This Russian Revolution timeline lists significant events and developments in Soviet-controlled Russia in 1918 and 1919. This timeline has been written and compiled by Alpha History authors. Note: Entries in this timeline use the Gregorian or New Style calendar, which was adopted by the Soviet government on January 24th 1918.
January 19th: Bolshevik guards close down the new Constituent Assembly after just one day. The assembly is effectively dissolved and does not meet again.
February: Bolshevik edicts enforce the separation of church and state; religious worship becomes a matter of choice.
February 10th: The official formation of the Red Army. Leon Trotsky is appointed war commissar.
February 18th: The lack of progress in treaty negotiations at Brest-Litovsk prompts Germany to restart hostilities and launch an invasion of Russia.
March 3rd: Trotsky signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, ending Russia’s involvement in World War I. The treaty surrenders large amounts of land, people and resources to the Germans.
March 6th: The Bolshevik party changes its official name to the Russian Communist Party.
March 14th: The Congress of Soviets narrowly ratifies the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, though the Left SRs oppose this and leave in protest.
April 13th: The tsarist General Kornilov, while leading guerrilla assaults against Bolshevik positions, is killed by an artillery shell.
April: British and French troops land in outlying port cities, the first instances of foreign intervention in the Russian Civil War.
May 9th: Bolshevik troops in Kolpino open fire on workers striking protesting about food shortages.
May 14th: A 30,000-strong Czech Legion, making its way through Russia, joins counter-revolutionaries determined to remove the Soviet government.
June: The Czech Legion, along with SRs and other White forces, put an end to Bolshevik control in many rural areas.
June 28th: Vesenkha, the Soviet economic committee, announces its policy of ‘war communism’.
July 6th: The German ambassador, Mirbach, is assassinated by a member of the Left SRs
July 6th: A 2,000-strong band of Left SRs attempt an October-style rebellion in Moscow but are soon defeated and arrested.
July: The CHEKA, now numbering more than 10,000 personnel, respond to the Moscow uprising by purging and executing Left SRs.
July 17th: The Romanov family and their entourage are shot by a local CHEKA detachment while under house arrest in Ekaterinburg.
July: US president Woodrow Wilson approves a 5,000-strong American force to support the White Army in northern Russia.
August 19th: Lenin issues his famous ‘hanging order’, demanding the public execution of a hundred kulaks in Penza.
August 30th: Uritsky, head of the Petrograd CHEKA, is assassinated as an act of retaliation for violence and killings carried out by the Bolsheviks.
August 30th: An assassination attempt by Fanya Kaplan, a member of the Socialist-Revolutionaries, leaves Lenin seriously wounded.
November: The White commander Kolchak establishes control of Siberia.
January: The Sovnarkom formally announces the beginning of prodrazvyorstka: compulsory grain requisitioning.
January: The Soviet policy of war communist triggers sporadic peasant rebellions in central Russia
January: The Bolsheviks execute minor royals who, like the Romanovs, had been held under arrest since 1917.
January: The Mensheviks are granted legal status as an official party and are allowed to publish a newspaper.
February: The CHEKA closes down the Menshevik newspaper after it publishes strong criticism of Bolshevik policy.
March: The third Communist International, or Comintern, is convened in Moscow, with a mission to aid and advance the cause of world revolution.
March: Socialist revolutionaries declare a workers’ soviet republic in Hungary; it lasts until August before being dispersed.
May: Green Army commander Grigoriev captures a central region of Ukraine, where he launches pogroms against local Jews.
June: Finland declares war on the Bolshevik regime in Russia.
October: The White general Yudenich launches an assault on Petrograd that almost succeeds in capturing the city, a critical point in the Civil War.
November: Yudenich’s forces are pushed back by Red Army reinforcements and take refugee in Estonia.
This page was written by Jennifer Llewellyn, John Rae and Steve Thompson. To reference this page, use the following citation:
J. Llewellyn et al, “Russian Revolution timeline 1918-1919” at Alpha History, https://alphahistory.com/russianrevolution/russian-revolution-timeline-1918-1919/, 2014, accessed [date of last access].