It's always the most embarrassing part of a fallen regime. All those statues, no longer relevant. Usually they come down, hence the severed head of Vladimir Lenin recently unearthed in Berlin. But what to do with all those Lenins still standing? Turn them into the likeness of a more benevolent leader, of course.
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The 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow were controversial. While its war in Afghanistan had sparked a global boycott of the games, the USSR also wanted to showcase its capacity for opulence. To this day, the architecture of the Olympic Village lives on like an undying tribute to the Soviets' misplaced and ultimately untimely ambition.
By the latter half of the Space Race between the United States and the USSR, focus had shifted from simply putting people into orbit to seeing how long they could stay up there. And while the US won the sprint to the moon, it was actually the Russians who won the endurance test with the Salyut 7 space station.
These photographs by Rebecca Litchfield make it seem as if the apocalypse has come and gone, and the world is in complete ruins, but not quite. They're actually photographs of countries and places that were a part of the former Soviet Union. The forgotten decay is haunting.
Take the all-terrain capabilities of the US Army's new packbot, add the uncanny reliability of a Kalishnakov and some tank treads — Boom! You've got yourself an unstoppable killing machine cargo transporter.
Russia's Buran program was very short lived. Like, only one flight short lived. But according to cosmonaut (and ISS alum) Oleg Kotov, the craft had some serious potential - outclassing its American rival at both saving lives and destroying them.
By 1971, people had been in space. They'd even flown around the earth! But there'd never been a real home for humans in orbit - they went up, and they came down. That changed 40 years ago today.
Vladimir Komarov, a cosmonaut, knew he was going to die when he left Earth for space on the Soyuz 1. His friend Yuri Gagarin, the first human to reach outer space, knew Komarov would too. But Leonid Brezhnev, leader of the Soviet Union, wanted to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Communist Revolution with a spectacle. So Komarov boarded the Soyuz 1, and just like he predicted, ended up dying. The picture above is Komarov's remains.
Hervey Stockman passed away today, leaving behind a legacy as the first man to pilot a dedicated spy plane in Soviet airspace. Taking the Lockheed U-2 into Communist territory in the middle of the Cold War, Stockman was able to collect data on the USSR while evading MiGs trying to intercept him.
For this week's Photoshop Contest, I asked you to turn today's user-friendly gadgets into cold, utilitarian Soviet-era relics. It's probably for the best that these don't actually exist.
Wired Magazine has a fascinating article on the doomsday system that was built by the Soviets 25 years ago. It was designed to obliterate the US no matter what happened to the USSR—and it still works today. Shiver.