USSR: Survival Kit


It is a common belief that the USSR was a closed country from both inside and outside and authorities were keeping iron curtain stay still during the whole existence of the country. But this insight here is to bring these delusions over.


They say that there wasn’t any sex in the USSR what is also not true; there was sex in the USSR for sure. And of course there were foreign tourists visiting the country to mouse the truth out. Actually there were lots of people traveling to Russia. It’s just that the government tried to make citizens not to communicate with aliens by any means.

In Saint-Petersburg and Moscow even such things existed as hotels for foreign tourists where locals weren’t allowed. Such a segregation thing was needed because the authorities didn’t want its people to get something out from foreigners, whether it would be a chewing gum for Soviet kids or some information about how it was abroad.

But after, from the beginning of 80’s, iron curtain began to rust and holes started dotting this wall. Along with stream of jeans, lots of tourists streamed into the country living its last years.

Еditors of this guidebook missed a bit, just for a few years. The book was published in the beginning of 90’s, when everything’s already was otherways. But journalists who were making the guidebook said that they were collecting information for decades and this very copy is not a first edition of the book. So, we can conclude that traveling to Russia was a popular thing even long-long ago, for example in 60 or 70’s.

The book tells us everything about Russia and its people, from set phrases with funny transcriptions to the peculiarities of Russian mentality. Check this out.



























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16 thoughts on “USSR: Survival Kit”

  1. As if they couldn’t make Soviet Russia sound any worse, reading that made you want to cancel that flight & hotel booking for Russia.

    I thought the Caucasus poster was funny, just because of the random palm tree. Reminds me of the 50’s Palm springs postcards.

  2. Of course the Soviet Union was closed off, now, come on. Who built that wall in Berlin? Why did people have to “defect” to leave, and then have their families subjected to the gulag — and for that matter, why WAS there a gulag. You do nobody a service be rewriting history. Gorbachev was even asked about this at once, and he had some lame answer about why they keep people in. Just look at what the anarchist Emma Goldman had to do to get out of the country, and she was sympathetic to the revolution at first until she saw brutality like the brutal suppression of the Kronstadt rebellion.

      • I know two people who traveled there while it was still Soviet. One a student and the other a teacher.

        I’m curious does anyone know of a young man who defected in the 80’s by the name of Konstantin Sofer?

        He was from Leningrad where his parents taught at the university.

        I use to know him but I lost contact with him and I wonder how he is doing now.

      • C-mon, William, this is Nationalism, antisemitism, gender-ism, racism, vodka-drinking, pork fat-eating, Putler´s propaganda and glorification of USSR and its achievements are their everyday business…

  3. Reminded me the Monty Python sketch where the Russian desk clerk in a hotel asks Palin whether he wants a “bugged or unbugged” room…

  4. In the early 1990s after the fall of the Soviet Union I absolutely wanted to travel into Russia, but we would hear these terrible stories that everything in the country was broken, that there were 8 hour lines for everything and that westerners got beat up for their blue jeans and sneakers. So I never went. I’m sure these stories were all blown out of proportion and that nothing would have happened to me had I gone, but they kept me away just the same. Too bad, because it would have been interesting.

  5. Taupey–

    Not sure if there was another Konstantine Sofer in Leningrad who defected in the 80s, but I did in 1991. 🙂 Not sure I know who you are–sorry, I lost touch with quite a few people–but you can certainly contact me at My brief history, if a little formal, is available on LinkedIn.


  6. Very informative post. I’m learning more about how to pick the right jeans for women from reading the info on your site, then I’ve ever gotten from the advice given to me by my best friend. Now maybe I can stop wearing my BF’s jeans all the time ;P. Hope it’s ok that I share this post on Google Bookmarks?

  7. Great post..I read all of the comments and want to thank you for arranging the discussion. Really I found a lot of information by reading the topics.

  8. Survival in these years requires knowledge and expertise and I believe without nurturing oneself, reading survival books sure there’s way we anybody can fight global warming or any related environmental catastrophes.

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