First issue of the illustrated magazine, “Realtà sovietica” (Soviet realities) which replaced the periodical “Italia-URSS” published from 1948-1953. The magazine’s aim was to reinforce Soviet propaganda and counter the anti-Soviet slant of conservative and Christian Democrat journalism.
5th March – death of Stalin.
27th March – amnesty.
October – I. Ėrenburg’s article, O rabote pisatelia (The Job of the Writer) is published in n. 10 of “Znamia”.
December – V. Pomerantsev’s critical essay Ob iskrennosti v literature (On the sincerity of literature) is published in n. 12 of “Novyi mir”.
An agreement on the distribution of Soviet cinema reinforces cultural relations between the USSR and Italy.
The process of rehabilitating victims of repression under Stalin begins. Among those brought back into favour are I. Babel’ and M. Bulgakov.
Spring – I. Ėrenburg’s povest’, Ottepel’ is published in “Znamia” (n. 5).
The Warsaw Pact is signed, in response to the Nato Pact (1949), underlining the strategic, diplomatic and propagandistic standoff between the USSR and the West.
In Frankfurt, the magazine “Grani” invites Soviet writers to send works that can’t be published in the USSR for ideological reasons.
23rd October-10th November. The revolution in Hungary and subsequent Soviet backed repression spark bitter debates within the European Left. There is open criticism of the USSR among Italian intellectuals, including from Pietro Ingrao and Italo Calvino. A similar position is taken by Einaudi with the publication of its “libri bianchi” (white books).
3rd January– the newspaper, “Smena”, publishes the article Pochemu raspustilsia “Goluboi buton” (Why the “Blue Bud” has flowered), which condemns the magazine “Goluboi buton”, now considered to be the first samizdat magazine.
February – XX Congress of the CPSU.
7th November – Mikhail Krasil’nikov, a member of the School of Philologists, is arrested and sentenced to four years forced labour.
End of year – the editorial committee of “Novyi mir” refuses to publish Doktor Zhivago by B. Pasternak.
The association Russia cristiana is founded in Milan.
November – Doktor Zhivago is published in Italy. The book is attacked by the Soviet press. Over the following decades, it is read in the USSR thanks to the samizdat.
6th International Festival of youth and students in Moscow.
November – B. Pasternak is awarded the Nobel Prize.
Presentation of the book Un mondo a parte (A World Apart) by Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski for “Bollettino del Circolo Italiano del libro” (Bulletin of the Italian Book Circle), subsequently reprinted on the blurb of the Italian Edition.
On the initiative of G. B. Angioletti the Comunità Europea degli scrittori (COMES) (The European Community of writers) is founded, which has direct links with the Union of Soviet writers.
September-October – the literary magazine “Tempo presente” (Present Times) publishes the short novel Si fa il processo (The trial begins) by A. Siniavskii under the pseudonym of Abram Terts and translated by Aniuta Maver Lo Gatto.
2nd June – the funeral of B. Pasternak offers an opportunity for the intelligentsia to protest silently against the status quo.
1960s – the Kiev School of poetry develops (Kyiivs’ka shkola) with links to underground literary groups.
13th August – the GDR begins constructing the Berlin Wall to stop the exodus of citizens to the sectors of the city controlled by the West.
21st February – death of Roal’d Mandel’shtam, one of the main figures of Leningrad’s underground and member of the Aref’ev Circle.
12th April – Iurii Gagarin becomes the first man in Space.
July – a single issue of the magazine “Literaturnyi al’manakh” is published in Moscow by a group led by Vladimir Murav’ëv.
In Leningrad Boris Taigin begins printing at the samizdat printing house, Bė-Ta, which in the following years publishes dozens of poetry collections.
In Moscow the almanac, “Feniks”, edited by Iurii Galanskov is published.
March – a delegation of writers from the USSR takes part in the COMES congress in Florence.
October – Cuban Missile Crisis.
April – the magazine “Sirena” is published in Moscow by Vitalii Skuratovskii and Mikhail Kaplan. It is published until July of the same year.
Summer – Anna Akhmatova delivers a copy of Requiem to “Novyi mir” but the poem remains unpublished. It is disseminated via the samizdat.
