History Timeline

History Timeline


May 3 1946

“Sinews of Peace”

  Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom refers to the division between Eastern and Western Europe, using the expression “iron curtain” for the first time.  “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” Know more at Winstonchurchill

December 10 1948

Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Human Rights Day

UN Human Rights Declaration 1948. Photo.

UN Human Rights Declaration 1948. Source: ICORN.


The most important document in the history of Human Rights, the Declaration was proclaimed in Paris on December 10, 1948, through United Nations General Assembly Resolution 217A. The declaration establishes fundamental human rights that must be universally protected. It has been translated into more than 500 languages.


Know more at the UN

April 4 1949

Foundation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

1957 Summit (2)

Source: Shape.nato.int


NATO was born out of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, in which it was stated that “An armed attack against one or more member countries will be considered an aggression against all.”


North Atlantic Treaty Organization or “Atlantic Pact” consist in a mutual defense alliance, formed in response to Soviet aggression in Europe. The initial members included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and United States.


Know more at www.nato.int

May 23 1949

Creation of Federal Republic of Germany

Permanent Missions of Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic - Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia


“Today…a new chapter in the varied history of our people commences: Today, after the signing and declaration of the Basic Law, the Federal Republic of Germany will enter history.”


Officially constituted as the Federal Republic of Germany, on 23 May 1949 it was created through the proclamation by the President of the Parliamentary Council, Dr. Konrad Adenauer, of “the basic law”.



Know more at bundestag.de

October 7 1949

Creation of the German Democratic Republic

In response to the creation of the new Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic was proclaimed by Herr Wilhelm Pieck, co-chairman of the Socialist Unity party, after the members of the Soviet zone People’s Council had reconstituted themselves the “Volkskammer”, or Lower House of Parliament. Its first Prime Minister was Otto Grotewohl.

Know more at Bundestag.de
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November 4 1950

European Convention of Human Rights

Adopted by the Council of Europe on 4 November 1950, the Convention entered into force in 1953. To allow control of effective respect for human rights, the Convention established the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.

Know more at ECHR
Read the Convention

September 20 1954

Creation of the Assembly of Captive European Nations

ACEN Commemorates Captive Nations WeekSource: Harry Ransom Center 


Founded on 20 September 1954, the association consisted of former government and cultural leaders from Albania, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania. Its objectives were to provide for the liberation of the communist dictatorship by peaceful means, to educate public opinion about the real situation behind the Iron Curtain and to mobilize the cooperation and assistance of governmental and non-governmental institutions.


Know more at Transatlantic Perspectives

April 18 1955

Bandung Conference (Asian-African Conference)

The representatives from twenty-nine governments of Asian and African nations gathered in Bandung, Indonesia to discuss peace and the role of the Third World in the Cold War, economic development, and decolonization.

The core principles of the Bandung Conference were political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality. These issues were of central importance to all participants in the conference, most of which had recently emerged from colonial rule. The Conference were the precursor of the Foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961.

Know more at state.gov
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May 14 1955

Formation of the Warsaw Pact

In direct response to the formation of NATO, the Soviet Union created a formal military alliance, the Warsaw Pact. Members included East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria.

“On the event of armed attack in Europe on one or more of the Parties (…) each of the Parties to the Treaty shall immediately (…) come to the assistance of the state or states attacked”

Know more at NATO
Know more at RAF Museum

April 22 1957

National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE)

Created in April 1957 in the United States, the National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE) emerged of a meeting of pacifists and anti-nuclear activists in the battle for disarmament.

Know more at Stanford
Know more at The Atlantic

January 21 1959

Creation of the European Court of Human Rights

Source: Wikipedia 


Based in Strasbourg, the European Court of Human Rights is an international court established by the European Convention on Human Rights. The court controls situations of violation of human, civil and political rights.


Know more at the Council of Europe

July 21 1961

Amnesty International is Founded

History – Amnesty International USA

Source: Amnesty International USA


Founded in London in 1961, the organization’s aim is to prevent human rights abuses and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated.

