History 440:

Basic Time Line of the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and the USSR:


August: Helsinki Accords


Poland price hikes lead to workers' strikes and formation of KOR (Workers' Defense Committee)


Charter 77 formed in Czechoslovakia under Vaclav Havel's leadership

1979 USSR invaded Afghanistan


May: Josip Broz TITO, President of the Socialist Federated Republic of Yugoslavia, dies

August: Solidarity trade union formed in Gdansk, Poland


September: Solidarity's first national congress (over 10 million members)

December: Martial Law imposed


March: Mikhail Gorbachev chosen as CPSU general secretary


April: Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station accident


January: At CPSU plenum, Gorbachev pushes glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring)


February: Polish government again raises prices

May: Workers' strikes

October: Solidarity and Polish government begin discussion of Round Table Talks

December: Gorbachev promises at United Nations Assembly to withdraw Soviet troops from Eastern Europe


February: Hungarian Communists renounce "leading role" and propose multi-party political system

April: Polish Round Table concludes: Solidarity legalized again

May: Baltic Republics (Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia) declare themselves to be sovereign

June: Solidarity claims victory in Polish parliamentary elections; Tiananmen Square massacre

July: Gorbachev announces that each country can take its own path to socialism

August: First GDR refugees leave Soviet bloc via Hungary

September: Solidarity-led government takes power in Poland

October: Gorbachev visits GDR, encourages reform and independence; Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party disbands

November: Berlin Wall opened; Czechoslovakian Communist government resigns: "Velvet Revolution"

December: Vaclav Havel chosen president of Czechoslovakia; Romanians overthrow Ceaucescu's communist regime and execute Ceaucescu


March: Lithuania declares independence from USSR and German CDU wins election; SED gets 16 percent of vote

July: Ukraine declares sovereignty; CPSU declares end to its monopoly on political power

October: Unification of Germany; Gorbachev awarded Nobel Peace Prize

December: Lech Walesa elected President of Poland


June: Croatia and Slovenia declare independence from Yugoslavia; Yugoslav Wars begin

July: Soviet Republics negotiate new union treaty; Ukraine's Supreme Soviet declares independence; Warsaw Pact dissolved

August: Hard-line communists attempt coup in Moscow; defeated, but spells end of USSR

December: Ukraine votes overwhelmingly for independence; USSR ceases to exist


April: Bosnia declares independence; Bosnian war begins, goes until 1996: about 102,000 deaths

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