myth about the KGB’s invincibility had
collapsed, the agency itself was very much alive.
1991 The Russian government,
following Soviet collapse, scrapped the national anthem, and
replaced it with an instrumental piece by 19th-century Russian
composer Mikhail Glinka.
1991 The Moscow
Radisson-Slavyanskaya hotel and the adjoining Americom Business
Center was founded by US businessman, Paul Tatum (1955-1996).
(WSJ, 11/4/96, p.A1)(SFC, 11/5/96, p.A8)(WSJ,
1991-1994 In Russia the life expectancy for males
fell by five years during this period. The drop was later attributed
to mass privatization.
(Econ, 1/24/09, p.15)
1991-1996 Anatoly Sobchak served as mayor of St.
1991-1997 Russia went into an economic downfall
called the Great Contraction. The decline wiped out the US
equivalent of $3 trillion.
(WSJ, 1/28/98, p.A1)
1991-2005 The US spent some $7 billion on Russian
(WSJ, 9/26/05, p.A1)
1992 Jan 2, Russian shoppers
experienced their first day of "sticker shock" after President Boris
Yeltsin lifted price controls to stimulate production.
1992 Jan 28, A multinational
Middle East peace conference opened in Moscow.
1992 Jan 29, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin unveiled an ambitious plan to cut nuclear weapons
spending and said his republic's weapons would no longer be aimed at
any U.S. targets.
1992 Jan 29, A multinational
Middle East peace conference ended in Moscow with participants
1992 Feb 1, President George
H.W. Bush and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin met at Camp David.
1992 Feb 7, President Boris N.
Yeltsin and French President Francois Mitterrand signed a
cooperation treaty in Paris.
1992 Feb 23, In Moscow,
thousands of pro-Communist demonstrators, some shouting, "Down with
the Russian government!," clashed with police.
1992 Mar 5, In Copenhagen the
Ministers for Foreign Affairs of Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany,
Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Poland, Russia and Sweden, in the
presence of the representative from the European Commission, opened
a 2-day meeting and decided to establish a Council of the Baltic Sea
States to serve as a forum for guidance and overall coordination
among the participating states. Iceland joined the CBSS in 1995
1992 Mar 14, Soviet newspaper
"Pravda" suspended publication.
1992 Mar 19, Soviet
Commonwealth leaders open their 4th summit with hopes of solving
military disputes and stopping ethnic fighting.
1992 Mar 25, Soviet cosmonaut
Sergei Krikalev, who'd spent 10 months aboard the orbiting Mir space
station, thereby missing the upheaval in his homeland, finally
returned to Earth.
1992 Apr 1,
President Bush pledged the United States would help finance a $24
billion international aid fund for the former Soviet Union.
1992 Apr 11, The Russian
Congress of People's Deputies rejected an appeal by President Boris
Yeltsin for another six months to carry out his reforms, ordering
him to select a new Cabinet by July; a compromise was worked out a
few days later.
1992 Apr 15, Russia's deeply
divided Congress of People's Deputies formally endorsed President
Boris Yeltsin's economic reforms.
1992 Apr 20, The Russian
congress adopted a resolution affirming Russia's membership in the
Commonwealth of Independent States in a victory for President Boris
1992 Apr 26, Worshippers
celebrated the first Russian Orthodox Easter in Moscow in 74 years.
1992 Apr 27, Russia and 12
other former Soviet republics won entry into the International
Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
1992 May 4, India and Russia
sign a five-year agreement on trade and economic cooperation.
1992 May 7, The Russian
Federation applied to join the Council of Europe. It acceded to the
council on Feb 28, 1996.
1992 May 25, Viktor Grishin
(78), hardline soviet communist, died.
1992 Jun 1, Russia was granted
full membership to the IMF.
(WSJ, 4/28/99, p.A18)
1992 Jun 8, US Secretary of
State James A. Baker III and Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev
met in Washington to try to pave the way for a new round of
strategic arms cuts.
1992 Jun 9, US Secretary of
State James A. Baker III concluded two days of arms talks with
Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev without an agreement on deep
cuts in long-range missiles.
1992 Jun 12, In a letter to
U.S. senators, Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin said the Soviet
Union had shot down nine U.S. planes in the early 1950's and held 12
1992 Jun 18, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin met with Democrat Bill Clinton in Washington before
flying on to Kansas and then Canada.
1992 Jun 21, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin returned home from his North America tour.
1992 Jun 22, Anastasia, a
daughter of Czar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra, was identified
as one of the skeletons excavated in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
1992 Jun, Yegor Gaidar was
appointed as prime minister.
