Sun, 04 Dec 2022

What Russia was like in 1972

20 Apr 2022, 23:55 GMT+10

The Brezhnev era in the USSR marked an economical and political stagnation. However, atmospheric photos still managed to show it in a romantic way.

'Don't look back'. Two Ilyich: Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev

Dmitry Baltermants/MAMM/MDF/

In May 1972, Richard Nixon became the first American President to pay an official visit to the Soviet Union. Below, he's pictured in the Moscow Kremlin with Leonid Brezhnev after signing the Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms.

Yury Abramochkin/Sputnik

Another big guest of the Soviet Union was Fidel Castro, head of Cuba.

Dmitry Baltermants/MAMM/MDF/

The 1970s marked the spreading of the first mass color photography (while professional photographers still preferred the cheaper black & white film). Traffic is pictured in moving along the square in front of Moscow's Belorussky railway station.

Valentin Khukhlayev/Valentin Khukhlayev archive

The Bolshoi Theater and classic Soviet cars.

Valentin Khukhlayev/Valentin Khukhlayev archive

A parade celebrating the 1917 Revolution anniversary.

Valentin Khukhlayev/Valentin Khukhlayev archive

"Free Angela Davis" was a popular slogan in the USSR and after she was released, she visited the Soviet Union to meet her supporters. Below, she's pictured with members of the international women's workshop.

Alexander Steshanov/MAMM/MDF/

In 1972, poet and future Nobel Prize winner, Joseph Brodsky, had to emigrate from the USSR for the U.S. Here, he's pictured just before leaving Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

Mikhail Milchik/

The monument-ensemble 'Heroes of the Battle of Stalingrad' in Stalingrad (now Volgograd) and its main statue, 'The Motherland Calls', were constructed in the late 1960s.

Yury Sadovnikov/MAMM/MDF/

Changing of the Honor Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow is always a spectacular ritual.

Dmitry Vozdvizhensky, Nina Sviridova/MAMM/MDF/

Palace (Dvortsovy) Bridge in Petersburg during a white night.


Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko reading his poetry to packed stadiums.

Vladimir Bogdanov/MAMM/MDF/

Locals welcome Leonid Brezhnev in Barnaul airport.

Iosif Budnevich/Sputnik

Kids and pioneers around the country were involved in military games (holding toy guns).

Mikhail Petrov/Southern Urals historical museum

Retired military commander and hero of World War II Georgy Zhukov at his dacha.

Yevgeny Khaldei/MAMM/MDF/

An engineer with a fancy hair style.

Sergei Kocherov/Andrei Yanochkin archive/

A small chat between vendors at a market.

Viktor Yershov/MAMM/MDF/

Students just couldn't do without a guitar.

Sergei Bushmarin/

Best friends!

Dmitry Vozdvizhensky, Nina Sviridova/MAMM/MDF/

At a police department. Police were called 'militsiya' back then. A quote of poet Vladimir Mayakovsky became a proverb: "My militia's guarding me!"

Dmitry Vozdvizhensky, Nina Sviridova/MAMM/MDF/

"Your documents, please."

Vladimir Bogdanov/MAMM/MDF/

Three nymphs taking an ice bath after being in the banya.

Viktor Ruikovich/MAMM/MDF/

The annual historical reconstruction of the Borodino Battle during the 1812 war with Napoleonic France.

Valentin Khukhlayev/Valentin Khukhlayev archive

A normal day in a hard student life.

Vsevolod Tarasevich/MAMM/MDF/

Pioneers are marching.

Vsevolod Tarasevich/MAMM/MDF/

Kids playing accordion in the city of Saratov.

Yury Sadovnikov/MAMM/MDF/

The Bankovsky Bridge in St. Petersburg.

Vladimir Bogdanov/MAMM/MDF/

Local small ballet studios were everywhere around the country. Pictured is one in a small town in Nizhny Novgorod Region.

Marina Voronina/

A babushka tending to a blossoming apple tree in spring.

Vsevolod Tarasevich/MAMM/MDF/

Spring in the fields.

Vsevolod Tarasevich/MAMM/MDF/

Chukotka sketch: Off hunting with dad.

Vasily Shumkov/MAMM/MDF/

Sailors in Chukotka.

Vasily Shumkov/MAMM/MDF/

A woman from Chukotka.

Dmitry Baltermants/MAMM/MDF/

At a school break.

Vsevolod Tarasevich/MAMM/MDF/

A man poses next to Chugunny (cast iron) Bridge in Moscow.

Vladimir Sergienko/MAMM/MDF/

Students of the Naval School in Sakhalin having a laugh.

Yury Sadovnikov/MAMM/MDF/

Sailors playing chess on Sakhalin Island.

Yury Sadovnikov/MAMM/MDF/

Kids playing with kittens on Moneron Island, Sakhalin.

Yury Sadovnikov/MAMM/MDF/

New Year tree decorations and gifts at the Detsky Mir (Children's World) store in central Moscow.

Yury Sadovnikov/MAMM/MDF/

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