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How Russians see their history
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Way to Russia Talk Lounge Forum Index -> Russian Contexts, Myths and Truths
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hpesch
Frequent Guest


Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Soundbrigade wrote:
When we talk about Russia and Soviet Union in our home I understand that my wife, more or less don't recognize any difference between the time of the tsars and the socialist era (note socialist as the country was "strugging towards communism"). The time of the tsars was a bad time and the last tsar was really a very reluctant ruler misspending too many resources with no gain or with big losses.
There are more or less just one historic person worth mention - Peter the First, for bringing Russia from the darkness to enlightment. Katarina the Great was another ruler that somewhat brought the country a few steps forward.

There are many myths about the socialist era, that people were starving, or waiting lines to buy shoes or beeing constantly monitored bu KGB, but most people lived a happy time, people had a job, had free school and post-high school education (university and institutes). These kind of ideas can sometimes be heard from Russians that were to young to remember anything from the socialist times. Instead health and dental care was free, people could be on maternity leave for up to three years, holiday travels were cheap, often organized by the union.
When we look at old Swedish movies and/or talk about Sweden during the 50's and 60's we notice that we had the same living standard or conditions.



You're talking about the nomenklatura. Those who joined the party after the great purges and kept their mouths shut lived quite comfortably in post-war Russia and its colonies.

But normal workers, let alone peasants (collectivised), were extremely poor even in relation to Polish or Hungarian standards of the time. How long people had to wait for the most primitive automobil? Twenty years? But lets not talk about living standards.

I've been told by one Russian, that he had the opportunity to participate in an Intourist tour through Finland in the 1980's. He believed the explanations of the guide, that all the fine things are just for show, but then he noticed a telephone booth. Inside the booth there were thick books, the telephone registery of the town in question. These books were not chained to the wall, anyone could have taken them away. That was the moment this Russian realised he was in a free country.

I'm glad Russians are now free to travel and get information via the net etc. But there is still a lot of work before the population in average will have the same standard of living as in 1913. Not only in big cities but in all villages too. When people can work on their own farms and in their own forests.
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Ender
WayToRussified


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 498
Location: Urals

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hpesch wrote:
You're talking about the nomenklatura. Those who joined the party after the great purges and kept their mouths shut lived quite comfortably in post-war Russia and its colonies.

But normal workers, let alone peasants (collectivised), were extremely poor even in relation to Polish or Hungarian standards of the time. How long people had to wait for the most primitive automobil? Twenty years? But lets not talk about living standards.

My father is a builder, my mother is an engineer, my uncle was a turner (he is a businessman now), my aunt was a salesperson in a clothes shop. My grandmother was a therapist. My grandfather was an architector. They weren't communists. They were able to buy (not wait!) a car at age 30 or something around it. At age 25 (when I born) they had flats given by a government.

I can't say we lived not comfortably. Granted we hadn't plasma TVs, cell phones, computers, CD players in 80-th.
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hpesch
Frequent Guest


Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:18 pm    Post subject: Good relations Reply with quote

Ender wrote:
hpesch wrote:
You're talking about the nomenklatura. Those who joined the party after the great purges and kept their mouths shut lived quite comfortably in post-war Russia and its colonies.

But normal workers, let alone peasants (collectivised), were extremely poor even in relation to Polish or Hungarian standards of the time. How long people had to wait for the most primitive automobil? Twenty years? But lets not talk about living standards.

My father is a builder, my mother is an engineer, my uncle was a turner (he is a businessman now), my aunt was a salesperson in a clothes shop. My grandmother was a therapist. My grandfather was an architector. They weren't communists. They were able to buy (not wait!) a car at age 30 or something around it. At age 25 (when I born) they had flats given by a government.

I can't say we lived not comfortably. Granted we hadn't plasma TVs, cell phones, computers, CD players in 80-th.