(SFC, 5/13/99, p.A19)
1992 Jul 8, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin met with Group of Seven leaders holding their economic
summit in Munich, Germany, where he offered a startling proposal to
swap factories, energy resources and other properties for Russian
1992 Jul, Russia brokered a
cease fire between South Ossetia and Georgia.
(SFC, 9/1/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 8/27/08, p.A12)
1992 Sep 9, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin called off a trip to Japan in the face of growing
pressure to resolve a dispute over four Kurile islands seized by the
former Soviet Union in 1945.
1992 Oct 14, Russia's worst
serial killer, Andrei Chikatilo, was convicted of mutilating and
killing 52 women and children. He was executed in 1994.
1992 Nov 9, Visiting London,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin appealed for help in rescheduling
his country's debt, and urged British businesses to invest.
1992 Nov 11, By letter, Russian
President Boris Yeltsin told U.S. senators that Americans had been
held in prison camps after World War II and some were "summarily
executed," but that others were still living in his country
1992 Dec 1, President Boris
Yeltsin survived an impeachment attempt by hard-liners at the
opening of the Russian Congress.
1992 Dec 5, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin narrowly kept the power to appoint Cabinet ministers,
defeating a constitutional amendment that would have put his team of
reformers under the control of Russia's Congress.
1992 Dec 14, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin lost a battle with hard-liners as he was forced to
abandon his reformist PM Yegor Gaidar, in favor of Communist-era
technocrat Viktor Chernomyrdin (1938-2010).
12/14/97)(Econ, 11/6/10, p.109)
1992 Dec 29, The United States
and Russia announced agreement on a nuclear arms reduction treaty.
1992 Dec 30, President Bush
embarked on the final foreign trip of his term in office, heading to
a Black Sea summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, with a
stopover in Somalia to visit U.S. troops helping famine victims.
1992 Vice-Mayor Yuri Luzhkov
was elected as Mayor of Moscow. Under his lead Moscow began
acquiring stakes in privatized companies. By 2010 his wife had
become the richest woman in Russia by means of her construction
business. She denied that her success was related to her husband’s
(WSJ, 5/20/99, p.A14)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.57)
1992 The tax police force was
established to fight tax crime. A TV show based on their fictional
exploits began production in 1998.
(SFC, 6/26/98, p.D2)
1992 Alexandre Konanykhine, a
director of the Russian Exchange Bank, allegedly stole $8.1 mil
through falsified financial transactions and fled the country with
his wife. They were arrested in the US in 1996.
(WP. 6/29/96, p.A1)
1992 Yeltsin broke up the
Soviet Oil Ministry into private companies. Valdimir Bogdanov became
the head of Surgutneftegaz.
(WSJ, 6/4/96, p.A8)
1992 Victor Chernomyrdin joined
Yeltsin's cabinet in mid 1992 and was succeeded at Gazprom by Rem
Vyakhirev, his former deputy.
(WSJ, 3/5/96, p. A-11)
1992 In Nizhny Novgorod (named
Gorky under Stalin) Sergei Kiriyenko (29) founded the Bank Garantiya
and helped privatize most of the provinces enterprises.
(SFC, 4/1/98, p.A6)
1992 Kanatjan Alibekov, a
director of Biopreparat, defected to the US. He reported that the
agency ran a massive biological warfare development program with
over 25,000 employees and had developed 52 biological agents before
he left. He also reported that the agency had ballistic missile
warheads loaded with plague, anthrax, and smallpox intended for
delivery against American cities.
(WSJ, 3/10/98, p.A22)
1992 Russian intelligence
archivist Vasili Mitrokhin defected to British intelligence. He
brought along 6 trunkfuls of KGB files.
(SFEC, 9/12/99, p.A16)
1992 The Golden ADA company was
set up to export diamonds to the West. Yevgeny Bychkov, head of the
Russian Committee on Precious Metals and Gems, arranged a $180
million shipment to Golden ADA. Andrei Kozlekov and associates sold
the shipment and moved to San Francisco. Kozlekov was returned to
Moscow in 1998 to face charges of stealing.
(SFC, 6/20/98, p.B1)
1992 Liantor, Siberia, was
incorporated as a town. Oil had been discovered in the 1980s and the
population grew to 15,000. The area had been inhabited by the Khanty
tribe, a Finno-Ugric speaking people.
(WSJ, 7/1/98, p.A1)
c1992 The city of Dubna began
a sister-city relationship with La Crosse, Wisconsin.
(SFC, 12/31/00, p.B5)
1992 St. Petersburg organized
its 1st annual White Nights Festival.
(SSFC, 5/27/01, p.T14)
1992 Russian reactionaries
fought against the Soviet breakup and repulsed Moldova’s bid to hold
on to Transdniestria.
