The West in The Soviet Caricature

In the comments to my recent post about Khrushchev few people mentioned their memories of living under the “Soviet threat”, personified by the Soviet leaders like Khrushchev. I, on the other hand, don’t remember ever feeling threatened by the West. The news reports were always full of the stories about the Western aggressors running up their arsenals and meddling in the military conflicts around the world, but I don’t recall people around me ever being concerned about potential attacks. While the Americans were watching the “Red Dawn“, the Soviet people felt safe guarded by the Soviet Army directed by the ever-wise Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

In addition the the news reports and the shows depicting the hardships of the Western life, the Soviet government loved to use the satire against the capitalist enemy. Uncle Sam in a top hat, British Lion, Israeli Military “Clique” and others frequently appeared on the pages of satirical magazines such as Krokodil (Crocodile). The caricatures below were published in Krokodil in 1977 and this may be the first time some of them are seen in the West (captions translated by me). I have several years worth of the digitized magazines, and will post more if there is any interest.


  • Great stuff. I sent this link to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. I think she would like to see them.

    FYI… I wish you would remove the “RECOMEND” Sign up” icon from the FRONT of your posts, and instead, put them at the bottom. It ruins your RSS feeds. See how your site looks on my website…

    This link… COLUMN3 3rd box down called “MORE KC BLOGS” Tab 2
    https://sites.google.com/site/radiomankc/kansas-city

    Keep up your great pix!

    • Radioman, I moved it down, although I didn’t think it shows up in RSS. Nice site you made BTW. And Rachel Maddow? I promise to give you a shoutout when I am on her show 🙂

  • love the new mast, but it didn’t translate to the ‘single post’ level…

    • Nick, it randomly rotates between the three that I have.

  • It may be caricature… but they are all true today. Call the authors prescient.

  • Joe

    I always like the Soviet stuff you post.

  • tacitus

    It’s pretty creepy how several of these are pretty valid criticisms, and a few are still quite valid today. Of course, like any political cartoon, it’s pretty easy to lampoon the system, but quite hard to propose something better.

  • protranslation

    These caricatures were quite funny! At the same time, I hope that people realise that at lot of these “jokes” are indeed a reality in some places, even today.

  • heaven knows they’re dead-on about the ever-growing NATO (read: US) defense spending.