I just inherited literally a large garbage bag of wartime government documents, newspaper cutouts, photos and other memorabilia from Russia and Ukraine ca. 1910-1970. What do I do with the stuff I don't want, and also how do I fumigate it? [more inside]
Defense Against Enemy Propaganda, a 1956 film intended for US troops, contains a couple of clips of Soviet propaganda with voiceovers in English. Are they genuine Soviet films? Where did they come from? [more inside]
I found these two mini-portfolios of two (Mir and Buran) Soviet space programs at a thrift store, but I'm having a little trouble figuring out where they're from. On the front they both have Russian words, but inside, the list of photographs is in English. Who was the audience? Are they souvenirs? If so, why English when it seems highly unlikely that english-speakers were touring Soviet space complexes in the Eighties? If you can tell me what the covers say, that might help clarify what these are. Propaganda, souvenirs, spy stuff? [more inside]
I'm re-reading Eon by Greg Bear which is starts set in the near future (around 2000) from when it was published. The US and the USSR are of course still very antagonistic. This made me wonder: is there much science fiction published in the 1980s where the author doesn't assume the Soviet Union still exists (or alternately, it still exists but the US and it are not antagonistic)? [more inside]
It featured a jolly musical number on the difficulty of obtaining all the signatures one needs on one's paperwork. [more inside]
Can you name this Soviet writer? [more inside]
Why did the Soviet military retain the traditional Officer/Enlisted class binary rather than instituting some other hierarchichal structure?
Russian History: Why did the Soviet military retain the traditional (western) Officer/Enlisted class binary rather than instituting some other hierarchichal structure? How did they ideologically justify maintaining two distinct and separate classes, one subordinate to the other, in an army putatively fighting for a classless society? [more inside]
There have been questions about Cold War songs from the '80s (1, 2, 3). What about songs about the Cold War from the 2000s? [more inside]
ID this faux-cyrillic soviet stencil font please? [more inside]
Ideas are more powerful than weapons. If we wouldn't let the enemy have weapons, why should we let him have ideas?
Where can I buy reasonably priced reproductions of these Soviet propaganda posters? [more inside]
Watching a JFK assassination documentary on cable has gotten me thinking. Given the extreme state of the Cold War in 1963 and Lee Harvey Oswald having lived in the Soviet Union and being connected to Communism, was there any kneejerk reaction among the American public/political hawks calling for direct retribution against the Soviet Union? Or efforts to sell the assassination to the public as a reason to do so. How did that national tragedy differ from/align with 9/11 in that respect?
Trying to remember a spy thriller film from the early 80s. [more inside]
What books should I read to start becoming educated about China's gulags, keeping in mind my hazy goal of "doing something about it" someday?
What would be a ballpark cost to translate Solzhenitsyn's remaining two "Red Wheel" books into English? [more inside]
Vaguely remembered Russian/Soviet spy school in a movie: perfect small town America in the 1950s, everyone going about their business on Main Street. Camera pulls away to reveal that it's a set inside a secret spy-training school. Anyone know the name of the movie? [more inside]
[RussianComicsFilter] What is this comic strip I used to read back in Russia? (NB: Probably did not originate in Russia) [more inside]
What book was this: Soviet artist (theater/music/writer?) writing about his life in Moscow during the eighties. [more inside]
Back when I was growing up in the Soviet Union (1986-1993), I remember seeing a Russian film that I haven't been able to identify. I think it was called "Spiralka" (meaning "spiral" in the native Russian). It was about a criminal who has a motorcycle accident that permanently damages his brain. He receives a brain transplant from some sort of an intellectual (a writer, a professor, not sure which). Unsurprisingly, the transplant leads to various complications, not the least of which is a profound personality change on the part of the criminal. He begins to read more, immerses himself in philosophy, and begins to feel genuine remorse for the crimes he's committed. In the end (and this is a scene I clearly remember) the criminal dies but not before seeing the brain donor standing before him immersed in a white light. Did I imagine this movie or does it really exist?
