Russian History 1918

Russian Civil War Timeline - Year 1918

Top Photo
Czechoslovak Legion and the Trans-Siberian Railway.

January 10, 1918
(December 28, 1917 old style)
The Cossacks declare their independence and form the Republic of the Don.


January 12, 1918 (December 30, 1917 old style)
The Latvians declare their independence from Russia but find it hard to celebrate while occupying Germans are still sitting on their laps.


January 18, 1918 (January 5, 1918 old style)
The Constituent Assembly gathers.

The Bolsheviks demand that authority should be given to the Soviets.
 What is a Soviet?)

The Assembly refuses.

The Bolsheviks and the
Left Socialist Revolutionaries walk out.


January 19, 1918 (January 6, 1918 old style)
The Bolshevik government sends troops to disperse the Constituent Assembly. All non-Bolsheviks get a handbasket each and are told to be gone.


January 22, 1918 (January 9, 1917 old style)
The Ukrainians declare their independence from Russia.


January 28, 1918 (January 15, 1917 old style)
Civil War breaks out in Finland as a result of the recent Finnish declaration of independence from Russia.


February 2, 1918 (January 20, 1918 old style)
A new ruling officially separates the Orthodox church from the state. Religious persecution ensues. Church property will get pillaged and churches destroyed.


February 9, 1918 (January 27, 1918 old style)
The Central Powers and the Ukraine sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.


February 10, 1918 (January 28, 1918 old style)
Trotsky declares that Russia is out of WWI.


February 11, 1918 (January 29, 1918 old style)
The Bolsheviks gain the upper hand against the Cossacks. Cossack leader Aleksey Maksimovich Kaledin shoots himself. Pyotr Nikolayevich Krasnov will be his successor.


February 13, 1918 (January 31, 1918 old style)
Calendar switch - Julian to Gregorian.

January 31, 1918 old style was followed by February 14, 1918 new style. Some Russian locations dragged their feet buying new calendars, so we will keep showing old style dates a little while longer.


February 16, 1918 (February 3, 1918 old style)
While still under German occupation, the Lithuanians declare their independence from Russia.


February 18, 1918 (February 5, 1918 old style)
The Reds capture Kiev. They will stay in town until March 3, 1918, when the Germans will knock on the doors.


February 24, 1918 (February 11, 1918 old style)
The Estonians declare their independence from Russia.


March 1918 (Mid-February - Mid-March, 1918 old style)
The Bolsheviks permit
the Czechoslovak Legion to leave Russia via Vladivostok.


March 3, 1918 (February 18, 1918 old style)
The Red Army has to withdraw from Kiev because of incoming Germans.

The Germans let themselves in because the Russians had just signed the  Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.


March 12, 1918 (February 27, 1918 old style)
The Bolsheviks move their capital from Petrograd to Moscow for safety reasons.


March 13, 1918 (February 28, 1918 old style)
The Germans take Odessa.


March 17, 1918 (March 4, 1918 old style)
The Germans take Nikolayev.


March 26, 1918 (March 13, 1918 old style)
Leon Trotsky changes office cubicles. He resigns his post as Foreign Commissar and becomes the new War Commissar. Georgy Vasilyevich Chicherin takes Trotsky's old office chair and becomes Foreign Commissar.

Although the Red Army had been already created in January 1918, there is still a lot of work to do. Trotsky whips the bunch into shape and recruits many former Imperial Army officers, some of which joined more voluntarily than others.


Source Unknown


April 5, 1918
British and Japanese marines land at Vladivostok.


April 8, 1918
The Germans take Kharkov and Rostov.


April 9, 1918
The Moldavian Republic and Romania declare their union. Russia is against this union and feels Moldavia should belong to Russia.


April 10 - 13, 1918
Battle of Yekaterinodar.

April 13, 1918

Kornilov gets killed. New commander of the White Army is Anton Ivanovich Denikin.


April 22, 1918
The Transcaucasians declare their independence from Russia and form the Transcaucasian Republic. This Republic will dissolve on May 26, 1918.


May 1918
Aleksandr Fyodorovich Kerensky had remained in hiding until May 1918. Now he emigrates to western Europe, writes books and edits revolutionary papers.


May 1, 1918
The Germans take Sevastopol.


May 26, 1918
The Transcaucasian Republic splits into three separate states. Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan declare their individual independence from Russia.


May 29, 1918
Leon Trotsky, in his capacity of the commissar for war, orders the  Czechoslovak Legion to surrender their arms. The Legion refuses and takes control of the Trans-Siberian railroad.

The U.S. declares itself sympathetic to the goals of the Czech Legion.


June 7, 1918  (May 25, 1918 old style)
Armed collision between the
Red Army and the Czech Legion at Chelyabinsk, or Cheliabinsk, which is located in west-central Russia. Here is Chelyabinsk on a map.

