11 Back to the USSR

Back to the USSR

Posted on July 6, 2017 by tim

A selection of photos from the country that doesn’t exist any more.

One Soviet ruble could buy you:
1 full lunch in a cafeteria
100 km hitchhiking ride
33 glasses of soda
50 calls from payphone
100 boxes of matches
5 icecreams
20 subway rides
4 loafs of bread, 1 kg each
5 liters of fresh milk
20 movie tickets
2 bottles of good beer and change left
8 packs of bad cigarettes
6 kg of watermelon in August or 3 kg melons
5 haircuts
1 day rent a room on the Black Sea


Wedding cars were usually decorated with a doll sitting on the car hood and colorful ribbons and balloons in USSR.

On the first day of school there was a tradition of a boy from the last grade carrying a first-grader girl on his shoulder, with the girl ringing a bell. That symbolized her first ever school bell and soon-to-be over school for the high schoolers.


Still from a Soviet cult movie.

Typical apartment.


Soviet lottery “Sportlotto” ticket. Had to guess five numbers out of 36.

Book fairs were popular.


Army parade.

Kids in around 1950s. Those “rocket” kid cars were very popular and every kid wanted them but rarely had a chance to get.


KAMAZ trucks during “testing” route.


Reading a letter from son in the army.

Soda pay machines were placed on Soviet streets. You could get one glass for 1/100 of Soviet ruble. The glass was a regular glass, not disposable and was reused by anyone who wanted a soda. There was a separate tap to wash the glass.


Soviet famous actor.

Soviet drink alternatives for foreign drinks, like “Holland Gyn”, soda “Bendictian”


“Every Sunday morning joy rides on Soviet planes IL-14 and AN-2”. Ticket price 1 ruble for adults, 1/2 ruble for kids. It was in Crimea.

Soviet cult radio VEF. Was made in Latvia.


Soviet policeman lectures a boy who done something wrong.

Soviet pioneers, Wester scouts alternative. Were using trumpets as their symbol.


Every Soviet teen wanted a moto and a guitar.

First Soviet videogame.


Rental store, Soviet person could rent household items.

Soviet people watching TV outside the house.


Soviet bread snacks for sale.

Soviet cult soccer team.


TVs for sale.

One of the first Soviet video tape recorders/players.


Soviet candies.

Kruschev, Brezhnev, Gagarin celebrating New Year 1963.


Soviet kids had an  awesome handwriting in cursive. Before ball pens had to dip their ink pens into ink bottles.

Soviet “Zaporozhets” car ad.


Boys inside of the house of mirrors.

Innovation on display.


10 Soviet rubles –
– was often borrowed to a neighbor
– was then too shy to remind about this debt
– universal pay for any service between people
– huge piece of expensive sausage
– expensive toy, like a table top game or remote controlled car or small billiard.

Soviet collective farm workers.


Traffic light in Moscow c. 1950s.

Soviet attraction in an amusement park.


First Soviet cosmonauts lined up.

Soviet small van car based on Moskvich car.


Soviet interior details many people still remember.

Construction workers building Trans Baikal railroad having lunch.


Soviet people at “Subbotnik” or Saturday work day – a sort of voluntarily day when neighbors helped to clean up territory around their buildings.

Please help English Russia stay online! Support and have all pictures on one page: click here


More stories:

Click here to read next random post from English Russia

11 responses to “Back to the USSR”

  1. Alain says:

    But one ruble was not enough to buy freedom…

    • Lumpy Gravy says:

      … freedom from what? Freedom to do what?

      It must have been a strange sort of oppression that gave the people of the USSR the best free education, the best free health care, the lowest infant mortality and one of the longest average live expectancy in the world. Gosh, they must have felt terrible for not having to worry about losing one’s job, for not being bullied and harassed in the work place and for not being constantly ripped off by a business mafia. And surely, they must have felt awfully guilty about having all in all much happier and fulfilled lives than their contemporaries in capitalist countries.

      • Douglas says:

        They had a life on long lines. Waiting years for even a fridge. A constant lack of food and simple consumer goods like feminine products. The waiting list for a car was typically many years long. If you wanted most durable goods you had to have connections to get anything. Yes, they did have narrowly confined lives but no real upward mobility. The State controlled every aspect of life.

        • Lumpy Gravy says:

          As you can see in these images and in many other series of images on this website, people in the USSR had anything but “narrowly confined lives”, as you put it. And what would you want with “upward mobility” in a classless society? The widespread use of this obnoxious phrase alone shows how deeply many people have been indoctrinated with the prevailing capitalist ideology and how narrowly confined and illusionary their belief in this system is. All they know is ‘competition’, ‘getting ahead’, ‘making it in the world’, ‘upward mobility’ and other such newspeak tosh. And it shows, if you care to take a closer look at the atomized societies of the so called developed countries.

          • Douglas says:

            USSR had 3 classes of society. The Top [they had best of everything], The Middle managers [they had most things but not all], the Rest…..poor, controlled, always standing in line and always scared to say anything…..or it was the Gulag or worse.

      • Slaven says:

        @Lumpy Westerners cannot understand the concept of USSR. Nor the true freedom it represented. For them you are only free if you can buy a gun and do whatever you want to do in your life. The fact that you are almost always in some “bussinesmans” fist is less important.

  2. Douglas says:

    The meal shown with the construction workers is basically the same today…..lots of buckwheat.

  3. DAS666 says:

    Was that the Trolololololololololo guy ?

  4. Slaven says:

    Beautiful times for those who lived then. As opposed to those who had to live their youth in times when gorbachev and belazheva mobsters sabotaged and ruined great USSR.

  5. tom bauer says:

    and a ruble today? .017 cent US? wow.

  6. Tutan Camon says:

    I have a VEF radio,still working great even today!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Random Post