This is where you will find out about similarities and distinctions of modern Russia and the USSR. The goal of creating this page lies in elimination of some illusions associated with modern Russia and the Soviet Union.
Living standards in the Soviet Union and Russia
Speaking of the financial aspect, it is quite hard to compare living standards in Russia and the Soviet Union. Two men, holding the same office in the USSR, could have different salaries, pensions and housings.
However, there is a common similarity. Poverty and misery were norm in the USSR and are normal in modern Russia.
In the Soviet Union, in contrast to modern Russia, also existed problem of spending earned money. Not everything could be bought. Many products often were lacking on store’s shelves, existed so-named deficit. There also were difficulties with buying apartment, automobiles, travel passes.
Now the problem is different. There is no deficit of goods on store’s shelves, but Russians often have a problem with the money for their acquisition.
However, a certain lack of products still exists. It is about qualitative and safe goods. The producers, seeking for increasing their own incomes, frequently produce merchandise that can damage customer’s health. I hope this trouble still can be coped.
Speaking of living standards, it is worth noting such questions as: human’s rights protection, inviolability of private life, inviolability of housing and other property, freedom of speech, ability to claim their rights legally. In Russia, on my opinion, all this is not actually protected by anything, but in the USSR it was even worse. Alas, despite certain improves Russia is still completely unlivable country.
People in the Soviet Union and in Russia
Mentality of people remained the same in general. Distinctive features of Russians still are: herd mentality, envy; a will to harm those who lives better; persecution of dissenters, governability, lack of obedience to law, insanity.
Read more in detail in the following sections:
Russian mentality and its features.
Comparison of the USSR and Russian military
As in the USSR army, they are bullying conscripts in Russian military. Including beating them, humiliating, extorting and taking away money. All this do officers and older soldiers, so-named «grandpas». Some military units are notorious by high percentage of soldiers’ death because of different kinds of accidents.
Read more in detail in the following sections:
Russian Armed Forces.
Persecution of dissenters in the Soviet Union and Russia
In Russia, as in the Soviet Union, all methods of individuality’s, uniqueness’, independence’s and freedom of thoughts’ elimination still are used. Among them methods of mental and physique terror. In Russia all this is norm and illegality of all this does not stop anyone.
Below you can familiarize with some cases from real life. I will specify it: accidents described below are far from isolated cases and I recommend consider them as actively applicable models. Other ways to bully, persecute, punish dissenters and opposition, also are practicing in modern Russia. There are people that would rather live in poor African countries or even in Hitler Germany, but not in modern Russia or, all the more, in the Soviet Union. It is no wonder that so many people are immigrating from Russia or want to immigrate.
In the Soviet Union
In 1964, was arrested poet Iosiph Brodsky on the charge of parasitism. In the same year, was conducted a forensic-medical examination, and Iosiph Brodsky spent three weeks in psychiatric hospital №2 in Leningrad.
Brodsky claimed that it was the worst period in his life. Among methods of «therapy» he mostly remembered «twisting in», when a person was waken up at midnight, gotten in the cold bath, enwrapped in wet sheet and then placed near warm battery. Fabric dried, shrank and cut into body.
However, Brodsky «got lucky». Forensic-medical examination decided: «Found psychotic character traits, but able-bodied. That is why actions of administrative manner can be applied». Brodsky was released from psychiatric hospital and sentenced to five years of punitive works on remoted northern area.
A poet and translator Natalia Gorbanevskaya attracted attention of the government by participating in demonstration against sending corps in Czehoclovakia in 1968. After psychiatric examination, Gorbanevskaya was diagnosed with stagnant schizophrenia. From 1971 to 1972 poet had to get therapy in Kazan special psychiatric hospital and in Serbsky institute in Moscow.
Punitive psychiatry was applying quite actively in the USSR until the 1960th, but the main method of fight against those objectionable was what was hiding behind the abbreviation GULAG. Later Soviet government became more «humane», and the main repression lever fell into the doctors-psychiatrist’s hands. Dissenters were, more often diagnosed with stagnant schizophrenia or vexatious-paranoid development of personality.
Here is what Natalia Gorbanevskaya told after release:
«For ten years I was telling about what was the scariest in psychiatric prison. First things first, treatment in itself, it means haloperidol, which they gave to all political. I do not know practically no one, who was not given this a certain term. In Kazan, it was given to all political from the beginning and finishing of «treatment». It is medication for delirium, «voices» and hallucinations. But, nowhere in my diagnosis was noted neither «delirium», «voices», nor «hallucinations», nor in everyone’s diagnosis whom I knew there it was not noted, and I have a completely precise feeling that this cure was given not for its direct effect, but for its side effects (neurological disorders, anxiety, fear, depression, numerous functional disorders).
The second most terrible part is indefinite period. For example, I knew a woman from Moldavia who was there for 8 years. She (here I can say it, not being afraid to offense her) already lost her mind. I was thinking: will I get out of here, when will I get out, what will I be when I get out… And, leaving the gates of prison, will I understand that I am free, will I distinguish freedom and prison».
In modern Russia
I know an accident when there was an attempt to harass one citizen of Russia, only because he lived his life on his own, not looking back on anyone, not allowing anyone to order him and minding his own business. He did not break country’s laws, had not defiant and aggressive behavior, was not interfering in politics, was not participating in rallies, liked to read books and did not have a single bad habit or addiction.
Those who tried to harass him were philistines, each of whom was violating laws of a country in so doing.
Eventually in his place of residence he faced: breach of housing’s inviolability; breach of private life’s, private and family confidentiality’s inviolability; attempts of incitement to suicide; attempts to undermine mental and physical health; slander; offences; damaging property.
The main methods applied against him: surveillance; persecution; slander; insults; property damage; smoking with electronic cigarettes that were set in floors by a neighbor who lives lower (volatile organic compounds spread by cracks in floor and electrical rosettes). Influence on organism by strong vibration, which was transmitting through floor, for in floors were set appropriate devices by neighbor, living on lower floor, apparently, vibrodynamics; noise’s influence as an audio of threats and curses, playing on equipment, installed in floor by neighbors, living on higher floor.
In attempts to harass participated not only habitants of lower and higher flat, but also vast number of other scums from among philistines, some of whom were police officers.
As a result: this person, staying himself, saving mental and physical health, immigrated from Russia. Now he is, apparently, living in Finland and not complaining about his life.
Vladimir Grigorievich Selekhov, pensioner, work experience – 37 years. He was accused in public offence of local police officer. Witnesses of the police officer were giving controversial evidences in trial, yet the court appointed two psychiatric examinations: first Selekhov was directed on an outpatient examination, then on a stationary one. On a stationary examination he was in urban psychiatric hospital №6 in Saint Petersburg; he was transferred in other department, involuntarily cured, they injected in him psychotropic substances. By the way, during his «therapy» he lost 20 kilograms, and got very weak. When he was discharged, in winter, he was not given his personal stuff and refused to provide him transport. That means that, in fact, man had to get home after discharge in light clothing in wintertime, in a frost.
Life in modern Russia is much different from life in the Soviet Union. However many of the worst traits of the USSR we can meet in present Russia.