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The Battle of Stalingrad

In the scale of its intensity, its destructiveness and its horror, Stalingrad has no parallel. It engaged the full strength of the two biggest armies in Europe and could fit into no lesser framework than that of a life-and-death conflict which encompasses the earth. - The New York Times, February 4, 1943 [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese on Oct 27, 2010 - 61 comments

Shanson, Russian criminal underworld music

The Russian mafia and criminals have their own type of music. It's called shanson [chanson]. A couple of contemporary examples by Michael Krug- Kolschik and Lesovopal- Sit Boy l Arcadiy Severnyj (1939-1980) was considered the king of street (prison-folk) songs. Shanson MyRadio channel. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Oct 24, 2010 - 24 comments

Touch the history of the Russian astronautics and missilery!

Astonishing photos of remnants of the Soviet Lunar program, via Jalopnik, who have more details.
posted by Artw on Oct 6, 2010 - 32 comments

Cold Wave

So where would you go looking if you wanted to find the deepest and sickest cold wave synth-beats of all? Then I think we would have to look all the way back to John Bender, avant-garde synth pioneer, who released three seminal albums in the early '80s and then just disappeared, forever. What else sounds this fantastic, and has that addictive, computerized, lo-fi ice beat? Maybe Ultravox, and the frosty, hollow majesty of Hiroshima Mon Amour. Or Soviet with Candy Girl, or Lori and the Chameleons and Touch
posted by puny human on Sep 2, 2010 - 12 comments

Nearly a full century of Russian history

RussianFilter: Historical Chronicles with Nikolai Svanidze is an ongoing Russian television documentary series which, starting with 1901, picks out one person per year, every year, of the 100 years of the 20th century in Russia. It's entirely in Russian, of course, but for them as speaks it, it's one fascinating perspective on Russian history, with excellent narration, copious detail, and fascinating interconnections of events, people and places. All of the episodes that are available through Google Video and various other sources, and [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Aug 30, 2010 - 8 comments

A Soviet Space Odyssey

Road to the Stars (Doroga k Zvezdam, 1958) was a remarkable Soviet documentary about the future of space exploration, directed by the "Godfather of Star Wars" and still admired for its impressive miniature effects. Watch the entire film.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 18, 2010 - 7 comments

I am the man who arranges the blocks

A Complete History of the Soviet Union through the eyes of a humble worker, arranged to the melody of Tetris by Pig With The Face Of A Boy. (previously)
posted by HumanComplex on Aug 18, 2010 - 12 comments

Soviet Sci-Fi Animation in the 1980's

This is a small collection of Soviet Animated science fiction from the 1980s, including the work of Vladimir Samsonov, Mikhail Titov (whose "Сражение" is one of Stephen King's "Dollar Babies"), Vladimir Tarasov, Nazim Tulyakhodzayev and Anatoly Petrov. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Apr 27, 2010 - 14 comments

Компьютерная анимация 1968

Soviet CGI, circa 1968 (SLYT)
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Mar 21, 2010 - 20 comments

Wow, a talking fish!

"Wow, a talking fish!" is a cheerfully deranged bit of animation based on an Armenian fairy-tale, starring a poor old fisherman, a talking fish, and probably the most psychedelic wizard ever committed to film.
posted by wanderingmind on Feb 6, 2010 - 32 comments

The White Death

Simo Häyhä is often revered as the deadliest sniper in history. Using nothing more than a Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle with stock iron sights, Häyhä is credited with felling 542 Soviet soldiers during the Finnish Winter War (with as many as 150 more kills by SMG). Nicknamed "The White Death", Häyhä spent weeks in snow-covered forests, enduring sub-zero temperatures while sniping Russian officers, weapons crews and snipers. The Soviets placed a bounty on Häyhä's head, utilizing counter-snipers and artillery fire in an attempt to kill him. Over the course of only three months, the 5'3" Häyhä (a farmer by trade) killed upwards of 800 of the Red Army soldiers deployed to Finland. Despite eventually being shot in the face by a Russian sharpshooter, Häyhä recovered and passed away in 2002 at the age of 96.
posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo on Jan 28, 2010 - 244 comments

