Inside the Iron Curtain: 28 Intriguing Facts about the Soviet Union

1Ivan Burylov

Ivan Burylov

The Soviet Union held elections seeking the appearance of democracy, but only one candidate appeared on the ballot. In 1949, Ivan Burylov, protested this absurd ritual by writing the word 'Comedy' on his secret ballot. He was sentenced to 8 years in prison camps for his 'crime.'

2Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan

The Soviet Union tried to suppress Genghis Khan’s memory in Mongolia by removing his story from school textbooks and forbidding people from making pilgrimages to his birthplace.

3History exams

History exams

The Soviet Union cancelled history exams in 1988 because increased government transparency had revealed that the textbooks were filled with lies.

4Nuclear strike

Nuclear strike

The USSR was seriously considering a nuclear strike on China in 1969 before Nixon stated that the USA would nuke 130 Soviet sites in retaliation.

5McAuliffe crater

McAuliffe crater

The Soviet Union named a crater (McAuliffe) on Venus after Christa McAuliffe, the teacher astronaut who died during the Challenger space shuttle disaster.

6Baikonur rocket base

Baikonur rocket base

The USSR renamed its rocket base Baikonur in 1961 to keep the Soviet space program a secret. Residents of the original Baikonur, hundreds of km away, took advantage of the resulting confusion by ordering many valuable supplies for themselves before the scam was discovered.

7Ogaden War

Ogaden War

The Soviet Union disapproved of Somalia's 1977 invasion of Ethiopia and so ceased its support of Somalia and started supporting Ethiopia. In response, the United States ceased its support of Ethiopia and started supporting Somalia.

Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History



The Soviet Union couldn't figure out how to weld titanium without cracking it, so they built 80% of the Mig-25 out of stainless steel.

9Dead Hand

Dead Hand

The USSR built a Skynet-like device (Dead Hand) in the 1980s that would launch a massive nuclear attack without any human intervention if it detected Moscow had been destroyed.

105-day week

5-day week

From 1929 to 1940, the Soviet Union introduced a 5-day week in a deliberate bid to eliminate religion.

- Sponsored Links -


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here