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115 USSR. Life in the Sixties

USSR. Life in the Sixties

Posted on August 15, 2007 by


life in the 60s years in the USSR 1

So one more time back in the USSR.

See also:
USSR in the 70-s, part 1
USSR in the 70-s, part 2
USSR in the 70-s, part 3

life in the 60s years in the USSR 2

life in the 60s years in the USSR 3


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115 Responses to “USSR. Life in the Sixties”

  1. Yasha says:

    It seems so peacefull, but it wasnt:(

    • Petya says:

      Yes it was. That was the time when there was still hope for Russia. Look at how people are dressed. A lot of these shots look like they are stills from the Italian movies of the time. Look how clean the streets are. The five storey apartment buildings are regarded now as the worst buildings ever constructed but that is a lot of BS. First of all, they look a lot better than these 17-24 storey monsters that they build now. Second of all, the apartments in those buildings, although small by today’s standards, were very cozy and warm. Even the cars (Volga and Moskvitch pictured) were good cars. They were stylish, modern, safe, and reliable cars. If you were a professional, you could make enough money to buy good food, nice clothing, modern furniture and appliances, even a car. Meat, poultry, cheese, butter, fish, vegetables, fruits, even the caviar were freely available and were priced within reach of a working professional.

      I didn’t live in that time, but I know all of it from my grandparents, my parents, and their friends. My grandfather worked as lead engineer in the beginning of the 60’s. He had a 4-room appartment, a car, and everything you could possibly dream of (private airplanes and rediculosy big diamond rings are excluded). Apart from the iron curtain, not that much different from life in the US or Western Europe, I would say.

      • Petya says:

        Yes, the retirement… No, he didn’t save much. All he had was his pension, which was enough to buy decent food, a bottle of wine once in a while (my grandfather didn’t drink vodka at all, but he really liked his dry wine), and the usual everyday necessities like soap and toothpaste. And that was pretty much it. So, basically, he didn’t starve, was well dressed, had hobbies that kept him occupied, but he definitely didn’t spent his retirement years at some resort watching half-naked girls and drinking margaritas. The difference between the Soviet era and today, however, is that back then you could live off of your pension payements. Today, it is impossible.

        Then again, the problem, I think, is that people in Russia don’t bother planning such things as retirement, even now. When I ask people, how are you going to live when you are retired? The answer is usually, “I don’t plan that far ahead”, or something close to that. The retirement is still a huge issue in Russia in my opinion, but most people in their 30’s or 40’s that I know today don’t give a damn. Beats me. Could be because deep inside they don’t expect to live that long. Could be because there are no (and never were) instruments in Russian society and economy that would allow and encourage people to start making contributions to their retirement plan as earlier as possible in their lives. In America, everybody knows that you have to save. In Russia, we simply don’t plan and we don’t save, period. Some people are counting on their children to support them in the future. Some are hoping that they will continue working until they drop dead. It’s a mess.

        • oldperson says:

          The modern generation also has the same problem as far as saving, they simply don’t make enough.

          Statistics released just today show that only 5% of people spending less than 1/4 of the $$$ they make onn food. And half of people spend more than 1/2 of all their $$$ just to feed themselves.

          Pensioners get a pension only big enough to buy cheap low quality food. Not quite starving to death, but certainly not enough to have ANY luxuries.

          • maxD says:

            3 people, together getting a pension of 330 dollars p/month. One is still able to work [70 years old] and does, so there is something extra. Never was able to buy a decent piece of meat – kolbasa was the best you could afford. That’s reality.

            Prices of the basic food went up like 20% the first 6 months of this year. And they were already high to begin with, same level as in W-Europe. Decent living ? No. Compared to the 60’s, today’s Russia is hell in a way.

            Babushka’s begging for money in the metro. Young people ignoring them or pushing them out of the way, full of themselves, assuming that being old and poor is your own fault. So sad. An old lady selling a few bottles of handpicked wild strawberries in front of an Italian flagship store in Moscow. She traveled several hours to get there, will hopefully sell her berries for a few dollars and then travel back again for hours. The shop behind her is as accessible as the Czar’s palace was a hundred years ago.

            Sad.

            • Jade says:

              It is not the duty of young people to keep old people in the street fed through donations. It’s the job of the government to take care of its citizens, to make sure kids can take care of their own parents, that they have jobs and make enough money to feed their families.

              I don’t think the young people have robbed the previous generation. I think they previous generation robbed the current one to the point where they god disillusioned and fed up.

              Responsibility of a parent is to take care of his kids, that has to come long before the kids can return the favour. If the country is insolvent, then no surprise, if the old people get the treatment for leaving such wonderful world around for their successors.

