The USSR renamed its rocket base Baikonur in 1961 to keep the Soviet space program a secret. Residents of the original Baikonur, hundreds of km away, took advantage of the resulting confusion by ordering many valuable supplies for themselves before the scam was discovered.
There is an unreleased experimental Russian film where nobody on set was allowed to admit they were part of a movie production. Everyone had to pretend they were living in the 50’s for three whole years. The entire set was even wired to reproduce the effect of living under the Soviet regime.
A Soviet soccer player was so popular that when he was sent to the Siberian gulags during Stalin’s Great Purge in the 1930s, he was treated rather well as the gulag commanders were also his fans, who gave him better quarters and food rations, and was even asked to coach the local teams.
The soviet military mapped the entire world with an extreme accuracy. They created more than 1 million maps and some are still used today. It remains one of the most ambitious cartography project till today.
The term “Politically Correct” was originally used within the Communist Party in Stalinist Russia to describe which opinions on government were appropriate to hold and which were not.
Nikita Khrushchev made a speech denouncing Stalin that was so shocking it caused heart attacks for some in attendance and others committed suicide afterwards.
During the Civil Rights Movement, the Soviet Union purposely inflamed racial tensions by mailing forged threats from the KKK to black neighborhoods.
In the Soviet Union in 1991, voting “None of the Above” led to new elections with new candidates, eventually leading to the end of the Soviet Union.
The USSR had a televised song contest. Since few people had phones, viewers would turn their house lights ON if they liked a certain song (OFF if they didn’t). The state energy company recorded the size of each power spike and reported the results to the station to determine points for each contestant.