(WSJ, 7/8/97, p.A1,8)(Econ, 1/29/05, p.52)
1992 A bloody conflict took
place between Ingushetia and North Ossetia that left hundreds dead
and forced 30,000 Ingush to flee their homes.
(SFC, 3/20/99, p.A3)
1992-1994 Russia's Alexander Lebed commanded
troops in Moldova’s break-away region of Transdniestria, where
ethnic conflict rose between the Moldovan government and Slav
separatists. He ended the bloodshed there.
(SFC, 10/18/96, A18)
1993 Jan 2, President Bush
arrived in Moscow to sign a strategic arms treaty with Russian
President Boris Yeltsin, who hailed the agreement as "our joint gift
to the people of the Earth."
1993 Jan 3, The START II Treaty
was signed between the US and Russia by President Bush and Russian
President Boris Yeltsin. It was to eliminate land-based
multiple-warhead missiles and reduce the long-range nuclear
arsenals. The treaty was not ratified by the Russian parliament.
(SFEC, 12/1/96, Par p.6)(AP, 1/3/98)(SFC,
1993 Jan 4, President-elect
Clinton spoke by telephone with Russian President Boris Yeltsin
about the newly signed START II treaty; Clinton pledged to do all he
could to get early ratification.
1993 Feb, Communists of all
stripes gathered in the village of Sorokino outside Moscow and
created the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, KPRF, and
chose Gennady Zyuganov to lead. The Russian Federation is made up of
89 regions, 21 of which are classified as republics. Udmurtiya, 650
miles east of Moscow, is a republic.
(SFC, 6/10/96, p.A16)(SFC, 3/25/97, p.A13)
1993 Mar 13, The Russian
Congress adjourned after a session that seriously weakened President
Boris Yeltsin's power.
1993 Mar 19, Georgia shot down
a Russian warplane over the separatist Abkhazia region, killing its
pilot and heightening tensions.
1993 Mar 20, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin declared emergency rule, setting a referendum on
whether the people trusted him or the hard-line Congress to govern.
1993 Mar 28, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin and his chief political rival, parliament speaker
Ruslan Khasbulatov, claimed victory after surviving attempts by the
Russian Congress to oust them.
1993 Apr 1, In an impassioned
plea for Russian aid, President Clinton told newspaper editors in
Annapolis, Md., that America should help "not out of charity" but as
a crucial investment in peace and prosperity.
1993 Apr 3, President Clinton
and Russian President Boris Yeltsin opened a weekend summit in
Vancouver, B.C., beginning talks after a luncheon with Canadian
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
1993 Apr 4, President Clinton
and Russian President Boris Yeltsin wrapped up their two-day summit
in Vancouver, B.C. Clinton extended $1.6 billion in aid; Yeltsin
proclaimed the two countries "partners and future allies."
1993 Apr 15, The Group of Seven
nations unveiled a $28.4 billion aid package for Russia at the
conclusion of an emergency two-day meeting in Tokyo.
1993 Apr 25, Voters in Russia
participated in a referendum, giving President Boris N. Yeltsin a
sturdy vote of confidence.
1993 May 1, Violence erupted
during a May Day protest in Moscow.
1993 Jul 24, The Russian
government announced it would invalidate billions of pre-1993
1993 Aug 26, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin signed a friendship treaty with the Czech Republic
after condemning the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia.
1993 Aug 31, Russia withdrew
its last soldier from Lithuania, the first Baltic nation to eject
all former Soviet troops.
1993 Sep 2, The United States
and Russia formally ended decades of competition in space by
agreeing to a joint venture to build a space station.
1993 Sep 21, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin announced he was ousting the hard-line,
Communist-dominated Congress that had long opposed his reforms.
1993 Sep 22, Russia’s President
Boris Yeltsin disbanded the Supreme Soviet. Yeltsin issued Decree
No. 1400 that dissolved the Congress on the ground that the
president as a guarantor of the spirit of the constitution could not
let a legal deadlock last. Hard-line supporters of the legislature
soon rebelled and over 100 people died in Moscow.
(www.cs.indiana.edu/~dmiguse/Russian/bybio.html)(SFC, 9/9/98, p.A10)
1993 Oct 2, Hundreds of
opponents of Russian President Boris Yeltsin battled police in
Moscow and set up burning barricades in the biggest clash of
Russia's 12-day-old political crisis.
1993 Oct 3, Boris Yeltsin
declared a state of emergency in Moscow, as fighting erupted in the
streets between pro- and anti-Yeltsin forces. 62 people died in the
violence, that ended two days later when the rebel vice president
and speaker of parliament surrendered. A battle at the TV station
Ostankino, Moscow, killed as many as 100 people. Cameraman Rory Peck
(b.1956) was shot dead by members of the "Vitez" special forces unit
of the Russian Interior Ministry while filming the storming by
opposition supporters of the Ostankino TV Center.