In Soviet Russia, equations solve you

The strength of post-Soviet math stems from decades of lonely productivity. Russian math.
posted by twoleftfeet on Nov 9, 2009 - 19 comments

Kalinin K-7: the giant plane that might have been

The Kalinin K-7 was a giant flying fortress that might have redefined aerial combat in the 1930s. The hugely expensive and trouble-prone prototype was scrapped by Stalin and its designer was later executed. Here are some renderings of the planes that might have been, with spacious lounges, battleship-sized cannons, and the ability to defend us from UFOs.
posted by Joe in Australia on Nov 8, 2009 - 68 comments

Comrade Draper, we have a new account from Acme Caviar.

Mad Men: Soviet Style. Beautiful advertising posters from the USSR.
posted by grumblebee on Nov 4, 2009 - 54 comments

After the Wall

After the Wall: Traces of the Soviet Empire
posted by vronsky on Nov 1, 2009 - 12 comments

Everyday life in the USSR

Real USSR is a blog containing commentaries on everyday life in the former Soviet Union. The liberal use of family and other amateur photos provides unusual insight into the daily experience of Soviet life. Topics range from 1940s homemade double-exposure photography to queueing to USSR - the birthplace of feminism. via
posted by Rumple on Aug 5, 2009 - 23 comments

Hair Metalski

70s/80s Soviet album covers. Until today, I had no idea Soviet hair metal existed. Prepare for keytars, mall hair and proof that 80s cheese was not solely a product of degenerate kepitalist decadence.
posted by DecemberBoy on Jun 23, 2009 - 54 comments

Proletarians of All Lands, Unite!

Peasant! Free your pregnant wife from work, don't allow her to pick up heavy items since this will harm her and the child. An excellent collection of vintage soviet propaganda, public health, and infographics posters from 20s to 30s, many with full translations.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 7, 2009 - 17 comments

hatchink fiendish plan to catch moose and squirrel

Interested in Soviet era spying by the KGB in the United States? Bummed that you cant get into the KGB archives? Well it turns out that someone copied all the good stuff already, and you can take a peek. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot on Apr 23, 2009 - 6 comments

Old school breakdancing

Soviet Army dance ensemble + Run DMC = the invention of breakdancing in the mid-1900s. (slyt, via kottke)
posted by swift on Feb 13, 2009 - 36 comments

Glorious Soyuz Uterus.

"This is a regular Russian school biology textbook owned by some Russian school. He has modified some illustrations so now it’s hard to say sometimes what was there originally and what has appeared as a result of his imagination."
posted by squalor on Feb 12, 2009 - 24 comments

We don't care, we don't care, we'll get braver, and more courageous than the lion

"I am Russian so, obviously, I like this film. It has typical Russian humor, it is a farce, so do not look for higher meanings in the jokes, it makes fun of the social standards of the Soviet regime as well as the people who served it so well. It features some of the best Russian actors that we love seeing and acting; they sing in the movie and it is lovely as well. If you are a tough judge of movies, then please make sure you know Soviet history a bit and understand that the humor differs from what you see in American movies before you call it crap." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Feb 1, 2009 - 18 comments

Nu, Zayats ...

In 1969, Russian animation studio Soyuzmultfilm released Nu, Pogodi! (Well, Just You Wait!), a series that followed the multitalented and comical Wolf in his quest to capture the Hare. Having very little dialogue but considerable music, it was an international hit across eastern Europe. Most who followed the show will tell you that despite attempts to portray Wolf as anti-authoritarian and decadent, Wolf had a much greater fanbase. Why else would the Nu Pogodi game be based on him, and not Hare?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Sep 24, 2008 - 14 comments

DEAR COMRADE!

