History 440:

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

1975

August: Helsinki Accords

1976

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

1977

Charter 77 formed in Czechoslovakia under Vaclav Havel's leadership

1979 USSR invaded Afghanistan

1980

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

August: Solidarity trade union formed in Gdansk, Poland

1981

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

December: Martial Law imposed

1985

March: Mikhail Gorbachev chosen as CPSU general secretary

1986

April: Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station accident

1987

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

1988

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

1989

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

1990

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

1991

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

1992

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

 
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