Pictures taken by ordinary citizens instead of journalists showed more truth than popular Soviet newspaper “Pravda” (“The Truth”). This is how the Soviet trade really looked like – empty shelves, long lines and angry people.
Grocery in 1959 – poverty and hopelessness.
Line for apples in 1965.
Grocery store in 1972. Illusion of abundance: two or three kinds of canned food and a bottle with dark liquid – oil or alcohol.
“Selpo” – this word was used for a village grocery store.
Line for sausage. 1980. There were two types of sausage then at most.
Sellers could simply shut this small window and leave the crowd with no food.
“Show your documents”.
Line for alcohol, early 80s.
Glass bottle buy-back center.
Sale of alcohol
Someone simply was too tired to wait his turn..
Beer store customers
Some people even fought for beer
First days following the opening of the McDonalds on Pushkin Square in Moscow. The event attracted 30 thousand people.
Soviet sellers were perfect in merchandising: they could place two kinds of canned food the way to make an illusion of abundance.
1987. Empty shelves in the store.
No pioneer uniforms available…
Empty shelves and new taxes of 1990.
People used to fight not only standing in line for alcohol, but for all other products too.
What would a modern hipster choose back in the early 90s?
Department store and sports clothes.
Exhibitions saw crowds of people too. 1986.
A line at the Armory on Borovitskaya street (Kremlin).
Line for … cucumbers in 1979. They were in short supply in early summer back then.
Questinable port wine in cisterns… But people willingly drank it.
Standing in line for vodka.
Line for water in Orel, 1991.
Line in a toy store of Moscow, 1990.