Chapter 2


Jokes about Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, and Gorbachev

2.1 A telephone rings in Brezhnev's office. Brezhnev takes the receiver and says, "Our dear comrade Brezhnev is listening."(1)

2.2 Why Brezhnev waited for foreign visitors in Kremlin, but Chernenko went to meet them in the airport? Because Brezhnev was connected to a 220 V outlet, while Chernenko ran on batteries.

2.3 Brezhnev died and was sent to hell. To honor his lifetime achievements, the hell's manager allowed Brezhnev to choose himself a torture. Brezhnev walked along the aisles. He saw Stalin in a tub of boiling water, then he saw Hitler hanging upside down, and then he noticed Khrushchev who was holding in his lap Marilyn Monroe. "Oh," Brezhnev said. "I choose the same torture as the one given to Khrushchev!"

The hell's manager said, "Sorry, Brezhnev, this is not Khrushchev who is tortured, it's a torture for Marilyn Monroe."

2.4 Brezhnev delivers a speech at the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. Keeping before his eyes the text prepared for him by his aides, and typed on an official stationery, Brezhnev says, "O...O... O... O..."

The aide whispers to Brezhnev's ear: "Leonid Ilyich, this is not O, these are Olympic rings."

2.5 Brezhnev came to America, where he delivered a speech. The speech was supposed to last for 25 minutes. Thirty minutes are over, than forty, but Brezhnev continues his speech. "Oh, God, that's my fault," Brezhnev's aide said. "I somehow put in his hand three copies of the speech."

2.6 Brezhnev received from his secretary the text of the greeting he had to read at the airport when Indira Ghandi arrived in Moscow. When Mrs. Ghandi alighted from the plane, Brezhnev started the speech, "Dear Mrs. Thatcher..."

His aide whispered, "Comrade Brezhnev, this is Indira Ghandi, not Thatcher..."

Brezhnev frowned and said again, "Dear Mrs. Thatcher..."

"Leonid Ilyich, this is Indira Ghandi."

"Shut up," Brezhnev said. "I know this is Indira Ghandi. But what's written here? Thatcher!..."

2.7 Brezhnev's daily schedule:

9 am: reanimation

10 am - breakfast

11 am: delivering medals

12 noon: recharging the batteries

2 pm: dinner

4 pm: receiving medals

6 pm: signing important documents.

8 pm - clinical death

9 am- reanimation.......

2.8 Khrushchev visited a pig farm and was photographed there. In a newspaper's office, a discussion is under way what should be the caption under the picture.

"Comrade Khrushchev among pigs," "Comrade Khrushchev and pigs," "Pigs around comrade Khrushchev," -- all is rejected. Finally the editor makes the decision. The caption is "The third from left - comrade Khrushchev."(2)

2.9 The Politburo wanted to give Brezhnev the title of Generalissimus, once held by Stalin. With regret, the idea was abandoned, because when Brezhnev tried to pronounce his new title, he never could go further than the third syllable, and so he had to stay with the title of a general.

2.10 "Why don't we see comrade Brezhnev making speeches lately?"

"Because he is in a hospital for a surgery."

"What kind of surgery?"

"Widening his chest to accommodate more medals."

2.11 Brezhnev makes a speech on TV. "I heard about malicious rumors maintaining that instead of myself they carry a dummy in my car. I categorically deny these allegations and assert you that instead of a dummy they carry me!"

2.12 An aide says to Brezhnev, "Comrade General Secretary, you wear today one shoe black and the other brown."

"Yes," Brezhnev answers, "I've noticed it myself."

"Why didn't you change?"

"See, I went to change, but when I looked in the closet, there was also one shoe brown and the other black."

2.13 At a Politburo meeting, Brezhnev says, "Comrades, it's intolerable. Some of the Politburo members have practically become senile, play children games, jump on wooden horses. And look, comrade Gromyko has taken away my tin soldiers and (Brezhnev weeps) wouldn't give them back...."

2.14. Somebody knocks at the door of Brezhnev's office. Brezhnev walks to the door, sets glasses on his nose, fetches a piece of paper from his pocket and reads, "Who's there?"

2.15 Once Stalin received a delegation of workers from the Urals. When the workers left, Stalin looked around for his pipe but did not see it. He called the Chairman of the KGB Lavrentiy Beria and said, "Lavrentiy Pavlovich, my pipe disappeared after the visit of those workers."

"Yes, Yosif Vissarionovich, I'll immediately take proper measures."

Ten minutes later, Stalin pulled out a drawer in his desk and saw his pipe. He struck a match, puffed out a ring of smoke, and dialed Beria's number.

"Lavrentiy Pavlovich, my pipe's been found."

"What a pity," Beria said. "All of them have already confessed."