The article, published on “The Observer” on the 28th of May 1968 was a foundational moment for the organization and an impulse for the international human rights movement.


Know more at Amnesty International

August 13 1961

Beginning of the construction of the Berlin Wall

Black and white picture of the Wall



Walter Ulbricht ordered the East Berlin police and security forces to start building a wall, which would divide the city of Berlin in two parts and prevent contact between the people on the eastern side and those who lived on the western side.


Know more at CNN

Know more at Berlin Wall Memorial

September 1 1961

Foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement

The leaders of the so-called Third World defined a neutral position, choosing not to associate themselves with any of the major blocs, Soviet or American. The Movement focuses on national struggles for independence, the fight against poverty, economic development and opposition to colonialism, imperialism and neocolonialism.

Know more at rosalux.de
Know more at nti.org

October 18 1961

The European Social Charter

The European Social Charter guarantees fundamental social and economic rights, such as health, education, labor rights, full employment, reduced working hours, equal pay for equal, social work, rights of migrant workers and people with disabilities. It became effective on 26 February 1965.

Know more at coe.int

January 1 1968

International Human Rights Year

During the 20th session, from 17 to 18 March 1964, the United Nations Human Rights Commission considered the decision of the 18th session of the United Nations General Assembly to proclaim the 1968 as the International Year of Human Rights to draw attention to the state of human rights worldwide.

Know more at UNESCO

January 5 1968

The Prague Spring

The Prague spring was a period of political liberalization and mass protest in Czechoslovakia. It started on 5 January 1968, when reformer Alexander Dubček was elected First Secretary of the Czechoslovak Communist Party.

Dubček sought to grant additional rights to the citizens of Czechoslovakia, to decentralize the economy and to promote democratization.

Know more at RFERL
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May 19 1969

Initiative Group for the Defense of Human Rights in the USSR

Source: Wikiwand


Founded in 1969s, it functioned for over six years as a public platform for Soviet dissidents concerned with violations of human rights in the Soviet Union.


Know more at forschungsstelle.uni-bremen.de

March 5 1970

Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons

The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is an agreement signed in 1968, to limit the nuclear armament of five countries, the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China, which were obliged not to transfer arms to the so-called “non-nuclear countries”, nor assist them in obtaining them. China and France only ratified the treaty in 1992. The treaty entered into force on 5 March 1970.

Know more at state.gov
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August 12 1970

Treaty of Moscow

The Treaty between West Germany and the Soviet Union, signed in Moscow on 12 August 1970, launched German policies-à-vis Eastern Europe (Ostpolitik), paving the way for the normalization of diplomatic relations and confirming the peaceful territorial status quo between the Soviet Union and the Federal Republic of Germany.

Know more at Willy Brandt Foundation

November 4 1970

Committee on Human Rights in the USSR


Founded in 1970 by dissidents Valery Chalidze, Andrei Sakharov and Andrei Tverdokhlebov, The Human Rights Committee of the USSR was opposed to Soviet nuclear testing plans and advocated ensuring respect for human rights.


Know more here

December 7 1970

Treaty of Warsaw

Treaty between West Germany and the People’s Republic of Poland, signed by Chancellor Willy Brandt and Prime Minister Józef Cyrankiewicz on 7 December 1970. It was ratified by West Germany on 17 May 1972.

Poland was concerned that a German government might seek to reclaim some of the former eastern territories. In the treaty, both sides committed themselves to nonviolence and accepted the existing border, imposed on Germany by the Allied powers at the 1945 Potsdam Conference.

Know more at Willy Brandt Foundation

September 3 1971

Four Power Agreement on Berlin

Signing of the Four-Power Agreement on Berlin (3 September 1971) - CVCE Website

Source: Press and Information Office of the Federal Government of Germany


The Four Power Agreement on Berlin was agreed on 3 September 1971 by the four wartime Allied powers, represented foreign ministers, Alec Douglas-Home of the United Kingdom, Andrei Gromyko of the Soviet Union, Maurice Schumann of France, and William P. Rogers of the United States. This agreement helped to significantly reduce tensions between the East and West over the issue of Berlin. The agreement into force on 3 June 1972.


