The Soviet Union and the United States were originally in talks to go to the moon together during the Cold War. Nikita Khruschev was poised to accept the plan but then President Kennedy was assassinated. The Soviets did not trust Vice President Johnson, so Khruschev rejected the plan.
Raisa Gorbachev once told a British minister there were more than 300 ways to cook potatoes in the USSR. When he had doubts, she sent him a cookbook and a note: “My apologies for being somewhat inaccurate: in fact, there are five hundred, rather than three hundred, recipes to cook potatoes.”
From 1929 to 1940, the Soviet Union introduced a 5-day week in a deliberate bid to eliminate religion.
The Soviet Union attempted to domesticate moose for use in a cavalry.
Only one Soviet male was awarded the “Mother Heroine Medal” (reserved for women who bore at least 10 children), because he adopted 12 children.
During the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact soldiers, road signs in towns were removed or painted over to confuse invading troops—except for those indicating the way to Moscow.
In 1954 the USSR proposed a dam to the U.S. that would close off the Bering Straight. The Soviets claimed it would block arctic cold currents that flow down over Korea and the Sea of Japan, warming it as much as 30 degrees. The U.S. declined.
The Soviet Union refused to host the 1980 Paralympics, stating that none of their citizens had disabilities.
25 years ago, two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometers (370 mi) across the three Baltic states in memory of the victims of the Soviet terror.
In 1976, a Soviet pilot defected to Japan in his advanced MiG-25 fighter, which Russia demanded be returned. Japan complied, but only after allowing American engineers to examine the aircraft. Japan then shipped it back piece by piece, and billed Russia $40,000 in transport and labor costs.
Before Chernobyl, the Soviets had another massive nuclear disaster which contaminated over 20,000 square km. The area was turned into a preserve to cover up the accident. The CIA knew of the accident, but also covered it up in order to protect the fledgling US nuclear industry from hysteria.
The Soviet Union had a water computer created in 1928 that was used until the 1980s.
The Soviet Union did not admit that a reactor had exploded at Chernobyl until nearly 3 days after radiation from the disaster set off alarms at a nuclear plant in Sweden 1000 km away.
The practice of focusing on disasters elsewhere when one occurs in the Soviet Union was so common that after watching reports on Soviet television about a catastrophe abroad, Russians would call Western friends to find out whether something had happened in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union allowed theaters to play The Grapes of Wrath movie because of its depiction of the plight of the poor under capitalism, but it was later withdrawn because Russian audiences were amazed that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.