        • boctok says:

          Uuh, I know that this is a little late, but I just have to point out the fact that very few in the U.S. actually set aside money for retirement. Unfortunately for those that have, though, the great invisible hand of the free market has just wiped out most of what they set aside. Oh well…

        • sobot2 says:

          i am will continue working until drop dead.

      • Rick says:

        God what a lot of BS, these pictures are clearly socialist propaganda and most if not all pictures are arranged. You can tell easily. You say that you didn’t live during the 60’s, that probably says all. You really shouldn’t comment things you have no idea about.

        • HomoSovieticus says:

          Oh, you mean somebody threw up a factory, built a heap of controlling consoles, or drove up a bunch of Moskviches jsut fot the photo-op?

          Try activating the brain sometimes, ok?

      • Andres says:

        Dear Petya. You, unfortunately, do not understand a thing about propaganda. These are classic propaganda shots that have absolutely nothing to do with the reality. In the 60s GULAG had just started to crumble (it existed to some extent until the USSR broke down) but there was no real change. What brief relief was brought about by Stalin’s death was soon to be replaced with the understanding that any changes were only skin-deep and no real awakening happened. Bear in mind that the last guerillia fighter from the WW2 was killed in Estonia in 1976. In the 60s, the man had a decade of hiding ahead of him. And to date Russia has not recognized what repressions the Soviet government brought upon its people. It is still not acknowledged that Stalin killed more people than Hitler. You still find only hints of the joint parades Soviet and Nazi armies had in Poland before USSR was attacked in 1941. You call that hope?

      • Richard S. says:

        Back in the Soviet times, whether you were a dishwasher, ditch digger, doctor, dentist, pilot, surveyor, ect. Didn’t they all have the same pay?

        • Ilya P. says:

          Actually no. Although in an ideal Communist society, everyone would get the same pay, and although the Soviet Union strived to reach pure Communism, it never got there. It was in fact Socialist. At least that’s what my parents told me, and they both lived in the Soviet Union.

      • Polish voice says:

        russia smells like old woman
        it was said by me, polish voice from democratic country

      • nfb says:

        If USSR would be existed now, the retired engineer or any other successful professional would have a pretty good pension. That happened to my grandmother, who retired in the late 70-s. Add here free medical help, free 12 to 24 days on many state-owned resorts or sanatoriums (if you ill), free local transport – that includes trains for the distance around 150 km from the city and once a year 50% off for long-distance trips on the trains and travel by plains. Some old people like veterans of WWII would have a free tickets even for the long distance.

        The idea was that it is the state make savings for you. Sadly6 it could work only in stable conditions. But the world was not particularity stable environment.

        On the other hand – what is going to happen to all that savings which were made by western pensioners? Especially, if these money now burning in various investment funds?

      • russoturisto says:

        That is not the reason people are poor! People saved a lot of money but lost everything with the economic collapse and the default of currency! Get a brain!

    • yingjai says:

      go find something better to do.

    • Pros says:

      So which one looked better? The one with two sentences in a row?

  2. zax says:

    On picture with people on heliodrome and helicopter approaching, word vertolet (helicopter in Russian) is writen phonetically, “vertoljot”.
    Even more interesting, it is written in cyrillic alphabet (вертолјот), but with “j”, not “й”.

    I’m curious, what is that language?

    There are languages which use cyrillic with “j” grapheme as in latin alphabet, but as far as I know, none on teritory of former USSR.

    • Oles says:

      Yugoslavia

      • zax says:

        Yes, but Yugoslavia was not part of the USSR (as a matter of fact, it was not even near it, and wasn’t part of communist bloc).
        I am from Serbia (part of ex-Yugoslavia), that is why I wrote this comment. It reminded me of our alphabet, but we use the word helikopter (latin alphabet) and хеликоптер (the same, in cyrillic). We can use latin and cyrillic alphabets equaly (it is a matter of personal preference). Unlike Russian, Serbian (and other Yugoslavian languages) are written purely phonetically: every letter represents exactly one sound and it is pronounced always in the same way. Also, there are no “silent” letters.
        I tried to explain this to my Soviet pen-friends some 20 years ago, but I am not sure they understood (after all, we were kids). They didn’t even know that there was no “Yugoslavian” language, and that Yugoslavia was just federation, like their USSR (there was 6 republics).
        The most funny thing was that, although Yugoslavia was communist, when sending letters they had to pay postage for “capitalist countries” (which, I presume, was much higher). Indeed, Yugoslavia was unaligned, was not behind the iron curtain, and it’s people could travell to all European (and almost all world) countries, both capitalist and communist, without visa or any other restriction. In fact, it was the only such country.
        And we didn’t hate anybody, nor we were afraid of anybody.
        I think we were unaware of huge contrasts and animosities that existed in world of that time. “Cold war” was only a phrase from American movies and series. We certainly didn’t see it. And weren’t prepared for what came after it.