I'm glad to hear your family was so fortunate. I only once have visited the SU, that was in the summer of 1972. We tourists had orders to stay with the group, but at the lunch in Hotel Evropeiska a run to the other side of Nevski prospect and looked about the Gostinnyj dvor. The only goods to buy were socks, probably they had got a big shipment of socks from Tallinn or Bulgaria.

When your soviet engineers had such a good aducation how does it come that up to this day there is no other item sold succesfully worldwide produced in Russia than the AK-47 kalashnikov rifle? The creativity of the Russian people is very well manifest in art and literature, but why didn't they invent anything useful? Could it be they had to study more Marx-Engels than real engineering?

Why had the Russians installed all those radioemittors to block Western radio, when your life was so easy going? Why couln't the people order or read foreign newspapers except L'Humanité or other communist shit? Nowbody bothered to interfere with Radio Moscow. No problem to order Pravda or China News to West-Germany.

In fact the only people in the Soviet Union who were able to see the truth about the West were in Northern Estonia, where they could view Finnish tv. No wonder so many Russians moved to live there.

Lets be happy these days are behind us!
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Ender
WayToRussified


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 498
Location: Urals

PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 3:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Good relations Reply with quote

hpesch wrote:
I'm glad to hear your family was so fortunate.

My family is an ordinary family. There were about 100 flats in a house where I lived. Their state wasn't different. They were roughly equally "fourtunate".
hpesch wrote:
When your soviet engineers had such a good aducation how does it come that up to this day there is no other item sold succesfully worldwide produced in Russia than the AK-47 kalashnikov rifle? The creativity of the Russian people is very well manifest in art and literature, but why didn't they invent anything useful?

Please don't take it as offence... it looks like you are mature person... but next time you say such a nonsense remember that Soviet Union had self-sustaining economy. It was constantly kicked by one or another foreign disaster be it antanta invasion, hitler or cold war. It produced almost all goods that was necessary be it shoes, tube rolling plants, nuclear reactors or spaceships. It was a superpower. There were only three superpowers in human history - U.S., Soviet Union and British Empire. Without huge engineering and scientific efforts it wasn't possible.

For example american stealth bombers became possible because of works of Peter Ufimtsev. European satellites are lifted to the orbit by rockets made by soviet and russian scientists and engineers. AFIS made by my company (partly soviet partly russian engineers) is helping in crime investigation in many countries but not in USA because that damn Jackson-Venik amendment as far as I understand. ABBYY is one of world leading OCR companies was founded by soviet and russian engineers and scientists. There are many examples.

Just open your eyes.
hpesch wrote:
Could it be they had to study more Marx-Engels than real engineering?

My father once told me how he passed an "History of communism" exam. It was somewhere in the beginning of 70-th.
- Ok boys. Come in. Give your student's record-books to me.
- Maria Ivanovna, I don't remember anything. I can't answer your questions.
- Me too.
- Me too!
- Ok boys, take this book and copy these paragraphs to paper. Sign it and give it to me.
...
- Congratulatulations. You've just passed the exam. Your grade is 5, your 5, your 4...
- Why 4!? Shocked
- Come on. I can't give excelent grade to everyone. Somebody must look like an average student.
hpesch wrote:
Why had the Russians installed all those radioemittors to block Western radio,

Because there were huge efforts applied against Soviet Union. Recently I've started to watch and read western media. I understand now why they were installed. I'm glad that average russian can't read "The Guardian" for example. 95% of all articles about Russia are targetted to create strong negative impression.

However I think that informational isolation and Cold War had more minusses than plusses for Soviet Union and for Russia in the long perspective.

Please when you say "Russians" in the time of Soviet Union remember that Soviet Union included 15 republics and Russia was less than half of it. Ethnic Russians are 80% of population of Russia. Thus Russians were only ~38% of population of Soviet Union.
hpesch wrote:
when your life was so easy going?

It wasn't.
hpesch wrote:
Why couln't the people order or read foreign newspapers except L'Humanité or other communist shit? Nowbody bothered to interfere with Radio Moscow. No problem to order Pravda or China News to West-Germany.

