During the Korean War, hundreds of American pilots fought and died in a hot aerial war with the Soviet Union, which flew 75% of all fighter missions in support of North Korea. This was kept secret by both countries until the end of the Cold War to avoid pressure for confrontation.
Lydia Litvyak was the Jewish Soviet fighter ace. During WWII she claimed 14 kills, trained 45 pilots, and shot down an ace who wouldn’t believe a woman beat him until she described the fight. She went missing on a flight Just before she was to receive the award “Hero of the Soviet Union”.
Nikolai Pavlenko, a Soviet forger, ran a real but unauthorized construction organization in USSR. Since it was more efficient than the state ones, he was charged with undermining USSR by running an efficient organization.
Russia removed Saturday and Sunday from the calendar for 11 years to create a “continuous working week” from 1929 to 1940.
So instead of everyone having Saturday off, some people had Mondays off, others had Tuesdays off, others Wednesday, etc.
So your “Weekend” came at different points of the week so the factories didn’t stop. In theory, from a purely output perspective, it’s brilliant. But then you have to remember the radical notion that people are humans and these humans have lives and loved ones, so if you didn’t get the rest day on the same day as your partner you might not ever really get to spend time with them.
In 1954, Soviet rocket engineer Sergei Korolev could not get funding to pursue a space program, so he planted a fake new-story claiming Russia was going to launch a satellite. The US responded that they were also going to launch one, so the Soviets then agreed to fund the program.
In 1988 the final history exams for more than 53 million Soviet schoolchildren were cancelled because much of the history they had been taught were lies.
Chess Grand Master Ossip Bernstein was arrested by the Bolshevik secret police and ordered to be shot. As the firing squad lined up, an officer asked if he was really the famous chess master. The officer made Bernstein play a game for his life against him. Bernstein won easily and was released.
George Orwell’s use of 2+2=5 as a catchphrase of the dystopian government in his book 1984 is based on Joseph Stalin’s use of that equation in propaganda. Soviet posters declared “2 + 2 plus the enthusiasm of the workers = 5” long before Orwell wrote his novel. The USSR reached the goals of that Five Year Plan in four years, therefore meaning that the “enthusiasm of the workers” did five years worth of work in four years.
Upon being told he couldn’t go to Disneyland due to security concerns, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev went berserk. He said afterwards, “What do you have there – rocket launching pads? Is there a cholera epidemic down there? Have gangsters taken control of the place? Your police are strong enough to lift up a bull; surely they are strong enough to take care of gangsters?” Khrushchev left LA the next morning.
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.