In 1975, a Soviet naval officer led a mutiny onboard a frigate with the aim of toppling the government of Brezhnev. It failed after a standoff with half of the Soviet Baltic fleet, but an article about it inspired an insurance salesman named Tom Clancy to write his book, The Hunt for Red October.
In the Soviet Union you would have to take your window wipers with you when you parked your car or they would be stolen due to a shortage of auto parts.
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.
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.
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to play The Grapes of Wrath movie because of its depiction of the plight of the poor under capitalism, but it was later withdrawn because Russian audiences were amazed that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.
The Soviet Union under Lenin and Trotsky was the world’s first country that decriminalized homosexuality and abortion. Stalin, however, recriminalised homosexuality in 1933 and abortion in 1936.