Daily Life in USSR Wasn’t Less Than War

Grocery was a privilege, homosexuality a crime, eating at home forbidden and booze was surplus

The Mystery Writer
6 min readApr 19, 2022


Life in the Soviet Era. | photo credits: rferl.org

TThe Soviet Union, officially the USSR, was a communist state established by a union of fifteen republics of Eurasia and lasted from 1922 till 1991. Throughout its rise, it prevailed in a great rivalry with the United States and did everything to secure authority. For the most part, its objectives lacked basic humanity, empathy for its people, and durable plans to make daily life easier.

Doing Grocery Was A Draining Privilege

Soviets in 1989, awaiting to do grocery in Saratov. | Photo Credits: RBTH

Everyday life in the Soviet Union was a chore and tough survival on insufficient food. To buy an essential grocery item meant standing in a continuous line of people. Citizens waited hours for their turn to purchase groceries to satisfy their basic appetites for the day. These included cured meat, sausages, and fruits, especially bananas.

Mainly due to the food shortage and the shelves being empty or done on purpose, the Soviets underwent a lot. Whoever got their hands on the famous item, like bread or milk, was said to be lucky, despite how poor or wealthy they were. Solely, the rich were always the chosen ones.

Sometimes having good relations with the shopkeeper meant access to groceries kept “under the counter”. Having been born in an era where we can buy anything with just a tap on a screen, this seems absurd today.

Yet, the deprived Soviets lived this exhausting life with no other option on the table, or in this case, shelves. They were compelled to work twice as hard as an ordinary breadwinner to earn money for the food that took hours to buy.

Being Gay Was An Unforgivable Offense

Prisoners were forced to work for freedom. | photo credits: Gulag

While most countries in the early days prohibited homosexual relationships, it was an outrageous crime in the USSR. Whoever expressed…



The Mystery Writer

History enthusiast | always traveling | living one step at a time