        • Sacce_ says:

          Replying to a very old thread, but:
          ” In fact, it was the only such country.”

          In fact, Finland was at least very close to that situation, too. Finns were able to freely travel to western countries, and it was also very easy to travel to the countries within the Soviet bloc as well.

          I remember – back in 1987 – how I spent a summer in the USA and my best friend went to the USSR and East Germany at the same time for summer holiday. :)

          The difference is, that unlike Yugoslavia, Finland was not a communist country.

      • Pros says:

        Yugoslavia is not the correct answer.

    • vladimir fickdusiemir says:

      The Azerbaijani language can be written in Latin, Arabic and Cyrillic alphabet; the Cyrillic version includes the letter „ј“.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azerbaijani_language#Alphabets

      The picture in question is apparently from Azerbaijan; a Google search for ‘вертолјот’ points to another place where this picture is discussed.

    • svengali says:

      Comment by zax
      2007-08-15 05:19:56
      On picture with people on heliodrome and helicopter approaching, word vertolet (helicopter in Russian) is writen phonetically, “vertoljot”.
      Even more interesting, it is written in cyrillic alphabet (вертолјот), but with “j”, not “й”.
      I’m curious, what is that language?
      There are languages which use cyrillic with “j” grapheme as in latin alphabet, but as far as I know, none on teritory of former USSR

      This was Aserbaidjan.

  3. numb says:

    Nice pics :)

    Btw, are the army personnel training round-about-driving in pic #28? :)

  4. heyyoucanchangeyourname says:

    Ah… the 60s :)

    Times were not as terrible as people like to think!

  5. gully says:

    back to the ussr? nooooo not again!!! hey russians, how many of you would wanna live there?

    • Petya says:

      Well, I wouldn’t be horrified by the prospect of living in the 60’s or even 70’s. Late 80’s and 90’s – thanks but no thanks.

      • Andres says:

        Hello, again, Petya. You want to live in a country where anything you could buy was either of horrible quality, terribly expensive, just there for the nomenklatura or all of the above? You want to live in a country where people were sent to an asylum (believe me, a Soviet asylum in the 60s has nothing to do with your imagination of an asylum. It was more of a prison combined with various medical tortures) because they expressed their views? You want to live in a country where you could not effectively determine where to work or live? You want to live in a country where you could get a knock on a door any given night and find that you, your family and anybody present has to present their passports (the ones that failed to do so or were not registered to live with you were taken to a police station for questioning)? You want to live in a country where any position was filled not based on competence but on loyalty to the state? I don’t really think so. Oh, unless you are part of the nomenklatura (the governing Communist Party clique).

        • HomoSovieticus says:

          Anda again, as soon as a Balt opens his mouth, the lies pour forth.

          Not everything was “bad quality” in USSR, some was actually Much Better quality than the Western junk you buy today. Especially food (pure natural components), clothes (quality materials) and shoes (honest manufacture).

          Try finding a pair of Western-made shoes that hold more than a year. Try finding a DVD-player that isn’t manufactured to screw up within 2 years.

          CAPITALIST TRASH PRODUCTION, with breakdown guarantee (unless you want to go out of business).

          I won’t even mention the absolute feces that the Chinks pour out.

        • HomoSovieticus says:

          “You want to live in a country where people were sent to an asylum (believe me, a Soviet asylum in the 60s has nothing to do with your imagination of an asylum.”

          Well, “believe me” (what’s that supposed to mean by the way), the asylums of Western 50-s and their “interesting” methodics involving lobotomy, overmedication and electrical shocks have nothing to do with psychiatric wards of today.

          “You want to live in a country where you could not effectively determine where to work or live?”

          Maybe YOU couldn’t. Everybody else just picked their preferred education program. And WORKED WITHIN the system, NOT AGAINST it.

          “You want to live in a country where you could get a knock on a door any given night and find that you, your family and anybody present has to present their passports (the ones that failed to do so or were not registered to live with you were taken to a police station for questioning)?”

          Yes, McCarthy’s era was a terrible period.

          “You want to live in a country where any position was filled not based on competence but on loyalty to the state?”

          That’s funny, how do you build nuclear reactors or radars with “loyalty to the state”, pray tell?

