The famous photo of the Soviet flag being raised during the Battle of Berlin in 1945 was actually doctored. Photographer Yevgeny Khaldei added smoke to make it seem more dramatic, and also removed one of two watches from a Senior Sergeant’s wrist, as it would have implied looting.
In 1966 after failing for 3 years to extinguish a gas well fire Soviet authorities decided to use a 30kt atomic bomb. It was detonated at a depth of 1,500m, crushing the well and extinguishing the flames in seconds. Following this success the same technique was use on 4 other well fires. This was carried out as part of the government’s amusingly named “Nuclear Explosions for the National Economy” program.
The first toilet paper factory in the USSR was built in 1969, 8 years after they went to space.
The Soviets bugged US Embassy and Consulate typewriters with one of the world’s first keyloggers. It was a long bit of circuitry inside a supporting bar in the typewriter, capturing text by measuring magnetic disturbance as the print head moved. This was sent by radio bursts to the Soviets.
Jānis Pīnups, a Latvian patriot, was conscripted into and then deserted from the Red Army in 1944. Opposing the Soviet occupation of Latvia, he hid in the forest for 51 years and did not emerge until 1995, thereby avoiding ever becoming a Soviet citizen.
During the 1975 Apollo-Soyuz mission, to help USA/USSR relations, astronauts and cosmonauts played smuggled audio recordings of glasses clinking, laughter, and many female voices. Houston radioed to ask what’s going on. “Oh nothing,” they said. “We finished work, just having a party up here.”
The collapse of the Soviet Union directly correlated with the resurgence of Cuba’s amazing coral reef. Without Russian supplied synthetic fertilizers and ag practices, Cubans were forced to depend on organic farming. This led to less chemical runoff in the oceans.
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.
There was a comic book series chronicling an alternate Superman timeline where he lands in the Soviet Union instead of the United States.
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.