The meeting of the World War II veterans, Sebastopol

The meeting of the World War II veterans, Sebastopol, 1982. Photo by Vladimir Kryukov


Education in the USSR was free. Not only schools but also universities were fee-free. All it took was a proper training.

Clearly not everything was so easy. Entrance examinations at top universities usually demanded from an applicant more profound knowledge than a school program could provide with (by the way it was of a very high quality, it educated active citizens capable of making a difference in society instead of thoughtless consumers).

That is why those applicants from big cities, who had studied with tutors, got the advantage.

Now it is not a big problem for school graduates of moderate abilities to get into university, if they have money. The reason is that many universities decreased the requirement levels. At the same time there appeared an extensive market of tutor’s services, which prepare school graduates to get into a certain university.

There is no need to say that education in modern Russia has completely moved to commercial bases. One have to pay an official or non-official entrance fee to have a chance to study in a good specialized school. There are also private schools with official tuition fee. Free schools also demand a payment for various school needs. The average school annual payment is quite measurable. For the low class representatives or families, which are below the poverty line, such payments become unaffordable.


Children Winter Games

Children Winter Games, 1975. Photo by Vladimir Kryukov

Back in the USSR time it was almost impossible “to buy” a driving license. Now in Russia people can easily purchase it.

Today car safety is slowly improving. At the same time vehicle speed has also grown up and the seeming car improvements cannot guarantee safety on the road.

Now let’s talk about crime. In the time of the USSR a murder was a really rare case, which happened once or twice a year. A special district commissions arrived at the crime scene, everyone was anxious about what had happened and did their best to solve a crime and prevent another crime. Local police officers did their job so good that many crimes were prevented before being committed. The USSR office controlled crime and had secret agents who worked under cover among criminals. Sending most dangerous criminals or recidivists on uranium mines was also a part of their job.

In modern Russia the number of murders has grown. The value of a human life has decreased.

In the Soviet times parents were not afraid to let their children walk alone. If anything happened, every passerby or elderly lady would immediately break in the matter.

Now people cannot even imagine leaving their children without attendance.


Women in the USSR led the same economically active life as men did. Normally a husband and his wife both worked. At the same time many women raised children. The government always supported working mothers offering them almost free nursery schools and day-care groups (till late hours) for pupils.

Now most women have a consumer attitude towards marriage. They think, “A husband must be able to provide for a family”. Some women turned to the traditional role of a mother raising children. Any insignificant family problem can break a marriage and leaves a woman with broken dreams and no means of existence.

At the same time many women in modern Russia has successfully tried themselves as business ladies.

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