          Ever tried thinking before you type?

    • anton says:

      You just kepp living where you are now. Russians will decided for themselves.

  6. Richard S. says:

    Even Lee Harvey Oswald- Kennedy’s alleged assassin renounced his American citizenship and wanted to live there… I do not know the full story of his departure of the USSR.

    • Petya says:

      Yeah, it seems that nobody knows. There’s plenty of material (even photos) describing him living in Minsk, but none as to how and why he moved back to the US. I don’t think he killed JFK though. On the other hand, the shots were fired from behind. “Back and to the left” argument doesn’t really work after you watch the Zapruder film about 100 times :)

  7. yingjai says:

    I used to want to live in America too. Then as I got older, I realized they aren’t really that great. I rather stay in Canada or move to Europe.

    • zeke says:

      you know it’s all well and good to remember good times and the fact that the US isn’t the end all be all of existence. However that does not prove that the USSR was perfect or even better. The USSR failed for a variety of reasons, most of them economic, those economic conditions were caused by the political system and philosophies put in place after the revolution. To grow one’s economy you have to have more than just natural resources, you have to have a lot of smart people constantly dreaming of the next step. According to my friends from the Ukraine and Russia, most of the new technology was taken from western states thru espionage, like computer chips. After the silicon wafer board was invented my friends parents realized that they could no longer duplicate the chips and would continue to fall behind. The best fields were rocket science and aviation, (you guys had some stunning accomplishments)
      but I remember my dad telling me in 1980 that the fertilizer some of his farmer friends had bought from a soviet company was completely worthless and made up of mostly trash. (at some time in the 70’s and 80’s US firms were encouraged to try and make ties with soviet companies to forge friendships.) No one should say that Soviet russia did not accomplish some amazing feats of engineering and manpower. However the foundation it was created on eventually strangled the country leaving them unprepared and behind their western counter parts.
      all in all the soviet machine bankrupted it’s client states and often purged and murdered their brightest minds because they were a treat to the party.

      • Chingau Wei says:

        The former Soviet Union should serve as a warning to the burgeoning military-industrial complex that currently runs the United States. Any time military power completely owns a country and dictates policy, it’s only a matter of time before the people’s backs are broken and they demand a revolution.

        When the military fell in the USSR, the country fell around it, in shambles, and most of it remains there. The Soviet citizens were all cogs in a gigantic, magnificent war machine that never proved itself, that lived and breathed its own intimidation. These days former top engineers and specialists can be seen working at fast food restaurants or begging for change in the street. Any old generals will sell off Soviet surplus military items for pennies on the dollar, including nukes.

        I hope this never happens to another country again. The USSR still looks like a wounded dog after all this time and the people there still aren’t sure how to behave and govern themselves.

      • anton says:

        USSR wasn’t bankrupt. It was intentionally destroyed.

  8. anton says:

    Paul Robeson loved USSR too. The “democratic” United States punished him once by withdrawing his passport.

  9. Saulius, Lithuania says:

    By the way, my father took one of the pictures with housings, its a district of Kaunas, Lithuania

  10. TeratoMarty says:

    Picture 10: this is a beautiful, artistic composition. I like this picture a lot.

    Picture 11: I notice a theme of people doing equations on the sidewalk in these photosets. Did no-one carry a pad of paper in the old days?*

    Picture 60: I am gay, but I would try heterosexuality if I got to try it with her.

    *Translation for the sarcasm-impaired: “I feel that these photographs are staged to make boasts about the intelligence of the Soviet workers; though I know that the workers were often quite clever, I feel certain that they would have made their calculations on a more portable medium, such as a bit of paper.”

  11. Gully says:

    I’m sometimes very surprised how short and selective memory of russians. they seem to rememeber things they want and forget all others. my father used to tell me stories how he was working in siktivkar. if he could not make it to grocery store by 5 pm there was nothing to buy aftwards not even bread not to mention long lines everywhere for even simple things, like milk or sour cream or butter. and don’t even get me started on that brainwashing freaking comunist propaganda not only targeted to foreigners but very own people…

    • tim says:

      you remind me of my Ukranian friend, her dad was highly connected in the party and had 4 homes, one with a pool on the roof. She always went on and on about her things. For her life was good. But for her friends who scrounged for extra gloves, used clothes, made do with the simplest of foods got shot at on train rides and had every piece of mail sent to them searched and read, things weren’t so nice.

    • Saulius, Lithuania says:

      I have not stated that i have lived in russia. I have stated that i lived in Lithuania, a USSR state from 1941 to 1990.

