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September 14, 2021

40 Photos Capture Street Scenes of Soviet Union in the Early 1970s

In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, thus starting the Space Age. Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first human to orbit the Earth, aboard the Vostok 1 manned spacecraft on 12 April 1961. Following the ousting of Khrushchev in 1964, another period of collective rule ensued, until Leonid Brezhnev became the leader.

The era of the 1970s and the early 1980s was later designated as the Era of Stagnation, a period when economic growth slowed and social policies became static. The 1965 Kosygin reform aimed for partial decentralization of the Soviet economy and shifted the emphasis from heavy industry and weapons to light industry and consumer goods but was stifled by the conservative Communist leadership.

In 1979, after a Communist-led revolution in Afghanistan, Soviet forces invaded the country, ultimately starting the Soviet–Afghan War. The occupation drained economic resources and dragged on without achieving meaningful political results. Finally, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989 due to international opposition, persistent anti-Soviet guerrilla warfare, and a lack of support by Soviet citizens.

These vintage photos were taken by Sten-Åke Stenberg that show street scenes of Soviet Union in 1971 and 1973.

Moscow, 1971

Moscow, 1971

Moscow, 1971

Leningrad park, 1971

Leningrad street scenes, 1971

Leningrad, 1971

Leningrad. Decembrists' Square (now Senate Square). Building of the Senate and Sinode at the right, 1971

Leningrad. Hotel Spotnik, 1971

Leningrad. Women speaking at the street corner, 1971

Moscow Circus on Tsvetnoy Boulevard, 1971

Moscow Metro, 1971

Moscow Metro, 1971

Moscow park, 1971

Moscow street scenes, 1971

Moscow. A restaurant, 1971

Moscow. Boy on a bicycle, 1971

Moscow. Cleaning the Red Square, 1971

Moscow. Exhibition of Soviet Economic Achievements. Building in the background is a pavilion of a coal industry, 1971

Moscow. Fruit shop, 1971

Moscow. Man sitting on a bench reading the paper, 1971

Moscow. Mother and son, 1971

Moscow. Old lady, 1971

Moscow. Road workers, 1971

Moscow. Soviet family, 1971

Moscow. Soviet ice cream, 1971

Moscow. Soviet poster about a war movie, 1971

Moscow. The main entrance to the Exhibition of Soviet Economic Achievements, 1971

Moscow. Water machine, 1971

Novgorod, 1971

Novgorod. Babushkas, 1971

Leningrad, 1973

Leningrad, 1973

Leningrad. A girl with her dog, 1973

Leningrad. Nevsky Prospect, 1973

Moscow, 1973

Moscow. A family, 1973

Moscow. Boy with a rifle, 1973

Moscow. Girl and books, 1973

Moscow. Lady reading on a bench, 1973

Moscow. Old lady, 1973




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