CIA declassifies archive that contains subversive Soviet humor

The Soviet jokes are part of nearly 13 million pages of declassified documents that went online on Jan. 18.

The Soviet jokes are part of nearly 13 million pages of declassified documents that went online on Jan. 18.

The material contains mocking jokes about Soviet leaders and ordinary people.

The CIA declassified a document containing a large collection of Soviet era jokes in English. The material was prepared for the CIA's deputy head of administration, but it’s not known why the jokes were included in the first place.

Titled "Soviet Jokes for the DDCI,” the document has jokes on two pages and they make reference to then Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. Thus, it’s presumed the jokes date from the 1980s.   

The Soviet jokes are part of nearly 13 million pages of declassified documents that went online on Jan. 18. Previously, the documents were only accessible from four computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, reports CNN.  

The documents shed some light on CIA activities during the Vietnam, Korean and other Cold War conflicts, and there are even documents pertaining to purported UFO sightings and the organization's "Star Gate" program investigating possible psychic abilities and what could be done with them. 

Here are several examples of the once classified jokes:

"A man walks into a shop, and asks the clerk, "You don't have any meat?" The clerk says, "No, here we don't have any fish. The shop that doesn't have any meat is across the street."

An old lady goes to city hall with a question, but by the time she gets to the official’s office she has forgotten the purpose of the visit. “Was it about your pension?” the official asks. “No, I get 20 rubles in a month, that’s fine,” she replies. “About your apartment?” “No, I live with three people in one room of a communal apartment, I’m fine,” she replies. Suddenly she remembers: “Who invented communism  - communists or scientists?” The official responds proudly: “Communists, of course!” “That’s what I thought,” the old lady says. “If scientists had invented it, they’d have tested it first on dogs!”

"An American explains to a Russian that the U.S. is a free country because he can stand in front of the White House and shout 'To hell with Ronald Reagan!' The Russian says his country is just as free because he can also stand on Red Square and shout, 'To hell with Ronald Reagan."

Sentence from a schoolboy’s weekly composition class essay,  “My cat just had seven kittens. They are all communists.” Sentence from same boy’s composition the following week – “My cat’s seven kittens are all capitalists.” Teacher reminds the boy that the previous week he said the kittens were communists. “But now they have opened their eyes,” replies the child.

A train carrying Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev stops suddenly when the tracks run out. Each leader offers a solution. Lenin gathers workers and peasants from miles around and exhorts them to build more track. Stalin shoots the train crew when the train still doesn’t move. Khrushchev rehabilitates the dead crew and orders the tracks behind the train ripped up and laid again in front of the train. Brezhnev pulls down the curtains and rocks back and forth, pretending the train is moving. And Gorbachev calls a rally in front of the locomotive, where he leads a chant: “No tracks! No tracks! No tracks!” 

Read more: US and Soviet psychic secrets revealed in new book

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