1993 Oct 4, The Russian White
House was shelled. In Moscow, the occupation of the Russian
parliament building ended as tanks and paratroopers flushed out
hard-line opponents of Boris Yeltsin. Rebel parliamentarians led by
Vice President Alexander Rutskoi and Chairman Ruslan
Khasbulatov surrendered after a total of 10 hours. As many as 150
people were killed.
(HFA, '96, p.40)(AP,
1993 Nov 2, Leon Theremin (97),
physicist and inventor of the eerie-sounding theremin instrument,
(ON, 11/01, p.8)
1993 Nov 8, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin approved a draft constitution that would strengthen
executive power; it was ratified in a referendum the following
1993 Nov 16, Russian President
Yeltsin shut the Lenin museum.
1993 Nov, A replica of the
Cathedral of the Ikon of Our lady of Kazan on Red Square was
dedicated by Pres. Yeltsin and Orthodox Patriarch Alexei II.
(AM, Jul/Aug ‘97 p.27)
1993 Dec 3, Georgia became a
member of Russia's Commonwealth of Independent States; Russia, in
return, backed Shevardnadze against Abkhaz rebels.
1993 Dec 12, A new democratic
constitution was adopted and the war with Chechnya was begun. The
constitution permitted land sales but no laws to implement sales
were enacted until 1997. The preamble began with the words We the
multinational people of the Russian Federation... The Constitution
also gave members of both chambers of the legislature immunity from
search and arrest while in office.
(SFC, 12/27/96, p.B2)(WSJ, 11/13/97, p.A1)(SFC,
7/7/98, p.B3)(SFC, 11/16/99, p.E1)
1993 Dec 18, The United States
and Germany pledged close cooperation to help Boris Yeltsin through
Russia's political and economic crises in a meeting in Oggersheim
between Vice President Al Gore and Chancellor Helmut Kohl.
1993 Dec 26, In Russia a 4-day
drama ended as four masked kidnappers, who had abducted 11
teen-agers, landed their explosives-packed helicopter, freed their
last hostages and fled with $10 million in ransom. The four men were
captured the next morning.
1993 Antonio de Almeida
(1928-1997) became the conductor and musical director of the Moscow
(SFC, 2/22/96, p.A21)
1993 Boris Yeltsin freed the
military from the grip of the "special departments." The FSB, the
Federal Security Service, continued with a reduced roll.
(SFC, 2/17/00, p.D3)
1993 Russia annulled an
agreement obliging it to come to the aid of North Korea in case of
(SFC, 4/13/96, p.A-9)
1993 Russia signed the Chemical
Weapons Convention and ratified it in 1996.
(SFC, 9/5/98, p.A12)
1993 Residents of the Kalmykia
Region elected Kirsan Ilyumzhinov after her promised every citizen
$100 if he won.
(SFC, 9/24/97, p.A10)
1993 The state legislature of
Primorye appointed Yevgeny Nazdratenko to govern the territory. He
was then a director of an ore-processing factory and a member of the
Supreme Soviet. His corruption later became legendary.
(SFC, 9/25/97, p.A11)
1993 Vladimir Potanin left the
Foreign Trade Ministry to form the Uneximbank.
(WSJ, 2/15/96, p.A-14)
1993 Gleb Yakunin (d.2014), a
dissident Russian Orthodox priest, was defrocked for ignoring a ban
on priests running for elections in the post-Soviet Russian
parliament. He served for two years. Four years later, he was
excommunicated for unspecified reasons.
1993 The Afghan War Invalids
Fund split into rival factions when the leader, Col. Valery
Radchikov, was accused by regional branches of squandering funds.
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A13)
1993 Bjorgolfur Bjorgolfsson
(26) left Iceland and started a soft-drink company in St.
Petersburg, Russia. He later expanded into brewing, banking,
telecommunications and discount pharmaceuticals. By 2006 his stake
in the Iceland-based Actavis Group was valued at $1 billion.
(SFC, 4/1/06, p.C3)
1993 Eduard Rossel, governor of
the Sverdlovsk region, tried to declare an independent Ural
Republic. Yeltsin, who had appointed him to the position, fired him.
In 1995 Rossel won the election for governor against a Yeltsin
(WSJ, 6/4/96, p.A8)
1993 In Russia some 30
journalists broke from the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper and formed
Novaya Gazeta. Early success came with support from Mikhail
Gorbachev, but lack of funds forced the paper to close briefly in
(WSJ, 12/8/06, p.A1)
1993 Vladimir Gusinsky, head of
the banking concern Most Group, set up NTV, the country’s main
independent TV network.
