If the Soviet Union had an Instagram account, what would it look like?

If the Soviet Union had an Instagram account, what would it look like?

22 September 2021

If social media had existed during the Soviet era, what would the USSR’s account have looked like? Perhaps a little like twin accounts @ussrpictures on Instagram, or @PicturesUssr on Twitter.

With a mix of propaganda posters, official historical pictures, and photos of parades — including a ridiculous snap from Soviet Navy Day celebrations in 1950, which see Stalin’s portrait carried in the water among swimmers — @ussrpictures often provides flashbacks to the darker sides of Soviet history.

But besides symbols of a Soviet dictatorship laden with personality cults, the account also gives a sense of brighter times in the USSR, with everyday photographs of people on the beach, at school, or at work in labs.

We’ve seen the good, the bad — and now it’s time for the weird. Among the most surprising and creative assets presented on this account — set up in 2020 by an anonymous user or collective — is a 1939 poster celebrating Soviet sports. The unlikely collage shows a beautiful female athlete carrying a red flag with Stalin’s outline — just behind a gunman lying on top of a motorbike. It looks like it’s got all the elements of a viral meme.

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