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What Russia was like in 1934




These archival photos capture the rapid development of the Soviet Union, a country that no longer exists.

Stalin would approve the general plan for the reconstruction of Moscow in a year, but the changes in the capital had already begun. They started to widen roads and ruthlessly demolish all old, “disturbing” buildings.

Mark Markov-Grinberg/Union of Photographers of Russia/

In particular, almost the entire Kitaigorodskaya Wall was demolished. This fortification was built around the center of Moscow back in the 16th century.

Intourist photo studio/

The photo below shows Moscow streets being paved after the demolition of the wall.

Museum of Moscow/

Trolleybus transport was launched in Moscow a year earlier.

Mikhail Prekhner/MAMM/MDF/

And yet, at that time, the capital wasn’t yet a large metropolis. The places that are now considered almost the center were suburbs back then. Below, for example, is a picturesque green area – Luzhniki.

Alexander Ustinov/Ninel Ustinova archive/

Moscow Metro would only open the following year, but, in 1934, a epoch-making event took place: the trial run of the first metro train.

State Museum of Political History of Russia/

Lazar Kaganovich (pictured in the center) was Stalin’s fellow responsible for the construction of the subway. At first, until 1955, the capital’s metro even bore his name.

Anatoly Yegorov/MAMM/MDF/

The first half of the 1930s marked the beginning of powerful industrialization in the USSR. The course on romanticization of labor and high achievements was taken. Though the Stakhanovite movement of strikers of labor would only appear the following year. The photo below shows a miner posing outside a factory.

Yevgeny Khaldei/MAMM/MDF/

The electrification of the country was also actively progressing, so power lines and masts became new landscape details inspiring photographers.

Boris Ignatovich/MAMM/MDF/

Now known as the ‘Moskvich’ plant, in the 1930s, it was called the ‘KIM’ (Communist International Youth) Moscow Automobile Assembly Plant and assembled GAZ cars with Soviet components.

Moscow Museum/

The Labor Day on May 1 was celebrated with pomp on the Red Square in Moscow.


The 17th Congress of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) in early 1934 was officially called the ‘Congress of Winners’ and proclaimed the successful results of the first five-year industrialization. Later, more than half of the delegates would be arrested or executed. The photo shows the presidium of the congress.

Russian Federation State Archive/

By the year 1934, the Gulag was already in operation; by the previous year, the White Sea-Baltic Canal had been built by prisoners in record time and other extensive construction projects were underway. But, there were no mass repressions yet. The photo below shows prisoners at a penal labor colony near Chelyabinsk.

South Ural State Historical Museum/

On December 1, 1934, Sergei Kirov, head of the city’s party branch and an associate of Stalin, was assassinated in Leningrad. It is believed that his murder was the reason for the start of Stalin’s so-called ‘Great Purge’ or, simply, mass repression in the USSR. In the photo below – Joseph Stalin and Andrei Zhdanov at Kirov’s funeral.

State Museum of Political History of Russia/

Another important event in 1934 was the First All-Union Congress of Soviet Writers. Its honorary chairman was Maxim Gorky, the country’s main proletarian writer and a real star and cult figure. Already during his lifetime, streets, parks were named in his honor – even an entire city, his native Nizhny Novgorod, was renamed Gorky.

Ivan Shagin/MAMM/MDF/

Another star of the literary world in 1934 was writer Mikhail Sholokhov. By that time, three volumes of his cult novel about the Civil War, ‘The Quiet Don’, had already been published. And the country was eagerly awaiting the finale (it would be released in 1940). It is said that the book was read and personally approved by Stalin, despite the fact that the protagonist never fully joined the Bolsheviks.

Viktor Temin/MAMM/MDF/

In 1934, the British writer H. G. Wells visited the USSR for the third time and was a guest of honor.

State Archive of Film and Photo Documents/

Many foreigners sympathizing with socialism and Stalin personally came to Soviet Moscow. In the photo below, actors of the Mosfilm studio (star Lyubov Orlova pictured in the center) pose with French communist writer Henri Barbusse.

Russian State Archive of Literature and Art/

In the 1930s, the USSR was actively exploring the Arctic. Back in the Summer of 1933, the ‘Chelyuskin’ steamship set out on an expedition along the Northern Sea Route, but it became trapped by ice and drifted with the entire crew for almost five months.


On February 13, 1934, the ship sank, but the passengers managed to evacuate. For two months, they survived on the ice floe while a rescue operation was underway. Pilots made 23 flights, taking more than a hundred ‘Chelyuskin’ crew to the mainland.

Public domain

In Moscow, the Chelyuskinites were solemnly welcomed with flowers already at the station and a ceremonial reception was also held on the Red Square. The pilots who rescued the crew became the first men in history to receive ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ awards.

Anatoly Yegorov/MAMM/MDF/

Many Soviet children dreamed of becoming pilots and aviation modeling clubs began to open everywhere.

