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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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Fedoskino miniature (федоскинская миниатюра) is a traditional Russian lacquer miniature painting on papier-mache, named after its original center Fedoskino (Федоскино), an old village near Moscow widely known from the late 18th century. The contemporary Fedoskino painting preserves the typical features of Russian folk art.

The use of oil paint, typically applied in many layers, is a distinctive feature of a Fedoskino miniature, as well as the use o mother-of-pearl, pure gold or silver leaf under segments of the background to create the effect of a shimmering glow or silvery sparkle. Many boxes are painted inside and outside in imitation tortoise-shell, birch bark, mahogany or tartan.

The heyday of Fedoskino miniature fell on the second half of the 19th century, and the works of that time are known as ‘lukutins’, named after the merchants Lukutins, who owned the Fedoskino factory at that time. Some of the factory craftsmen had artistic education, and lots of them had come from icon painting studios.

The popular motifs used in Fedoskino miniature are all sorts of tea-drinking with samovar, troikas (carriage-and-three), and scenes from Russian peasant life.

Exclusive of SovietEraMuseum: communistic motifs used in Fedoskino miniature:

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Three from Prostokvashino (Трое из Простоквашино, Troye iz Prostokvashino) is a 1978 Soviet animated film based on the children’s book Uncle Fyodor, His Dog and His Cat (Дядя Фёдор, Пёс и Кот) by Eduard Uspensky. The film has two sequels, Vacation in Buttermilk Village (Каникулы в Простоквашино) (1980) and Winter in Buttermilk Village (Зима в Простоквашино) (1984).

The main character is a six-year-old boy who is called Uncle Fyodor (voiced by Mariya Vinogradova) because he is very serious. After his parents don’t let him keep Matroskin (voiced by Oleg Tabakov), a talking cat, Uncle Fyodor leaves his home. With the dog Sharik (voiced by Lev Durov), the three set up a home in the country, a village called “Buttermilk”. There, they have many adventures, some involving the local mailman, Pechkin (voiced by Boris Novikov).

The series has been a source of many phrases in the post-Soviet countries. It has made an impact comparable to Nu, pogodi! in the Russian culture.

Real Exclusive! SovietEraMuseum present postcards with Matroskin the cat:

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Lenin’s Mausoleum also known as Lenin’s Tomb, situated in Red Square in the center of Moscow, is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. His embalmed body has been on public display there since shortly after his death in 1924 (with rare exceptions in wartime). Aleksey Shchusev’s diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.

The SovietEraMuseum present unqiue drawings and photos about Lenin’s Mausoleum:

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The World Festival of Youth and Students is an international event, organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), a left-wing youth organization, jointly with the International Union of Students since 1947.

The largest festival was the 6th, held in 1957 in Moscow, when 34,000 young people from 131 countries attended the event. This festival also marked the international debut of the song “Moscow Nights”, which subsequently went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized Russian song in the world.

Moscow before World Festival of Youth and Students (1950-s’):

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Communistic outdoor advertising in Leningrad and Moscow.

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Spetsnaz (Voyska spetsialnogo naznacheniya) is an umbrella term for any special forces in Russian, literally “special purpose forces”. Historically, the term referred to the military special units controlled by the military intelligence service GRU, the Spetsnaz GRU.

In 1950, Georgy Zhukov advocated creation of 46 military spetsnaz companies (each company consisted of 120 servicemen). It was the first time after the World War II, when term “spetsnaz” appeared as an original name of the separate military branch. Later, these companies were expanded to battalions, and then, to brigades, respectively. However, certain separate companies (orSpN) and detachments (ooSpN) existed along with brigades until the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Military spetsnaz included 14 army and two naval brigades, together with numerous separate detachments and companies, which operated under the guidance of theMain Intelligence Directorate (GRU), and collectively are known as Spetsnaz GRU. These units and formations existed under the highest possible secrecy and were disguised as Soviet paratroopers, bearing their uniform and insignia (army spetsnaz), or as naval infantrymen (naval spetsnaz).

24 years after the origin of military Spetsnaz, first counter-terrorist unit was established by the head of KGB, Yuri Andropov. In the late 1970s and through 1980s various special purpose units were created within the KGB and Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD).

The SovietEraMuseum present a few photos about Soviet Spetsnaz:

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Unique cards and stamps about soviet space programs. Only in the SovietEraMuseum!

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The nomenklatura were a category of people within the Soviet Union and other Eastern Bloc countries who held various key administrative positions in all spheres of those countries’ activity: government, industry, agriculture, education, etc., whose positions were granted only with approval by the communist party of each country or region.

SovietEraMuseum present the Caricatures from Perestroyka times with telling criticism about nomenklatura and bureaucracy in USSR. 

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