Know more at NY Times

February 21 1972

Richard Nixon Visits China


Lasting seven days, 21 to 28 February 1972, the American President, Richard Nixon visited three Chinese cities, this visit was an important strategic and diplomatic opening that marked the culmination of harmonious relations between the United States and Mainland China after 25 years of lack of communication or diplomatic relations between the two countries.


Know more at Wilson Center

May 22 1972

Richard Nixon visits the Soviet Union


The Moscow Summit, between 22 and 30 May 1972, was a meeting between President Richard Nixon of the United States, and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev of the Soviet Union. It featured the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the first Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I), and the U.S.–Soviet Incidents at Sea Agreement. The Moscow Summit is considered one of the marks of the détente.


Know more at BBC

September 1 1972

Committee of Concerned Scientists


Independent international organization devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom.

During the 1970s and 1980s the organization provided help to dissident scientists and scholars from the Soviet Union and Societ bloc countries.


Know more at CS


December 21 1972

The Basic Treaty


The Basic Treaty established the basis for the relations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. It recognized both as sovereign states for the first time. In favor of “Ostpolitik” of Chancellor Willy Brandt, the treaty was signed on 21 December 1972 in East Berlin. It was ratified the following year by West Germany. It came into effect in June 1973.


Know more at CVCE

January 27 1973

Paris Peace Accords

Image of Henry Kissinger shaking hands with Le Duc Tho at the Paris Peace Accords, January 1973


The Paris Peace Accords were signed on January 27 1973, by the governments of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam), the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), the United States and the Provisional Revolutionary Government. The agreement established peace by ending the Vietnam War (which had lasted since 1955) and ended the direct intervention of the United States Armed Forces in the country.


Know more at BBC

July 3 1973

Beginning of Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Helsinki, Finland

Foreign Ministers at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Helsinki. Source: OSCE/ Bundesarchiv


Foreign Ministers of 33 European countries opened the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. This conference aimed to discuss issues of security, politics, economics and mutual defense.


Know more at OSCE

August 1 1975

Signature of the Helsinki Final Act, in Helsinki, Finland



The Helsinki Agreements were a significant step in reducing tensions in the Cold War. Among its main points are the inviolability of national borders; respect for territorial integrity; human rights and the defense of cooperation between States.


Reaffirming their objective of promoting better relations among themselves and ensuring conditions in which their people can live in true and lasting peace free from any threat to or attempt against their security.”


Know more at OSCE

August 1 1975

Creation of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

Learn about OSCE

March 23 1976

Creation of the United Nations Human Rights Committee


The Human Rights Committee is the body of independent experts that monitors the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by its state members. States are required to submit regular reports to the Committee on how rights are being implemented.


Know more at OHCHR

May 12 1976

Creation of the Moscow Helsinki Group


The Moscow Helsinki Group was created to monitor Soviet compliance with the Helsinki Accords and to report to the West on Soviet human rights abuses.


Know more at MHG

September 23 1976

Creation of the Workers’ Defense Committee (KOR)

A hunger strike organised in the Holy Cross Church in Warsaw by Worker´s Defence Committee memebers. October, 1979. 


Polish group created to help prisoners and their families after the June 1976 protests and government repression. Founded by Antoni Macierewicz.


Know more at Arts and Culture

November 9 1976

Ukrainian Helsinki Group


Founded on November 9, 1976 to promote the implementation of the Helsinki Accords on Human Rights and to monitor human rights in Ukraine. The group was active until 1981 when all members were in jail.


