The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

As the USSR stood in line for 'Western life'

15.10.2021, 16: 07 EST

A source: Obozrevatel

Let's talk about the Soviet queues that arose en masse in the last years of the USSR. These queues were unique in that Soviet citizens stood in them in order, so to speak, “to feel the taste of the sweet Western life,” from which the Bolsheviks fenced them off with the help of the so-called Iron Curtain, writes the popular Belarusian blogger Maxim Mirovich for Obozrevatel.

Photo: video frame YouTube / icelandcat

In general, these queues clearly show that the monumental Soviet propaganda, which permeated all life in the USSR, by and large collapsed - despite the skillfully, for years and decades, hatred for free-living countries, Soviet citizens for the most part treated to them with good-natured curiosity. And in the last years of the scoop, when photographs of Western shops, markets, cafes and restaurants began to get into the press, Soviet citizens themselves also wanted to “rot” - especially when they compared the Western way of life with their own poverty.

Queues for sweet western soda

“Pepsi-Cola” appeared in the USSR in the eighties and immediately became lightning-fast popular - not least of all, the same flair of “beautiful Western life” played a role in this: they drink Pepsi, listen to jazz, ride convertibles. And this, by the way, perfectly shows how badly clumsy soviet propaganda worked. It would seem that a Soviet person should have lived according to the principle “turn away from their gifts - they themselves have heaps of goodness” (c), but instead he immediately lined up in huge queues for everything “western” and “from there”.

Towards the end of the eighties of the last century, the excitement around "Pepsi" subsided a little, but at first the popularity of "Western soda" was incredible - people defended giant queues and filled their bags with dozens of bottles of the drink "for future use", and then, as you know, maybe it and not to be, so take it while they give it. Many Soviet men carried with them a small leather travel bag, which, if necessary, was transformed into a huge sumisch - which, on occasion, could fit several dozen bottles of scarce bottled beer or Pepsi-Cola.

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Queues for Western Chocolates

Soviet citizens, who had not yet retired from celebrating the New Year and the next round of Zhenya Alkashin's television adventures, were suddenly delivered on January 4, 1991, outlandish Western chocolate bars, which were very different in taste and quality from the Soviet "sweet bar" - and a giant queue.

They were selling chocolates from the Khlib store on Kalinin Avenue in Moscow, and, as it is written in the text of the note of those years, “the queue began to acquire a scale that threatens Kalinin Avenue and the Khlib store, for which the outlandish chocolates from the Decaying West began to be released for several hours earlier, and for the protection of law and order, the Soviet militia was called, which, according to the correspondent, "is still in control of the situation."

By the way, if you think that this winter line for outlandish western sweets was the only one, then no. In the summer of 1990, you could see the queues for all the same Mars, Snickers and Bounty.

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Gigantic lines in the spiritless western cafe

Around the same time, on January 31, 1990, the first McDonald's opened in Moscow, for the opening of which the company asked for the gracious permission of the Communist Party of the USSR - and a gigantic line of Soviet citizens immediately lined up in this hot place, originally from across the ocean.

The queue was so huge that it had to be regulated with the help of the same police outfits and fences, with the help of which the queue of suffering Soviet citizens was curled with a beautiful snake “S, like a dollar”. Interest was also fueled by the fact that, during the renovation, the windows were sealed with opaque paper - this created a feeling of agonizing expectation and curiosity among Soviet citizens.

On the very first day of McDonald's opening, its employees served 30 people, but the real number of visitors was several times higher - people came there just to see what a catering establishment might look like: no dirt, no rudeness, no twisted unknown and the terrible power of aluminum forks, no prison metal utensils, no dirty buckets with red crooked inscriptions “Inv. 000-643 WASHED” and shouts: “Well, go away, let me wash!”.

Inside there were polite and smiling cashiers, cleanliness, pleasant smells and a cozy interior. Those who visited McDonald's that day, somehow completely, immediately and finally understood exactly how they were deceived during all the Soviet years.

Instead of an epilogue

Well what can I say? All these cases prove only one thing - despite the hatred of Western countries skilfully inflamed by Soviet propagandists, despite all the false programs like the International Panorama, the citizens of the USSR still felt deception and trick, they were tired of the ubiquitous Soviet dullness, rudeness and deficit, and they wanted to live the same way as in the Decaying West - using all the benefits of civilization and having a replaceable elected government instead of the communist dictatorship ...

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