    • Saulius, Lithuania says:

      My father was a photographer of a monthly magazine “Soviet woman”

    • Z says:

      ” “Before” the collapse there rarely ever lines for merchandise and people had all kinds of basic freedoms, it wasnt america, but it was good enough for most.”

      What the hell are you talking about? As a kid back in the 80’s I stood in line with my father several times for food and other stuff. And the lines were long, believe me… and don’t even get me started on the civil liberties issue.

      Some of you guys are just trying to be irritating while not knowing anything. But I suppose there’s always one or two on every forum.

    • Andres says:

      I don’t know what country you used to live in or who you or your parents were but the USSR (son of a teacher, born 1975, Estonia) I lived in was a xenophobic place (have you ever been refused in a store because of the language you speak? I have) where the only thing that was plentiful were aluminum saucers (I know, it sounds obscure, but its true).

  12. Gully says:

    :-) what kinda hippies were they without drugs? :-) is that a joke? :-) hippy is amost a synonym of pot :-)
    John Travolta’s hippy?! lol :-)

    • Gully says:

      wow, what’s all that hostility about? you always have to see an enemy don’t ya? :-) long hairs were a big fight even in the us and europe and you’re telling me here that it was no problem in the ussr? i take a liberty here not to believe you :-) all you twisted kgb drons denfending ussr as best place to live in simply forget little things like freedom to live anywhere , closed borders, mandatory comunists propaganda, low salary, huge income tax ets.. people even could not run their own business, like haircut salon or bodyshop!

    • Pros says:

      The funny thing is that yesterday’s hippies feel very uncomfortable today when they fill out different kinds of HR/government forms. Everybody is scared now. No more freedom.

      But it doesn’t really matter. Because…

      • Gully says:

        i find it even more funny when hear that hyppie in the past don’t wanna see childern being the way their old folks were back in 60s.. but they still recall those times with somewhat nostalgia.. very biased perception

    • maxD says:

      I think your grandparents didn’t want to bother you with unhappy stories. BTW – owning a 4 room apartment was very rare in the USSR unless you were one of the privileged few. Official regulations stated that 8 m2 p/person was enough and that’s what most people had, more or less. And no cars for the working class. Etc.. It was no party back then, even though it was cleaner than today.

      Saulius, I agree with your view 100 % !

      Calling someone a nazi because he’s from Latvia AND has a different point of view than yourself doesn’t really prove you have a functional brain or are an adult. And it’s very rude. Like most of Russia today. Nashi member, maybe ?

  13. Petya says:

    I see those staged pictures as a bit silly and naive, not as “look at how smart we are!”. Still, they work for me in such a way that I see how two intelligent and educated people are doing something important and are obviously enjoying it. I want to be just like them! So I’m going to study as hard as I can, and someday I will be one of them. If they were using a notepad, the effect simply wouldn’t be the same!

    This is not propaganda, this is a motivational poster. Think about that. Now, compare that to the US motivational posters, you know, about “team work” and “accomplishment”. Those are really dumb! :)

  14. Saulius, Lithuania says:

    I didn’t post a statement “there were no hippies in the USSR”. I just explained why there are no hippies on THESE pictures and the atrocities of being a hippie or a punk.

    You are oviously not older than 19, why don’t you ask older people?

    About your dico craze in the USSR. Have you ever tried comparing disco and hippie lyric’s? That is the main point – you could sing about love on the beach or do the hustle without any restrictions, because these were non-political, neutral texts – used in Soviet pop music long time before disco. But if you try to shout “make love, not war” or something in that way – boy, i wouldn’t want to be in your shoes back in those days, considering that you could easily get imprisoned for only saying a political anecdote in PRIVATE, i’m not even mentioning saying it in public.

    About every boy having long hair. Yes, long hair finally came into fashion – and that, my Russian not-friend, was the only reason why militia had finally stopped those public hippie abusements. I remember summer 1972, when i was 8. One night my older brother, age 18, strangely came home through the window. About 20 min later, we heard a doorbell, and voiced tellig us to immediatly open the door. We hid my brother in a hole between walls, and to his greatest luck, militia were unable to find him (mainly because of their hastiness, as my father said). When we later asked him about what happened, he told my dad that he was in a gig (he was a true and devoted hippie) when militia suddenly broke in without any obvious reason, and started “packing up” everyone they could find there. By brother ecaped only by an accident, whent militia officer turned away before handcuffing him. Later i heard him telling our dad that few of his friend had been haircutted, and one was send right away to the army office. I’ve even seen militia taking hippies right prom the street myself one day, right in the middle of the old town in Kaunas. The main thing is – you could go out naked if everybody else did. But if you differ from the crowd, you automatically became an “inpropper” citizen.

