92 Secret Facts About Russia’s Past and Present Few People Know

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1Lenin and Stalin tattoos

Lenin and Stalin tattoos

In Soviet Russia, prisoners would get tattoos of Lenin & Stalin, because guards weren’t allowed to shoot at images of national leaders.

2. Despite John Carter being considered a monumental flop for Disney, it actually broke box office records in Russia.

3. The U.S. purchased Alaska from Russia for $7.2 million, which, when adjusted for inflation, is $118 million. Nearly $2.5 million less than what Real Madrid paid for Cristiano Ronaldo.

4. California makes the same amount of money as Italy every year, and that Texas makes as much as Russia.

5. Russia secretly had maps so detailed of the Canadian Arctic during the Cold-War that other ships even now use them over official maps.

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6Operation Chrome Dome

Operation Chrome Dome

In the 1960s at the height of the Cold War, the US continuously flew planes carrying nuclear bombs around the world as a precautionary measure in the event of an attack by the USSR. Five of these planes crashed, and nuclear contamination resulted in at least 2 instances.

7. In 2014, a 3-year old Russian girl named Karina Chikitova survived for 11 days in Siberian taiga forest by drinking water from a creek and eating berries while being protected by her dog, which went to get help after nine days and returned with rescuers.

8. Russia’s Vladimir Putin brought a large dog with him to a round of negotiations with Germany's Angela Merkel, knowing well that she had a pathological fear of dogs in order to gain a psychological edge.

9. There is a highway in Russia known as the Road of Bones, as the skeletons of the forced laborers who died during its construction were used in much of its foundations.

10. In 2003, the Russian government sent a special forces death squad to kill a human rights activist named Zura Bitiyeva in retaliation for her filing a complaint in the European Court of Human Rights.

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11Russian dashcams

Russian dashcams

Russia has so many dashcams because drivers use them to avoid road rage induced fights, denied hit and run insurance claims, and extortion scams

12. The Soviet Union allowed theaters to play The Grapes of Wrath because of its depiction of the plight of the poor under capitalism, but it was later withdrawn because Russian audiences were amazed that even the poorest Americans could afford a car.

13. 80% males born in the Soviet Union in 1923 did not survive World War II.

14. In Russia, there is a group of boys (Stop a Douchebag group) who attempt to force traffic regulations in Russia, which can vary from blocking cars driving on sidewalks, to placing stickers on cars who park in an illegal spot too. The group is called Stop a Douchebag

15. The practice of focusing on disasters elsewhere when one occurs in the Soviet Union was so common that after watching reports on Soviet television about a catastrophe abroad, Russians would call Western friends to find out whether something had happened in the Soviet Union.

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16Siege of Leningrad

Siege of Leningrad

During the Siege of Leningrad in WWII, 9 Soviet scientists died of starvation while protecting the world's largest seed bank, refusing to eat what they saw as their country's future.

17. During the Cold War, the USSR was able to tell a Soviet passport was a forgery because the staples in real passports would corrode due to the poor quality of metal.

18. USSR liberated more concentration camps than the rest of the allies combined during World War 2.

19. A Soviet Union Marshal named Gregory Zhukov commissioned a colorless Coca-Cola that resembled vodka because he liked the taste and was embarrassed to be seen drinking coke in public.

20. Alexey Pajitnov, the creator of TETRIS (1984) did not receive any royalties from one of the most popular video game titles until 1996 as the rights were owned by his employer, the Soviet government.

21Kola Superdeep Borehole

Kola Superdeep Borehole

From 1979 to 1992 Soviets drilled a super deep bore called the Kola Superdeep Borehole that reached 12,262m (40,230 ft) just to see how deep they could drill.

22. 25 Russian soldiers under the command of Yakov Pavlov defended a building during the Battle of Stalingrad so well that it never fell. Vasily Chuikov, general of the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, later joked that the Germans lost more men trying to take "Pavlov's house" than they did taking Paris.

23. In WWII, a woman-only Soviet bomber regiment was nicknamed the "Night Witches" by German soldiers. For a successful bombing run, the Witches would cut the engine of their archaic and noisy aircraft. Gliding in, they would release their bombs before the enemy even knew they were there.

24. The Soviet Union did not admit that a reactor had exploded at Chernobyl until nearly three days after radiation from the disaster set off alarms at a nuclear plant in Sweden 1000 km away.

25. The German invasion of the Soviet Union caused 95% of all German Army casualties that occurred from 1941 to 1944.

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