Know more at UA Helsinki

November 27 1976

Lithuanian Helsinki Group

Know more at Bernardinai



December 2 1976

Christian Committee for the Defense of Believers’ Rights in the USSR

Father Gleb Yakunin, Russian Orthodox priest, who has died aged 80Father Glev Yakunin, deputy chairman of the Russian Supreme Soviet Parliamentary Committee for the Freedom of Conscience, speaking at a rally in 1990. Photograph: RIA Novosti/ Alamy. 


Founded in 1977 by Orthodox priest Father GJeb Yakunin, Deacon Varsonofi and layman Viktor Kapitanchuk,  it was created to defend religious freedom in the Soviet Union. Soviet authorities brutally repressed and pursued christians, advocating the control, the suppression and the elimination of religious believes and encouraging the spread of Marxist-Leninist atheism in the Soviet Union.


Know more the Guardian

January 6 1977

Charter 77

Chapter 77 Memorial in Prague. Source: Wikipedia.


Signed on 6 January 1977 by 241 personalities from Czechoslovakia’s cultural life, Charter 77, whose first spokesman was Václav Havel, was a statement calling on Czechoslovakian communist leaders to respect not only their own laws but also to guarantee the human rights principles established in the Helsinki agreements.


Know more at Foreignpolicy

April 1 1977

Armenian Helsinki Group


Sketch of Shant Harutyunyan Armenian political activist and son of Shahen Harutyunyan. Source: Wikipedia



The Helsinki Armenian Group was the first human rights organization in Armenia. It was founded by Edward Harutiunyan, Robert Nazaryan and Samuel Osyan with the aim of ensuring respect for the Helsinki Agreements.


Know more at AMD Helsinki

June 1 1977

Inter-Church Peace Council



Group consisting of activists, politicians and some members of national security questioned the arms race and protested the United States’ plans to produce neutron bombs.


Know more at Wilson Center

September 1 1977

Social Self-Defense Committee

We just wanted to be with them …' The Workers' Defence Committee and the Committee for Social Self-Defence 'KOR' (1976-1981) — Google Arts & Culture



As a successor of the Workers Defence Committee, the Polish civil society group has exerted a strong influence in Poland in defending human and civil rights, fighting political, religious and ideological persecution


Know more at Google Arts & Culture

October 4 1977

Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe


Between 4 October, 1977 and 9 March, 1978, delegates from 35 nations met in Belgrade with the aim of implementing and respecting the Helsinki agreements, stressing that the defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms must be universally respected in all the countries.


Know more at OSCE



January 1 1978

Creation of the Helsinki Watch / Human Rights Watch

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Established by Robert L. Bernstein in 1978, Helsinki Watch / Human Rights Watch was a non-governmental organization designed to monitor the Soviet Union’s compliance with the 1975 Helsinki Accords. It expanded its scope during the 1980’s to include Asia and Africa.


Based in New York, Human Rights Watch is, today, an international non-governmental organization that advocates and conducts research on human rights, focusing on issues such as sex discrimination, torture, political corruption and violations of international humanitarian law.


Know more at Human Rights Watch

April 27 1978

Committee for the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted

The Committee of the Defense of the Unjustly Prosecuted (VONS). Source: National Museum of Czech Republic


Founded on 27 April 1978, by Charter 77 signatories, the organization’s aim was to reveal cases of people who were criminally prosecuted or held in prison because of their beliefs or victims of police and judicial abuse.


Know more at Cultural Opposition

December 12 1979

NATO Double-Track Decision

Nato Double-Track decision, 1979. Source: NSArchive.


NATO offers the Warsaw Pact a mutual limitation of medium-range ballistic missiles and intermediate-range ballistic missiles combined with the threat that in case of disagreement NATO would deploy more middle-range nuclear weapons in Western Europe.


Know more at NATO


September 22 1980

Creation of Solidarność / Solidarity

Mural commemorating Radio Solidarnosc at Grójecka Street in Warsaw Author: Mateusz Opasinski.


Solidarność was founded when 36 regional unions came together. The workers demanded a salary increase and the readmission of dismissed colleagues. Solidarność organized several strikes that called mainly for economic reforms and free elections. The union was declared illegal and its leaders were arrested.


