A woman in the southern Russian city of Maikop lights with a match a spoonful of the moonshine she made, to check its qualityAP
increase in prices, the closing down of liquor shops, limiting hours when alcohol was sold, calling on people to reject drinks at festivities - s
products in shops, it made people bitter. It also harmed government tax revenues.
The policy also boosted bootlegging. As Gorbachev admitted later himself, the campaign increased the production of moonshine alcohol. Homemade liquor was produced in full swing with the help of machines like this. At the same time, the campaign considerably increased life expectancy and reduced mortality rates in the Soviet Union.
The circulation figures of "Argumenty i Fakty" (Arguments and Facts) made it into the Guinness Book of RecordsRoman Denisov/TASS
Perestroika was the time of glasnost - a notion that mainly implied press freedom. Hitherto highly censored and controlled information started to flow freely to the public. It led to a situation when the circulation of certain newspapers increased dramatically. Such was the case with weekly paper Argumenty
Facts) whose circulation figures made it into th
Something similar happened at the time to Soviet literary monthly magazines. Until perestroika they were popular but never had circulations in the millions. Glasnost forced people to rush to book kiosks for the latest issue of such magazines that reprinted novels earlier forbidden for the publication in the USSR. The most famous literary magazine was Novyi Mir (New World). Its circulation in 1991 was a record high of 2.7 million copies. Today it sells only 7,200 copies.
Soviet schoolboys are learning how to handle computers at information science lesson (1985)Petryhin/Sputnik
The first Soviet IBM compatible computer Assistant-128 was produced along with the Elektronika BK (one of the most widespread Soviet home PCs at the time) and the Korvet that was used in school classes. There were also Vektor, Vesta, Sura and multiple clones of Western
During perestroika videocassettes stormed the USSRBoris Klipinitser/TASS
Perestroika was a time when videocassettes and VCRs stormed the USSR. Few could afford to buy a VCR and they were also hard to obtain, so in the late 1980s video saloons mushroomed. These were small public places that usually screened films on a simple VCR. It did not cost much and was extremely popular among youth. There one could see Hollywood movies that had earlier been the stuff of legend. In this
Almost everybody then got into acid washed jeansAudrus Ulozyavichus/Sputnik
Perestroika changed not only the way people drank, read a
Acid washed jeans were also produced within the country by another new business class – people working in cooperatives, a new economic format endorsed by Gorbachev that implied more economic freedom. Soviet citizens who wanted to try their entrepreneurial spirit produced acid washed
Gorbachev’s economic reforms were a failure and the country’s economy was descending into a deep crisisBoris Kavashkin and Lyudmila Pakhomova/TASS
Coupons were probably the most memorable - and ubiquitous -
Read here about the last Soviet computer game that peddled democracy.
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