March 1989 Slobodan Milosevic becomes president of Serbia and approves a new constitution which greatly reduces the relative autonomy previously afforded to Kosovo under the 1974 Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
July 1990 Ethnic Albanian leaders declare independence from Serbia. Serbia responds by dissolving the government of Kosovo.
September 1990 Over 100,000 ethnic Albanians are fired from their government jobs in Serbia; they are replaced by Serbs.
July 1992 Ibrahim Rugova is elected president in unofficial elections. Only Albania recognizes his presidency. Rugova is adamant that Kosovars should resist Serbian rule peacefully and without an armed struggle.
November 1995 The Dayton Accords end the war in Bosnia, but do nothing to alleviate the problems and tensions within Kosovo.
March 1998 The KLA engage in open combat with the Serbian government. This lasts until September.
March 1999 Serbia refuses to sign the Rambouillet Accords, an agreement which calls for an end of Milosevic's ethnic cleansing campaign, gives Kosovo a certain degree of autonomy and allows a NATO peacekeeping mission in the area. Because of Milosevic's refusal, NATO begins air strikes in Kosovo and Serbia. The strikes are aimed at ending the persecution of ethnic Albanians, over 850,000 of whom have fled the country to neighboring Macedonia and Albania.
June 1999 After three months of bombings, Milosevic agrees to remove troops from Kosovo.
1999 The UN passes Resolution 1244, taking control of the province of Kosovo under the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
October 2001 An ethnic Albanian reporter is murdered in a hit-and-run incident in the town of Lausa. The newspaper the victim wrote for, Bota Sot, is supportive of Ibrahim Rugova and the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo (LDK).
2001 - 2003 The U.S. State Department reports, "Under UNMIK's guidance, Kosovo established new institutions (both at the municipal and central levels), held free elections, and established a multi-ethnic Kosovo Police Service (KPS). The KLA was demobilized, with many of its members incorporated into the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC), a civilian emergency services organization. UNMIK gradually turned over more governing competencies to local authorities."
February 2002 BBC reports, Ibrahim Rugova is elected as president by the Kosovan parliament after ethnic Albanian parties reach a power-sharing deal. Bajram Rexhepi becomes prime minister.
March 2004 Following the detention of KLA leaders for war crimes, affiliated groups protest the indictments by rioting throughout the country, targeting Orthodox Serbian churches. The violence begins in the multi-ethnic town of Mitrovica.
October 2004 Elections for the Kosovo Assembly are held; the first to be independently administered.
December 2004 The Kosovo assembly re-elects Ibrahim Rugova as president.
March 2005 Prime Minister of Kosovo Ramush Haradinaj is forced to resign from his post after being indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court. He is allowed to remain in Kosovo while awaiting trial; he is eventually cleared of all charges by the court in April 2008. Haradinaj is replaced by Bajram Kosumi of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK Aleanca për Ardhmërinë e Kosovës).
November 2005 A Contact Group, made up of representitives from France, Germany, Italy, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, begins negotiations for a settlement between Kosovo and Serbia. The group comes up with a few general "guiding principles" for Kosovo's future, mostly noting that a return to the situation prior to 1999 is unacceptable. Martti Ahtisaari of Finland is appointed by the UN to oversee the implementation of the Contact Group resolutions, including the decentralization of local governments.
January 2006 President Ibrahim Rugova dies of lung cancer; he is replaced by Fatmir Sejdiu, also of the LDK.
March 2006 Prime Minister Kosumi resigns and is replaced by Agim Ceku.
July 2006 The Kosovo Anti-corruption Agency (KAA) is established and elects its first director, Hasan Preteni. It is an independent organization made up entirely of Kosovars, but its funding is from the UNDP and OSCE Mission in Kosovo.
October 2006 A referendum in Serbia shows that voters are in favor of a constitution that states Kosovo is a part of Serbia and should not be granted autonomy, let alone independence.
February 2007 An NGO in Kosovo, the Council for Defense of Human Rights and Freedoms (CDHRF) is granted access to all prisons and correctional facilities in the country. Previously UNMIK had denied visits on some occasions.
