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More complete quote of the photographer's joke:

> "Don't worry, Soviet radiation is the best in the world. It makes hair thicker and men more potent."


Love this!

There are some great stories from the Mir station. Brewing mash from random carbs, and distilling "vodka". The haze of tobacco smoke. From black Russian tobacco.

And remember, Chernobyl was caused by a team of (probably drunk) operators just fucking around. Juggling a big knife, basically ;) Showing off, for kicks. 58 points by hberg 1 hour ago | flag | 21 comments

Absolute, complete bullshit, sorry. The experiment massively went wrong, but the people, of whom many died trying to stop the disaster caused by the typical soviet problem of bad planning, slavish obedience to higher-ups and generally worse education and training, should still be seen as what they were. Victims of their system, and calling them "drunk" adds insult to injury.

Edit: typos

Well, the operators did do everything to magnify the scale of the accident

The test itself was criminally dumb, even if the reactor was running nominally. The reactor was pushed so far out a normal working envelope it is a wonder no one though about resheduling The reactor design itself is just abysmal. [1]

While I personally doubt vodka was involved in that one, it would not be surprising. [2] Basically everyone apart from a goddamn trainee was drunk (as far as i remeber the story from when i first heard it)

Im on mobile, so i cant even read my own links (YAY "MODERB WEB 999.0) /rant

[1] https://books.google.pl/books?id=cuiZAgAAQBAJ&printsec=front... [2]http://rbth.com/politics/2015/02/27/total_ceos_plane_crash_d...

I agree with your points about crazy management, bad planning, chaos, poor training, etc. For the rest, I'm just going from what I've read, and from my experience of the culture. Did you live in the Soviet Union? If so, for very long?

Luckily, no. I am to young. But I know some people who did and took the first chance to get away from there. More or less the tenor is: Good that its gone.

I grew up between Leningrad, Copenhagen and New York, as a diplomatic brat. The Soviet Union was fun. We had access to the Party shops, and foreign currency.

But just about everyone old enough was at least somewhat drunk, at all times. Except for the Jews, anyway. And that was a very good thing, because without them, there would have been total chaos.

For context, I also found that many Americans were at least a little drunk, most of the time. It was just part of some cultures. People drank at lunch, and then seriously after work. Many a bit in the morning, to take the edge off.

We had friends who would show up drunk, after driving for several hours. Beer and vodka in the trunk. Cops would help you get home, and tell you to sleep it off. As long as you were white and at least middle class, anyway.

That culture was just stronger in Slavic areas, and it lasted longer. The Soviet Union didn't have WASPs to keep people sober. They had Jews, but they lacked the authority. They just got stuff done, and imposed a little sanity. And the got out, as soon as they could.

I hope you have written your experiences down somewhere - and if you have, I'd love to read them. Which country were you a representative of?

I was just a kid. My parents were low-level Soviet diplomatic staff. But my paternal grandfather had emigrated from New York in the 30s. So when in New York, I attended the UN International School. But I also had cousins to hang with.

I assume you mostly talk to expatriates - the sentiment in Russia is generally strongly nostalgic, and the majority are buying into Putin's promise to "make Russia great again" (I transliterate but you get my point).

I was in volgograd not long ago, the locals now exclusively call is stalingrad once more, they were playing the communist international up by rossiya-matushka, people were crying and singing along, young and old.

In astrakhan they're flying the hammer and sickle above government buildings, along with the tricolor.

Did it ever even go away?

"I was in volgograd not long ago, the locals now exclusively call is stalingrad once more"

Ditto, but never heard this even once. Just to add perspective.

Soviet sentiment is strong among Russians which is even more bizzare considering that Russians (as opposed to other Soviet nationalities) were the bulk victims of most Soviet mistreatment.

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