2.16 Once the General Secretary of the Communist Party comrade Brezhnev was reading a report from the KGB which related to the gradual increase of applications for emigration visas.

Turning to the Chairman of the Council of Ministers Kosygin, Brezhnev said, "If we continue issue visas, then one day only me and you will remain in our country."

To this, Kosygin replied, "Speak only for yourself, Leonid."

2.17 Brezhnev is speaking to his aide, "Our press has so much praise for my latest book, I am becoming curious. I think, maybe one day I'll read some of it myself."

2.18 In the Red Square in Moscow, a line is snaking toward the Lenin's tomb. A change of guard is watched by the onlookers. A kid asks, "Daddy, why do they always keep guard at the tomb?"

"Didn't you hear what they say all the time? Lenin lived, Lenin is alive, Lenin will live forever.(3) What if he's, God forbid, indeed alive, and decides to walk out of the tomb?"

2.19 Toward the hundredth anniversary of Lenin's birth, many Soviet plants and factories manufactured new products designed to honor the Great Leader Lenin. Among these products were:

Perfume "Scent of Lenin."

Soap "All over Lenin's places."

Cosmetic powder "Lenin's ashes."

Triple bed for newlyweds "Lenin is always with us."

Laxative "Lenin's Testament."

Candies "Lenin in chocolate."

Ladies' bra "Lenin's Hills."(4)

Wine "Lenin in Razliv."(5)

Sausage "Lenin's cut."

Clock with a cuckoo; once every hour, a gate opens, Lenin appears and says, "Coo-coo!"

A fountain "Lenin's jet."

A doll; it is a small figure of Lenin. If one turns a key, it starts moving, first one step back, then two steps forward, pronouncing the words, "What to do? What to do?"(6)

A tourist guidebook, "Over Lenin's places in Siberia," designed for those citizens who like telling anecdotes about Lenin.

2.20 Stalin's aides reported to him that the animosity between Armenians and Azeris had led to a situation just short of an open war. Stalin said, "We solve it in a Bolshevik's way. We make one capital city for both Armenians and Azeris."

The capital of Armenia is Erevan, and that of Azerbaijan, Baku. The aides asked Stalin which of these two cities must become the capital for both peoples.



"Then Baku?"

"No. We don't want to favor one of them over the other."

"Then what city?"


2.21 Two Marshals of the Soviet Union, Voroshilov and Budenniy (8), met in 1937.

"Have you heard, Semen?" Voroshilov said. "The security picks everybody no matter who. What will happen? Why did they not pick us?"

"Not everybody is picked, but only the smart ones. It has nothing to do with us."

2.22 Once Stalin invited several Marshals of the Soviet Union and ordered them to wrestle in front of him on a carpet. Marshal Tukhachevsky won all rounds. This angered Stalin. He ordered to summon Marshal Timoshenko who was a very big man.

Timoshenko arrived and easily overpowered Tukhachevsky. As Tukhachevsky fell to the carpet, he hit his head. Timoshenko, putting in order his uniform, loudly expressed regret.

"Don't worry, comrade Timoshenko," Stalin said. "He will not need his head any longer." (9)

2.23 In the middle of night Stalin makes a call.

"Comrade Molotov? Tell me, are you still stuttering?"

"Yes, comrade Stalin, but if the building of socialism demands, I will....."

"No, comrade Molotov, there's no need. Sleep well."

He dials another number. "Comrade Mikoyan? Listen, when you were a Baku commissar, how many of commissars were in Baku?"

"Twenty-seven, comrade Stalin."

"And how many were killed in 1920?

"Twenty-six, comrade Stalin."

"Well, sleep well, our twenty-seventh commissar of Baku."

He dials one more number.

"Comrade Beria? Listen, are you sure you've shot Bukharin to death?"

"Quite sure, comrade Stalin. Why?"

"No, it's nothing. Sleep well, comrade Beria."

He sets the receiver in the cradle, and says, "Good. Now I've calmed all of them down, now I may go to sleep myself."(10)

2.24 Stalin summons the famous writer Sholokhov.

"I've read your novel "The reclaimed land". It's very good, I like it. I thought, why won't you write an article, say 'If the enemy doesn't surrender, he's to be finished off?"

"I am afraid I may not be able to tackle it, comrade Stalin. Lately my health is not that well."

"We'll help you. We'll send you to Georgia for a while, you'll have there some wine, and grapes."

"Yes, comrade Stalin. Then please let me bid farewell to my family."


"In case the article is not successful."

2. 25 Brezhnev gives a speech at a Party congress, and says, "Comrade, the Planning Committee reports that next year we'll have no meat. Your suggestions?"

The audience is silent. Then a lone voice from the audience sounds, "We'll work ten hours a day!"

