Category: 6th Weekly Edition

Dacha: The Soviet Dream

Since the 18th century the dachas had been a symbol of privilege and power. Originating in Tsarist Russia under the reign of Peter the Great, dachas, from the Russian words for “to give” and “gift,” were plots of land, often outside major cities, bequeathed to the empire’s loyal subjects. On these estates, the owners would […]

A Long Way Home

At the end of the Great Patriotic War, the USSR found itself faced with a problem that still plagues countries today.  The problem of what to do with all your veterans.  These men and women have just faithfully gone to hell and back for the country and now they are in need of jobs and […]

Styling with Stilyaga

Shortly after the second World War and into the early 1960’s in the Soviet Union there was a sort of social counter culture revolution. With exposure to western culture, especially American culture from the second World War, many men and women took a liking to it especially to jazz music. The name for the men … Continue reading Styling with Stilyaga

Soviet Successors

On March 5, 1953 Soviet Russian leader Joseph Stalin died after suffering from a brain hemorrhage 4 days earlier. Stalin, who rose through the ranks under the leadership of Vladimir Lenin and became the leader of the Soviet Union shortly after World War I in 1922, left behind a government that faced the difficult task … Continue reading Soviet Successors

The Worst Thing About Prison was… the Dementors

Following the death of Stalin, a set of reforms were made in “de-stalinizing” the Soviet Union. Among these key reforms was the release of prisoners from camps administered by the GULAG. Lavrentii Beria was named minister of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and State Security (MVD) in 1953 and on March 26, Beria sent the […]

A Dog Called Laika

With the successful launch of the Sputnik satellite, the Soviets gained a foothold in their ongoing Space Race with the United States. As they did not have the capability to create a single rocket to launch the satellite into space, the Soviet scientist in charge of the project designed a cluster of rockets which, when …

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The New Boss

When Stalin suffered a cerebral hemorrhage that would lead to his death in early March of 1953, a total it set off a bloody struggle of control that would entirely new direction of the government and the country. Stalin’s death is regrettably ironic when Stalin needed help the most the complex bureaucracy prevented him from …

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Vasily Aksyonov and the stilyagi movement

In the 40’s and 50’s and unexpected love of American culture blossomed in the Soviet Union. These young people were called “stilyagi.” The stilyagi were identified by their love of Western fashion and music. In Leningrad (and eventually Moscow) the stilyagi wore narrow trousers and long, unusually colored (by Soviet standards) jackets. They also wore …

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