15th September – first edition of the magazine “Iskusstvo kommuny” in Moscow, promoted by a group of students (Vitalii Gribkov, Vladimir Petrov – who were both later editors of “Metki” – and Lev Melamid). The periodical is published until March 1963.
18th November – “Novyi mir” publishes A. Solzhenitsyn’s novel One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.
1st December – exhibition at the Manege in Moscow for the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Muscovite Union of Artists. Khrushchёv reacts unfavourably to the inclusion of non-conformist artists.
25th November – Funeral of J. F. Kennedy in Washington.
8th-9th March – Khrushchёv attacks several Soviet artists and writers.
August – round table on the novel in Leningrad. A COMES delegation is received by the Union of Soviet Writers.
The “Kolymskoe tovarishchestvo” is founded in Moscow which later becomes the literary-historical group “Vozvrashchenie”.
December – A. Akhmatova travels to Italy.
13th February – Iosif Brodskii is arrested and charged with “parasitism”. A month later he is sentenced to five years forced labour. The transcript from the trial, edited by the journalist Frida Vigdorova, is widely circulated via the samizdat and abroad.
1st September – the Podmoskov’e cafe (Moscow suburb cafe) opens in Leningrad, later renamed Saigon.
13th-14th October – Khrushchёv is deposed as Party Secretary and replaced by Brezhnev.
Autumn – first meetings of the Malaia Sadovaia.
5th June – A. Akhmatova visits Oxford.
The publishing house, Jaca Book, is founded in Milan which in 1966 publishes an anthology of works from the samizdat magazines, “Feniks 66”, “Sintaksis” and “Sfinksy”, with the title Testi letterari e poesie da riviste clandestine dell’URSS (Literary texts and poems from clandestine magazines in the USSR).
M. Sholokhov is awarded the Nobel Prize.
March – The first book by Iosif Brodskii is published, Stikhotvoreniia i poėmy (Poetry and poems).
April – the almanac “Fioretti” is published, connected to the Malaia Sadovaia.
14th April – SMOG march in Maiakovskii Square.
November – Iosif Brodskii returns from a forced labour camp following international pressure.
5th December – protests in Pushkin Sqaure in favour of the writers Siniavskii and Daniėl’.
Sovetskii pisatel’ refuses to publish the anthology Gorozhane (Citizens) by the group of the same name.
The emigrant magazine “Grani” (n. 58, 1965) founded in 1946, republishes the first three editions of “Sintaksis” edited by Aleksandr Ginzburg.
12th February – Siniavskii and Daniėl’ are sentenced to seven and five years respectively in a labour camp.
5th March – Anna Akhmatova dies. In recent years she had become an important reference point for a group of young poets, including Brodskii, later known as “The orphans of Akhmatova”.
Autumn – the Khelenukty Group first meets.
Iurii Galanskov prints the almanac, “Feniks 66”.
The magazine “Moskva” begins publishing Master i Margarita by M. Bulgakov. Dozens of pages are censored.
Tamizdat publication of the White Paper (White Paper on the Sinjavskii-Daniel’ case) by A. Ginzburg for the publisher Posev in German and Russian (original), for the publisher Jaca Book in Italian, translated by Sergio Rapetti.
May – during the first conference organized by the Club in the Kosterevo hunting ground near Petushki, in the Vladimir region, in May 1967 Vladimir Frumkin reads the report Music and Speech, the first attempt to theorize this new cultural phenomenon at the very moment of its birth.
21st August –Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia to repress the Prague Spring.
January –Iurii Galanksov and Aleksandr Ginzburg are condemned to seven and five years respectively for publishing the White Book on the Siniavskii-Daniėl’ affair.
30th April – first publication of Chronicle of current events.
25th August – protest in Red Square against the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. The poet N. Gorbanevskaia, who takes part, is sent to a psychiatric hospital.
The uncensored version of M. Bulgakov’s novel Master i Margarita is published by Posev (Frankfurt).
Venedikt Erofeev writes the novel Moskva-Petushki, one of the most important works of Russian literature in the twentieth century. It is not published in the USSR until the advent of perestroika (1988).