Brezhnev continues, "The planning Committee reports that in two years we'll have no milk products. Your suggestions?"

The audience is silent, then the same voice sounds, "We'll work twelve hours a day."

Brezhnev continues, "The Planning Committee reports that in three years we'll have shortage of bread. Your suggestions?"

The same voice says, "We'll work day and night without rest."

Tears appear in Brezhnev's eyes. "Thank you, dear comrade for your patriotic initiative. Let me ask you, where do you work?"

"In a crematorium."

2.26 During the war, Stalin discussed with Marshal Zhukov the plans for a new offensive. "What do you think, comrade Zhukov, what direction should we choose for the attack?"

"West, comrade Stalin."

"Go and think, comrade Zhukov!"

As Zhukov walked out, he muttered, "What a pig!"

Stalin's secretary Poskrebyshev overheard the Marshal and reported to Stalin. Zhukov was ordered back to Stalin's office.

"Whom did you have in mind when you said 'What a pig?' Stalin asked.

"Of course, I meant Hitler," Zhukov said.

"Then whom did you have in mind, comrade Poskrebyshev?" Stalin said.

2.27 A CIA agent was sent to Russia during the cold war with a task to inflict as much damage on the Russian adversary as possible. For several years the CIA did not hear from him. Then one day he showed up at the CIA, and reported to his superior, "I believe I did a really good job."

"If you mean all that happened in Chernobyl...."

"Oh, no, boss. I was not involved in minor damages. I accomplished something much more efficient. I succeeded in putting one Mikhail Gorbachev in the position of their main honcho."

2.28 In a backyard of a house in Odessa, a sound of cannon fire is heard. Sara looks through the window. "Abram, what's that? Did they bring meat to the store?"

"No, it's only because Brezhnev arrived in Odessa."

In a while, the faraway cannons fire once again.

"Abram, do you hear? They brought meat to the store!"

"I told you, Brezhnev arrived."

"So what, did they miss him the first time?"

2.29. Stalin was reanimated several years after his death. He walked the streets, and came to the conclusion that after his death everything went bad, the people forgot the proper order, started dressing in many different ways rather than the way prescribed by the Party, the discipline deteriorated, nobody cares about building communism. He walked into the Kremlin, and then straight into the room where the Politburo was in a meeting. All Politburo members jumped up, and were ready to fulfil everything the "Father of People" would deem proper.

"I have two suggestions," Stalin said. "The first is to shoot all the deputies of the Supreme Soviet. The second is to paint Lenin's tomb green."

One of the Politburo members asked diffidently, "Comrade Stalin, why green?"

"I knew there would be no objections to the first proposal," Stalin said.

2.30 During Brezhnev's visit to England, Prime Minister Thatcher asked the guest, "What is your attitude to Churchill?"

"Who is Churchill?" Brezhnev said.

Back in the embassy, the Soviet envoy said, "Congratulations, comrade Brezhnev, you've put Thatcher in her place. She will not ask stupid questions any more."

"And who is Thatcher?" Brezhnev said.

2.31 At a Politburo meeting, Brezhnev said, "Comrades, our comrade Pelshe is senile. Yesterday I met him in the corridor and I said, 'Good morning, Pelshe.' He answered, "But I'm not Pelshe." So I said, "You have lost your marbles, Pelshe, you even don't remember who you are, we'll have to remove you from the Politburo." And he said, "But I am not in the Politburo."

2.32 Riddle: What is it, four legs, forty teeth? Answer: alligator.

What is it, forty legs, four teeth? Answer: Brezhnev's Politburo.

2.33 Brezhnev plays with his grandson. "Who will you be when you grow up?"

"A General Secretary."

"What for do we need two General Secretaries?"

2.34 Brezhnev is walking in a corridor in the Kremlin. And aide is walking toward him and says, "Merry Christmas."

Brezhnev walks more and meets another aide who says, "Merry Christmas."

Brezhnev answers, "Yes, I know, I was already told."

2. 35 A Russian and an American were frozen and revived one hundred years later. They both died at once. The American died because he heard a radio broadcast that said, "Collective farms of Oklahoma and Minnesota report to the Central committee of the Party on the fulfillment of their socialist obligations...."

And the Russian died because he heard a radio broadcast that said, "At the 246th congress of the Party, the General Secretary comrade Brezhnev said...."

2. 36 Brezhnev gives a speech. He fetches a piece of paper from his pocket, sets glasses on his nose and reads, "We'll never forget our dear comrade Brezhnev.... Eh, again I've donned somebody's jacket."

2.37 Stalin summoned Radek(11) and said, "I know you spread jokes about me. It's impertinent."


"I am the Great Leader, Teacher, and Friend of the people after all."

