Get to know the Soviet Union


In my childhood this was the name of a book series which there stood on the shelves of every library, as well as of a contest – officially called Кто знает больше о Советском Союзе – Who knows more about the Soviet Union? – in which the pioneers had to give account of their knowledge about the geography, culture and industrial, scientific and space research achievements of the country extending on one sixth of the world.

In the reality it was never easy to get to know the Soviet Union. When still there was time for it and even flight tickets came to only three or four dollars, it was almost impossible to a foreigner to freely travel within the big country except if he studied there with a scholarship. And since the limitations have ceased, there is not enough time and money to go to every place one would like to see in this vast piece of the earth.

Fortunately the modern photographers of the former empire, both professionals and amateurs come to our aid, who willingly and often publish their extremely beautiful and sensitive pictures on various Russian sites, blogs and forums. In this new thread of Río Wang we would like to present from time to time some pieces of this world through their pictures.


This introduction originally ended here. However, since then our original concept has expanded. On the one hand we wanted to open a separate collection for the Russian posts, with the title, say, “In Russia you can only believe”, but over time we realized how much the two collections would overlap: all the series of the Russian photographers should be linked there too, and a large part of those posts should be also visualized on the map below. So we have merged the two into one. Every Russian-themed post that can be localized on the map is also linked there – under the photo blogs, separated with a line –, and those that are more general, figure in the list below it.

On the other hand, the Russian photographers do not only take photos at home, but take their unique way of seeing abroad as well, and we would have been sorry to renounce the resulting series. Therefore, we started to publish the pictures taken by Russian photographers in other – usually rarely seen – places of the world, which we also link to a map. So far only to a map of Eurasia, but when the other hemisphere will be involved, we will insert its map as well.

See the map in larger size here, and the present administrative regions here.

Russian first
Your Russian primer
Triangular soldier’s letters
Illustrated front postcards
The last Tsar in Paris
The Russian landscape, 2011
Modern Soviet still life photos
One day in the life of an icon painter
Yevgeny Khaldei, the Soviet Capa
(the rest is being compiled…)

The geographic map of Asia from the English-language Soviet world map of 1967. Download the map in a large size (12 MB), or its political counterpart (10 MB).