Map location of Chelyabinsk, west central Russia
Map location of Chelyabinsk, west central Russia
Click to view original map of Asia (enlarged)


The  Czechoslovak Legion and the Socialist Revolutionaries form a government for the Volga, the Volga Republic.


June 23, 1918
British troops land at Murmansk.


July 4 - 10, 1918
The Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets commences. The left Socialist Revolutionaries who had previously participated in the Bolshevik government, are now expelled.

Additional happenings at the congress. The 1918 Constitution of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic (RSFSR) is adopted on July 10, 1918.


July 6, 1918
Left Socialist Revolutionaries stage a revolt in Moscow.


July 10, 1918
Vatsetis becomes commander of the Eastern Front.


Night of July 16 / 17, 1918
White forces and the Czech Legion come dangerously close to Yekaterinburg. Out of fear the former Tsar
Nicholas II  and his family might be liberated, the Bolsheviks think it too risky to keep the prisoners alive. So they shoot the entire Imperial Family.


July 25, 1918
The Czech Legion captures Yekaterinburg.


August 2, 1918
British and French forces land at Arkhangelsk (Archangel).


August 5 - 7, 1918
Czech Legion together with the People's Army take Kazan from the Reds, who were led by Vatsetis. Kazan opens the door to Moscow.


August 8, 1918
Mamantov moves towards Tsaritsyn. The Siege of Tsaritsyn begins.


August 11, 1918
Japanese troops land at Vladivostok.


August 13, 1918
Battle of Sviiazhsk, also called Sviyazhsk, on the eastern front, which results in a decisive
Red Army victory over the People's Army of Komuch.


August 30, 1918
A female assassin, Fanya Kaplan, also spelled Fanny Kaplan, fires three bullets at
Lenin as he left a factory in which he had just delivered a speech. Two bullets hit him, one in his jaw, one in his shoulder. Lenin will recover.

Meanwhile in Petrograd...

Leonid Ioakimovich Kannegiser shoots Moses Solomonovich Uritsky, the Chairman of the Petrograd Cheka.

The two assassinations are unrelated but the freakish coincidence causes the Bolsheviks to run around paranoid and angry while armed.


September 2, 1918
The Revolutionary Military Council (Revvoensovet) is created. This Council will function as the executive board of the Red Army. In 1934, it will be renamed to Military Council.

The Bolshevik government proclaims a campaign of Red Terror.


September 4, 1918
American troops join the British troops at Murmansk.


September 5, 1918
Battle of Kazan in which 11,000 Reds fight 6,000 Whites and Czechs. This battle will end on September 10, 1918 with a victory for the Reds.

Japanese troops take Khabarovsk.


September 6, 1918
Colonel Vatsetis becomes Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Red forces.


September 10, 1918
The Reds re-capture Kazan. The Battle of Kazan had begun on September 5, 1918.


September 22, 1918
Second Battle of Tsaritsyn. This Battle will last until October 15, 1918.


September 23, 1918
A new government is created, the Provisional All-Russian Government, based at Omsk.

This Siberian government, sponsored by the Komuch, will last until November 18, 1918, when Admiral Kolchak, currently War Minister in this government, will put an end to it.


October 7, 1918
The Reds take Samara.


October 14, 1918
The British reach Irkutsk.


October 15, 1918
End of the Second Battle of Tsaritsyn. This Battle had started on September 22, 1918.


November 1, 1918
Poland declares war on the Ukraine.


November 4, 1918
The British occupy Mosul.


November 7, 1918
The Reds recapture Izhevsk.


November 11, 1918
Germany signs the
WWI Armistice.


November 15, 1918
The Ukrainians get a new government. Simon Petliura succeeds Pavel Skoropadski.


November 17, 1918
The British retake Baturn.

Karlis Ulmanis is the new prime minister of Latvia.


November 18, 1918
The Kolchak Coup - Coup d'état at Omsk.

Aleksandr Vasilyevich Kolchak becomes the leader of the White Army, and supposed leader of entire Russia, actually, because he sets up his own government. Kolchak is now a military dictator.

Also on November 18, 1918 - Latvia declares independence.

Also on November 18, 1918 - Kolchak launches his Eastern Russia Offensive. It will end on December 24, 1918.


November 22, 1918
The Germans withdraw from Estonia and the Bolsheviks pour into the country.


November 23, 1918
Poland takes Lemberg.


November 27, 1918
Bessarabia announces its union with Romania. Russia begs to differ.


December 8, 1918
Switzerland cuts diplomatic relations with Soviet Russia.


December 18, 1918
Germany's defeat in WWI exposed the Black Sea to the Allies. French troops occupy Odessa to support the Whites.


December 24, 1918
Kolchak captures Perm and Ufa.




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