Know more at Solidarność

November 11 1980

Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe

The conference on security and cooperation in Europe, Madrid from the 11th November 1980 to 9th September 1983. Participants would define new objectives: the right to establish unions, the right to freedom of expression, religious freedom and gender equality.


Know more at OSCE

January 1 1982

Creation of the Campaign for Peace and Democracy, in New York

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The Campaign for Peace and Democracy was a New York-based organization that promoted a non-militaristic foreign policy for the United States, while also seeking to collaborate with social justice movements.


Know more at CPD

January 1 1982

International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights

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Founded in 1982, the Helsinki International Federation for Human Rights was an autonomous group of non-governmental organizations working to protect human rights worldwide.


Know more at UIA


March 23 1982

Washington’s Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI)

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The Strategic Defense Initiative is the American military program proposed by President Ronald Reagan, to build a defensive system of space weapons capable of preventing a nuclear attack against the United States.


Know more at Atomicheritage

November 18 1983

National Endowment for Democracy

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Founded in 1983, The National Endowment for Democracy is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.


Know more at NED

January 1 1986

Initiative for Peace and Human Rights

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Founded on 24 January 1986, Inititative for Peace and Human Rights was against any kind of authoritarian structure, violence and exclusion of minorities.


Know more at Revolution 89

September 19 1986

Conference on Confidence and Security Building Measures and Disarmament in Europe

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During the time between the 17 January 1984 and the 19 September 1986 in Stockholm, the representatives of the participating States of the OSCE adopt a series of  Security-Building Measures including the notification and observation of certain military activities.


Know more at CVCE

November 4 1986

Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, in Vienna

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In Vienna, between 4 November 1986 and 19 January 1989, the participating states of the CSCE discussed the holding of a Conference on the Human Dimension and the rights of persons belonging to minorities.


Know more at OSCE

June 1 1987

Glasnost and Perestroika

Mikhail Gorbachev

Mikhail Gorbachev 1991. Source: Boris Yurchenko / AP Images


Mikhail Gorbachev announced his intention to follow a policy of openness, transparency and freedom of expression, called “glasnost” and a policy of restructuring the government and the economy, called “perestroika”.


Know more at Britannica

June 12 1987

Ronald Reagan Speech in Berlin, Germany



On 12 June 1987, during the celebration of Berlin’s 750th anniversary, in a speech given in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States, proposed to the President of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, to overthrow the wall that separated Germany, since August 1961.


“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”


September 7 1987

Erich Honecker Visits Bonn, Germany

Kohl empfängt Honecker 1987

West-Germany chancellor Helmut Kohl welcomes first secretary of East-Germany Erich Honecker. Photo: Lothar Schaack. 


In September 1987, Erich Honecker, General Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, meets Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany, in Bonn.


Know more at NY Times

December 8 1987

Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, Washington DC, USA

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Signed on December 8, 1987, between the President of the United States Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Secretary General, Mikhail Gorbachev, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, it is a treaty on the elimination of short and medium-range missiles.


Know more at Britannica

August 24 1989

First Non-Communist Government Since 1948 Elected in Poland

Lech Walesa Speaking to striking shipyard workers in Gdansk, Poland, 1988. Copyright: Wesolowski/Sygma


The Solidarity Union was legalized and authorized to participate in the elections, winning the April 1989 elections. The victory of Solidarity paved the way for a succession of peaceful revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe and led to the election of Lech Wałęsa as president.


Know more at Britannica

October 18 1989

Hungary Adopts a New Constitution

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In 1989 changes to the constitution were approved in Hungary. The country was now defined as a civil democratic and constitutional republic that respected the values of democracy.  The constitution gave the legislature the power to control the executive, provided for a multi-party system, and established a constitutional court. All references to communist values in the new constitution were excluded.


Know more at Constitutionnet

November 9 1989

Fall of the Berlin Wall



On November 9, the wall that separated the Federal Republic of Germany from the German Democratic Republic was finally destroyed. Thousands of people immediately went to the Wall and could cross.


