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The 1991 Soviet coup d’état attempt (19–21 August 1991), also known as the August Putsch or August Coup  was a coup d’état attempt by a group of members of the Soviet Union’s government to take control of the country from Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev. The coup leaders were hard-line members of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) who were opposed to Gorbachev’s reform program and the new union treaty that he had negotiated which decentralised much of the central government’s power to the republics. They were opposed, mainly in Moscow, by a short but effective campaign of civil resistance. Although the coup collapsed in only two days and Gorbachev returned to government, the event destabilised the Soviet Union and is widely considered to have contributed to both the demise of the CPSU and the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

The SovietEraMuseum present a few photos from this hard days:

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Aurora is a 1900 Russian protected cruiser, currently preserved as a museum ship in St. Petersburg. She battled the Japanese Navy in the Russo-Japanese War. One of the first incidents of the October Revolution in Russia took place on the cruiser Aurora.

At the end of 1916, the ship was moved to Petrograd (the renamed St Petersburg) for a major repair. The city was brimming with revolutionary ferment and part of her crew joined the 1917 February Revolution. A revolutionary committee was created on the ship, with Aleksandr Belyshev elected as its captain. Most of the crew joined the Bolsheviks, who were preparing for a Communist revolution.

According to the Soviet account of history, on 25 October 1917, Aurorarefused to carry out an order to put to sea, which sparked the October Revolution. At 9.45 p.m on that date, a blank shot from her forecastle gun signalled the start of the assault on the Winter Palace, which was to be the last episode of the October Revolution. The cruiser’s crew allegedly took part in that attack. As a museum ship, the cruiser Aurora became one of the many tourist attractions of Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg), and continued to be a symbol of the October Socialist Revolution and a prominent attribute of Russian history.

Exlusive! The SovietEraMuseum present a few postcards about Aurora cruiser in Soviet Time:

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Soviet racing cars. The SovietEraMuseum exclusive!

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Central V.I.Lenin museum was opened in May, 1924, as a branch of the V.I.Lenin Institute. More than 12,500 exhibits are displayed in its three floors and 34 halls. The exhibits include the first publications of his works, photostat copies of his manuscripts, Vladimir Ilich’s personal belongings, documentary photographs and presents from the working people. Also on display are several Soviet works of art-paintings. sculptures, graphics, and items of folk art dedicated to V. I.Lenin.

The SovietEraMuseum present exchibits from the museums collection:

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The Moscow Circuses, like many other institutions, were nationalized in 1919, and then, in 1957, run by the Soyuzgoscirk, the Centralized Circus Administration. In 1929 with the creation of the Moscow Circus School, the USSR became the first country in the world to operate a state-run circus training facility. At the Soviet Circus’s peak of popularity in the late 1980s, students at the Moscow Circus School trained for 20 hours every week in various disciplines, and upon completion of training, the young men were required to enlist (though they worked in an entertainment division of the army); women were welcomed, but not required to serve. Despite the work, approximately a thousand individuals auditioned for the 70 spaces in the school;  life as a performer with the Circus was almost as good as being a government official. Artists performed nine shows each week, delighting over 70 million citizens per year, and were guaranteed retirement benefits, childcare for children over one year old, maternity leave, the ability to travel, and in special cases were awarded luxuries, like nicer housing, normally restricted to the political elite. One such performer was the famous clown Oleg Popov, who was awarded the title of “People’s Artist of the USSR”.

Like their American contemporaries, the Communist government saw the circus as the people’s entertainment. Officials considered the circus to be culturally on par with the Ballets Russes or Tchaikovsky, but was much more affordable, and therefor more proletarian, at only about five dollars per ticket. The Soyuzgoscirk established seventy circus buildings across the USSR, and entire towns would turn out to see the shows.

The SovietEraMuseum exclusive. Set of postcards about Soviet Circus (Olympic edition):

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The State Museum of GULAG History was founded in 2001; its exhibition was first opened in 2004. The Museum’s founder, Anton Antonov-Ovseenko, a well-known historian, writer and public figure, was himself a prisoner of Stalin’s labor camps. Indoor concerts, theater performances, readings and other events are held in the museum’s rooms and a courtyard. The exposition is devoted to the history of the labor camp’s system, the paramount integral part of the soviet state machine during 1930-50s years. One of the most important exposition’s sections is the reconstruction of some details of camp’s environment.

Exclusive. Photos via the SovietEraMuseum:

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Moscow  is the capital city and the most populous city of USSR.

SovietEraMuseum present a great photo story about ‘golden years’ of Soviet Moscow:

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Soviet Border Troops duties included repulsing armed incursions into Soviet territory; preventing illegal crossings of the border or the transport of weapons, explosives, contraband, or subversive literature across the border; monitoring the observance of established procedures at border crossing points; monitoring the observance by Soviet and foreign ships of navigation procedures in Soviet territorial waters; and assisting state agencies in the preservation of natural resources and the protection of the environment from pollution. Border guards were authorized to examine documents and possessions of persons crossing the borders and to confiscate articles; to conduct inquiries in cases of violations of the state border; and to take such actions as arrest, search, and interrogation of individuals suspected of border violations.

The Border Troops strength was estimated in 1989 to be in the range of 230,000 men. Although under the operational authority of the KGB, the Border Troops were conscripted as part of the biannual call-up of the Ministry of Defense, and their induction and discharge were regulated by the 1967 Law on Universal Military Service, which covered all armed forces of the Soviet Union.

SovietEraMuseum present a few photos about: KGB – Soviet frontier guard:

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Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin  – general Secretary of the party’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death. While the office was initially not highly regarded, Stalin used it to consolidate more power after the death of Vladimir Lenin in 1924, gradually putting down all opposition. This included Leon Trotsky, the principal critic of Stalin among the early Soviet leaders. Whereas Trotsky advocated world permanent revolution, Stalin’s concept of socialism in one country became primary policy as he emerged the leader of the Soviet Union. In power until his death in 1953, Stalin led the USSR during the period of post-war reconstruction, marked by the dominance of Stalinist architecture. The successful development of the Soviet nuclear program enabled the country to become the world’s second nuclear weapons power; the later Soviet space program began as a spin-off of the nuclear project. Stalin also launched the Great Construction Projects of Communism and the Great Plan for the Transformation of Nature. Stalin and his regime have been condemned on numerous occasions, the most significant being the in 1956, when Stalin’s successor Nikita Khrushchev denounced his legacy and initiated a process of de-Stalinization. Modern views of Stalin in the Russian Federation and the world remain mixed, with some viewing him as a tyrant and mass murderer, others as a capable and necessary leader for the time.

SovietEraMuseum present original posters about Joseph Stalin and his time:

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The hammer and sickle (☭) are a part of communist symbolism and their usage indicates an association with communism, a communist party, or a communist state. This symbol features a hammer and a sickle overlapping each other. The two tools are symbols of the industrial proletariat and the peasantry; placing them together symbolizes the unity between industrial and agricultural workers. This emblem was conceived during the Bolshevik Revolution. It is best known from having been incorporated into the red flag of the Soviet Union, along with the red star. It has also been used in other flags and emblems.

Unique flags collection via the SovietEraMuseum:

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