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In mid-September 1954, nuclear bombing tests were performed in Totskoye range during the training exercise Snezhok(Snowball or Light Snow) with some 45,000 people, all Soviet soldiers and officers, who were exposed to radiation from a bomb twice as powerful as the one dropped on Hiroshima nine years earlier. The exercise was commanded by the Marshal of the Soviet Union, Georgy Zhukov. At 9:33 a.m. on 14 September 1954, a Soviet Tu-4 bomber dropped a 40-kilotonne (170 TJ) atomic weapon from 8,000 metres (26,000 ft). The bomb exploded 350 metres (1,150 ft) above Totskoye range, 13 kilometres (8 mi) from Totskoye.

The experiment was conceptually similar to others performed at the time by the United States, the United Kingdom and other atomic countries, and was designed to test the performance of military hardware and soldiers in the event of a nuclear war. It involved the 270th Rifle Division,320 planes, 600 tanks and 600 armored personnel carriers. The soldiers were told that there would be a regular military exercise featuring a mock nuclear explosion and that it would be filmed. The military personnel were not issued any protective gear. Deputy Defense Minister Georgy Zhukov witnessed the blast from an underground nuclear bunker. The planes were ordered to bomb the explosion site five minutes after the blast, and three hours later (after the demarcation of the radioactive zone) the armored vehicles were ordered to practice the taking of a hostile area after a nuclear attack.

The residents of selected villages (Bogdanovka and Fedorovka) that were situated around 6 km (4 mi) from the epicenter of the future explosion were offered temporary evacuation outside the 50 km (31 mi) radius. Most of the local population was never warned, however.

The SovietEraMuseum exclusive. Photos approx. from Totskoye range nuclear tests (?):

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The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year war during the Cold war fought by the Soviet Army against the Afghan Mujahideen guerrilla movement and foreign “Arab–Afghan” volunteers. The mujahideen received wide military and financial support from Pakistan also receiving direct and indirect support by the United States and China. The Afghan government fought with the intervention of the Soviet Union as its primary ally. The total irrecoverable personnel losses of the Soviet Armed Forces, frontier, and internal security troops came to 14,453. Soviet Army formations, units, and HQ elements lost 13,833, KGB sub-units lost 572, MVD formations lost 28, and other ministries and departments lost 20 men.

Photos from Afghanistan:

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The SovietEraMuseum present photo works of prominent soviet photojournalists. First part: The Best photos of 1974

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Lev Yashin  - nicknamed as “The Black Spider”, or “The Black Panther”, was a Soviet football goalkeeper, considered by many to be the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the game. He was known for his superior athleticism in goal, imposing stature, amazing reflex saves and inventing the idea of goalkeeper sweeping. Yashin was voted the best goalkeeper of the 20th century by the IFFHS.

The SovietEraMuseum present unique photo postcards about Lev Yashin:

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The SovietEraMuseum exclusive. May be we have the biggest collection of Soviet postcards at the world. This is a second part. Propaganda postcards about Soviet Red Army:

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Yevgeny Anan’evich Khaldei (23 March 1917 – 6 October 1997) was a Red Army photographer, best known for his World War II photograph of a Soviet soldier Raising a flag over the Reichstag, in Berlin, capital of the vanquished Nazi Germany (1933–45).

Khaldei’s most renowned photographs were taken when he was a Red Army photographer from 1941 to 1946. Khaldei’s photographs emphasised his feelings for the historic moments and his sense of humour. haldei’s most famous photo was of a Soviet Red Army soldier raising a flag above the German Reichstag at the end of World War II: the historic defeat of Nazi Germany in a war that cost the Soviet Union twenty millions lives; the magazine Ogonjok published the photograph on 13 May 1945.

Khaldei continued to photograph, now working as a freelance photographer for Soviet newspapers, and focused on capturing the scenes of everyday life. In 1959, he got a job again at the newspaper Pravda, where he worked until he was forced to retire in 1970.

His wartime photographs were collected in a 93-page book, Ot Murmanska do Berlina (From Murmansk to Berlin), published in 1984. Khaldei’s international fame dates from the 1990s, when exhibitions of his photographs began to be held in the West.

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Militsiya or militia  is used as an official name of the civilian police in several former communist states.

Soviet Milicija in 1917-1967: Photos from the SovietEraMuseum archive:

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Diamond Fund  is a unique collection of gems, jewelry and natural nuggets, stored and exhibited in Moscow Kremlin, Russia. The Fund dates back to the Russian Crown treasury instituted by emperor Peter I of Russia in 1719.

Preservation, sales and looting of imperial treasures after the Russian Revolution of 1917 is a matter of controversy and speculation. The Imperial collection was moved from Saint Petersburg to Moscow during World War I; the Soviet Diamond Fund was officially established in 1922. The treasure was first exhibited to the public in November 1967. Originally a short-term show, in 1968 it became a permanent exhibition.

The SovietEraMuseum exclusive: The Diamond treasure of USSR:

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Valenki  are traditional Russian winter footwear, essentially felt boots: the name valenok literally means “made by felting”. Valenki are made of wool felt. They are not water-resistant, and are often worn with galoshes to keep water out and protect the soles from wear and tear.

Exclusive of the SovietEraMuseum. Photos from Valenki museum in Yaroslavl region:

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Oleg Blokhin (b.1952) is a Soviet football player and Ukrainian football coach. He is currently a head coach of the Ukrainian national team. Blokhin was formerly a standout striker for Dynamo Kyiv and the Soviet national team. In 1975 he was named European Footballer of the Year, winning the Ballon d’Or, becoming the second Soviet and the first Ukrainian player to achieve such a feat.

The SovietEraMuseum exclusive. Rare photos with Oleg Blokhyn and Dynamo Kyiv from our archive:

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