Soviet Music "You are browsing a resource which is devoted first of all to the history and culture of the Soviet Union, the country which the West for a long time usually named as "The Empire of Evil", the country to which some people in the West perceive as "something big and snowy". I offer you to try to look outside the frames of usual stereotypes, to try to understand life of a unique country, with its interesting history, beautiful culture and miraculous relations between people. The music submitted on this site - is an evident sample of a totally new culture, which completely differs from all that, with what Hollywood and MTV supply us so much. This culture, being free from the cult of money, platitude, violence and sex, was urged to not indulge low bents of a human soul but to help the person to become culturally enriched and to grow above himself." [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Sep 23, 2008 - 16 comments

Solzhenitsyn dead at 89

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn has died. ( BBC ) The great author and opponent of totalitarianism lived to see the end of Communism in the Soviet Union and almost everywhere else. He survived WWII as a commander in the Soviet army before being put into gulags where he spent 20 years. He went on to write the Gulag Archipelago and win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1970.
posted by sien on Aug 3, 2008 - 75 comments

Soviet Jazz

When people think of Soviet culture in the Stalin era, jazz usually isn't the first music to come to mind. But it was there, and some of it was pretty good, whether adapting Western standards, partying with a Russian twist, or just being adventurous. If that's a little too old-school for you, try some Soviet funk.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jun 9, 2008 - 14 comments

Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия

Comrades! Glory once again in the display of Soviet Russian military might at the revitalized May Day Victory Day Parade!
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 11, 2008 - 52 comments

Lemon Ades You?

Soviet Lemonade Labels
posted by interrobang on Apr 17, 2008 - 15 comments

Screw it!

In soviet russia... screw drives you! (via)
posted by phrontist on Apr 15, 2008 - 46 comments

Armenia declares state of emergency

On February 19, Armenia hosted a presidential election. The winner with 52% of the vote was (as expected), current Prime Minister and BFF to the current president, Serge Sargsyan. The runner-up with 21.5% of the vote was former president (taken out by the current president in 1997), Levon Ter-Petrossian. The elections were flawed, lots of people protested over the past week, the protests have gotten violent, LTP is under house arrest and the government has issued a 20 day state of emergency. At least 3 (including a police officer) have been killed. [more inside]
posted by k8t on Mar 1, 2008 - 20 comments

Тхундербирдс являются дороге!

Russian cold war bombers - The Tu 95 Bear and Tu 160 Blackjack, based in central Russia, which resumed long range patrols in August.
posted by Artw on Dec 23, 2007 - 52 comments

Vintage Soviet Christmas Cards

Vintage Soviet-era Christmas Cards. They're certainly cheerful! (via)
posted by Jimbob on Dec 20, 2007 - 43 comments

Shooting Range

Out of work? The Shooting Range is hiring. No, not the Firing Range. The Shooting Range.
posted by TrialByMedia on Sep 27, 2007 - 4 comments

known mostly as a place for political prisoners and for repressing political opposition

GULAG: Soviet Forced Labor Camps and the Struggle for Freedom. An online exhibit which includes photographs of work in the gulag, women in the gulag, living in the camp, what were their crimes, Perm-36 Gulag Camp, the history of the gulag system, the inspiring stories of dissidents and what happened after the fall of the Soviet Union. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye on Sep 21, 2007 - 16 comments

Space: 1989

Some photo galleries (and youtube video) of Buran, the USSR's space shuttle program (previously) from the 1980's, long since abandoned. Bonus: A comparison between Buran and the US space shuttle. Double Bonus: More on Buran from russianspaceweb.com, which is awesome. Combo breaker: An official page with NASA's take on Buran, (and their photos), frozen in time a decade ago.
posted by dersins on Sep 13, 2007 - 25 comments

Life imitates propaganda

Recently deceased Leona Helmsley left $12 Million to her dog, as predicted by Soviet propagandists in 1963. Other predictions have been less than accurate.
posted by TrialByMedia on Aug 30, 2007 - 35 comments

A Soviet Poster A Day

A Soviet Poster A Day delivers what it promises, one propaganda rich helping of Soviet art every day to help you on your daily doings.
posted by jonson on Aug 20, 2007 - 14 comments

Soviet Space Art

That the first space race was politically motivated shouldn't detract from your enjoyment of Soviet propaganda space art. More here and here.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Aug 2, 2007 - 21 comments

Robbery,......... Style

Robbery American Style. Robbery French Style. Robbery Italian Style. Classic Soviet animation from Soyuzmultfilm.
posted by TrialByMedia on Jul 14, 2007 - 26 comments

Visit Beautiful Norilsk!

