These were the final years of Soviet life, but no one suspected anything about the changes that were just on the horizon.
1. Tenth-grader Maria Kalinina became queen of the first Soviet beauty pageant in 1988.
2. Fashion magazine Burda mesmerized Soviet women starting in February 1987.
3. May Day was big back in the 1980s.
4. Pioneer camps were in full swing in 1987.
Nikolai Malyshev; Alexander Chumichev/TASS
5. Iconic brands were just beginning to probe the Soviet market, and stirred people’s curiosity.
6. Soviet-made cars (VAZ) enjoyed an undisputable status, and had a certain chic.
7. Soviet airlines delivered high-end service that would today embarrass many contemporary air carriers.
8. The legendary Olympic mascot became a symbol of the 1980s.
Semyon Maisterman; Nikolai Naumenkov/TASS
9. Ronald Reagan no longer had a reason to call the USSR the “evil empire” after he received such a warm welcome in Moscow in 1988.
10. Ronald Reagan even shook hands with some children on Red Square in 1988.
11. Technological innovation fascinated Soviet society.
12. These were the times when Oriental carpets were in demand.
13. Back then, “luxury” had a whole different meaning: It was enough to have new furniture, a TV, and an Oriental carpet.
14. Soviet customers didn’t know the true meaning of variety.
15. Sometimes variety was not an option.
16. Breakdancing became a sensation in the 1980s.
17. Intellectual shows were popular on TV. “What? Where? When?” was the biggest hit.
18. The spirit of adventure was strong. Here, people relax after skiing in the Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia.
19. Social mores became lax enough to tolerate displays of affection.
20. A typical Soviet kitchen of the 1980s.
21. A cult of the body quickly emerged in Soviet Russia.
22. This was the time when disco culture boomed in the USSR.
23. Rock was a big thing in the 80s.
24. People had to stand in line to get many basic goods. Here, customers wait for cakes.
25. The Detsky Mir (Children’s World) shopping center was much different in the 1980s from what it looks like today.
Igor Zotin, Alexander Chumichev/TASS
26. “Long live the Communist Party of the Soviet Union!” – in the 1980s, ideology was still highly visible but not for much longer.
Click here to see 10 things that’ll make you misty-eyed if you grew up in 1980s Russia.
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