I've answered this question earlier.
hpesch wrote:
In fact the only people in the Soviet Union who were able to see the truth about the West were in Northern Estonia, where they could view Finnish tv. No wonder so many Russians moved to live there.

I think there were other reasons.
hpesch wrote:
Lets be happy these days are behind us!
Truth. 100%.
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hpesch
Frequent Guest


Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:01 pm    Post subject: No offence taken Reply with quote

We can agree not to agree. But I do not believe your family were average people. In the Soviet union were special shops for the elite. And it was clearly regulated who could shop in which of these places. Later it became possible to go to Beryoskas if you had foreign valuta. But to get your hands on foreign valuta one had to be in contact with foreigners. Contact to foreigners was restricted and each one had to report weekly to the KGB about their contacts.
If you were even seen near a foreign ambassy or consulate you were questioned by the KGB.
Here in Finland it was a common sport to visit Leningrad and change finnmark into roubles at a street course and live like the Czar for a weekend. Everything Western would be ripped out of your hand and exchanged for a thick bundle of paper money. My wife lived on caviar during here trip to China on the Transsib in 1984, after changing a few bills of Western money.

All Soviet goods were inferior to Western products except military machinery. Yes, they exported Ladas, a good vehicle in harsh winters. But no match for VW, Renault or Ford.
I have seen these statistics, how many million pairs of shoes etc. were produced. But how long did they last. Sure the bosses did not wear them but had Western shoes, at least Finnish, if not Italian?
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Ender
WayToRussified


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 498
Location: Urals

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hpesch wrote:
We can agree not to agree. But I do not believe your family were average people. In the Soviet union were special shops for the elite. And it was clearly regulated who could shop in which of these places. Later it became possible to go to Beryoskas if you had foreign valuta.

You can agree or not to agree. If I looked at (for example a German) family I wouldn't even pretend that I'm able to decide if they are average or not. But of course western tourist knows better which Russian familiy is average and which one isn't.

Well of course my family weren't average people. My family belongs to intelligentia. They don't belong to worker class. But it doesn't mean that they were significantly richer than workers. In fact I knew some workers who earned more than my father - engineer-builder. Economically we were barely better than any others. We hadn't access neither to Beryozkas nor to abroad. Only after the fall of the socialism the difference in income became significant.

It is difficult to judge if that difference is bad or good. In the Soviet times we and many people around us (worker families) were able economically to visit a Black or another warm sea resort for a 20..25 days almost every year. Add here Causasus resorts (not different countries, no wars, no ethnic related problems) with their mineral waters. For Russian who live in a harsh climate visiting a warm seashore is like miracle. Now we are permitted to travel aboroad. I can travel abroad, but my next door neighboors for example cant afford to travel neither abroad nor to the Black Sea coast.

hpesch wrote:
My wife lived on caviar during here trip to China on the Transsib in 1984, after changing a few bills of Western money.

I've just checked the Internet. Found some places where people is able to order keta caviar. The prices are outrageous. Just curious, how much do keta caviar cost on your local shop or market?
hpesch wrote:
All Soviet goods were inferior to Western products except military machinery.

I lost my 30 year old soviet made knife used for potatoes peeling. Crude but effective. Now I'm searching an analogue, enough sharp and strong. Western analogues (German, Czech and Italian) either not enough good at peeling or too flimsy. I'm making reparis in my new flat. I was able to easily clean the walls of Tikkurilla paint (and of course accidentally damage painting) but I had to call a professional in order to remove 30 years old soviet made paint. Heck... I had to throw out three TVs GoldStar, Phillips, Fisher but the old soviet made Rubin is still working in my father's-in-law home (though colors are faded now). Not ALL soviet goods were inferior.
hpesch wrote:
Yes, they exported Ladas, a good vehicle in harsh winters. But no match for VW, Renault or Ford.