(WSJ, 6/10/96, p.A14)
1993 The US nuclear-powered
submarine Grayling collided in the Barents Sea with a Russian
Delta-3 class, nuclear-powered submarine. Both vessels were able to
return to base.
(SFC, 8/15/00, p.A15)
1994 Jan 13, President Clinton
held talks in Moscow with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
1994 Jan 14, In post-Cold War
breakthroughs, President Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin
signed Kremlin accords to stop aiming missiles at any nation and to
dismantle the nuclear arsenal of Ukraine.
1994 Jan 16, In Moscow, Yegor
Gaidar, first deputy prime minister and architect of Russia's market
reforms, announced his resignation.
1994 Jan 26, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin accepted the resignation of Finance Minister Boris
Fyodorov, who warned of economic collapse and social unrest.
1984 Feb 9, Soviet leader Yuri
V. Andropov (69) died, less than 15 months after succeeding Leonid
Brezhnev. He was succeeded by Konstantin U. Chernenko. US Pres.
Ronald Reagan said he wouldn’t go to any memorial for Andropov: “I
don’t want to honor that prick."
(AP, 2/9/99)(Econ, 2/4/06, p.75)
1994 Feb 15, Andrei Tsjikatilo,
[Rostov Ripper], Russian mass murderer, was executed.
1994 Feb 23, Russia's new
parliament took a swipe at President Boris Yeltsin by granting
amnesty to leaders of the 1991 Soviet coup and the hard-liners who'd
fought him in 1993.
1994 Mar 16, Russia agreed to
phase out production of weapons-grade plutonium.
1994 Mar 23, A Russian Airbus
A-310 crashed in Siberia and some 70 people were killed.
1994 Mar, Sergei Stepashin was
appointed as head of the new KGB. He later played a central role in
sending troops into Chechnya.
(SFC, 5/13/99, p.A16)
1994 May, Sergei Skorochkin,
parliamentarian and owner of a distillery in suburban Moscow,
escaped an assassination attempt by "the mob." He killed his alleged
assailant and fled to England with his family.
(WSJ, 6/4/96, p.A8)
1994 Jun 16, Boris Alexandrov
(88), conductor (Red Army Song and Dance Ensemble), died.
1994 Jun 23, The United States
and Russia signed agreements in Washington on cooperating in space
and economic development.
1994 Jun 24, The EU and Russia
signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). It went into
force on Dec 1, 1997.
1994 Jul 10, In the first
meeting of its kind, Russian President Boris Yeltsin joined leaders
of the Group of Seven nations for political talks following their
annual economic summit in Naples, Italy.
1994 Jul 23, The Goodwill Games
opened in St. Petersburg, Russia.
1994 Aug 31, Russia officially
ended its military presence in the former East Germany and the
Baltics after a half-century.
1994 Sep 3, China and Russia
proclaimed an end to any lingering hostilities, pledging they would
no longer target nuclear missiles or use force against each other.
1994 Sep, The Taliban was
formed in southern Afghanistan. Its fighters were initially trained
by the Frontier Constabulary, a paramilitary force of Pakistan’s
Interior Ministry (ISI). Taliban forces captured the southern town
of Kandahar. 800 truckloads of arms and ammunition were gained from
a Soviet cache. They continued to gain land over the next 2 years.
The Taliban took Kabul in 1996.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A8)(SFC, 1/1/97,p.C3)(SSFC,
7/30/06, p.A10) (WSJ, 9/14/01, p.A6)(Econ, 2/9/13,
1994 Oct, Uneximbank linked up
with the International Finance Company (ranked by Izvestia as the
fourth largest Russian bank) to form Interros, a financial
industrial group with holdings in metal processing, auto making,
retail distribution, mining and other industries.
(WSJ, 2/15/96, p.A-14)
1994 Oct, Russian Journalist
Dmitry Kholodov was killed by an exploding briefcase. He had been
investigating corruption in the military. He had targeted former
defense minister Gen’l. Pavel Grachev and former troop commander
Gen’l. Matvei Burlakov. In 1998 a prosecutor charged retired colonel
Pavle Popovskikh with organizing the killing. In 2004 a Russian
court acquitted 6 men for lack of evidence.
(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A8)(WSJ, 6/11/04, p.A1)
1994 Nov 10, Colonel Mikhail
Likhodey chairman of the Afghan War Invalids Fund was killed by a
bomb blast outside his apartment. The Fund had been granted
lucrative tax exemptions on the import and export of alcohol and
tobacco with an estimated value of $800 million.
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A13)(SFC, 11/12/96, p.A11)
1994 Nov 26, A major offensive
by the Russian-backed opposition failed to wrest Grozny, the capital
of Chechnya from its government.
