What Russia was like in 1972 (PHOTOS)

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, in his Kremlin study, 1972

General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Leonid Brezhnev, in his Kremlin study, 1972

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

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.

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

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.

The Bolshoi Theater and classic Soviet cars.

A parade celebrating the 1917 Revolution anniversary.

“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.

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).

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. 

The changing of the Honor Guard at the Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow was always a spectacular ritual. In the 1990s, the Honor Guard moved its service to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at another Kremlin wall.

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

Poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko reading his poetry to packed stadiums.

Locals welcome Leonid Brezhnev in Barnaul airport.

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

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

An engineer with a fancy hair style.

A small chat between vendors at a market.

Students just couldn’t do without a guitar.

Best friends!

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

“Your documents, please.”

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

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

A normal day in a hard student life.

Pioneers are marching.

Kids playing accordion in the city of Saratov.

The Bankovsky Bridge in St. Petersburg.

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

A babushka tending to a blossoming apple tree in spring.

Spring in the fields.

Chukotka sketch: Off hunting with dad.

Sailors in Chukotka.

A woman from Chukotka.

At a school break.

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

Students of the Naval School in Sakhalin having a laugh.

Sailors playing chess on Sakhalin Island.

Kids playing with kittens on Moneron Island, Sakhalin.

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

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