Mikhail Prekhner/MAMM/MDF/

By the way, in 1934, the USSR had not yet completely turned into a puritanical country – and a naked body was commonplace (especially if it was fit and healthy). So, a young lady taking a sunbath in a transparent swimsuit was the norm.

Leonoro Karel archive/

Actually, women in the USSR were becoming more equal members of society and taking up many jobs that had previously been considered “masculine”. Many female journalists and photographers emerged, covering both construction sites and sporting events. Famous photographer Alexander Rodchenko called the shot below: ‘Three women reporters: Krasnyavskaya, Elizaveta Ignatovich and Evgenia Lemberg’

Alexander Rodchenko/MAMM/MDF/

Physical health of Soviet people was also paid special attention to. After all, a builder of communism had to be strong and enduring. The photo below shows physical training at a Red Army summer camp.

Alexander Ustinov/Ninel Ustinova archive/

Alexander Rodchenko’s famous photo titled ‘Jump into the water’ was taken in 1934 at the Dynamo stadium in Moscow.

Alexander Rodchenko/MAMM/MDF/

Children in the Soviet Union were engaged in physical training from an early age. In summer, they did exercises, swimming and active games, while, in winter, they were skiing and ice skating.

South Urals State Historical Museum/

Let’s take a look at a few more pictures from ordinary Soviet life. Below are some students at a lecture at the Moscow State University.

Ivan Shagin/MAMM/MDF/

And here is the training of service dogs in the Red Army.

Alexander Ustinov/Ninel Ustinova archive/

The 1930s were also the years of active collectivization of agriculture. The popular words ‘Kolkhoz’ (collective farm) and ‘kolkhoznik’ (its members) entered the language. The following photo shows collective farmers standing on a hayfield.

Mikhail Prekhner/MAMM/MDF/

Many Soviet photographers began taking pictures of collective farm life. The photo below shows peasants returning home from work on public land.


Tea time in a rural house. Surprisingly, despite all the campaigns against religion, icons are still hanging in the hut pictured below.

Mikhail Prekhner/MAMM/MDF/

A female harmonist performs in the Caucasus.

Mark Markov-Grinberg/MAMM/MDF/

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Shah Rukh Khan roots for KKR with his ‘Pathaan’ director Siddharth Anand during RR clash




Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], April 16 (ANI): Baadshah of Bollywood, Shah Rukh Khan, is here to cheer for his IPL team, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Donning a casual look, SRK opted for a white t-shirt that he teamed up with jeans and a pair of sunglasses.

The social media handle of KKR dropped a video from the match in which SRK can be seen making an entry in style and rooting for the boys.

Sharing the video, they wrote, “KKR’s lucky charm has arrived at Eden.”KKR’s social media team added ‘Baadshah O Baadshah’ track to the video to make it more captivating.

SRK was accompanied by ‘Pathaan’ director Siddharth Anand.

Talking about the match, table-toppers Rajasthan Royals (RR) is locking horns with second-placed Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Tuesday. Rajasthan Royals are currently at top of the IPL 2024 standings with 10 points and a net run rate of 0.767. The Royals have won five matches and lost one.

RR won toss and opted to field first.

Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Yashasvi Jaiswal, Sanju Samson (w/c), Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Ravichandran Ashwin, Trent Boult, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Sen, Yuzvendra ChahalKolkata Knight Riders (Playing XI): Philip Salt (w), Sunil Narine, Angkrish Raghuvanshi, Shreyas Iyer (c), Venkatesh Iyer, Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Ramandeep Singh, Mitchell Starc, Varun Chakaravarthy, Harshit Rana.

On the work front, SRK returned to the silver screen with Siddharth Anand’s ‘Pathaan’ in January 2023.

The film in which SRK donned an awe-evoking action avatar broke several records at the box office and managed to grab a name in the list of one of the highest-grossing films in the Indian film industry.

The film also marked SRK’s first hit after his sabbatical of four years after a series of flicks such as ‘Zero’ and ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’. After ‘Pathaan’, King Khan returned to theatres in September with ‘Jawan’.

The film once again saw SRK in an action avatar. The film collected over Rs 1000 crore . at the worldwide box office. Needless to say, SRK, who has had a phenomenal run, did not stop here.

In December, he came up with ‘Dunki’, which also did decent business at the box office.

Helmed by RajKumar Hirani, ‘Dunki’ focuses on the issue of immigration. Its title is taken from the term “donkey journey,” which refers to the long, winding, and often dangerous routes that people across the world take to reach the places they want to immigrate to. He has not announced his next project yet.

However, if reports are to be believed, he will be seen sharing screen space with Salman Khan in ‘Tiger vs Pathaan’. The film will reportedly have Tiger (Salman) locking horns with Pathaan, played by Shah Rukh Khan. It will mark their full-fledged collaboration after ‘Karan Arjun’. The official announcement regarding the project is still awaited. (ANI)


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In first public appearance since firing incident, Salman ushers CM Shinde into his Mumbai residence




Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], April 16 (ANI): In his first public appearance since the firing incident outside his upscale Bandra residence, superstar Salman Khan stepped out to welcome Chief Minister Eknath Shinde as he arrived to meet at the Galaxy Apartments on Tuesday.

