Drawing by Grigory Avoyan
It all started five years ago when users of a Russian message board decided to make fun of the typical stereotypes about their country. They chose one strangely popular YouTube video (which has no connection to Russia at all), rushed to the comments section and started posting as if they were in a surreal Soviet version of the internet, sometime in the 1960s. Most of these comments were posted a long time ago but they continue to pop up occasionally, even today.
Everything you'd expect to find is there: ushankas (Russian fur caps), balalaikas, Barynya (the traditional Russian folk dance), bears, nuclear missiles and oceans of vodka. We have picked the best ones and translated them for you. Now relax, pour yourself a glass of vodka, pet your bear and enjoy reading these conversations.
Oksuro: Comrades, what shall I do? My nuclear reactor broke down because my bear crawled into the basement and hit it with his paw! The poor bear also hurt his paw, and now I cannot ride him. I had to give him some vodka. Also, I personally had to drink a little bit, maybe eight bottles or so.
Still, the reactor cannot be repaired. I'll try to send my friend a missile with a note attached and hopefully, I’ll get some advice from him today. Glory to Lenin and Stalin!
Bear Stepan / Caters/Legion-Media
Vikkoro: I bought a "Build an Atomic Bomb" kit for my son. We were working on it all the evening, but to no avail. Every time, what we manage to make is just a Belarus tractor. I’m forced to drink vodka to drown my sorrows.
Oleg Mishin: Can I leave my bear at the coat check while visiting the Bolshoi Theater?
FreemanOnly: Comrades! It’s getting warmer and warmer in Siberia. Yesterday, the temperature hit a new high of minus 40 degrees Celsius. Encouraged by this fact, I rushed to plow the beds in my garden. Meanwhile, my wife Dunya was playing balalaika while performing a Barynya folk dance (it's easier for me to work this way). In short, I got carried away and lost my vodka ration cards. I can’t get the new ones until next month! Tell me if you have ever faced such a problem, and how did you deal with it?
RusSsianType: I’m trying to trade a Topol-M intercontinental ballistic missile for two buckets of vodka.
Alexander Chabala: Comrades, I propose we debunk the capitalist myths about our vast Motherland! It is a lie that in Russia everyone drives bears. In fact, a bear-driving license is very, very difficult to obtain. To get it, you must pass an oral examination on the history of the Communist Party, play Flight of the Valkyries on a balalaika, drink at least 4 bottles of vodka and then perform a Barynya folk dance. Only after passing this test can you go to the KGB to obtain your bear-driving license.
Iprit133: I’m asking for help, comrades! I was walking my bear in the center of Moscow when some thugs attacked us and pushed the bear into their T-34 battle tank. They also hit me on the head with an empty bottle of vodka. The bear is brown, aged three years.
Georgiy Maltsev: All power to the Soviets! Comrades, I want to make a statement. Today, in the Lenin Mausoleum, Yuri Gagarin's satellite is going to be on a display. After that, a gala demonstration will be held. Vodka ration cards will be handed out to all comrades who are able to play the balalaika. Hooray, comrades!
Lenins mausoleum / Lori/Legion-Media
MrCoroner76: Strange things are happening in Moscow. Today, near the GUM department store I was approached by two men who spoke Russian very poorly. They tried to explain that carrying a bear in a cage on the top of a tank is inhumane. I’m just wondering how else you would transport a drunken bear so that it does not fall out onto the road and injure itself?
Anyway, they were demanding I release the bear. And so I did. Mishka chased those two men to the Okhotny Ryad.
Sidor Ushankin: I also have a bear problem—it drinks too little vodka and just stares at birch trees longingly. Does anyone know where to I can find a good veterinarian in Siberia? I asked the KGB, but they told me that all the vets were executed by firing squad.
Some more vodka? / Shutterstock
Vadim Gerasimov: Comrades, shame on you! We at the KGB do not have time to come after everyone for a firing squad execution. To speed things up, can all of those people who offended the bear kindly report to our Lubyanka office for execution?
Nadya DM: Where can I get my bear sterilized?
Comrade Stalin: You can sterilize your bear at any regional branch of the Executive Committee. After sterilization, the bear must be registered with the traffic police at its place of residence. Glory to the October Revolution!
Ironminer: Hello comrades! Me and my girlfriend decided to have children. We started trying but nothing happens. There are rumors that we do not have such a thing as “sex.” So, comrades, what is this sex? And where can we find it in the USSR?
Retttka: Do not forget, comrade, there is no sex in the USSR! We should spend all our resources on building a bright future! Thanks to the party for our happy childhood!
Bujum Boujdum: The sex in the USSR is plentiful; we just use another word for it. Yesterday I had sex with my T-34 tank in the morning (at minus 95 degrees Celsius there are some problems starting it), then I had sex with my work, and in the evening my wife had sex with my brain because of the lack of money. Well, now I’m exhausted and can’t have sex with my wife. So I understand and sympathize, comrade.
Lev Sergeevich: Yesterday, the traffic police stopped me for riding a bear. They thought I was sober. I had to prove to be drunk and gulped down 11 bottles of vodka with them so that they would not seize my driving license due to my sobriety.
Bear Stepan / Press photo
Zukatto35: Selling two carts of ushankas. Do not offer money. I accept only vodka and AK-47s. Pickup in Siberia.
BreddNo: Need advice. My child does not finish his vodka during lunch. And yesterday he even asked for a chaser! Is he somehow ill? I was advised to give him some moonshine, but where can you get quality moonshine these days?
Sergey Pozdnyakov: Comrades! I tearfully ask you to give me the codes so I can launch nuclear warheads right into the den of capitalism!
My story: I turned 12 yesterday, and my parents gave me a build-your-own samovar kit as a present. Today, my whole family put it together and drank two boxes of vodka in the process. As a result, we managed to build, not a samovar, but three intercontinental ballistic missiles. Batya says that without the launch codes they are useless, but he does not want to call the KGB. Help, comrades! Glory to the party!
Venya Pyatochkin: Help, comrades! The bear has gobbled down all the graphite rods from the nuclear reactor. Now it has stopped working, and there is nothing to cool the hootch still with. Can I cool it down with a balalaika somehow?
Ironminer: Comrades! Today I was walking along the Iron Curtain and overheard non-Russian speech from the opposite side. What could it be? Are we not alone in this world?
Anton Apenko: I’ve just picked up a bear cub from the forest. He does not drink vodka and does not show any interest in the balalaika. I have a suspicion that it is, in fact, a repainted grizzly!!! What shall I do? Should I call the KGB? Or can I figure it out myself? Glory to the Communist Party!
Volk1488pb: Yesterday, my whole family went to the Central Square in Magnitogorsk to watch an American spy being executed. It was so much fun. The men were playing balalaikas and boyars, and the women were dancing. After the visit, I bought new Kalashnikov rifles for my kids, and then we all drank vodka together.
That night, my wife and I performed the eighth sexual act of our entire lives and gave birth to our eighth child.
More than 50 percent of Russians are nostalgic for the Soviet era / Maxim Bogodvid / RIA Novosti
Jakan777: Ahaha, comrades! It's funny in here! I was sitting here with my pet bear, just drinking vodka from the samovar. And then I came across your comments. The bear even dropped his balalaika and is rolling on the floor laughing! Let's drink, comrades, as Lenin and Stalin told us to! Na zdorovye!
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