1994 Dec 5, President Clinton,
on a whirlwind visit to the Conference on Security and Cooperation
in Budapest, Hungary, urged European leaders to "prevent future
Bosnias." In the so-called Budapest memorandum Britain, Russia and
the US affirmed their commitment to respect the independence,
sovereignty and existing borders of Ukraine.
(AP, 12/5/99)(AFP, 3/3/14)
1994 Dec 11, Thousands of
Russian troops backed by armored columns and jets rolled into
breakaway republic of Chechnya in a bid to restore Moscow's control
over the region. Russia under Yeltsin sent in troops to put down the
Chechnya rebellion but met strong resistance and suffered heavy
casualties. There was no attempt by Pres. Yeltsin to legitimize the
military action in parliament.
(SFC, 9/5/96, p.A10)(SFC, 12/26/96, p.B1)(SFC,
5/13/97, p.A12)(SFC, 9/9/98, p.A10) (AP, 12/11/99)
1994 Dec 31, Russian ground
forces launched a ferocious assault on the Chechen capital of
1994 Dec, Bulat Okudzhava
(d.1997 at 74), dissident poet and singer, won the Russian Booker
(SFC, 6/14/97, p.C2)
1994 Dec, A Russian
presidential decree expropriated the property of Franz Sedelmayer, a
German security expert, as part of a St. Petersburg residence for
Boris Yeltsin. Sedelmayer lost his business and some $3
million in assets. Sedelmayer fought for years to seize Russian
assets in retaliation and in 2006 won a judgement in Germany for
control of a $40 million Russian-owned apartment complex in Cologne.
(WSJ, 3/6/06, p.A1)
1994 Thane Gustafson and Daniel
Yergin authored "Russia 2010," their idea of where Russia would be
in 2010. Gustafson updated his ideas in 1999 with his book
(WSJ, 1/5/00, p.A20)
1994 Oleg Kalugin, the KGB’s
former chief of counterintelligence, published his memoir: "The
First Chief Directorate: My 32 Years in Intelligence and Espionage
Against the West." Russia convicted Kalugin of treason in absentia
(WSJ, 11/21/96, p.B12)(SFC, 6/27/02, p.A14)
1994 President Boris Yeltsin
wrote his memoirs: "The View From the Kremlin."
(WSJ, 5/30/96, p.A6)
1994 The Russian film "Burnt by
the Sun" won the Oscar for best foreign-language film. It starred
Oleg Menshikov and was directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. It was set in
1930s and was about a war hero who takes and holiday that is
disrupted by the Stalinist purges.
(SFC, 10/1/96, p.B4)(WSJ, 2/7/97, p.A14)(SFEC,
4/12/98, DB p.52)
1994 Alexander Solzhenitsyn
returned to Russia after living in the US. He had completed a
10-volume novel-cycle about the Russian Revolution called "The Red
Wheel." The 2nd volume, "November 1916," was to be published in
1999. In Russia he wrote his political analysis "Russia in
(WSJ, 12/11/98, p.W15)
1994 Anatoly Chubais was
promoted to First Deputy Prime Minister.
(WSJ, 6/20/96, p.A10)
1994 Nikolai Yegerov (d.1997 at
45) was appointed prime minister in charge of nationalities and
regional policy and a promotion put him in charge of the Chechnya
region. His policy endorsed sending troops to crush the rebellion
there. He was removed as nationalities minister in 1995.
(SFEC, 4/27/97, p.B8)
1994 The Army general staff
signed a deal with Orthodox Church leaders to start putting
chaplains in army units.
(WSJ, 6/4/96, p.A8)
1994 The Russian Federal
Securities Commission began operating under Dmitry Vasiliev.
Vasiliev resigned in 1999 and complained that the government was
showing little interest in enforcing laws to protect shareholder
(WSJ, 10/18/99, p.A37)
1994 Gazprom, a natural gas
monopoly, was privatized on terms highly favorable to company
(WSJ, 3/5/96, p. A-11)
1994 The single independent
newspaper of Kalmykia, Sovyetskaya Kalmykia, was shut down.
(SFC, 9/24/97, p.A12)
1994 The Russian Ministry of
Atomic Energy contracted with the US Energy Dept. to improve
security at nuclear facilities. $10 mil was allocated the first
year, but by 1998 the Americans spent $150 million and the total was
expected to reach $1 billion by completion in 2002.
(SFC, 5/28/98, p.A5)
1994 Russian scientists
detected a large lake beneath 2½ miles of Antarctic ice. It was
named Lake Vostok.
