Kabul 40 Years Ago Vs. Kabul Now
This Russian city uses old Soviet tanks as playgrounds
In the environs of the southwestern Siberian city of Omsk, you can find decommissioned Soviet tanks welded shut and dotting children’s playgrounds. Behold the most hardcore playground accoutrements this side of splinter-covered monkey bars.
Omsk has a history of being a center of military production, which explains why these ASU-85s and Т-62s are painted happily and left out for kids to clamber upon. According to the blogger who snapped these shots, old Soviet aircraft had been left to the tots and elements as well, but citizens conspired to disassemble them. Here are some more surreal shots. For another example of curiously unguarded Soviet war machines in Siberia, see this airfield.
Science and communism are inseparable! That is the basic message of this amazing collection of Soviet space propaganda posters that will be auctioned off on Apr. 22.
Featuring Yuri Gagarin and Gherman Titov, the first and second humans to reach space, along with Krushchev, and of course Lenin, these posters glorify the the Soviet Union’s technological prowess and importance in the world, and in the universe. Many of the posters focus on the role the workers played in the space race, and the ordinary citizen’s duty to feel immensely proud of Mother Russia’s accomplishments.
The posters have messages such as “Comrades! Soviet Land Has From Now On Become the Shore of the Universe!” or “The Tenth Planet Symbolizes the Victory of Communism!” and “Be Proud, Soviet, You Opened a Path from the Earth to the Stars!” One of my favorites is “Lenin Is With Us, Immortal and Majestic, the Thoughts, Words and Deeds of Ilyich Are Propagating Through the Universe.”
The estimated values of the posters range from $400 to $1,500, and for some of these, I think that is a bargain. If you’d like to hang one of these posters on your wall, check out the auction online. (Space-themed posters are toward the end of the list.) Bidding starts at 10 a.m. PDT on Apr. 22 by Mercer & Middlesex Auctions.
I WOULD LOVE TO OWN SOME OF THESE!
Behold the dark beauty of Russia’s 1968 Little Mermaid cartoon
Disney’s The Little Mermaid may be the best-known animated film based on Hans Christian Andersen’s short story, but it was by no means the first. This Russian film, directed by Ivan Aksenchuk in 1968, uses a variety of animation styles to capture the sad tone of the tragic fairy tale, from the horrors of the mermaid’s promise to the price she’s willing to pay to preserve her love’s life.
I’m sure the election was totally not rigged…
The AK-47 has been one of the most widely-used weapons in the world since its inception in the 1940’s. However, as the battlefield of the 21st century demands ever-greater degrees of accuracy, the Kalashnikov’s 350m range is no longer effective. That’s why Russia is giving the “world’s most dangerous weapon” a deadly new makeover.
"With demands for precision and engagement range on the rise, a new weapon must replace the Kalashnikov in the very near future," Ruslan Pukhov, the director of a Moscow-based defense consortium, told Reuters. To that end, Dmitry Rogozin, the deputy prime minister and head of the Defense Ministry, hopes to have the AK-47 retooled as part of Russia’s 20 trillion-rouble modernization effort. The new iteration will reportedly feature a detachable scope and light when it’s deployed sometime before 2020.
"We are planning deep modernization of the Kalashnikov assault rifle," said Mr Rogozin, "This will be a weapon with detachable equipment, such as an optical sight and a lamp." The Russian military has already scrapped purchases of the AK-74, a less-than-stellar update for the original design which debuted in the 70’s—essentially the Vista of assault rifles.
Russian forces can also look forward to a replacement for the equally-old Makarov pistol by year’s end. Man, playing Goldeneye will never be the same. [Telegraph]
Image: the AP
One of my favorite books. Superman Red Son
I own it but haven’t read it yet.