    About drugs. Drugs, prostitution, pornography, and any other possible crime – you could read about drugs in the newspaper or on TV, but everyone was talking. In the 80’s i could get doped without any problem. Do you know who mostly supplied us with weed? Soldiers, sent back from Afganistan. They oftenly told us that marijuana was the main thing that doctors gave them to relieve shell-shock. When returned home, they had tons of it! Jive (the drug that boost you up to unspeakable) and heroin – harder to get, but also possible. Why don’t you try finding some info about the Klaipeda 16’th regiment? That may sound army, but acually it was a wery well known name of a whole guild of prostitutes! The main problem was that all these people, caught for crimes like drug addiction or possesion (for drug addiction people usually eneded up in mental asylums, there were plenty of those), prostitution of pornography (yes, there was porn) – they all were sentenced secretly, conseald from the eyes of public, because there was a credo: “There is NO evil in USSR”

    And now, why dont you please argue any statement of mine

    • Saulius, Lithuania says:

      There is a mistake in the text above – you could get no news about drugs or prostitution. Sorry

      • Pros says:

        Are you particularly interested in news about drugs or prostitution? I have a couple of links and can post them if anyone cares…

    • Pros says:

      Ha-ha. Functional democracy. Do you even know the definition of democracy?

    • juliane says:

      Dear Saulius,

      I am a UK historian looking for former hippies in the Soviet Union? I would be very grateful, if you could get in touch or pass on your brother’s contact details. Or anybody else’s, who was once active in the hippie movement.

      Please reply to juliane.furst@history.ox.ac.uk

      Many thanks.

      Juliane Fuerst

      PS Anybody else, who was or knows a ‘Soviet hippie’ – I would love to hear from you.

  15. Marky says:

    You’re spot on with so many of those comments.

    My own experience mirrors much of what you said. It was not a glorious time of wonder. The rot did set in during the 60’s economically as Brezhnev’s cronnies reached higher and higher ranks. The beauracracy and the army was all that mattered. However the freedom to speak and do what you wished was not available. People made the best of a bad situation.

    I know many people arrested by the militisa for wearing jeans. Can you imagine today poeple being arrested for the clothes they wore? They were integrated for a long time to learn where they obtained them from.

    Putin’s Russia and the Soviet system hold many similarities. One shouldn’t be too surprised as Putin is ruling the way he remembers the system worked for him. It’s hard to break a habit.

    Those who remember with stary eyed nostolgia of the soviet days are very selective on those memories. My wife used to say “In those days we always had bread and food” but you just have to point out how after 1975 the USSR had to import grain from the US because it couldn’t get grain from the farms it had to the cities to show how inefficient and terrible the system had become. When, in 1980, Regan stopped the shipments things got worse and worse for the average man in the street. The system was unable to cope with the simple things that make a society work. Just cover it all up with mosaics of happy soviet people with lots of food and wonder.

  16. Vanya says:

    Jesus Christ, not one word about the millions in the Gulags, or exiled to Siberia. I bet the 60s were great for them.

    • HomoSovieticus says:

      Heh, there must be more folks sitting in US prisons today than there ever was in the entire Gulag system.

      You brainwashed Westerners are too damn funny.

  17. jk says:

    But HOW did they got dog out of helicopter down on that ladder?

  18. iurabos says:

    >Saulius

    nie znam angielskiego, więc piszę po polsku. Prawda jest taka, jak napisałeś – jestem Polakiem i mimo że było może nieco lżej (?) to większość jeśli nie wszystkie powyższe zdjęcia to propaganda. Pietia ma trochę racji w tym, że kultura zachodnia jest zgniła, sam się z tym zgadzam, bo nie da się więcej zjeść niż można a wszyscy próbują. Sam jestem kapitalistą – jak sądzę – więc nie do końca jestem za tym co on mówi, ale widać że przesadza, albo tęskni za prostszymi czasami, kiedy decyzje podejmowane były za ciebie…..

  19. Saulius, Lithuania says:

    Then please continue with analyzing, i am very interested

  20. Richard S. says:

    What about buildings of worship? Were they allowed or were they monitored? Were people allowed to attend a church service?

    • Andres says:

      They were allowed _and_ monitored. You could go to a church but you could get into a lot of trouble for that. Exactly how much trouble depended heavily on location in the USSR and the time period. In the 80s a kid going to church during Christmas would just get into the troublemakers list (a teacher was standing on the door and checking faces) but in the 30s whole communities of religious people were sent to GULAG where they usually died off quickly.

