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November 11, 2020

Mickey Mouse’s First Official Visit to the USSR, 1988

Mickey Mouse made his premier appearance in the communist country on October 15, 1988, kicking off a two-week Walt Disney film festival. The famed cartoon character was met at Sheremetyevo airport by Misha the Russian bear who presented him with the traditional welcoming gift of bread and salt.

Photo by Galina Kmit

“We had a huge turnout,” said Disney publicist Howard Green. There about 100 people were on hand to greet the world‘s most famous rodent.

Mickey and his entourage of 45 Disney executives were treated to a red-carpet welcome at the airport, a privilege usually reserved for visiting heads of state.

“The invitation came from the Russians,” Green said. “The purpose of this visit is a goodwill gesture to coincide with Mickey’s 60th birthday, and at the same time we are trying to see the films they are making,”


Walt Disney’s mouse was born in the 1928 animated cartoon ‘Steamboat Willie’ and the Russians wanted to be in on the 60th birthday celebration.




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