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These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSR's final days

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days

In the last days of the USSR, the nation was changing incredibly fast. People were starving, but they were also joyfully rebelling against their crumbling government. Communism was slowly eroding into nationalism. These moving photographs capture the moments heralded the end of the Soviet Union.

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The first McDonald's restaurant in the Soviet Union, Pushkin Square, Moscow, Jan 31 1990

Hundreds of people line up around the restaurant on its opening day – pictured above.

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(AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Citizens buy cups during the economic blockade of Lithuania by the USSR, Vilnius, 27 April 1990

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days

(via om911)

No food for Moscow, 1990-1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days

Photos are made by Peter Turnley, one of the best photojournalists ever.

(via batona and yablor)

Last milk, Dec 14 1990, Moscow

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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A woman reaches for the last milk available in a state store in central Moscow

(AP/Martin Cleaver)

Waiting for bread, Moscow, 11 June 1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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Muscovites are waiting in line for bread outside a state-owned bakery.

(AP/Tatiana Makeyeva)

Rise of prostitution, 1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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(via batona)

Fight of a soldier and a protester in Moscow, 19 Aug 1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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(via om911)

The end of the Lenin statue in Vilnius, Lithuania, 23 Aug 1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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AP/Alik Keplicz

The flag of the Soviet Union and the flag of the Russian Republic fly side by side over the Kremlin in Moscow, 21 Dec 1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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The Soviet flag came down on New Years Eve, and never to fly over again.

(AP/Alex Zemlianichenko)

A woman and her bag on a Soviet hammer-and-sickle, 25 Dec 1991

Illustration for article titled These photographs capture the terror, joy and weirdness of the USSRs final days
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(via News In Photo)

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DISCUSSION

Makesnoosnoos
Makesnoosnoos

I was recently talking to someone about the Cold War, and it suddenly dawned on me that the person I was talking to was having trouble relating to what I was saying because they had no first-hand experience of the Cold War . . . because they were born in 1990. Yup, I felt reallly old.