Russian Revolution timeline 1918-1919

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.

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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,, 2014, accessed [date of last access].