      A lot of the churches were converted to non-religious use from sports museums to military warehouses.

  21. Andres says:

    Number of people killed in Gulag? Who killed tens of thousands of Polish officers in Katõn? Who and when built the Belomorkanal and how many died? Who and how built the large factories and mines in Siberia so that USSR could prosper and how many died? Have you been to Norilsk? Or the uranium mines where people died like flies? If you do not know the answer to any of these questions you do not know what you are talking about.

  22. Andres says:

    And you are so wise and know truth from lie because… ?

  23. igor says:

    I do work.

  24. G0m3r says:

    WOW!!! The number of deniers in this room are amazing. I spent a few months in Russia resently visiting my wife’s family. I was very interested in speaking with her older familiy members. They all told me of how different life was before the fall of the USSR. Even my wife is old enough to remember what it ws like. Sorry to burt the bubble of the deniers but teh stories I was told match up with what Saulius has shared. I thought the stories we heard here in the west were propaganda but not quite. Life in the USSR was nowhere near what living here in the west.

    • HomoSovieticus says:

      Your wife’s family probably wasn’t doing anything useful, or living in some god-forgotten village. What do you expect?

      The life for a trailer-dweller or a cardboard-dweller in US isn’t much of a dream either. Eating GM-junk and being abused by the system.

  25. DanOnTheMoon says:

    In Soviet Russia, pictures take YOU!!

  26. tarique says:

    You know its funny. I come from a developing world country which had liasions with both Russia and USA during the cold war. To me it seems that all these ‘propaganda pictures’ are no different from the pictures you would see in american magazines like Life, Times, etc. It seems that when others do it its propaganda and when USA does it (and coninue doing it – check current US magazines) its ‘patriotism’ or ‘celebrating freedom’. Both communism and american form of philosophy are evil – because of one simple fact – both are hell bent on oppressing any other forms of thought and believe in the mantra that their thought is the naturally superior form of thinking. The problem is because of these two seriously demented and evil governments, many people around the world died and sufferred (to a scale much larger than that of Hitler). If you count the deaths, Hitler was less of a villain than the US in Vietnam, Hiroshima, Nagasaki and Iraq and the USSR in Afghanistan, Vietnam and Eastern Europe. All in all though a lovely post and one which shows that wherever we are from and whatever we believe in, life in itself is beautiful. Thank you for this post which is a rare insight into the Russian life back then.

  27. Andrew / A2 says:

    Great to see the pictures, although imho some captions would not have gone amis.

  28. Pros says:

    The new Baltic countries think they are independent. But it’s far from the truth. They can be easily wiped out by the next armed conflict. Nobody will even notice anything.

    And I’m too lazy today to reply to the rest of your BS. LOL

  29. Frank Swain says:

    Here in England we help each other when someone is in trouble with few exceptions. We try to like our neighbors not regard them with hatred, envy and suspicion. The state cares for the sick and weak and they are not begrudged their share because it is what the people want. We have a government which has made mistakes lately but the price will be paid at election time no doubt. Yes we have that power too! Nobody need starve here or go without medical care, a place to live, or a pension. This is only because we care about each other. Imagine how powerful Russia would be if you Russians were the same. You could achieve anything. I am not talking a return to the Soviet days here but a little more tolerance and help would work wonders.

    • tiege says:

      I can remember many of those kinds of pics from the Kruschev and Brezhnev years. In Uk and Western Europe in general we have only one advantage! Freedom to move within the European borders without too much hassle. Our health and care systems in many ways are far behind those of the ex soviet states. We have horrendously high wages in comparison, but also mammoth living costs – which makes the difference null and void. Educationally we are way behind those guys, (and also the rest of Europe if it comes to that) – how many Brits can manage more than a few words in any other language other than English? In terms of engineering the Russians always were and probably still are far superior to anything that comes out of the west…even the US! If we’re going to mention human rights and civil liberties – ok…they exist in UK….but not for the indigenous population! Statistics tell us that Russia is THE most ‘observed’ people, and UK is right there behind them in the surveillance stakes.
      Maybe we all need to wake up and realise we are all human beings – we all need to interact, and yes there are some States need to be more generous in their overtures to the rest of the modern world – but the rest of the modern world needs to be much more understanding of the freedoms it witholds! The word Shengan immediately comes to mind! Everybody talks about the restrictions within the Federation and it’s former states, much of Western Europe won’t even freely grant citizens of those countries the right to visit! There is good and bad on both sides of this discussion…the ‘common’ man is a separate entity to the politicians, and that is some disease worse than HIV!

