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Soviet Rust

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About this City Journal

A glimpse of life in the Soviet Union.

Entries in this City Journal



The recreated city you are about to see is a fictional one that could possibly be located along the Russian or Ukrainian coast. The time of year is a mild December on a cold, bleak, cloudy day. The year is 1975.

We begin this tour of this small city with a humbling shot of the mighty factories located at the delta of the short shipping canal that splits the town in half into two micro-districts, Polovina Zapada and Levyi Bort.

The factories located here are textile mills and chemical manufacturing plants.


Beyond that are the prefabricated flats which the working comrades and their families inhabit.


Nearby, schoolchildren milk the rest of the "snowless" part of the brutal Russian winter dry by enjoying a game of soccer. A good way to warm the blood up on a chilly December afternoon.


Other than the flurries of activity in the local park, stores were busy after a new shipment of cigarettes arrived in the morning causing many a worker to hastily purchase them on their way to work. Most employees kept them in their pockets or locked in the trunk of the car to prevent the valuable tobacco from being stolen.

Besides that, the Polovina Zapada micro-district is fairly quiet.






Across the river, the government center of the city remains quiet as well.


Two buildings next to the city hall draw attention for sure, they are two bleak gray concrete flats, both closely in a row. Both the same. Why, some joke that they even have the same keys for the corresponding flats in each building.

Yes, much like the uninspired suburbia the 1950s brought America, the 1960s and 1970s brought seemingly indistinguishable blocks of concrete en masse to the sweeping plains of Soviet Russia. It was a sign that the Soviet machine was stagnating, turning from the vehement days of Stalin and Lenin to the drab, declining days of Brezhnev. The gears of Communism were rusting.



2-1 Teaser


I'm baaaaaaack!

After an exciting adventure into hard drive crashes and getting shafted by local computer doctors, I'm back and ready to continue with the CJ, now that I have a faster, better laptop. I apologize for going so long without even an update, but I was busy with other things after the HDD malfunction and decided to play some other games instead of Sim City.

Anyways, "Season" 2 will be much improved in a variety of ways!

-Higher Resolutions. 800x600 can eat my dust. 1366x768 is in and here to stay!

-More Tenements. So many tenements...

-Better Panoramas. Containing so much eye candy you'll go diabetic from looking at them.

-Did I mention more tenements? Yes, I think I did.

Now, the real reason you clicked on the link:


Next entry should be up by next week. See you all soon!



The Navy.

Isn't it simply glorious?

If it wasn't for the Kronstadt sailors during the October Revolution, the mighty Soviet Empire would never exist.

At this isolated Soviet naval base, all kinds of activity is to be found.


At these docks, patrol boats are stationed, waiting to be deployed to keep the Soviet seas clear of imperialist invaders.


Soviet submarines wait patiently nearby the patrol boats, resting before another long Baltic swim.


Of course, the Soviet Navy needs to stay updated! That's why drydocks are close by, used to repair and build new ships.


Here, fuel tanks hold large amounts of oil and gasoline to power the great fleet. (Sorry for the English words, didn't have enough time to 'shop them out.)


At these marine foundries and storage facilities, all kinds of parts and materials are stored and produced in order to keep the fleet ready for battle at any time.





P.S. Sorry for some of the English words. I didn't have enough time this week to Photoshop (or in my case 'GIMP) them out.



DCMetro34: Thank you my good friend!

Schulmanator: I try to go for a dirty, gritty look for each entry. Thank you for the compliments!

TekindusT: Thanks! Glad you like it so much! If you want them, they're all here on the LEX.

hetiomat: Thank you!

Benedict: Thank you for the compliments! I'm just trying to go for something new, I guess!


usfighter15: Thank you! I'm sure that they are trained like this, though. After all, all the signs and such on the lots featured are in English.

Mithrik: Thanks! I was really excited when I found them all. I had no clue they existed, but they sure are sweet. I'm thinking on doing a whole series on the Soviet Military, so stay tuned.


Red Army


If there's one thing that the Russians love, it's their military. Nowhere is their defense capabilities more obvious than at the various bases scattered across the barren landscape.

The journey to one of these high security places starts on a fifty year old railway.


The new comrade then gets his bunk in the barracks, which after processing is one of the first things a new recruit does.


There are many training activities at this particular Red Army base. One such activity is the large firing range, where anything from using pistols to howitzers is practiced.


Parachute landings are practiced at the jump towers.


Combat exercises are undertaken at a camp set deep in the Soviet wilderness.


Bunkers at the base house the important ammunition for the various instruments of war stationed at the facility.


At this railyard, new tanks and armored vehicles are shipped in from the heavy industrial plants near the Russian Heartland.


At this hospital, injuries from military exercises are treated.