After countless meetings and talks with officials in both Belgrade and Pristina, Ahtisaari makes his presentation to the UN Security Council. He recommends a limited statehood for Kosovo, with strong protections for minority rights. The proposal is overturned due to Russian disapproval.
August 2007 UN members of the EU, US, and Russia join together in a 'Troika' to attempt to find a suitable solution to the problems in Kosovo, since the Ahtisaari proposal failed to gain sufficient support. The council disbands in December 2007 without reaching any decisions.
October 2007 A correspondent for Voice of America, Vesna Bojicis, is beaten by an unknown attacker. The attacker attempted to kill her, naming her 'pro-Albanian' reporting as his primary motive.
The UNDP, along with the Association of Professional Journalists of Kosovo (AGPK), the Kosovo Anti-corruption Agency (KAA) and the OSCE Mission in Kosovo announce a national contest searching for the best investigative journalism piece on transparency and anti-corruption.
November 2007 Parliamentary elections are held for seats in the Kosovo Assembly; the result is a governing coalition between the Party of Kosovo (PDK) and the LDK.
December 2007 The deputy head of UNMIK, Steven Schook, flees the country overnight when he realizes his UNMIK contract will not be renewed in 2008, meaning he will no longer have diplomatic immunity. He is under investigation for overpricing the construction of the Kosovo C electricity plant. He is replaced by Alexander Borg-Olivier.
January 2008 Hashim Thaci of the PDK is elected Prime Minister. He is a former member of the rebel group the KLA.
February 2008 Kosovo unilaterally declares independence from Serbia. Kosovo has pledged to fulfill the recommendations listed in the Ahtisaari proposal. At present, over fifty countries have recognized Kosovo's claim, though Serbia does not.
March 2008 Ethnic Serbs, upset with Kosovo's declaration of independence, hole up in a UN courthouse in Mitrovica, raising a Serbian flag. One hundred people are injured in the conflict; one UN officer is killed.
April 2008 Former Prime Minister Haradinaj is acquitted of all charges of war crimes by the ICC. The ruling drew calls from Belgrade that the International Criminal Court is 'anti-Serb.'
June 2008 Kosovo's new constitution, passed by the Assembly in April, comes into effect. The constitution ensures minority rights.
October 2008 Kosovo opens an embassy in Washington, D.C.
The UN votes to pass the legality of Kosovo's independence through the International Court of Justice. A ruling is expected in one to two years.
November 2008 A European Commission publishes a report stating that Kosovo has neither the will nor ability to combat corruption and organized crime, including drug trafficking. Few safeguards are in place to ensure transparency in government.
January 2009 The Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) is deactivated and replaced by the Kosovo Security Force (KSF), a multi-ethnic organization run by civilians as opposed to the army. The KPC had been made up primarily of former guerillas from the KLA, and is almost completely ethnically Albania.
May 2009 The IMF votes to include Kosovo.
The Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) produces a documentary touching on sensitive subjects in Kosovo (war crimes, homosexuality, gender relations, etc.) which prompts backlash in the form of anonymous death threats to the head of BIRN, Jeta Xharra. A local newspaper, the Infopress, went so far as to compare BIRN's work to that of a Serbian spy and fascist propaganda. The incident brought widespread international condemnation, leading Prime Minister Thaci to issue a vague apology.
June 2009 The World Bank, following the IMF's lead, also votes to include Kosovo.
Agim Ceku, the former prime minister of Kosovo, is arrested in Bulgaria for his alleged war crimes as a rebel commander during the 1998-99 war. He is released a few days later, and not be extradited to Belgrade, contrary to the wishes of the Serbian government.
The investigative journalism organization, BIRN, issues an unflattering report on the state of the judiciary in Kosovo. The report makes reference to long delays before cases, a lack of transparency in court rulings, as well as corruption of judges and prosecutors. One judge, Ymer Huruglica, is accused of interfering in the ruling of a relative's case, in an attempt to clear the charges of drug possession.
August 2009 The Council of Europe begins an independent investigation into claims by the Serbian government that Albanian nationals abducted over 500 Serbs and harvested their organs before dumping the bodies into mass graves during the 1999 war. The government of Kosovo vehemently denies these claims, saying it is political propaganda to turn international opinion against Kosovo.