140 Life in Soviet Russia: Private Moments

Life in Soviet Russia: Private Moments

Posted on February 4, 2008 by

Life in Russia: private photos 1

Are you ready to make an immersion into the glorious life of Soviet Russia? If yes scroll down, this one today differs from other retrospective series we had before by the manner of compilation – it’s not a one collection but is assorted mix came from different sources. Each photo is an individual shot from the fate of some random human who lived in Russia at that times, sometimes those moments were sad, sometimes joyful and photos share this mood with us now:

Life in Russia: private photos 2

Life in Russia: private photos 3

Life in Russia: private photos 4

Life in Russia: private photos 7

Life in Russia: private photos 8

Life in Russia: private photos 9

Life in Russia: private photos 10

Life in Russia: private photos 11

Life in Russia: private photos 12


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140 Responses to “Life in Soviet Russia: Private Moments”

  1. Vlad the great says:


  2. lithuanian says:

    Very good post.

  3. erin says:

    who is the man pictured with the board full of mathematical equations – does anyone know?

  4. Pros says:

    Too much photoshop

  5. valiant says:

    Excellent post…

    By the way I visited a couple of years ago Crimea during summer… and really liked. Particularly, Yalta, the palaces, the nature…

    Does anybody have any old pictures from the commnunist times
    taking during summer of this beautiful holiday destination?

    Please, post pics or the link if you do.



  6. Red Robot says:

    absolutely fascinating.

  7. Niels R. says:

    That is a bunch of photos, indeed!

    Very nice post!

  8. D says:

    Amazing set of photos…. Russians are a beautiful people.

    • Bert says:

      Actually not that much has changed, Russian life still has the same kind of feeling to it. And I mean that in a positive way.

      • maxD says:

        I don’t agree.

        The certainties which the soviet state provided have gone, life became more difficult for many. Everybody had a job back then, even a ‘virtual’ job was still a job. (I pretend to work and you (the state) pretend to pay me – popular expression from soviet times). People now are ‘free’ but have in many instances difficulty handling this ‘freedom’ since Russians have never been free for a 1000 years or so. Luckily the new ‘democratic government’ is there to help out those unfortunate ones – vote for the strong man, he’ll show you the way !!

        Anyway, excellent post! Don’t really get the guy with the high heels though – never saw this type of Russian machismo before.

        • Boris Abramov says:

          “Luckily the new democratic government is there to help out those unfortunate ones – vote for the strong man, hell show you the way !!”

          All empty promises. Medvedev promised to double pensions as soon as he is in office. Let’s hold him to his words, shall we?

          • russians fake says:

            Typical lie. He wont do that.

          • maxD says:


            Of course things did not change for the good. And I fear they will not in the near future. Russia is a police state and will stay that way, I’m afraid. A banana republic, I’m sorry to say so. Every government likes to have the amount of control the Russian government has [and to which the Russians are used to]. Privacy is not really valued by Russians since they are not used to it and have no clue. Like a sarcastic comment once stated: Russia is even more defined by what it lacks and needs than by what it has.

            Double the pensions… even if he does it is still not enough to live on.

  9. galacteon says:

    The one with the line of children receiving medicine from a bottle isn’t from the former Soviet Union, the buldings are wrong and so are the clothes. Looks like Britain to me!
    But a great post!

  10. malcolm says:

    I always enjoy the old photo series you run

  11. curious says:

    How was the sex life back then?
    Were people more restrained than they are today?

    • curios says:

      They had abortions back then?

      • Boris Abramov says:


        • Scrat335 says:

          Speaking for myself my wife is Russian, this woman has no hangups when it comes to sex. To her it is not a weapon, it is not a tool you use to get your way, it is not what empowers her or gives her a sense of identity as it does women in the west and America. It’s a mutually enjoyable experience to be shared as often as possible.I have absolutely no complaints.
          Russians are a very sexual bunch of rabbits, the Spartan life they tend to lead lends itself to it and while they seem to like to keep it private make no mistake it is definitly there.

          • Boris Abramov says:

            If anything, I found that Russian women are much more liberal when it comes to sex. It is clearlly reflected in the way they dress and how much more revealing they are then their western counterparts. However, I too have no complaints :)

        • russians fake says:

          Yes and A LOT!!!

  12. moo says:

    Is that Гагарин?
    Three photos beneath the dude playing pool?

  13. John from Kansas says:

    The finest series of photos of the Russin people I have yet seen on EnglishRussia. To Russia!

    • Zafarad says:

      Yes sir,i wish i was the part of these happy peoples,but some dreams can`t be true.God bless them.the peoples with great ideas and reason to live for humanity.long live humanity! ! ! ! ! !