Know more at Europeana

December 2 1989

Meeting between Mikhail Gorbachov and George H W Bush

Know more at Wilsoncenter

December 17 1989

Nicolae Ceausescu Regime in Romania Collapses

President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Source: Getty Images.President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Source: Getty Images.


After Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu ordered violent measures against protesters, the rebellion spread throughout the country, reaching Bucharest, with the armed forces fraternizing with the protesters. On 22 December, Ceauşescu flees the capital by helicopter with his wife but ends up captured by the armed forces. Both were convicted by a military court and ended up sentenced to death for several crimes. After the fall of Nicolae Ceauşescu, Ion Iliescu wins the presidential election in 1990.


Know more at Britannica


December 29 1989

Vaclav Havel Becomes First Democratic President of Czechoslovakia

Václav Havel



Started on 17 November 1989 the Velvet Revolution witnessed the fall of the Czechoslovak communist government. With the collapse of the other communist governments and the increase in street protests, the Czechoslovak Party announced on November 28 the end of the one-party state. Václav Havel, a well-known writer who was at the forefront of the revolution, became president of Czechoslovakia on 29 December 1989.


Know more at Britannica



March 11 1990

Lithuania Declares Independence

11 March 1990: Lithuania declares independence from the USSR | en.15min.ltPeople holding vigils in front of the Supreme Soviet Court waiting for the restoration of Lithuania´s independence. Photo by P. Lileikis (Central State Archives of Lithuania). Source: 15min.


Occupied by the Soviet Union since June 1940, Lithuania proclaimed its independence on 11 March 1990, signed by all members of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania, led by Sąjūdis, whose leader was Vytautas Landsbergis. It was  the first of several Soviet states to declare independence


Know more at BBC



May 4 1990

Latvia Declares Independence

May 4, 1990 | Latvia.eu
In 1990, several thousands of all-level local municipality deputies from every community of Latvia gathered in Riga. Source: Latvia.eu


Occupied by the Soviet Union and losing its independence in 1940, in 1988 the Popular Front of Latvia emerged in opposition to the dominant government, winning the 1990 elections. Following Lithuania and Estonia, on 4 May 1990, Latvia’s declaration of independence was proclaimed.


Know more at BBC News

June 12 1990

Russian Republic Declares Sovereignty

Source: Wikipedia


The Declaration of State Sovereignty of the Russian was adopted on 12 June 1990, proclaimed the intention to establish a democratic constitutional state within a liberalized Soviet Union. The declaration also states the following equal legal opportunities for all citizens, political parties and public organizations, the principle of separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers and the rights of the autonomous republics and territories of Russia. The declaration was signed by the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian, Boris Yeltsin. The 12 June has been celebrated as Russia Day, since 1992.


Know more at Soviet History

August 23 1990

Armenia Declares Independence

Source: Wikipedia.  


On 23 August 1990, the Supreme Council adopted the Declaration of State Sovereignty  proclaiming the establishment of the Republic of Armenia. By referendum on 21 September 1991, Armenia voted for independence from the Soviet Union. Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected the first president of Armenia in November 1991.


Know more at Armenia Government


September 9 1990

George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev Meet in Helsinki

Another Summit Meeting in Helsinki: Bush/Gorbachev



The meeting between the President of the United States, George H. W. Bush, and Soviet Secretary General, Mikhail Gorbachev, took place on 9 September 1990. The main themes of the meeting were Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, the prospect of German unification, and the perennial challenges of arms control.


Know more at Wilsoncenter

September 12 1990

“Two Plus Four”

Source: dpa/akg-images – Two Plus Four Treaty


The final peace treaty negotiated between the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic, and the Four Powers that occupied Germany at the end of World War II in Europe – France, the United Kingdom, the United States and the Soviet Union. The treaty paved the way for the German reunification, which took place on 3 October 1990.


Know more at CVCE

October 3 1990

Germany is Reunified

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 14.jpgSource: Wikimedia Commons/German Federal Archive.


