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Fat milk — only for Moscow: the writer Dedkov about the lack of food in the Soviet Kostroma

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Kostroma writer Igor Dedkov from the 1950s to the 1990s, kept a diary of life observations. Some of his impressions about the lack of food in the city. Dedkov shows how gradually, since the 1970s, the Russian province of impoverished people cannot afford to buy even milk, meat disappears altogether. The hinterland is covered by a gloom of despair.


Igor Dedkov was born in Smolensk in 1934. He graduated in 1957 from the faculty of journalism, but in Moscow he left, and he went to work and live in Kostroma. In the 1970s, Dedkov — Deputy chief editor of the newspaper “Northern truth” from 1976 as Executive Secretary of the Kostroma branch of the Union of journalists.


He kept a diary from the mid-1950s. In 1992, the old guys brought them into a book, but when she saw the light. In 1994, two guys died. These diaries were published in several issues of the magazine “New world” from 1996 to 2003.


We publish a small part of these diaries, in which men captures the dying of the food market in Kostroma, in the 1970s, about how in the early 1980s decifit catches and Moscow.




Pensioners give for the New year coupons for meat in households (1 kg per pensioner). However, not coupons, and invitations. Get prompt and go to the store. Today, “true North” and sent its representatives to the store to get meat (1 kg per employee). So give the meat to the personnel. In the shop said, take the carcass and chop it yourself. Editorial woman was indignant and left. After telephone conversations with his superiors meat promised tomorrow and chipped, and the top grade. Today my wife Kumasaka, a member of the regional court, the whole day she chopped meat. This team gave the meat carcass. Cut, weighed, and traded.


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These days everywhere in the office collect 7-8 rubles (sausage and chicken) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the native state. I saw myself as in the acquisition Department of the regional library among the new books stop on the floor was a pile of chickens and was a thick smell. All walked and laughed. This time they all go and laugh.


These days in stores is not soap. No candy. Needless to say, no meat (in the market place — four rubles per kg), no sausages, bacon and other things.


Victor B. assured me that liverwurst has now been renamed “vegetable” (58 and 60 cents per kilogram). Today is the first time I tried to drink coffee beverage the production of Rostov (Yaroslavl). Composition: barley — 75%, oats 15%, rye 10%. You can drink, but no action. Smells of grain.




I. Klewicki (head of obligatory) was telling me today about how him becomes all the heads of books. Called second Secretary K. Suslov, and asked to get “five Pickles” (meaning a collection of historical stories Pikul). When the Chairman of the Executive Committee K. Dontsov found that once, ten years or more ago, he bought a volume of some publication, gave Claviscom the car and sent him to Moscow for obtaining the missing volume. Klewicki did everything I could, but not produced. And to convince Dontsova the seriousness of his efforts, he brought an official response from a large bookselling head, that to get this volume now not possible. Klewicki complained that all cases now have to arrange with the help of books and present books builders, transportation workers, etc. and in Moscow, said, have to carry books, so I was surprised.




At the regional meeting of the physical asset, the representatives of the districts talked about the fact that you cannot expect any results from weightlifters because the athlete in the area, even in the regional center, could not maintain the required regimen. All food supplies that I had brought from Moscow, came to an end; there is not much loin. I understand that all it can tolerate. When Glory Boots upset, when only the blue light (in dark room), I told him: “don’t you worry, you laugh, because maybe it was intended”.


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The approach of the holiday is felt in everything: have a Christmas tree, at five in the evening on the street in a queue for butter, the offices (employees) sell meat by the kilogram, the lowest category. The value of the proletariat as the vanguard of the impact that the workers give the same pounds, but dvuhrublevuyu.

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Butter no.


These days end work in the farms, which were attended by thousands of citizens. No one thinks these people ask. The call of the Executive Committee (“take a message”) requires: such-that numbers to put in this economy so many people. This power long forgotten how to respect its citizens, it is presumptuous. Every act of disobedience, the host — even unwittingly — political overtones, is regarded as the worst of the varieties of disobedience and violation of orders of magnitude. And drunkenness, and hooliganism, and so on are understood and perceived (and punished as well) a lot calmer and easier than the dissent.




In Kostroma profit 25 young Azerbaijanis-irrigators. It is necessary to understand so: the brothers Azerbaijanis came to the aid of their Russian brothers. Now mother Russia will be saved, will be piled together Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Uzbeks, Turkmens Yes, ameliorist her poor earth to glory, and begin a new life. And in Susanin build, hurry rocket men — putting aside some of his business — 60-apartment house for Azerbaijanis, and those who rolled in after. And Azeris are already talking that they ask the sheep wonder why it is in Kostroma literally every day — no meat.


Galanina told how went to a restaurant Berendeevka. Had lunch there group of Georgians; some drove into the Texas delegation, not entrepreneurs from the market. And here is one of the Georgians, talking with Anya, said that here, you have no dignity. You don’t have both, and you pretend that it must be all right. You have no dignity, he repeated, and, away, said, “Think about it”.




