Category: 9th Weekly Edition

Trouble in the Baltics: Nationalism, Environmentalism, and Singing(?)

As the new leader of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev believed it was necessary to institute broad reforms that would revitalize the Soviet economy and increase productivity. His famous policies of Perestroika (“restructuring”) and Glasnost (“openness”)  expanded political freedoms, decreased press and creative censorship, increased government transparency, and expanded democratic elements in local governments. Contrary […]

Nothing More Russian than Vodka…Right? When people think Russia, it does not take long before Vodka comes to mind. Not much of a surprise since the sales of alcohol in 1975 gave the Soviet government more money than did income tax (Source). At the same time, it would seem that near the end of the Soviet era not all […]

The Soviet Union- BYOB

Alcohol in the Soviet Union has historically been a prevalent factor in not only Soviet culture, but also in Soviet economics. Russian Tsars encouraged the consumption of alcohol to the people of their empire as a means to increase economic income.  From a cultural standpoint the Soviets have always used alcohol as a means of […]

Excuse me while I have a quick meltdown

While I may be experiencing some quick meltdowns as graduation rapidly approaches….that’s not the meltdown I’m talking about today. I suppose it wasn’t quick either. The meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear reactor in 1986 is still affecting life in Russia today. A surge of power caused the number 4 reactor at the nuclear facility to…

Say No to Alcohol

Alcohol has been a huge influence on Russia’s culture, whether it be a good or bad one. In 1979, the state derived approximately 25.4 billion rubles in indirect taxes from the sale of alcoholic beverage which was more than what was paid in income tax. However, alcoholism was on the rise in the Soviet Union … Continue reading Say No to Alcohol

Stop 6: Chernobyl

For my final stop I decided to go to to a site that shaped the later part of the twentieth century and still has an impact now. I decided to head to Chernobyl, a nuclear reactor site that exploded during the Soviet regime. Background: On April 26. 1986, reactor number four at the nuclear site […]

Gopnik’s Galore

Following the hard economic times of the early 1980’s, a new class of citizen was born. They are called the ‘Gopnik.’ It is a derogatory Russian slang word for male and female Russian youth around the age of 25, normally stemming from the lower classes of Soviet society. In America, they would be considered rednecks …

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