Divided since 1945, Germany is reunited on 3 October 1989, following a reunification treaty signed on August 31, 1990.


Know more at Britannica

November 19 1990

Signature of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces

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Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, 1990. Source: OSCE. 


The Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe established limits on military equipment in Europe and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry. The treaty proposed equal limits for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the Warsaw Pact.


Know more at OSCE

November 21 1990

Charter of Paris for a New Europe

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 16.jpgCharter of Paris for a New Europe, 1990. Source: OSCE.


In the Charter of Paris for a New Europe the participating States decided that political consultations at the level of Heads of State would be held every two years, and that Ministerial-level councils would meet at least once a year. A Secretariat, a Conflict Prevention Center and an Office for Free Elections were created.


Know more at OSCE

March 3 1991

Estonia Independence Referendum

Voting at the independence referendumVoting at the independence referendum. Source: Tiit Made.

An independence referendum was held in Estonia on 3 March 1991 approved by 78.4% of voters. The independence is officially restored on 20 August 1991.


Know more at Archive

March 3 1991

Latvia Independence Referendum

January 1991, barricades by the Cabinet of Ministers protecting the ongoing process for independence from Soviet troops leading to the referendum. Photo: Boriss Kolesnikovs/ A.F.I.


An independence referendum was held in Latvia on the 3rd of March 1991, similar to the one held in the Republic of Estonia. Independence was approved by 73.7% of the voters. The independence of Latvia was finally restored on 21 August 1991.


Know more at Europarl

April 9 1991

Georgia Declares Independence

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Georgia’s declaration of independence was a 9 April 1991. On 26 May 1991 Georgia’s first presidential election was won by Zviad Gamsakhurdia.


Know more at GE Goverment


August 24 1991

Ukraine Declares Independence

Annales Ecclesiae Ucrainae: Eyewitness to Ukrainian Independence

Ukrainians demanding independence. Source: Chrystyna Lapychak. The Ukrainian Weekly. 


On August 24th 1991 independence was adopted by the Ukrainian parliament. The population voted in December for independence with an impressive majority. Kravchuk was chosen the first president. Ukraine withstood political pressures from Russia to reconsider their indepence. However, shortly after the independence referendum Ukraine, Russia and Belarus established  and signed the “Commonwealth of Independent States”.


Know more at Britannica

August 27 1991

Moldova Declares Independence

Moldova celebrating independence on the 27th of August 1991. Source: Moldova.org 


Moldova declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 27 August 1991 and was a co-founder of the post-Soviet Commonwealth of Independent States. The Independence of Moldova was officially recognized on 2 March 1992, when it gained membership of the United Nations.


Know more at the presidency of the Rebublic of Moldova

August 31 1991

Uzbekistan Declares Independence

Source: Wikipedia


Uzbekistan declared its independence following the USSR collapse on 31 August 1991 and joins the Commonwealth of Indenpendent States. Henceforth, the first of September Uzbekistan celebrates National Independence Day.


Know more at BBC

October 3 1991

CSCE Conference on the Human Dimension



The 38 states participating in the Conference gathered in Moscow to address the full range of human rights and humanitarian concerns associated with the Helsinki agreements.


Know more at OSCE

December 25 1991

Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Gorbachev. Source RIA Novosi archive, 1987. 



On December 25th 1991 the Soviet Union dissolved. Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as president of the Soviet Union. Thereafter, Boris Yeltsin was announced as president of independent Russia. This day marks the recognition of the independence of the former Soviet republics and the establishment of the Commonwealth of Independent States.


Know more at Britannica





July 9 1992

Second Helsinki Summit

Source: OSCE


At this meeting the institution of High Commission for National Minorities was offically defined. A declaration on the withdrawal of foreign troops from the Baltic States was issued and the participating states confirmed the suspension of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from the CSCE. The meeting was held on the 9th and 10th of July 1997 in Helsinki, Finland.


Know more at OSCE