October – A. Solzhenitsyn is awarded the Nobel Prize.
November – G. Vigorelli defends A. Solzhenitsyn, in a COMES manifesto signed by the president, G. Ungaretti, and 120 other writers. The USSR issues a counterattack, published in “Literaturnaia gazeta”, indicating that all relations with Soviet institutions will be terminated.
February – Aleksandr Tvardovskii, editor-in-chief of “Novyi Mir”, a prime figure behind the publication of One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by A. Solzhenitsyn (1962), is forced to resign.
13th October– early death of the Leningrad poet Leonid Aronzon aged 31.
December – Andropov sends a note to the Central Committee underlining the necessity of adopting immediate measures against the expanding activities of the samizdat.
Sergei Sigei founds the magazine “Budushchel’’. Zhurnal obshchestva dlia Velimira Khlebnikova” (Budushchel’’. Magazine of the Velimir Chlebnikov Association) in Leningrad. Only one issue is published.
The tamizdat publisher “Ardis” is founded in Ann Arbor. In the following years it publishes many contemporary Russian writers as well as writers from the first half of the twentieth century.
11th September – N. Khrushchёv dies.
4th June – Iosif Brodskii is forced to emigrate.
4th November – Iurii Galanskov dies aged 33 in a labour camp in Mordovia.
Anna Tarshis and Sergei Sigei found “Zhurnal mod” in Leningrad. The magazine has only one issue, containing material collected between 1972 and 1974.
January – L. Chukovskaia is expelled from the Union of Soviet writers for supporting A. Solzhenitsyn.
15th September – the first non-official Soviet art exhibition, which came to be known as “Bul’dozernaia vystavka” (The Bulldozer Exhibition) because of how the authorities dismantled it.
22nd-25th December – first authorised exhibition of non-official Leningrad artists. Its name, “Gazanevshchina”, derives from the venue, the Dom kul’tury imeni Gaza where 52 artists display their works. The exhibition is an unexpected success with over 10,000 visitors.
8th August – first issue of the magazine “Metki po novoi zhivopisi”, founded by Vitalii Gribkov and the writer Vladimir Petrov, who also founded “Iskusstvo kommuny”. There are 12 editions of the magazine, the last in 1980.
“Gnezdo” exhibition of artists midway between conceptualism and sotsart.
Manifestation in honour of the 150th anniversary of the Decembrist Revolt.
The poet N. Gorbanevskaia is exiled.
April – first issue of the magazine “37” is published in Leningrad by Tat’iana Goricheva and Viktor Krivulin. The periodical is published until 1981.
Arsenii Roginskii founds Pamiat’. Istoricheskii sbornik (Memory. An Historical Collection) in Leningrad, which is published until 1981.
Boris Ivanov begins to publish the samizdat magazine “Chasy” in Leningrad. It is published bimonthly until 1990.
Venice Biennale dedicated to dissent. Exhibition of original samizdat documents.
The abstract artist Oleg Tselkov is “invited” to leave the USSR.
The Venice exhibition moves to Turin.
V. Maramzin and A. Khvostenko publish the first issue of the tamizdat magazine, “Ėkho” in Paris.
A. Siniavskii and M. Rozanova found the literary journal “Sintaksis” in Paris with the same name as the journal published in Moscow since 1959 by A. Ginzburg.
16th October – Karol Wojtyła (Giovanni Paolo II) from Poland becomes Pope.
B. Grois’s article Moskovskii romanticheskii konceptualizm (Muscovite Romantic Conceptualism) is published in the magazine “37”, which launches an artistic-literary movement.
Music festival “Grushinskii”, near Samara, celebrating singer-songwriters. Large numbers attend the festival and unofficial recordings circulate via the magnitizdat. A. Sukhanov’s performance is immortalised in photographs.
December – the Andrei Belyi literary prize is awarded for the first time in Iu. Novikov’s apartment.
January – the international conference “Dissenso e democrazia nei paesi dell’Est” (Dissent and democracy in countries in the East) is held at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.