  14. John from Kansas says:

    Photo #18. Babushka aims true.

  15. Richard S. says:

    What is the name of this structure?


  16. Mark says:

    Wow. What a great post. Amazing photos.

  17. wow says:

    Best post ever on English Russia! THANK YOU

  18. vladimir fickdusiemir says:

    Good post!

    I think I have seen several of those pictures before, probably in another post here on ER. And I am quite sure I saw the PЕПСИ-КОЛА picture in colour before. :-)

  19. Mik says:

    Photo #46 – an IPOD!

  20. tokio express says:

    Quite impressed! The Best pictures ever! Спасибо! (from tokio)

  21. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says:

    Here are many beautiful people in nice photos. My favorite is # 53, and you can see it if you scroll down to the big clock sitting on the beach (how do they keep it from falling over?), then down one more to the people on the subway, then my favorite!–The Disco Ladies!

    Let’s sing a happy song for Russia. Everyone, sing:

    (music, please)
    Shake it up, shake it down
    Move it in, move it round, disco lady
    Move it in, move it out, move it in round about, disco lady.

  22. VikingBerserker says:

    That last one looks like Anthoney Bourdain to me.

  23. Great post!
    how many feelings here!
    nice! :D

  24. Iago says:

    Marvelous collection. It reminds one of the “Family of Man” collection of photos.

  25. KauLad says:

    Many thanks for this collection. As I have stated before, we have be become aware of our commonality. These photos do that.

  26. bumba says:


    but the head of the little girl doing ..that.. aerobic stuff, looks way out of proportion.

  27. chicken says:

    My fave picture here is the pepsi machine one, especialy considering that there are some serious dental issues going on in some of the other images.

  28. yingjai says:

    the woman in that photo looks a bit like Jack Black.

    I’m suprised a lot of the black and white photos are so sharp.

    • maxD says:

      Analog film has no pixels and cannot be compared to it. It contains all the information of the scene [well, depending on the film's speed of course] and only suffers from the limitations of the printing paper and the film’s graininess.

      Like comparing an analog audio recording with a digital one. A digital one has a certain sample rate ['pixels' in photo/film] which means that every xth second a fragment of the audio is being sampled. A CD has 44100 fragments[samples] p/sec, studio recordings can have up to 192000 fragments[samples] p/sec. Still, it is a collection of fragments, not the whole. Same with digital photography, every picture is a collection of fragments [pixels], not the whole. But since our eyes are not that good, we are easily fooled.

      • Ugly American says:

        Actually, film does have a grain size. That’s where the grainy film effect comes from. It’s also why black & white photos are sharper (smaller grain size).

        And analog recorders have flux limits for magnetic recorders and viscosity limits for physical media like vinyl and wax. Many people don’t notice because the rolloff is more gradual on the high end which most people don’t hear that well anyway. Also, past sound engineers adjusted things very carefully to get the maximum dynamic range with the least distortion. Today’s mass produced music is digitally compressed (in audio terms, not information theory) into it’s upper dynamic range to make it sound louder because most people think louder=better. They do the same with modern TVs makeing them very bright and over coloured and fake looking.

        The girls have got some old equations for rockets and satellites on the ground.

        The guy’s got some old Soviet style Quantum Mechanics formulations on the board. The interesting thing is that formulation looks more like he was working twords LQG.

  29. George says:

    The man playing pool is actually Gagarin himself.

  30. Ari The Finn says:

    :) Great pics, and it is heartwarming to see how(judging by the feedback) most of us have learnt something valuable of the Russians; they are talented, resourceful lovable people to whom I raise my hat. Respect!

  31. Visitor says:

    Great, heartwarming photos.

  32. deepfreezevideo says:

    The Russian women I’ve hooked up with in my past enjoyed sex very much!

  33. wackyruss says:

    Amazing photos.

  34. Tick Durpin says:


  35. Noononononononononono says:

    It’s Zooey Dechanel in pic 4

    • maria says:

      It definitely is. I was wondering if I was the only person to notice that that picture is from Almost Famous. Nothing to do with Soviet Russia!

    • harryposter says:

      Don’t know if it’s Zoe on #4, however it’s defenitely my idea of the perfect woman from head to toe and backwards…
      High five to the soviets who built this amazing creature, hurray!

  36. Zmeu says:

    Hey, pic #4 is Zooey Deschannel!! LOL

  37. Maxim says:

    Nice photos. My grandmother still has those dresses.
    The great thing about school uniforms was that kids from poor families weren’t jealous of kids from more well-off families. But in America it is labeled as oppressing the individualism.