(SFC, 8/2/04, p.A6)
1994 Sofka Dolgorouky (b.1907),
Russian princess, died. She published an autobiography in 1968
called “Sofka: the Autobiography of a Princess." In 2007 Her
granddaughter authored the biography “Red Princess: A Revolutionary
(Econ, 2/3/07, p.86)(http://tinyurl.com/2e43hx)
1994-1996 Russia’s Defense Minister, Pavel
Grachev, approved the transfer of more than $1 billion worth of
weaponry to Armenia.
(WSJ, 5/14/97, p.A22)
1995 Jan 7, Major General
Viktor Vorobyov, a senior commander leading Russian troops in their
advance on the secessionist capital of Chechnya, was killed by a
1995 Jan 8, Russian forces in
Chechnya pounded the capital of Grozny with rocket and mortar fire
in an attempt to scatter Chechen fighters defending the presidential
1995 Jan 10, Russia announced a
48-hour truce in breakaway Chechnya, but the cease-fire fell apart
after a few hours.
1995 Jan 14, Russian troops in
the breakaway republic of Chechnya captured the Council of Ministers
building, a key rebel position in the capital Grozny.
1995 Jan 19, Russian troops
regained control of the presidential palace in Grozny, the capital
of the breakaway republic of Chechnya.
1995 Jan 25, A team of
Norwegian and American scientists launched a Black Brant XII
four-stage sounding rocket from the Andoya Rocket Range off the
northwest coast of Norway to study the aurora borealis over
Svalbard. Nuclear forces in Russia were put on alert, and the
nuclear-command suitcase was brought to President Boris Yeltsin, who
then had to decide whether to launch a nuclear barrage against the
United States. This became known as the Norwegian rocket incident or
Black Brant scare.
1995 Feb 1, Sergei Skorochkin
returned to Russia on a business trip and was kidnapped by gunmen
from a restaurant in his home town of Zaraisk. He was found dead the
next day with a single bullet hole in the head.
(WSJ, 6/4/96, p.A8)
1995 Feb 16, In a dark and
defensive address to his nation, Russian President Boris Yeltsin
berated his military leaders for big losses and human rights abuses
in Chechnya, but insisted Russia had to use force to defend its
1995 Mar 14, American astronaut
Norman Thagard became the first American to enter space aboard a
Russian rocket as he and two cosmonauts blasted off board a Soyuz
spacecraft, headed for the Mir space station.
1995 May 9, President Clinton
arrived in Moscow for a summit with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
1995 May 28, An earthquake with
a magnitude of seven-point-five devastated the Russian town of
Neftegorsk, killing at least 2,000 people.
1995 Jun 14, Shamil Basayev,
Chechen commander, led a hostage raid on the a Russian hospital in
Budyonnovsk [Budennovsk]. Chechen rebels took some 1,500 people
hostage in a hospital in Russia. After a 4-day standoff Sergei
Stepashin ordered troops to storm the hospital and the rebels
escaped with some 100 hostages. Some 100-150 people were killed in
(SFC, 1/25/97, p.A8)(HN, 6/14/98)(SFC, 5/13/99,
p.A16)(SSFC, 11/10/02, p.A11)
1995 Jun 30, In a stunning
Kremlin purge, Russian President Boris Yeltsin fired three top
security ministers for the botched handling of a bloody
hostage-taking by Chechen rebels in southern Russia.
1995 Jun 30, US vice pres. Al
Gore signed a secret agreement with Viktor Chernomyrdin, prime
minister of Russia, that called for an end to Russian sales of
conventional weapons to Iran by the end of 1999.
(SFC, 10/13/00, p.A14)
1995 Jun, Playboy Magazine
reached the newsstands in the new Russia.
(WSJ, 2/15/96, p.A-11)
1995 Jul 1, Russian President
Boris Yeltsin’s government survived a critical no-confidence vote.
1995 Jul 4, The space shuttle
"Atlantis" and the Russian space station "Mir" parted after spending
five days in orbit docked together.
1995 Jul 4, President Boris
Yeltsin announced that Russian troops would be permanently stationed
1995 Jul 30, Russia and Chechen
rebels signed an agreement calling for a gradual withdrawal of
Russian troops and the disarmament of rebel fighters.
1995 Sep, A video was shot at
the nightclub hangout of the Solntsevo crime gang of Valentin
Kovalev, justice minister, cavorting with nude women in a sauna. In
1997 the newspaper Top Secret published the story. The video was
acquired from the vault of banker Arkady Angelevich, arrested Apr
17,1997 on suspicion of embezzlement.
(SFEC, 6/22/97, p.D8)(SFC, 6/23/97, p.A8)
1995 Oct 14, An armed gunman
seized a bus carrying South Korean tourists in Moscow’s Red Square.
