Russian Revolution timeline 1920-24

This Russian Revolution timeline lists significant events and developments in Soviet-controlled Russia between 1920 and 1924. 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.


February: White army commander Kolchak is captured and executed.
February: The Bolshevik government makes an offer of peace to the US but this is rejected.
March: Yudenich’s White Army is evacuated from Estonia by British shipping.
April: Fighting intensifies in Poland, where the Poles drive back the Red Army and reclaim more territory.
April: White army commander Denikin passes control to General Wrangel and flees Russia via the Black Sea.
June: The autonomous ‘mountain republics’ of Chechnya, Ossetia and Dagestan are overrun by the Red Army.
August: The beginning of the peasant insurrection in Tambov by Antonov’s ‘Blue Army’.
September: The death of Inessa Armand, his confidante and possibly his lover, leaves Lenin stricken with grief.
October: The Treaty of Riga brings most fighting in the Russo-Polish War to a halt.
November: General Wrangel’s White Army, under siege from the Reds in Crimea, evacuates via the Black Sea.
November: Most major fighting in the Civil War is at concluded, though localised skirmishes and peasant uprisings still continue.


russian revolution timeline

January: The Tambov peasant leader, Antonov, now commands a force in excess of 20,000, with which he attacks Bolshevik positions.
January: Alexander Shlyapnikov publishes an article in Pravda, in which he summarises the ideas and perspectives of the Workers’ Opposition.
February 28th: Rebellious sailors in Kronstadt meet, vote to form their own soviet and call for “Soviets without Bolsheviks”. They draw up a 15-point list of demands for the national government and ready themselves to fight against a Red Army incursion.
March: The Tenth Party Congress of the Communist Party. Lenin announces the New Economic Policy (NEP) and demands an end to factionalism in the party.
March: Red Army troops enter the streets of Kronstadt and arrest the last rebel sailors.
March: Britain signs a bilateral trading agreement with Russia; other nations also lift trading blockades.
May: The rebellions in the Tambov are finally suppressed, after a massive injection of Red Army troops into the region.
July: The writer Maxim Gorky makes a worldwide plea for famine aid, declaring millions of Russian lives to be in danger.
August: An American famine relief group agrees to distribute millions of tons of grain in Russia.


February: The Soviet government replaces the CHEKA with a new security agency, the OGPU, which is also headed by Dzerzhinsky.
April: Doctors operate on Lenin’s neck to remove a bullet still lodged there since the August 1918 assassination attempt.
April: Joseph Stalin is appointed General Secretary of the CPSU (Communist Party of the Soviet Union).
May: Lenin suffers the first of several strokes.
December: Lenin proclaims the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, a federation of all soviet states.
December: Lenin dictates his ‘political testament’, a series of letters containing his views about the future of Soviet Russia, the Communist Party and its potential leaders.


January: The relationship between Lenin and Stalin breaks down after Stalin is rude and insulting to Krupskaya, Lenin’s wife.
March: Lenin suffers a third stroke that leaves him paralysed and barely able to speak.
May: Lenin’s last article, on the development of the Soviet bureaucracy, appears in the communist newspaper Pravda.
May: Lenin is removed to a party sanitorium at Gorki, with Stalin given responsibility for attending to his security, medical needs and well-being.
June: American charitable organisations end famine relief to Russia, after they discover the Soviet government is exporting grain abroad.
July: Two secret factions within the Communist Party, the ‘Workers’ Group’ and ‘Workers’ Truth’, are discovered and purged.
September: A troika of Politburo members – Stalin, Kamenev and Zinoviev – emerges as a controlling faction.
October: The ‘scissors crisis’, a gross difference in between the availability and prices of agricultural and manufactured goods, reaches its peak.
October: In a letter to the Politburo, 46 leading Bolsheviks criticise the growing lack of democracy in the CPSU.


January: Lenin passes away after a fourth severe stroke. He is later embalmed and preserved in a mausoleum in Red Square, while the city of Petrograd is renamed Leningrad in his honour.
February: The USSR is formally recognised by Great Britain and other Commonwealth nations.

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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 1920-1924” at Alpha History,, 2018, accessed [date of last access].

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