Monthly Archives: November 2014

Soviets to the Rescue? The U.S.S.R. in Afghanistan

  “The Soviet contingent will be completely withdrawn from Afghanistan when the factors that made this action necessary are no longer present.” This quote appeared in a Pravda article on December 31st, 1979 and is an excellent example of how … Continue reading

Moscow Summer Olympics

In 1980, Moscow was set to host the Summer Olympics. This opportunity had been granted to the Soviet Union in 1974 by the International Olympic Committee, and “represented an unparalleled opportunity to showcase the superiority of Soviet athletes as well as … Continue reading

The Afghani Government plays Russian Roulette

The beginning of the Soviet Russian occupation of Afghanistan took place when Russian paratroopers were deployed in the capital of Afghanistan. The date was December 27, 1979 and the beginning of a very long and costly occupation, that would be described in the future as the Russian Vietnam. There were a few specific events which […]

The Soviet Vietnam

In 1973, King Mohammed Zahir Shah of Afghanistan was deposed, ending nearly three hundred years of monarchical rule in the country. A republican government followed which lasted until the April 1978 Saur Revolution, when Soviet-backed Afghan communists assassinated the president … Continue reading

Buy, Buy, BUY!

By the rise of the 1970′s the people of the Soviet Union craved and sought after new fashion, new technology, and better products.  The first eight Five Year Plan’s had failed to produce enough of the common household necessities for each … Continue reading

Rock Goes Russian

Estrada, or stage music, was the preferred music of 1973. It rarely addressed the social issues of the time, but rather focused on the official boundaries of Soviet discourse. The musical establishment of the time “controlled the business through exclusive rights to lease stages, issue recording contracts, contract for radio and television appearances, or to […]

The Project of the Century

The Baikal-Amur Mainline (BAM) railroad has been called the project of the century in Russia. However this is not because its been the most amazing piece of construction built in Russia; this connotation is given because the project has taken about a century to be fully completed.This railway runs 2,687 miles in eastern Siberia. The … Continue reading »

Soviet Imperialism

Christmas Day, 1979.  As per the request of the acting government (the prior Afghan president had been assassinated at this point and replaced by a Soviet-friendly one named Babrak Karmal), the Soviet Army crosses the border into Afghanistan (Source Essay: “The Invasion of Afghanistan” by James von Geldern). In a speech to the Russian people […]

Desperate for Jeans

In the 1970s, the USSR is thought to go through a period of stagnation. However, there was little stagnation in the economy. Brezhnev’s Five-year plan from 1971-1975 had as its goal the improvement of the people’s standard of living.  To achieve … Continue reading

Here comes the BAM, now where’s the Boom!

The Trans-Siberian railroad was an enormous feat for Russia when it was built. The 5000 miles of railroad stretched across the tundra of Russia to connect one end of the largest country in the world with the other. It opened … Continue reading