By Tim Lambert

862 The Vikings capture Novgorod

882 The Vikings capture Kiev. The Vikings create the nation of Rus, which grows rich and powerful.

988 Prince Vladimir converts to Christianity

1054 Yaroslav the Wise dies and Rus breaks up

1237 The Mongols invade Russia

1240 The Mongols capture Kiev

1242 The Principality of Novgorod defeats the Teutonic Knights

1263 Daniel becomes Prince of Moscow, which expands its territory

1326 The Metropolitan moves to Moscow

1359-1389 Dmitry Donoskoy increases Russia's territory

1389-1425 Vasily takes more territory

1449 The Russian Orthodox Church splits from the Greek Orthodox Church

1480 The Tartars (descendants of the Mongols) lose their grip on Russia

1547 Ivan the Terrible takes power in Russia

1554-56 Ivan conquers Astrakhan

1563 The printing press is introduced into Russia

1565 Ivan forms a private army called the Oprichnina

1570 Novgorod is sacked

1582 Ivan conquers the Khanate of Sibir

1584 Ivan dies

1601-03 Russia is struck by famine

1613 Michael Romanov becomes Tsar of Russia

1667 Russia takes most of Ukraine

1689 The border between Russia and China is fixed

1694 Peter the Great takes power in Russia

1703-1712 Peter builds St Petersburg

1709 The Swedes invade Ukraine but are defeated at the battle of Poltava

1721 The Russians and Swedes make peace. Russia gains Estonia.

1724 The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded

1725 Catherine I becomes the first woman to rule Russia

1741 Elizabeth seizes power

1755 The first Russian university is founded

1762 Catherine the Great seizes power in Russia

1772-95 Russia takes parts of Poland

1773-74 Pugachev leads a rebellion

1783 Russia takes the Crimea

1801 Tsar Paul is assassinated

1809 Russia captures Finland

1812 Napoleon invades Russia

1825 The Decembrists lead a rebellion which fails

1853-56 Russia fights the Crimean War

1861 Serfdom is abolished in Russia

1881 The Tsar is assassinated

1890 Russia begins to industrialize

1904-05 Russia fights Japan and loses

1905 The trans-Siberian railway is completed. Strikes and demonstrations sweep Russia after troops open fire on marchers on 22 January 1905. The Tsar is forced to call an elected assembly called a Duma.

1914 The Russian army is badly defeated at Tannenberg

1916 Rasputin is assassinated

1917 In March the Tsar abdicates and Kerensky becomes prime minister. In November the Communists lead a revolution.

1918-1921 Civil War in Russia between Reds and Whites

1924 Lenin dies

1928 Stalin becomes dictator of Russia

1929 Trotsky is banished from Russia

1934 Stalin begins a series of purges in which millions of innocent people die

1937-38 Stalin purges the Red Army

1939 Stalin signs a non-aggression pact with Hitler. Russia invades Poland from the east. Russia also invades Finland.

1940 Russia annexes Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia

1941 Germany invades Russia

1943 Russia wins the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk

1945 The Russians capture Berlin

1953 Stalin dies

1956 Nikita Khrushchev becomes leader. He denounces Stalin.

1957 Russia launches the first satellite

1961 Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space

1964 Khrushchev is deposed and replaced by Brezhnev

1970s Consumer goods become common in Russia

1980s The Russian economy stagnates

1986 There is an explosion at a nuclear power plant at Chernobyl

1987 Gorbachev relaxes censorship

1991 Hard line Communists attempt a coup but fail. Communism ends and the Soviet Union breaks up.

c. 2000 The Russian economy begins to recover

A History of Russia

A Timeline of Finland

A Timeline of Sweden

A Timeline of Lithuania

A Timeline of Romania