Did they really get the bright idea to host a college football game in Soviet Russia, and then have to cancel it because they couldn't sell enough vacation packages? The Wikipedia entry about the Glasnost Bowl has a bunch of outdated angelfire pages as its sources. The 1989 New York Times article that mentions it doesn't treat it as very interesting. I think it would make a publishable journal article if it's real and am looking for more info.
Soviet science: Besides the obvious topic of space exploration, name some examples of post World War II Soviet science that were so good, they entered global, widespread use without much modification and are perhaps still in use today. [more inside]
Frederic Jameson's Fear and Loathing in Globalization talks about Eastern European/Soviet nostalgia art, "in which a complete set of mass-produced industrial products, from toilet seats to window panes, from shower heads to automobiles, had been invented from scratch, altogether different from the actually existing Western inventory." Are there any examples of this type of art on the web?
I'm trying to remember what the title of this movie was. I think it was made in the 1960's or 1970's in the U.S. I remember watching it on TV on the Sunday Matinee show in the 1980's. The plot involved this millionaire who wanted to attack the Soviet Union, he had a small force which was to attack Russia by driving trucks across the polar ice cap. All I can remember was that in the end of the film his plan is thwarted by the Soviets, who send planes to bomb the ice, and the trucks sink to the bottom of the ocean. Any ideas?
Help me teach myself about the current political and social climate in Russia. [more inside]
Is it possible to buy .su email address? [more inside]
In the context of advertising and marketing in Russia, who are the opinion leaders and influencers for the 18 to 35 year old demographic? [more inside]
I have heard several reference to a Soviet propaganda poster that I can't find. Maybe it's a hoax, perhaps you've seen it. You might even know where I can view it. [more inside]
My brother gave me a Soviet-era pocketwatch for my 40th birthday. On the obverse of the watch are two wolves in a forest. Within the forest, there is a circle of rope with little pennants tied it. These pennants appear to be hemming the wolves into a circle so that hunters can capture them. Can anyone explain this?
Can anyone name this "Soviet" looking font? Or point me to some other Eastern European fonts in the same vein (preferably free)? [more inside]
Any Soviet scholars out there? In my copy of Nadezda Mandelstam's incredible and beautiful memoir, Hope Against Hope, the 1999 paperback edition by Harvill Press, there is an unexplained footnote: "H.A.H.-" followed by a capital letter. Does this occur in other editions? Does anyone know what it's about? At first I imagined it was a coded message, but when I realized that they occurred regularly and that the letters ascended (though some letters seem to be skipped, like from H.A.H.-I to H.A.H.-K) that maybe it was a way of demarcing sections of smuggled samizdat. Or maybe it's something more mundane?
Is it common for Americans to incorrectly assume that Russian is only spoken in Russia but forget that it is also a common language in the former Soviet states? [more inside]
Are any of the old Soviet poster designers still working? [more inside]
I am 23 years old and have been with my girlfriend, who is from the former Soviet Union, for almost four years now. We often have drastic and painful arguments that result from socio-cultural and religious differences. Is this a common problem or experience for those in similar relationships? [more inside]
In the book I'm currently reading about Bobby Fischer and his match with Boris Spassky, the author's write, "the Soviets would construct their propaganda edifice on three main pillars, 'chess, the circus and ballet. In all three the Soviet Union could be shown to be far ahead of the West.'" [more inside]
Jason Kottke, BoingBoing and a couple other places have picked up the story of a Soviet-style poster that's been spotted on the DC-area Metro. Looking at it carefully, I just can't believe that this is genuine; for one thing, the poster's artwork just doesn't fit (take a glance at the hand just behind the head of the man in the foreground -- this is obviously a hand holding a flag, not someone grasping a pole in a Metro car). I've been looking through galleries of old Soviet propaganda posters all morning to see if I can find a source it could have been Photoshopped from, but without luck. Does anyone know more about this poster and whether it is genuine? Or if it isn't, what the actual source is?