In a video clip of the visit that was widely circulated across social media platforms, Salman was seen ushering CM Shinde into his residence.

Salman’s father and popular screenplay and dialogue writer from yesteryear, Salim Khan, politician Baba Siddique and his son Zeeshan Siddique were also inside the actor’s apartment as CM Shinde came calling.

In the clip, CM Shinde was seen having a discussion with the superstar, with the others seated around them.

The chief minister assured Salman and his family members of their safety, adding that they were being provided with increased security cover in light of the firing incident.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident on Sunday, last week, CM Shinde spoke to Salman over the phone and provided him with additional security cover. Shinde also brought up the firing incident with the Mumbai Police Commissioner and suggested increasing the superstar’s security.

He assured Salman that the government was with him and he need not worry.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Kutch Police arrested the two accused persons and handed them to the Mumbai Crime Branch. Later, a city court sent the two accused to the custody of the Mumbai Crime Branch until April 25 in connection with the firing incident.

The accused, identified as Vicky Gupta (24) and Sagar Pal (21) from Bihar, were presented before the court after a medical examination.

The two men, who came on a motorbike, fired four rounds outside the Galaxy Apartments, where the actor resides, around 5 am on Sunday morning and fled.

CCTV footage showed that both accused sported caps and carried backpacks. The clip also showed them firing in the direction of the actor’s home.

After the arrest of the accused, Kutch DSP AR Zankant said preliminary investigations revealed that the accused were in contact with the Lawrence Bishnoi gang.

“Mumbai Police is investigating the case of firing outside the residence of actor Salman Khan. We informed the Kutch Police that the two accused had fled to the Gujarat district. Different teams were formed to catch the accused. They were eventually arrested by the Kutch Police and handed over to the Mumbai Police. During primary interrogation of the accused, we learned that they were in contact with the Lawrence Bishnoi gang,” DSP Zankant said.

Notably, since November 2022, Salman’s security level has been elevated to Y-Plus after threats from gangsters Lawrence Bishnoi and Goldy Brar. The actor was also authorised top carry a personal firearm and has also acquired a new armoured vehicle for added protection.

On Monday, Salman’s brother Arbaaz Khan issued a statement on the family’s behalf, saying they all have been affected due to the ‘disturbing’ firing incident.

“The recent incident of firing by two unidentified person in a motorcycle at Galaxy apartment the residence of the Salim Khan family is very disturbing and unnerving. Our family has been taken aback by this shocking incident that took place. Unfortunately, some people claiming to be close to our family and pretending to be the spokesperson have been making loose statements to the media saying it’s all a publicity stunt and the family remains unaffected which is not true and these views should not be taken seriously,” the statement read.

He also shared that the family was fully cooperating with the Mumbai Police in the ongoing probe into the incident.

“No member of the Salim Khan family has made any statement regarding this incident to the media. At this time, the family is helping and cooperating with the police in the investigation of this untoward incident. We have faith in the Mumbai police and we have been assured they will do everything in their capacity to protect and secure our family. Thank you everyone for your love and support,” Arbaaz added in his statement. (ANI)


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Keanu Reeves will voice Shadow in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 3’




Washington [US], April 16 (ANI): ‘John Wick’ star Keanu Reeves will be voicing ‘Shadow’ in the upcoming action-adventure comedy film ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 3’, according to Variety.

He joins a cast that includes Ben Schwartz as Sonic, as well as Jim Carrey as the villainous Dr Robotnik, the sources have confirmed.

‘Shadow’ first appeared in 2001’s ‘Sonic Adventure 2’, and he has since become one of the franchise’s most famous characters as an edgy antihero. He’s also often an antagonist to Sonic.

Reeves’ filmography includes ‘Speed’, ‘Bram Stoker’s Dracula’, ‘My Own Private Idaho’, and the ‘Matrix’ trilogy. He will next star in the ‘John Wick’ spinoff, ‘Ballerina’, opposite Ana de Armas (his character’s unveiling in a new teaser released last week at CinemaCon drew enormous acclaim from the gathering of movie theatre executives, demonstrating the actor’s box office success). Reeves will also co-star in ‘Good Fortune’ with Aziz Ansari, Seth Rogen, Keke Palmer, and Sandra Oh.

Jeff Fowler, who oversaw the first two ‘Sonic’ movies, is returning as the director of the latest sequel. Neal H Moritz, Toby Ascher, Toru Nakahara and Hitoshi Okuno will produce ‘Sonic 3’, which will open in theatres on Dec. 20, 2024.

The franchise is one of Paramount’s most successful, with the combined global box office for “Sonic the Hedgehog” and “Sonic the Hedgehog 2” standing at 725.2 million dollars. The studio is also making a spin-off series, “Knuckles,'” that will premiere on Paramount, reported Variety. (ANI)


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