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to play The Grapes of Wrath movie because of its depiction of the plight of the poor under capitalism, but it was later withdrawn because Russian audiences were amazed that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.
Nikita Khrushchev made a speech denouncing Stalin that was so shocking it caused heart attacks for some in attendance.
The US and the USSR’s only direct military confrontation happened in October 1944, over the Serbian town of Niš. It is considered top secret by both governments, and the exact number of casualties is unknown.
In 1933 Soviet Russia dumped 6200 people on an island in Siberia and left them to their fate. A month later 4000 of them were dead. “People were dying everywhere; they were killing each other…. On the island there was a guard named Kostia Venikov, a young fellow. He was courting a pretty girl who had been sent there. He protected her. One day he had to be away for a while, and he told one of his comrades, “Take care of her,” but with all the people there the comrade couldn’t do much…. People caught the girl, tied her to a poplar tree, cut off her breasts, her muscles, everything they could eat, everything, everything…. They were hungry, they had to eat. When Kostia came back, she was still alive. He tried to save her, but she had lost too much blood.“
Stalin’s guards were so afraid of him that no one called a doctor until 12 hours after he had a stroke. They feared he might recover and execute anyone who had acted outside of his orders.
During the Cold War, the USSR was able to tell a Soviet passport was a forgery because the staples in real passports would corrode due to the poor quality of metal.