In Moscow during these days of December is flooded with the visitors by the people. For the meat and sausage in a huge queue. Even travel from Moscow difficult. Never seen winter Moscow is. Got to Moscow the food shortage. Samara (from “the Young guard”) are not in the least embarrassed, told me that one of the new metro stations there are images of city emblems of the so-called Golden ring and now that the Muscovites say: this city, who we feed. The decision to emancipate the Moscow writers shopping. For this we decided to organize a reception in honor of the fifty Directors of groceries, and on the Board of the Cabinet discussed the allocation of money to give to the Directors a book of gifts.


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Hero Of Socialist Labor Burakova. She came to the regional conference. First told how two vokhomsky Chairman travelled to Holland and how they liked the conditions of rural life.


The mood of this woman was not very fun. Milk to the cheese factory is not enough. The cows are hungry. “I will go to the farm, then half the night not sleeping, all these cows standing in front of”. They are no longer able to bear offspring, so exhausted. Fall manually was mowed about five thousand hectares of wheat, barley, oats, of those that are not picked up by harvesters. Decimated, folded in kopesky, and all went under the snow.


People are drinking; she saw the sleeping and the drunken milkmaids had fallen right on the farm. “I guess we won’t live” she said, and I did not even realize what it is. Were about the war.


Bitterly told me how he went to Odessa in connection with the export of cheese to Cuba. She was amazed by the abundance and high quality of goods sent to Cuba, oil, canned food, cheese, etc. — and why their is nothing left.


On the current situation in the economy. These are the data: this year for the Palo cattle: 9886 — at the farm, 6900 — in the farms area. Now you understand why the Director of the cheese factory, returning from the farms, long time can not sleep. She remembers fighting the cows for food, and how the strong oppressed the weak, and what was the roar.

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In dining room buffet cranberry is three rubles a kilogram. It is more expensive overseas fruit.




Today, the editors called Ivanov (Deputy head of the Department. the Department of agitation and propaganda of the regional Committee of the party) and said that it is necessary to distinguish three persons on courses tractor.




In the library I was told that by September, each employee of the library for thirty times and went to work in the farm and it is not known when the trip will end. Such a massive attraction of people to the labor in agricultural sector of all surprises: that had never happened before. And what will happen next? — ask the people.




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A bunch of radishes (five tricks) is worth on the market 50 cents. Apples (ibid) four of the ruble. The driver of Krasnosel edition was indignant at the way these prices. He wanted to buy in Kostroma herring, but not found. Lucky in Red (36 km from Kostroma) matches, because matches with interruptions. Says that butter and cheese in a Red no milk sometimes, but the best supply of vodka. We have, in town, again no oil, no flour, starch, less and less able to buy yogurt, cottage cheese no.




From Demidkova moved in mid-October, two bags of potatoes; it became somehow easier, some time will not have to scour in search of potatoes: in the market there, Yes, you need to be on time , and in the stores — an unprecedented case — no. When he came Stas, I wanted to buy the brandy, but could not: there was not, and vodka wasn’t dark people were standing near the wine departments, waiting bring, and hearing that somewhere some cheap Vino is picked up and rushed in that direction. It was in all this something humiliating.




In the hall of the party Committee hosted the meeting of the creative intelligentsia with the leaders of the city.


Tom filed the question about milk. Until when, she said, the city will have to sell milk only low-fat (1,4%)? The answer was: milk will be in the future. The country has made an exception (fat content: 3,6%) for Moscow, Leningrad, Kiev and several cities. Of course, nobody was surprised. We have been taught to the existence of privileged cities, spaces, layers, and groups. Why Moscow children should live in better conditions than most of their peers? This question does not arise.


Now everything has changed with all the little stations from all over Russia go to big cities, but not finding there sausage, meat, cheese, and butter, direct to Moscow.


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In Moscow — everywhere crowds, queues, boiling. Was the last week of December, and the Russian province was taking its toll. At one of the shops saw the crowd, before the crowd stood the truck, and a man from the truck shouted something to the crowd, vigorously shaking hands. “Revolution” — I thought, but came closer. The man shouted out the numbers in order: three hundred sixty-four, three hundred and sixty-five, etc. the Store was called “Carpets.” If the scene to remove the camera and hide shop accessory buildings, all this can sound like a street rally. So much passion and noble enthusiasm in the man on the truck!”




In the blog of the Interpreter about the food:


“Food prices in the USSR is 3-5 times higher than in the US and Europe”


In the mid-1960s, goskomtsen recognized that 75% of the Soviet population – the poor. To combat poverty, he offered to reduce the price of the food as it was several times more expensive than in the West, and the state has been in the food industry, the profitability of 20-60%.


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As academician Nesmeyanov proposed to feed the Soviet people food from oil


In the 1960s, former President of the Soviet Academy of Sciences Nesmeyanov has developed a method of obtaining yeast from oil. His first artificial product – protein “caviar”. Himself a staunch vegetarian, he offered to drive oil abroad, and to use it to feed the Soviet people.


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