National Geographic Visits to the USSR


So popular National Geographic used to write much about Russia / Soviet Union as well. Here is a nice selection of Soviet images from National Geographic magazines dated 1976-78.

Railway station in Novosibirsk. A new twenty four storey hotel is being built nearby. It used to be the most famous building of the city in the 70s.


Waiting room at the station.


The room at the station for mothers with kids.


Yak-40 in the Novosibirsk airport of Tolmachevo.


A girl in the pioneer camp.


“Swan Lake” performance being shown at the Theater of Opera and Ballet.



Bridegrooms. The second one looked confused because he had forgotten some document but finally was allowed to marry without it.


At the Ob Sea.


Academician A.P.Okladnikov (to the right) is busy with reconstruction of a Neanderthal skull that belonged to the man living in Uzbekistan 40 000 years ago.


Examining a drosophila.


Crane operator.


This is a river port in Novosibirsk.


The family lives all the summer in the Novosibirsk river port.


Cold city Gorno-Altaisk.


A girl from Altai.


Teletskoye lake. The Biya river flows out of it.


This man, Nikolay Smirnov, was living for almost half a century at the remote farm at Teletskoye lake and raised eighteen children.


Hedge of sunflowers helps to retain snow in Barnaul.


Harvesting in Gorno-Altaisk.


Rider in slippers near the Katun river.


Young couple is enjoying the sun.


The veteran from Altai with a hat from wildcat on his head.


Barometer on a reindeer farm in Shebalino (Altai). A willow branch loses its elacticity and falls down at high humidity.


Welder at work.


A lesson of physical education in Tyumen.


Tobolsk Kremlin.


Engraver at work, Tobolsk.


Souvenir is made from a whale tooth.


Old house in Tobolsk.


The ship on the Irtysh river not far from Khanty-Mansiysk. At that time such ships were already rare.


Young family is approaching Khanty-Mansiysk.


Snowmobile in Khanty-Mansiysk.


Khanty-Mansiysk – kids are playing outside at -40C.


Fish soup cooking.


The woman is waiting for a store to open at -40C.


The worker does not care much about the cold.


At the mausoleum of Lenin.



Faceted Palace in Moscow.


Armoury Chamber in Moscow.






Soviet poet Robert Rozhdestvensky in his apartment.


Beach in Serebryanny Bor.


At the Moscow State University.




In the center if Moscow.




People are celebrating the first of May in the restaurant.



Moscow is the city of contrasts.

8 thoughts on “National Geographic Visits to the USSR”

  1. Andy, the sovs had a huge reputation for allowing foreign reporters to only see the good or best parts of their society. Meanwhile, they (the sovs) capitalized on all the downfalls of western culture (drug addiction, housing slums ect ect; things that make up the vast minority of the downfalls of capitalism) and pointed to them saying “this! this is why we are good communist. We would never allow such things to happen to our comrades.”

    The remaining soviets in the world (Vietnam, China, North Korea) still, to the best of my knowledge, practice both sides of that coin. Although, it is widely known the Vietnamese are really slacking back with far left “conservative” view points while everyone is just trying to survive, and we all know the Chinese cannot afford to be as hermit like as the USSR and it’s fraternal, Warsaw pact fellows were.
    North Korea remains the wild card that will most likely plunge the globe into ww3.

    • Small part of Capitalism? Slums, starvation, drug addiction make up a large portion of Capitalism. Look at cities in Russia where over 20% of the population are Heroin addicts. Look at the US where millions are below the poverty line and can’t afford food. Look at the hundreds of millions that die every decade because Capitalist market forces drive up food prices artificially, leaving the poor who can’t afford food to starve to death. Did you know that during the great depression, 12 million people starved to death in the US alone?
      We hear a lot about the 100 million Communism Killed (which is a totally made up number with essentially no source behind it and even one of the researchers on the BBoC where it came from said they essentially made up the number before even doing their research and even Harvard publishing has apologized for how little accurate research is behind the numbers), yet nothing about the possible billions that Capitalism has left in it’s wake. If every single person that died in the USSR was due to Communism, then we can at least admit that the hundreds of millions that starve to death every few years due to market forces is the result of Capitalism.

      Most of what you hear about North Korea is made up and based on hearsay from defectors from North Hamgyong Province who are known, even by westerners in the DPRK, to hate Pyongyang. Read a book called “A Capitalist in North Korea” which was written by a western businessman who lived in the DPRK for 7 years. He paints a totally different portrait of the DPRK than the one we get in our media.

      Vietnam is a “Socialist oriented market economy” they realized that Soviet propaganda was a load of crap and when they actually read Marx they realized that Socialism is a step on from Capitalism and that Capitalism does serve a purpose in history. More and more the Vietnamese Government these days are slowly orienting back towards Socialism.

      China isn’t Socialist. It’s a Capitalist Oligarchy and has been even during the Great Leap Forward. What most people don’t realize is that the Communist Government of China has always had a tiny Maoist faction and a large Capitalist faction which has always overshadowed the Maoist faction, even in the Mao days. In fact, it was Deng Xiaoping, leader of the Capitalist faction who implemented and managed the Great Leap Forward, not Mao. Mao was largely a figurehead with little real power. The only time Mao had true power was between 1968 to 1971 in which the Flying Leap Foward was implemented, which, unlike Deng’s Great Leap Foward went off without a hitch and China hasn’t had a famine since.

      On the topics of only allowing to see the good or best parts of society and only showing the “bad” side of our enemies, what is any different today in the west? Last time I looked, our media isn’t exactly “fair” in it’s presentation of our “enemies” like Iran, the DPRK, China, Russia and any other Second world country.

  2. @Greg, you confuse ‘soviet’ and ‘communist’ as these are not the same.

    (1) current countries run by Communist parties also include Laos & Cuba.
    (2) Most countries currently run by Communist parties no longer follow Communist ideology, which is evident when visiting them & dealing with the people inc. the governments.
    (3) Apart from N.Korea you are wrong to suggest ‘both practice both sides of that coin.’
    (4) China has not been a ‘hermit’ for decades! And these days Western countries, and especially the US, could not afford it to be.
    (5) “North Korea .. will most likely plunge the globe into ww3” is unsubstaintiated alarmist Fox News-type crap.

    • You’re absolutely right. Even China has supported sanctions that have targeted North Korea’s leadership. I really hate it when uneducated people start expressing opinions about what they think “soviets” are all about. It makes the rest of us westerners look like buffoons.


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