Commandos stormed the bus the next day, killing the gunman and
freeing four remaining hostages.
1995 Nov, President Boris
Yeltsin laid sick after suffering his second heart attack in four
months. Popular political candidates such as Lebed, a former general
turned charismatic nationalist politician, and Zhirinovsky, an
ultra-nationalist politician, struck fear in Russia's new political
and economic elites. Victor Chernomyrdin was the Prime Minister and
legal successor should Yeltsin have died. Yuri Luzhkov was the mayor
of Moscow. Yuri Skokov was a hardline nationalist. Yegor Gaidar, a
former prime minister, led Russia's Reformist Choice party.
(Fin. Post, 11/2/95, p.8)
1995 Nov, An agreement was
reached to re-schedule debt with the London Club of 600 commercial
banks to cover $25.5 bil. of principal and $7 bil. of overdue
interest. The talks set a precedent for $87.5 bil. in Soviet debt to
(WSJ, 11/17/95, p.A-11)
1995 Nov, A lead container of
radioactive cesium was found buried in Izmailovo Park in Moscow
following a tip by Shamil Basayev, a Chechen rebel.
(SFC, 12/10/01, p.A1)
1995 Dec, 6, A jetliner
apparently crashed on a flight from Sakhalin Island to Khabarovsk
with 95 people.
(WSJ, 12/8/95, p.A-1)
1995 Dec 6, Dmitri Antonovich
Volkogonov (67), ex-Soviet soldier and historian, died. He wrote
biographies of Stalin, Lenin and Trotsky based on archival material
of the Soviet Union. From 1991 until his death he was the head of
the Russian Archive Declassifying Commission.
(www.msu.edu/~daggy/cop/bkofdead/obits-vo.htm)(SFC, 7/7/96, BR p.4)
1995 Dec 14, Heavy fighting
erupts in Gudermes, Chechnya, when rebels disrupted Kremlin-imposed
elections. At least 267 Chechen civilians were reported killed in
the following 10 days.
1995 Dec 17, Angry voters
handed Russian President Boris Yeltsin a stinging rebuff as
Communists and right-wing nationalists scored big wins in
parliamentary elections on a platform of rolling back democratic
reforms. Communists led in early returns in elections for the Duma,
the lower house of Russia's parliament. The party was led by Gennady
Zyuganov. The CP pulled in 21.9% of the vote with 11.1% for the
party of Vladimir Zhirinovsky.
(WSJ, 12/18/95, p.A-1,10) (WSJ, 12/19/95,
1995 Dec 31, Russian ground
forces launched a ferocious assault on the Chechen capital of
1995 Dec, The 450 seats of the
Duma were divided into two parts: party and single seats. On the
party side the Communist won 21.5% of the seats. Alexander Lebed was
elected to the State Duma.
(WSJ, 12/20/95, p.A-1)(SFC, 10/18/96, A18)
1995 Nikolai Dezhnev authored
his novel "In Concert Performance." It was made available in English
(SFEC, 10/24/99, BR p.3)
1995 Ryszard Kapyscinski
(b.1932), Polish journalist, authored “Imperium," a book about the
crumbling Soviet empire.
(Econ, 6/26/10, p.60)
1995 General Alexander Lebed
wrote his memoir: "Feeling Sorry for the State." A former aide,
Alexander Barkhatov, later wrote an unflattering book on Lebed.
(WSJ, 6/18/96, p.A12)(WSJ, 1/28/98, p.A14)
1995 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn,
Russian novelist and author of "The Gulag Archipelago," published
two new books: a volume of memoirs: "Invisible Allies" and a
collection of secret documents from the Kremlin archives: "The
(WSJ, 12/14/95, p.A-12)
1995 Alexander Sokurov, film
maker, made his 5 1/2 hour video "Spiritual Voices: the Diaries of
War." It was about a Russian army unit stationed at the Tajikistan
(SFC, 1/16/99, p.E4)
1995 Russia agreed to assist
China with manned spaceflight technology and training of Chinese
astronauts in cosmonaut academy near Moscow.
1995 Russia banned liquor ads
(Econ, 9/4/04, p.59)
1995 Banker Ivan Kivelidi and
his secretary Zara Izmailova were killed by a high-tech lethal
(SFC, 12/30/96, p.A8)
1995 Colonel Valery Radchikov
was shot and nearly killed in what some supporters claimed was a
retaliation for the death of Col. Likhodey in 1994.
(SFC, 11/11/96, p.A13)
1995-2000 Sergei Tretyakov, served as deputy head
of intelligence at Russia's UN mission. In 2000 he defected to the
US and in 2008 said "Inside the UN, we were fishing for
knowledgeable diplomats who could give us first of all anti-American