  38. Mr.Tinkles says:

    Really great photos ^^
    They breaks a lot of taboos

  39. Kozlenak says:

    Awesome POST!

  40. Greetings from Finland says:

    Is that uranium or some other radioactive material in 114 enlighting the room? Shows how much Russians care for their kids.

    • Steve says:

      Try not to be foolish. It’s kids standing around an HID lamp to get UV radiation so their skin produces vitamin D (which westerners get from dairy food). Something to do with a lack of sunshine in the north during winter. Strangely that photo was published in National Geographic magazine about 30 years ago.

  41. Funny Ads says:

    these are Lovely, thanks.

  42. Latvian says:

    Good post, thank You.
    That was also life.
    Raimonds Pauls that young? Amazing!

  43. Alberto says:

    The stewardess on pic #4 is probably still working in Aeroflot

  44. Jason says:

    Great photo set!!! Good work/Molodets!!

  45. Swede says:

    This scene is just like the one in S.T.A.L.K.E.R :)

  46. Jogobot says:

    best pics ever

  47. dee says:

    Who took these pictures? They nice… good post :)

  48. Mongolian says:

    Russia is really a great nation with great people. i lived there for 3 years when i was in my high school and i made many russian friends with whom i still keep contact with. Regrettably many people tend to think of russians as bad people because of the all Cold War propaganda. But as you can you see from the pictures russians are just like us.

  49. Harry says:

    Awesome post. Who’s the photographer?

  50. Harry says:

    well it might not have been, their all from around the same time, same style. Could just be some guys portfolio.

  51. Jeff says:

    I am always amazed that the world has devolved to what it is now. Most of us have become poorly paid worker bees.

    Communism was no failure. I would say capitalism has except for a few.

  52. buzz says:

    Soviet Russia: Private Moments…

    We don’t want freedom/ We don’t want justice/ We just want someone to love…

  53. Pas says:

    Very nicely done. They should put year and location.

  54. Baadcop says:

    The guy with the 3 miniature trucks looks like Gallagher, except he doesn’t have the Soviet version of a sledge-O-matic..

  55. rollins says:

    Excellent photographs…it’s as if you have entered a time machine…

  56. djc says:

    imagine how much the US and the USSR could have accomplished had we been working together – these photos prove once again we are all people – the social and political lenses we see through divide us so.

  57. Firdes says:

    I’m so much impressed by these amazing pics. They’re so true, so real.They made me remember the times of Socializm, they perfectly convey the atmosphere of these times..as if the whole life passed in some minutes..

  58. brbrbr says:

    great pics.
    its hard to find something like in US or UK-related WWW-cities.

    i ride 33 bus for years ;)
    even in L Breshnev time ;-)

  59. Claudio says:

    Great post, good old time. W CCCP.

  60. lude nunes says:

    This post is very good! Deeply enjoyed! This pictures have some kind of poesy in it, some sort of nostalgia for a vanished era. It might sound polemic, but I think there were so many things we could learn from Soviet Union…

    • Pasha says:

      Awful and horrible times of Soviet Union are too vivid here. Oh, I am so very happy that it all ended. Soviet Union was the worst experiment in the history of humankind.

  61. v says:

    “The certainties which the soviet state provided have gone, life became more difficult for many. Everybody had a job back then, even a ‘virtual’ job was still a job. (I pretend to work and you (the state) pretend to pay me – popular expression from soviet times). People now are ‘free’ but have in many instances difficulty handling this ‘freedom’ since Russians have never been free for a 1000 years or so. Luckily the new ‘democratic government’ is there to help out those unfortunate ones – vote for the strong man, he’ll show you the way !!”

    This is the best comment I’ve ever seen in English Russia.
    The man said the truth.

    And most of pics are fake, for example there were no black people in russia, and all over soviet union, so howcome do we see a photo with a black guy looking at some statue? (http://englishrussia.com/images/soviet_b&w/17.jpg)

    And the girl in http://englishrussia.com/images/soviet_b&w/4.jpg is obviously not from any soviet country.

    This post has most of the components all posts in this website have- mixed feeling of nostalgia; mixed photos from russia and not russia (but still claiming it is russia or soviet times, while it isnt), and even some propoganda (russian or soviet) in some posts.

    • laser beam says:

      “And most of pics are fake, for example there were no black people in russia, and all over soviet union, so howcome do we see a photo with a black guy looking at some statue?”

      Can you imagine that there were a lot of foreign students in the Soviet Union? Many of them were black. There were also many “children of international love”. Several times in my live I saw black guys, who speak perfect Russian and whose mentality is totally Russian. They were born in Russia from Russian mothers but look like Africans.

