Northern Eurasia 1963: Height of the Cold War
Although the Warsaw Pact was officially a defensive alliance, attempts to break with the Pact were crushed in Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). Confrontation with the United States peaked in the early 1960s with the Arms Race, the construction of the Berlin Wall (1961), the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962), and the Vietnam War.
11 Oct 1955 Return of Dairen▲
Having agreed to transfer the port to the People’s Republic of China without compensation in 1950, Soviet troops left Dairen (formerly Port Arthur, now Lüshun).
16 Jul 1956 Karelo-Finnish SSR abolished▲
Karelo-Finnish Soviet Socialist Republic incorporated into Russian SFSR as the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic
19 Oct 1956 Soviet-Japanese Joint Declaration▲
Japan and the Soviet Union sign a Joint Declaration formally ending the war between them and restoring diplomatic relations
23 Oct–11 Nov 1956 Hungarian Uprising▲
Starting with student protests in Budapest in October 1956, revolt erupted across Hungary, leading to the collapse of the government and withdrawal of Soviet troops from the capital by the end of the month. The new government of Imre Nagy formally disbanded the State Security Police, declared its intention to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact, and pledged to re-establish free elections. Initially appearing open to negotiations, the Soviets launched a full-scale invasion of Hungary on 4 November, crushed all remaining Hungarian resistance by the 11th, and reinstalled Communist rule.
29 Oct–7 Nov 1956 Suez Crisis▲
On 30 July 1956 Gamal Abdel Nasser, the pan-Arabist president of Egypt, announced the nationalization of the Suez Canal—until that point run by British and French shareholders—and closed shipping to Israel. In response, the United Kingdom and France engineered an Israeli invasion of Egypt on 29 October, then intervened on 30 October, allegedly as peacekeepers, to secure the Canal. British and French actions drew immediate international condemnation, including from both the Soviet Union and the United States, and they were forced to withdraw a week later.
4 Oct 1957 Sputnik 1▲
On 4 October 1957 the Soviet Union became the first nation to send a manmade object into orbit by launching Sputnik, an artificial satellite with a radio transmitter. Sputnik operated until January 1958 and launched the “Space Race” between the Soviets and the United States.
13 Aug 1961 Berlin Wall▲
Throughout the 1950s millions of East Germans had migrated into the west, especially through West Berlin, which was not officially part of West Germany and had an open border with the East. To stop this migration, the East German government began construction in 1961 of a heavily fortified wall surrounding West Germany.
14–28 Oct 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis▲
On 14 October 1962 the United States obtained photographs of Soviet ballistic missiles deployed in Cuba from one of their U-2 spy planes. Four days later, US President John F. Kennedy notified the nation and initiated a naval blockade of Cuba. This led to an 11-day confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union, ultimately resulting in the Soviets withdrawing their missiles from Cuba in return for a secret withdrawal of US missiles from Turkey.
26 Dec 1962 China-Mongolian Border Treaty▲
China-Mongolian Border Treaty delimits boundary between China, Mongolia and Soviet Union