Remnants of socialism in Russia
Остатки социализма в России


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Остатки социализма в России - Remnants of socialism in Russia

For lots of foreigners Russia is still associated with the period of USSR. Although there have been many changes since the times of socialism, some things have been kept today. If you come to Russia then you’ll notice these things.

No matter which city you are in, you will more than likely see a Lenin’s square. Actually the Lenin’s squares are main squares of most of Russian cities and towns. They are still called so and are usually situated in front of administration buildings. Each square is decorated with a monument of Lenin. No, the monuments look different everywhere. Anyway if you are lost in the city ask someone where the Lenin’s square is and you will likely be guided to the city centre.

Of course, that’s not all that remained of the exterior appearance of the city from the times of socialism. Lots of streets, prospects and lanes still carry the names given to them soon after the finish of revolution. For example the Prospect Revolution, Karl Marks’ Street, Plekhanov’s street and many others. City architecture also reminds of the USSR period. On the face sides of buildings social slogans and images of the hammer and sickle can be seen quiet often. These symbols always remind inhabitants and tourists of the history of the city and the country.

Also a lot of buildings of that period have been kept. Living houses are among them. In Russia there are flats usually called 'stalinkas' and 'khruschevkas'. Stalinkas were built at the times of Stalin and khruschevkas at the times of Khruschev. But these words speak not only about the periods in which they were built. You have to look once at a flat to define what of those types it is. You will see spacious rooms, long corridors, and high ceilings in stalinkas. Khruschevkas are on the contrary very small in size. Only necessary minimum of space is given here. Of course that is connected with history. In Khruschev’s times there were problems of providing the population with flats. And lots of flats were built but of a smaller size to help as many people as possible to get a place for living. And in the period of Stalin the accent was made for quality and durability.

Furthermore, houses were often built by plan and in big amounts. That is why nowadays you can see several blocks of flats looking absolutely the same on one street.

During the time of socialism lots of names appeared. All of them helped the ideology in the country. Let’s look at it on the example. Vladlena is a female name arisen in the socialism period. Do you have any guesses? And if to rewrite it this way - VladLena? As you see it is created with cutting-down and integration of Vladimir Lenin’s name and surname. The same story is with a male name Vilen, but now it’s originates from Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Female name Dazdraperma is often taken as an example. That means “Da zdravstvuet pervoe maya!” – “Glory to the 1st May!” Actually the 1st may was a Holiday of Spring and Work in USSR. But I’m not sure that somebody really called their daughters this way. Also Industrya (Industry) and Olympyada (the Olympics) were includes into the list of names. Of course such names are already not used today.

An important role was played by science achievements of the socialism period. Many scientists of world importance worked during that time! Actually a big emphasis was made on science in Soviet Union. And the results amaze of course. As an example the work made for space research can be taken.

There is no doubt that such an attitude to science required highly qualified specialists. The Soviet Union had a big advantage due to the level of education it offered. Big attention was paid to education of the future generation. Each pupil had deep knowledge of history, literature, mathematics and many other disciplines. And this knowledge was not limited at the school level. Children were stimulated to getting extra knowledge and self-education. The only minus here was weak teaching of foreign languages. Fortunately, today a quiet good level of education is still given in Russia.

Russia is also in debt to the Soviet Union for its sport results. Free sport schools have still been kept here for children. Different competitions are always held. Lots of stadiums, swimming pools and so called sport palaces were built in the time of USSR. That gave many kinds of sports an opportunity to develop. Nowadays our trainers and sportsmen are demanded abroad. The results of the Olympics please Russians today. For example on the Olympics in Turin Russian figure skaters got 3 golden medals of 4 possible. Also the (ice) hockey team performs quiet well. Although it’s not as strong as it was in the times of USSR when it could just be called a legendary team.

Many holidays have been kept in Russia from the socialism period. On the 1st of May they celebrate The Holiday of Spring and Work. And on the 9th of May a famous Victory Parade devoted to the end of World War II is held. In every city on this day they congratulate war veterans and on the main squares war parades are held which are a very beautiful show.

After disintegration of USSR Russia has special relationships with some countries. Most of countries – ex-Soviet Republics are now in Commonwealth of Independent States. The closest relationships are of course kept with Byelorussia and Ukraine.

But of course the most important thing remained after socialism is the mind of adult population. Lots of elderly people still miss Soviet Union.

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