    • laser beam says:

      I am not completely sure about this particular photo, but you definitely underestimate skills of the Soviet fashion designers. May be not all women were wearing such dresses everyday, but there were good tailors in the USSR and some women were making orders from them.

  62. Superiorduck says:

    Come on!, the girl in the 3rd photo is Zooey Deschanel in “Almost Famous” Great post

  63. astonic says:

    Very good photoes
    Real sensation, feelings of those times

  64. yana says:

    Thank you for the post.
    So nostalgic :)

  65. Mercur says:

    Page bookmarked, to remind me, from time to time, what beauty means…

  66. Cigarettes says:

    when i saw this pics i remembered Beatles’s song ‘Back in URSS’ :)

  67. Central Harlem Anonymous says:

    I love the photo of the baby sleeping by the train set. Thanks for sharing these.

  68. Mari says:

    Great photos! Some are very professionally photographed!
    Takes me back to the good old times :-)

  69. Cranberry says:

    Murzilka was a great didactic magazine for children and i dont remember anything concerned with war and germany and so on

  70. Nice!, found your blog on Yahoo!.Glad I finally tested it out. Unsure if its my Chrome browser,but sometimes when I visit your site, the fonts are really tiny? However, love your page and will check back.Bye

  71. Simon says:

    I became speechless…love these photos!!!

  72. gillbates says:

    thanks for sharing! would’ve been interesting to try out one of those lada rally cars

  73. Denise says:

    Thank you for these lovely pictures. My mother had a big collection of glossy Soviet magazines that she collected and I grew up seeing the proud and graceful people that Russians were and still are.

    Today, the Russians I know are still the same even with all their problems and it is indeed a pity to see this country lost in turmoil.

  74. Antonio says:

    The girl in the third, or fourth image(6161 in background) is stunning. And all around nice look into life under soviet russia.

  75. Rada says:


  76. Linas Lituanus says:

    Yes, very typical photos. I’ve seen hundreds similar in collections of friends of mine.

  77. [...] Life in Soviet Russia – Nice photos. [...]

  78. [...] Life in Soviet Russia – Nice photos. [...]

  79. Timkee says:

    It was a great time!

  80. Josie says:

    Such wonderful pictures, especially the happy children. I bet they would all say that their childhood was very happy.

  81. serg12 says:

    Archive of old soviet magazines – http://journal-club.ru

  82. Ferrat says:

    Viva USSR! Viva Stalin!

  83. Rob says:

    4th down is Zoey Deschanel in Almost Famous which was shot in the United States in the Mid 90’s. Not soviet russia. http://www.fedge.net/~zdeschanel/photos/famousgallery.html

  84. seth says:


    Honestly i can believe this picture, if girls are that pretty and intelligent in Russia ill move there

  85. Byron76 says:

    I liked all the pictures! Russian people must be as friendly as any people fron any other country… We got to recon that russian people grow at the shadow of a nuclear war aswell the rest of the world… during the cold war.
    Now that’s part of a past where all of us must learn to don’t be as fool again.
    I hope one day can go there to be between you and feel what you feel, what you think, what you believe and your hopes and wishes.
    Big hug, and glad to help me to get in the right place the pieces in the big puzzle that’s the russian way of life and culture.
    Best regards from Argentina!.

  86. Nimo says:

    Nice photos (and women! xD), very ilustrative and not like you normally see (propaganda of either side, etc.)

    And, is the man in photo 60 with TWO hero of the Soviet Union medals? That are the maximum medals.
    And he is so young.

  87. narbonne says:

    don’t forget the propaganda newspaper in 60’s, and see with these photos the real life in the soviet..

    and now, today in the newspaper, read article about iran, with other attention..

  88. B says:

    Third one from the bottom, the 3 girls pulling the lady in the sled.. I really like this photo. The old lady in stripes in the background adds a great touch to the composition, too.

    Also like the people dancing by the lake with the cassette player.

  89. aarong says:

    whats the history of the photo 116 where it looks like the two soccer players were about the fight and the ref was blowing the whistle???

  90. John says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed looking at this collection of photos. Each one is interesting in itself. Of course they do present a somewhat idyllic appearance of Soviet life; that is understandable; most citizens of most countries like to show the best of their countries. I would like though to have seen a bit more of a balanced approach myself. For instance, there is not one photo of, in or around an apartment block; where the majority of Russian lived. Some of these shown would given a more genuine look at Russia. I am sure there were many good sides to Soviet life. And there is no mistaking the beauty of Russian women!

  91. Douglas says:

    Just people of this planet. All different. Russians are warm people when you get to know them.

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