However many drivers who bought latest cars with Euro-3 engines expirience problems here with a cold start-up while Ladas don't. Just don't forget that for example in my region winter starts in October and finishes in April. Do not forget also that in small sities there are no their service centers. If your Lada is broken any mechanic can fix it, if your Ford Fusion is broken you are screwed. The engine of my old Lada Samara rode through 350 thousands of kilometers without capital service and mechanic said it is still okay. There are Fords which engines didn't survive after 125 thousands of kilometers.

I agree that VW, Renault or Ford are better than Lada. They have better appearance, they are more comfortable. Unfortunately it is negative effect of absense of competition. Hopefully with new players on Russian market quality of russian cars become better.
hpesch wrote:
I have seen these statistics, how many million pairs of shoes etc. were produced. But how long did they last. Sure the bosses did not wear them but had Western shoes, at least Finnish, if not Italian?

I don't know what bosses wore at that time, I don't know how long they lasted at that time, but currently Italian shoes is complete shit. The only positive side is that it have fashionable appearance. It cost twice than shoes made by local factory and it isn't more durable.
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hpesch
Frequent Guest


Joined: 09 Mar 2008
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 9:30 am    Post subject: Level of technical education etc. Reply with quote

I'd still come back to the state of technical education in Soviet Russia. We all know that both after the revolution and after the breakdown of the Soviet system many Russians emigrated to the West. If they were musicians, dancers, singers, artists etc., they had no difficulties to get jobs in their professions. That proves that we in the West have no aversions against Russian people. But a Soviet engineer hardly could get any other jobs than taxi driver, waiter or guard in Berlin or New York. Physicians needed re-schooling before they could work here.
My brother-in-law collects old cameras. He owns some Russian-built models from the 1950's. They are copies of German models and manufactured on machines robbed from East-Germany after the war. As long as these German machines functioned still to tolerance, the cameras were very good in comparison to their low price. But later in the 1960s the camera quality detoriated quickly.
The same is true for all civil production in Soviet Russia. As long as the machines from pre-war production (mostly of German origine, either robbed from there or bought in the 1930s and installed by German specialists (that's why Germany knew so well where to attack in 1941)) still functioned, the products were reasonably good.

The pipelines from the Soviet oil- and gasfields to Europe were manufactured by West-German and other European corporations. East-German computer production was the best in the Soviet block, but a joke compared to Western standards.

But while Japan, South-Korea and later China built modern industries of their own with own productions lines and own designs, Russia even today continues to wait for the foreign investors that will invest money in Russian industry and modernise production.
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Ender
WayToRussified


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 498
Location: Urals

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Level of technical education etc. Reply with quote

hpesch wrote:
But a Soviet engineer hardly could get any other jobs than taxi driver, waiter or guard in Berlin or New York. Physicians needed re-schooling before they could work here.

As far as I know it doesn't have anything common with engineering capability.
hpesch wrote:
My brother-in-law collects old cameras. He owns some Russian-built models from the 1950's. They are copies of German models and manufactured on machines robbed from East-Germany after the war.

Were they war trophies?
hpesch wrote:
As long as these German machines functioned still to tolerance, the cameras were very good in comparison to their low price. But later in the 1960s the camera quality detoriated quickly.

There are many and many causes can lead to this. I don't think that German machines malfunction was the only cause.
hpesch wrote:
The same is true for all civil production in Soviet Russia. As long as the machines from pre-war production (mostly of German origine, either robbed from there or bought in the 1930s and installed by German specialists (that's why Germany knew so well where to attack in 1941)) still functioned, the products were reasonably good. The pipelines from the Soviet oil- and gasfields to Europe were manufactured by West-German and other European corporations.

It is unlikely to be true. Can you provide some links? For example 70% of pipes were produced by a ChTPZ. Therefore it is impossible to say that "pipelines were manufactured by W-G and other European corporations" only. I started to search documents over internet. For example this: http://vasilievaa.narod.ru/ptpu/22_4_03.htm
The more I read the more I understand it was very complex and mixed process. So it impossible to say deffinitely that either "everything was manufactured and designed by westarn companies and soviet engineering sucks" or "everything was designed and produced by soviet engineers and they rulez". The truth is somewhere in the middle. Of course you can disagree, but it doesn't matter.


