What Russia was like in 1984 (PHOTOS)

Albert Pushkarev/TASS
Another change of power, the invention of ‘Tetris’ and a new round of the Cold War. What else was this year memorable for?

In February, Yuri Andropov, who ruled the country from the death of Leonid Brezhnev in 1982, passed away. Andropov's funeral, like those of other Soviet leaders, was large-scale and pompous. 

Meanwhile, many foreign delegations came to Moscow. Among them were Cuban leaders Fidel and Raul Castro.

A delegation from the United States led by Vice President George Bush Sr. also arrived.

Konstantin Chernenko was then elected as the new General Secretary of the Communist Party, effectively the USSR’s new leader.

The Cold War between the USSR and the U.S. experienced another sharp phase. On August 11, 1984, President Ronald Reagan joked during a radio address that he had signed legislation that "will outlaw Russia forever". "We begin bombing in five minutes," was his last phrase that shocked the whole world. The Soviets reacted with strong condemnation of such words from a state with nuclear weapons and reminded of their responsibility for the fate of humanity. 

In the meantime, many Soviet rituals were still followed with great piety. E.g. the Victory Parade on May 9 on the Red Square.

Victory Day celebrations at the Panfilov Heroes monument in Dubosekovo, Moscow Region. 

Demonstrations with posters and portraits of Lenin, Marx and Engels.

In November, another anniversary of the October Revolution was celebrated with pomp.

A big parade on the anniversary of the revolution was also held in various cities – and, of course, on the Red Square.

Children having fun on Labor Day (May 1).

On June 6, 1984, programmer Alexei Pazhitnov introduced his game ‘Tetris’, to the world which became iconic. One of its first versions is pictured below.

Having started exactly 10 years earlier, the construction of the Baikal-Amur Railway was completed.

The first signs of imminent freedom and glasnost also began to appear. And changes were reflected in the art of photography. The photo below depicts an ordinary day in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg).

A morning waiting line for Moscow’s Sanduny banya (bath house).

Visitors to the Tretyakov Gallery looking at the relic ‘Our Lady of the Don’ icon. In the 1980s, restorations began in many closed churches and monasteries, while services began to be conducted again.

Workers taking a break during the restoration of the Danilov Monastery in Moscow.

Revelers enjoying ‘Maslenitsa’ festivities.

Muscovites hanging out next to St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Red Square.

Faces of the epoch: Artist Erik Bulatov posing for a photo by a fountain in the VDNKh exhibition center in Moscow.

Writer Vladimir Sorokin is captured posing in front of the Moscow Kremlin.

Singer Viktor Tsoi performing with his rock band ‘Kino’.

Viktor Tsoi having fun with friends.

The future president of Russia Boris Yeltsin (pictured on the left) was the first secretary of the Sverdlovsk Regional Party Committee back then. In the photo below, he presents the ‘Order of the Red Banner of Labor’ to the Pervouralsk New Pipe Plant.

Future star, young pianist Evgeny Kissin receiving flowers after his performance in the Moscow Conservatory’s Big Hall.

A ballerina reading Izvestia newspaper before a performance at the Voronezh Opera and Ballet Theater.

Young students of the Choreographic Academy in the city of Perm pose for a snap.

Soldiers on their day off hanging out on the streets of Kazan.

A couple of soldiers being inspected by their superiors during a physical examination in the army.

Jumping over a pommel horse. Military training for students of the Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering.

Milkmaids pictured under a banner of Lenin and Marx.

Revelers enjoying a roller coaster in Moscow’s Gorky Park.

A long waiting line to enter the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo, near St. Petersburg.

A new generation of rock-n-roll stars also appeared.

In 1984, the Soviet Soyuz T-12 spacecraft went to space. The crew included female cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, who became the first woman to enter open space. Pictured below are her and the other crew members: Vladimir Dzhanibekov, Svetlana Savitskaya and Igor Volk (from left to right).

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