    • Fred Swan says:

      Frank I think you are a wonderful handsome genius. You are never wrong about anything and you have such a big ….

  30. kurchatov says:

    Its true that 60s were the best years of soviet regime, thats the time when the nation was developing really fast, its the time when all the great classic movies were coming out, the time of 1st baby boom, great musicians, fearsome military, and amazing construction projects in major cities. My grandmother always said those were the happiest times in her life. So i agree with Petya, because she would always curse other years, 90s especially.

  31. [...] Via veel fotomateriaal kan je hier kennismaken met Rusland en de voormalige USSR. Bijvoorbeeld deze fotoserie over de USSR in de jaren ‘70 van de vorige eeuw. Of de serie over uitgerangeerde treinen. [...]

  32. lorenew says:

    Saulius – I would like to thank you standing up for the truth. Having been born in 1943 I can attest to your statements and congratulate you. There is still a large “silent majority” out here that agrees with you.

  33. [...] zobaczyć: ZSRR na fotografiach Handel w ZSRR ZSRR cz.I ZSRR cz.II Otagowano z:fotografia, propaganda, Rosja, Związek Radziecki « [...]

  34. [...] mně hlavně 60. léta: http://englishrussia.com/?p=1250 s pěknými BW reportážními [...]

  35. Kirov says:

    No, Soviet Union from 1960-1980 was a great country.

    Selia the Lithuanian is a dirty propagandist. His arguments are based on half truths, exaggerations, twisted truths and sometimes even lie. Some is true, but very little. Sure, USSR wasn’t perfect, but I would rather live in USSR in 60’s(when living standard was at the level of west), 70’s and even 80’s then in USA today.

    So stop this BS.

  36. Otis R. Needleman says:

    While the USSR of the 60’s was a great step up from the USSR of, say, the 30’s it didn’t even come close to the USA of the 60’s. I was growing up in the USA during the 60’s; remember the moon landing in 1969?

    Having said that, I must give the people of the USSR a huge amount of credit for what they accomplished. These people first went through all Stalin’s terrors, and then a devastating war with Germany. I wonder if Americans could have done as well under those conditions.

    Yes, many of the photos were staged. Yes, the Soviet people didn’t have the same rights as Americans in the 60’s. But I would say this. The Russian people are a great people, well worth respecting. I always hated the Communists, and still do. But I have always thought highly of the Russian people. Still do.

    • artemei says:

      thanks for ur comment. respect.
      i got sheded a tear ;)

      ps. i was born in USSA in eightieth and still live in Russia

  37. [...]  http://englishrussia.com/?p=1250 [...]

  38. [...] Anys 60, anys 70 1, 2 i 3, anys 80 [...]

  39. Bismarck says:

    Your answer about life in the Soviet Union was very good.
    Some people still think that if you have no money you have to die in the sidewalk outside hospital.
    I live in Argentina, here the state makes houses, I live in one, we pay 15 dollars a month and have free education and free medical care too. The neoliberals tried to destroy all that as they do with your country, we lost a lot, our gas company, our petrol, our steel and telefon companies and much more. But since 2003 the country is walking again. We have problems, yes, but we are doing our best to go forward.
    Greetings from Argentina, land of “asado”, futbol, Tango, “Morochas”, “alfajores” and happy people.

    • javox says:

      its true…i live in argentina, we had lots of troubles but after few years our economy keep growin up, even after all this problems in USA and Europe

  40. Arif says:

    These are awesome pictures, bought back a LOT of nostolgia. The USSR is no stranger to an Indian guy. For SURE you didn’t have super fat luxuries, but then u didn’t have super fat stress either. Life was pretty comfortable even if a bit bare, you knew society was there to look over you. Ah! I can remember seeing a Soviet Union school, and on how much creativity was stressed!

    I always wished India was a part of USSR….and I hope we too become like USSR in my life time. But these pics bought back some memories, thanks a ton for it.

  41. Arif says:

    “Jesus Christ, not one word about the millions in the Gulags, or exiled to Siberia. I bet the 60s were great for them”

    How about the 6’0’clocks 4 cig federel pens in da US? What’s better? Getting raped in a cozy 6″ cell over cigarette by big nasty mamba bear, or getting worked to death in a not so cozy gulag….I am not so sho really.

    Penal systems WORLDWIDE except may b for Norway exist to make u suffer. BTW- US jails the most number of ppl in terms of percent in da world!! Check up world prisoner stats.

    Also most gulags were dismantled after Stalin era as the cost of running them were greater than the labour that were being extract from them.

  42. OP says:

    Arif-YOU’RE

    RIGHT!!!!!!!

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