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Sino-Soviet War
Soviet soldiers during the Sino-Soviet War.jpg
Date March 2, 1969 - September 11, 1971
Location Soviet Union, Mongolia and China.

Soviet Victory

  • Mao Zedong executed via Soviet firing squad. Liu Shaoqi takes over as leader of the PRC and becomes a Soviet ally.

Soviet Union       Mongolia             East Turkestan


The First Sino-Soviet War was fought mainly between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the People's Republic of China at the height of both the Cold War and the Sino-Soviet Split.

Early Tensions and Eruption

The deteriorating relations between China and the Soviet Union created tension on the border between the two nations. On March 2, 1969, a group of PLA soldiers ambushed Soviet border guards on Zhenbao Island. The Soviets immediately retaliated, and both sides saw each other's actions as an act of war, and so begun the First Sino-Soviet War.


China was defeated in the war. Mao Zedong was captured trying to flee Beijing when the Soviet Army surrounded the city. He was executed by firing squad on September 12, 1971, with Liu Shaoqi succeeding him. Liu Shaoqi began to dismantle Mao's personality cult. Liu Shaoqi was becoming more and more unpopular with the people due to his denunciation of Mao's legacy, paving the way for the Gang of Four coup in 1974.