Lastly, at these warehouses, the bread and butter of the Red Army is housed: the tank. Thousands are kept for safekeeping at these storage buildings.


It takes a lot of money and a lot of manpower to keep the Soviet Red Army going. After all, Mother Russia is always at threat from the imperialists of Western Europe and the United States.



TekindusT: Thanks for the kind words!

k50dude:Thank you! And yes, I know the stadium is a bit modern. I just didn't feel like finding a "soviet style" stadium :P

Schulmanator:They sure are! Well, they are when they're told to.

Andrey km:Thank you!

Mithrik:The propaganda is actually real propaganda used in the Soviet Union. Don't worry about translating, I don't speak Russian! Although, here in Wisconsin our winters are very "Sovietesque" :\

heitomat:Thanks! Like I said to Mithrik, it's real propaganda that I just 'shopped (or 'GIMPed) onto the screenies.

usfighter15:: Yeah, I'm just doing this CJ based on stereotypes and pictures from the internet on the USSR, as well as some of the things I've learned from doing reports and such. Glad you enjoy my CJ!

testuser1234: Thank you! Yeah, after the Soviet Union collapesed, Russia was faced with "true" prices (not artificially low), non-guaranteed employment and heavy foreign competition. I guess whenever you switch from state-run to privatized economies, you face some pretty big challenges.

Danholo:Thanks! Glad you like it!




Things are dull in the C.C.C.P.

In order to keep spirits high, the government floods the senses with propaganda and patriotic colors and flags. Most of all are the famous missile parades, the universal sign of a dictatorship.


On game day at a modern soccer arena, flags drape the sides of the stadium.


Even on the sides of brick tenements, brainwashing tactics penetrate the minds of the Soviet people.


At the factories, patriotism is inspired so the workers produce more to power the mighty Soviet economy.


Yes, in Soviet Russia, propaganda is very important because it inspires patriotism.

Patriotism provides that extra boost to keep the rusty gears of communism running smoothly.

After all, that's what Lenin would have wanted.



Mikeaut1: Thanks! I know that the Soviet style has been used before, but I wanted to put some more grit and story into it.

Benedict: Thank you!

Pan Gierek: Just plain old SPAM! Nice, isn't it?

SimHoTToDDy: Thank you so much. That really means alot coming from you, the Soviet CJ King!





Grain makes bread.

And in the Soviet Empire, everyone lives off of bread, so one can imagine how important grain is to the Soviet Union.

Grain is so important, the tool used to collect it is found on the Soviet flag: the sickle.

The grain in question starts in a rather uninteresting place: A soviet collectivized farm.


These farms require plenty of labor, and nearby a small town exists, with two small tenements to provide the workers for the people's farms.


Here, the people's grain is turned into flour, and then into bread for the glorious Soviet citizens to eat.


There's a dirty little secret, however, the Supreme Soviet doesn't want Russia to know. That's that lots of the grain, vast amounts of it in fact, are imported because of bad crop yields. Luckily, the Soviet government can do this thanks to the also vast riches provided by oil wealth. Even a communist regime needs capitalist financial resources.


Eventually, the bread and flour end up in soviet food stores, to be handed out to the peasants.



I'd just like to say that I am trying some new formats out for size. You might have noticed I chose an actual soviet propaganda poster for my header. I think I'll be doing this for the next entries too!




Ahhh, Petroleum.

Petroleum oils the Soviet Union's rusty gears.


Nodding donkeys bring the black gold up to the surface to pay for the glorious worker's life.


Near the drills, tenements exist to provide precious manpower.



Closer to the big cities, petroleum tanks hold large amounts of crude.


The precious oil is then sent in rusted pipes to the refineries on the Black and Baltic Seas.


Even with the great profits the humble hydrocarbon provides, building an empire around one substance is a dangerous game.

One little move in the oil market could spell trouble.

And trouble's coming.


A Rusted Machine



Rust is everywhere in Soviet Russia.

Why, Communism itself is a rusty machine.

Rust covers the pistons, pipes, and tanks at the oil refinery.


Rust covers the shipping containers and oil drums at the seaport nearby.


Rust even covers the nuclear reactors near the highway. That same type of reactor melted down in Pripyat.


Why, rust even covers the surfaces of the concrete tenements that line the dirty streets in town. The people are tired of rust. They want to live in a world without it.


Mother Russia herself is rusted. Maybe that could be viewed as symbolic, who knows.


There isn't as much rust covering the Soviet Department of Energy headquarters. It occupies the top floors of the building. How ironic, as most of the plants it manages are covered in it.



Rust covers the bars on the windows on these concrete monuments to Communism. The people inside are trapped.


Trapped by rust.



Trapped by a rusty machine.


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