Soviet forces invade Afghanistan leading to increasing tension between the USSR and the West.
Autumn – three issues of the magazine “Dialog” founded by K. Butyrin and S. Stratanovskii (from Autumn 1979 to 1981) are published in Leningrad.
December – the magazine “Severnaia pochta” is published in Leningrad by S. Dediulin, an editor of “LOB”, and V. Krivulin. It is published until 1981.
“Transponans” is first published in Eisk by husband and wife A. Tarshis and S. Sigei. The periodical, subsequently edited in Leningrad, is published until 1987.
The almanac “Metropol”, originally planned for 1978, is published in Moscow by V. Aksënov and V. Erofeev. The project also involves E. Popov and, later, A. Bitov and F. Iskander.
1980-1986 – K. Kuz’minskii and G. Kovalev publish nine volumes of Antologiia noveishei russkoi poėzii U Goluboi laguny (The Blue Lagoon Anthology of Modern Russian Poetry).
17th September – the Catholic Trades Union, Solidarność (Solidarity), is founded in Poland, gaining support in the West.
14th December – crisis in Poland, increasing tension between the USSR and the West.
30th November –first meeting of Klub-81 at the Dostoevskii museum which in following years organises numerous exhibitions and events.
6th January – Klub-81 organises a poetry evening at the F. M. Dostoevskii Museum. A. Dragomoshchenko, E. Ignatov, V. Krivulin and O. Okhapkin participate.
18th January– Death of V. Shalamov in Moscow.
10th November – Death of L. Brezhnev. Iu. Andronov becomes Secreatary of the CPSU.
G. Superfin emigrates to Germany; he becomes responsible for the most important samizdat archive, today in Bremen.
8th – 10th April – The “Kul’tura i traditsiia” conference at the F. M. Dostoevskii Museum, organised by Klub-81, is attended by B. Ivanov, V. Krivulin, M. Berg, S. Grigor’ev and others.
13th – 16th May – The Leningradskii rok-klub organises its first rock festival.
Ol’ga Sedakova receives the “Andrei Belyi” prize for literature for her poetry. Her acceptance speech is published in “Chasy” (47, 1984).
19th November – first meeting between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachëv in Ginevra.
December – Klub-81 hosts the three-day congress, “Puti kul’tury 60-80-kh godov”, an important moment of reflection on the samizdat.
The anthology Krug (The Circle), is published, the only official publication containing works by writers belonging to the “Second Culture”.
23rd December – the physicist Andrei Sakharov, in exile since 1980, is allowed to return to Moscow.
15th March – first performance of Dictatorship of Conscience by M. Shatrov, portraying a fictional trial of Lenin.
26th April – disaster of Chernobyl’.
I. Brodskii is awarded the Nobel Prize.
11th -13th September – “Podol’skii rok-festival’”, the “Soviet Woodstock”.
Beginning of the “SINGING REVOLUTION” peaceful protest movement in the Baltic states calling for independence from the USSR.
Rizzoli publishes I figli dell’Arbat (Children of the Arbat) by A. Rybakov.
9th November – fall of the Berlin Wall.
“Novyi mir” publishes The Gulag Archipelago by A. Solzhenitsyn.
“Sovetskii Pisatel’” publishes the first collection of poetry and accounts of the Gulag, Dodnes’ Tiagoteet.
January – A. Siniavskii returns to the USSR for the funeral of Iu. Daniėl’, who died on the 31st December 1988. In the same year he is rehabilitated by the regime.
28th – 29th January – first Memorial conference in Moscow.
1st March – Cafe Saigon closes.
M. Gorbachëv is awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace.
23rd May – citizenship laws are revised. All revocations of citizenship from 1966 to 1988 are annulled.
9th January – Soviet forces occupy Vilnius to prevent Lithuania gaining independence.
11th January – Congress authorises George H. W. Bush to attack Iraq. Beginning of the Gulf War.
The first collection of Ol’ga Sedakova’s works is published, Kitaiskoe puteshestvie. Stely i nadpisi. Starye pesni.
25th December – Michail Gorbachëv resigns as President of the Soviet Union.
26th December – dissolution of the USSR.