Norilsk is a big city in northern Siberia. On the permafrost. It was built by slave labor in the 1930s. Norilsk Nickle, a very profitable company, wants you to invest there. Some think it's a hell hole. Others think it was the downfall of the Soviet economy.
posted by MarshallPoe on Jun 21, 2007 - 30 comments

N1 Scale Model Launch

The Soviet Union’s answer to Saturn V, the massive, complex, and top-secret N1 rocket, failed win the moon race after four disastrous launch explosions between 1969 and 1972. In 2004, Polecat Aerospace had much better luck launching their 1/16 N1 scale model.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Jun 13, 2007 - 17 comments

Russia in photos: 1941-1945

Russia in photos: 1941-1945.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on May 11, 2007 - 32 comments

Soviet Era Art

Metafilter's own Fake, Dan Reetz, recently spent several months in the former Soviet Union; while there he managed to round up this great selection of Soviet Movie posters from 1921-1973, as well as this interesting 1952 set of food drawings from the government produced book "Tasty & Healthy Eating." Finally, bonus content for anyone jonesing for more soviet content, this Russian Winnie the Pooh cartoon from the 1970s is fantastic. (via)
posted by jonson on May 2, 2007 - 29 comments

Nazi home movies

A 10 minute home movie taken by an SS officer has been discovered in an English church. It shows SS officers and secretaries relaxing in the summer of 1942 in southern Russia. The last couple of minutes shows footage from a slave labor camp in that area. The footage was taken at the height of the German success in Russia, a few months before the turning point in the Russian campaign - and probably the turning point in the Second World War.
posted by bobbyelliott on Oct 26, 2006 - 51 comments

USSR Posters

USSR Posters. Gallery of over 1400 posters from the Soviet era.
posted by plep on Sep 28, 2006 - 44 comments

Once there was a redheaded man

Once there was a redheaded man without eyes and without ears. He had no hair either, so that he was a redhead was just something they said. He could not speak, for he had no mouth. He had no nose either. He didn't even have arms or legs. He had no stomach either, and he had no back, and he had no spine, and no intestines of any kind. He didn't have anything at all. So it is hard to understand whom we are really talking about. So it is probably best not to talk about him any more. Note that the last two links are in Russian. [This is a copy of a post by Daniel Charms, at MetaChat.]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 31, 2006 - 9 comments

Midnight in Moscow

Moscow's decadent post-Communism nightclub scene. Stalin's yacht pushes up the Moscow River at eight a.m., and nobody cares if you missed it. The world's longest-running after-party just keeps going. In a shipboard ballroom, Russia's lucky few tend to their good time. Music like a lot of loud nothing pounds through the girls lathered in Valentino, Gaultier, and Bulgari. Defying you with their eyes, they throw off a kind of heat that has never burned you before. The men with money and new style hang around the edges with satisfied smiles, their low-vibrating calm punching through thousand-dollar sunglasses. They'll kiss you, they'll kill you, you'll know where you stand.
posted by fet on Jul 25, 2006 - 50 comments

Gallery of Soviet Propaganda posters

Gallery of Soviet governmental posters
posted by jonson on Jun 30, 2006 - 31 comments

'Study, study, and study, to overtake and surpass the capitalist world!' - K.Radek

The Parade of the Red Army and other scans of Soviet Children's Books from the '20's and '30's. [via DaddyTypes]
posted by anastasiav on Mar 27, 2006 - 14 comments

Slavomir Rawicz

Slavomir Rawicz was a Polish calvary officer, who was imprisoned by the Soviets and eventually taken to a prison in Siberia. With 7 companions, including one mysterious american, he escaped and journeyed to the south, crossing Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Tibet before making it to British India. Or at least this is what he claims in his book "The Long Walk." Nobody has ever found evidence that he was ever in russia or that any of his companions ever existed. Oh and he also claims to have seen Yetis.
posted by afu on Mar 17, 2006 - 21 comments

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