Last edited by Ender on Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:25 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Ender
WayToRussified


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 498
Location: Urals

PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:46 am    Post subject: About photo cameras Reply with quote

It is intersting that you say that at 60-th soviet photocameras became worse because "stolen" German production lines became too old, broken, etc... but this article suggests exactly opposite.
http://www.photohistory.ru/1207248170259168.html
Quote:
- четвертый ("золотой") - продолжался с начала 60-х до середины 70-х годов, и был ознаменован истинным расцветом советской фотоинженерной мысли; этап 35мм полуавтоматизированных камер (начало 60-х годов - примерно середина 70-х годов ХХ столетия);

I'm not an expert in photography but very quick research shows that there is something wrong in your logic.

But back to your initial question.
Quote:
The creativity of the Russian people is very well manifest in art and literature, but why didn't they invent anything useful?

This question is incorrect because it contains an assertion that they didn't invent anything useful. They invented many useful things.
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Fidel
Just Starting


Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 1
Location: Moscow

PostPosted: Sun May 24, 2009 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RusskiCanadian23 wrote:
karnot wrote:
Thats all you can say, is that right ?
No examples to show ?
Thought so.

Let me guess, you jumped the first foreign "wagon" you saw, just to get as far away from here as possible, am i right ? Or a "mail-order bride" ?


Go drink yourself to death, you fucking moron. We all left, because we saw what otrebie like you did to Russia. You destroyed OUR country! You are NOT Russian, you are a piece of shit wannabe, рвань деревенская, алкаш подзаборный, гнида, оккупант сраный! Чтоб и ты и весь твой вонючий род завтра сдохли, вымерли! Это не твоя страна, ты сука ее не создавал, не строил по кусочкам, как я, и те, кто жил до меня! Твое поколение выродков украло у нас Россию, развалив перед этим наш СССР! Да, мы уехали, но мы еще вернемся, и ты, сволочь, урод, вирус на теле России, заплатишь, хорошо заплатишь! Что думаешь, смертью отделаешся, неееет, ты у меня просить, умолять будешь, чтоб я тебя прикончил после того что с тобой сделают! Попомнишь мои слова, шавка дерьмократская!


Первое. Зачем так выражаться? Второе. Уехали, но собираетесь вернуться? Когда? Когда всё наладится? Налететь, так сказать, на готовенькое? И будешь заставлять "умолять прикончить" тех, кто не спрыгнул с тонущего корабля, а стал залатывать пробоины? И что же могли строить ты и те, кто до тебя, если вы уехали? Если ты патриот, у которого "украли Россию", то почему ты не попытался её вернуть, сделать лучше, а сбежал?
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Ender
WayToRussified


Joined: 23 Aug 2006
Posts: 498
Location: Urals

PostPosted: Tue May 26, 2009 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fidel wrote:
Первое. Зачем так выражаться? Второе. Уехали, но собираетесь вернуться? Когда? Когда всё наладится? Налететь, так сказать, на готовенькое? И будешь заставлять "умолять прикончить" тех, кто не спрыгнул с тонущего корабля, а стал залатывать пробоины? И что же могли строить ты и те, кто до тебя, если вы уехали? Если ты патриот, у которого "украли Россию", то почему ты не попытался её вернуть, сделать лучше, а сбежал?

Расслабься. Very Happy Подобные "яркие" выражения свидетельствуют о том что не всё так плохо. Я то думал что из России валят только самые умные, оказывается нет. Из России валят и долбоебы.
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Sandello
Just Starting


Joined: 08 Sep 2010
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Фидель, Эндер: +1! За "русско"-канадского тролля тупо стыдно.
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nikir
Frequent Guest


Joined: 17 Mar 2010
Posts: 56

PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sandello wrote:
Фидель, Эндер: +1! За "русско"-канадского тролля тупо стыдно.


Ладно хватит. Его сто лет назад выгнали. Не надо нам его вспоминать.
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