Everyone’s heard a thing or two about Putin and the USSR.
But few people have heard anecdotes about real-life in Russia and the Soviet Union.
So Business Insider put together a list of stranger-than-fiction facts about Soviet pop stars, military classes in high schools, a lake that could kill you…
And that’s just the beginning.
Back during the Soviet Union, high school students had to learn how to assemble and take apart an AK-47 in order to graduate.
There was a course in school called 'начальная военная подготовка' (beginning military training), in which students had to learn how to assemble and take apart an AK-47 under a time limit.
Students also learned how to shoot a rifle and march, several people who attended high school under the Soviet Union told Business Insider.
This was a graduation requirement.
A female Russian politician proposed that 'each female citizen of Russia will be able to receive by mail the genetic material of the President' to have a baby.
Chairwoman of Parliamentary Commission on Women's Affairs, Children and Family Yelena Borisovna Mizoulina reportedly said:
'The essence of my proposition is simple. Each female citizen of Russia will be able to receive by mail the genetic material of the President, get pregnant from him and have a baby. These mothers will be receiving special allowances from the government.'
North Korea outsources its labour force to work in Siberia in an effort to generate hard currency.
Vice News went to visit the camps and discovered that workers had 10-year labour contracts, 'Dickensian working conditions, squalid living quarters, inedible food and the majority of their wages garnished and sent back to North Korea.'
Source: VICE NEWS
A Russian senator proposed creating a Russia-only internet, and naming it after a popular cartoon character Cheburashka.
Russian senator Maxim Kavdzharadze proposed creating a domestic Internet (mostly for 'scientific information') because Russia needs to 'get out from under the wing of the US, otherwise information leaks will continue.'
He also suggested that other countries (Belarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan) could maybe have access.
Additionally, Russia's Presidential Library announced in November that it was working with Russia's National Library to develop an online encyclopedia as an alternative to Wikipedia.
Source: The Moscow Times
Just standing on the edge of Russia's Lake Karachay for 1 hour only will give you enough radiation to kill you. (We're not even talking about putting your toes in the water.)
Radioactive waste was dumped into Lake Karachay during the Soviet Union, including long-lived fission products such as Strontium-90 and Cesium-137.
The area around the lake (the Chelyabinsk region) had seen a 21% increase in cancer, a 25% increase in birth defects, and a 41% increase in leukemia.
The nearby Techa River was so contaminated that roughly 65% of locals got radiation sickness.
Source: Daily Mail
Traditionally, Russians don't give an even amount of flowers to each other. That's reserved for funerals.
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