"No, I've not told anybody this joke."

2.38 During the war, there was a Lieutenant General in the Soviet Army with a typically Jewish name of Segalovich. Stalin liked to joke when talking to Segalovich. For example, he would say to him, "Comrade Segalovich, because of the loss of Kiev to the Nazis, I am afraid we'll have to shoot you." Or, he would say, "Comrade Segalovich, even though our troops have now succeeded in taking back Stavropol, but because of the past failures, we might have to shoot you." Or he would say, "Comrade Segalovich, what would you say if I told you that we decided to shoot you?" And each time Segalovich would become pale and reach for a pill, and this invariably amused Stalin who then would say, "Don't worry, comrade Segalovich, it was a joke. Go and work!" And so it went. After the war, there was a banquet in the Kremlin. And Stalin offered toasts. One of them was to General Segalovich. Stalin said, "I drink to the health of our comrade Segalovich, because General Segalovich is not only a good military specialist but also has a good sense of humor."

2.39 Stalin walked into Lenin's office and asked, "Vladimir Ilyich, may I order to shoot a dozen communists?"

"If the interests of the Party demand it, by all means," Lenin answered.

"Vladimir Ilyich, if necessary, may we shoot one hundred communists?"

"If necessary, the answer is Yes."

"Vladimir Ilyich, may we, if need be, shoot one thousand Party members?"

"If there is a real need, yes."

"Vladimir Ilyich, may we, if the situation demands, shoot one million of Party Members?"

"Eh, Iosif Vissarionovich, now we'll criticize you in a comradely way, and may even say to you that you exaggerate a little."

2.40 In an artistic exhibition on the occasion of Lenin's birthday, one picture bore the title "Lenin in Switzerland." (12) The painting showed a bed in which a man and a woman, who were under covers, seemed to be engaged in a sexual act. To the question of the perplexed viewers where is Lenin in that picture, the guide answered, "As the title says, Lenin is in Switzerland. Hence, he can't be in this picture. This woman is Lenin's wife Krupskaya, with her friend whose name is being withheld out of security considerations."

2.41. After Lenin died, his widow Krupskaya visited a kindergarten and talked about Lenin. "Lenin, my children, loved all children very much. I remember one day Lenin was in his office working on important matter, and in the garden a little boy was playing. The boy made noise so that Lenin was compelled to send his aide who asked the boy to stop making noise. For a while the boy obeyed, but then he forgot and resumed the play. The aide went once more and told the boy to keep quiet. After a while the boy forgot the warning once again and again resumed to play. Finally Lenin ordered to send the boy home. You see, my children, Lenin did not even order to arrest the boy. But he could, couldn't he?"

2.42 God came to the Yalta conference. He took a chair and the Heads of the allied powers came to greet him. First Churchill approached God who stood up and shook Churchill's hand. Then Roosevelt rolled in, in his wheelchair. God stood up and shook Roosevelt's hand. Finally, Stalin's turn came. God shook Stalin's hand without getting out of the chair. Stalin was offended and complained to God, "Why did you single me out and did not get out of your chair?"

"Eh, Yossi, I know you. If I just left my chair for an instant, you would be sitting in it at once."

2.43 Early in the morning Brezhnev looked at the sky and smiled to the sun. Suddenly the Sun said, "Good morning, dear Leonid Ilyich."

Amazed and happy, Brezhnev told the Politburo members that even the sun knew him and greeted him personally. The Politburo men were skeptical but kept their doubts for themselves. Toward the evening, Brezhnev said to them, "I see you don't trust my word. Let's go outside and I will show you!"

They walked out and Brezhnev said to the sun which was already low, "My dear Sun, good evening."

The Sun answered, "Go to hell, you old idiot."

"What's that?" Brezhnev shouted angrily. "Do you know who you are talking with?"

"I don't give a damn," the Sun said. "I'm already in the West, I do what I want!"

2.44 Two weeks after Khrushchev was dismissed from his position as the General Secretary of the Communist Party, his wife went to buy food. Soon she came back with empty hands.

"Only two weeks without me, and already everything has collapsed!" Khrushchev said.

2.45 The President of the USA asked Brezhnev, "How do you manage the distribution of food for such a big country?"

"Very simple. We bring all the food to Moscow, and then everybody gets into a line and receives one's share when one's turn comes, and then they carry it wherever necessary."

2.46 In the Moscow international airport, a couple of would-be emigrants to Israel is waiting for their plane. The radio announces, "Attention, the flight to Tel-Aviv is postponed because of comrade Brezhnev's departure to Paris." An hour later, the new announcement sounds, "Flight to Tel-Aviv is postponed because of comrade Kosygin's departure to London." One more hour has passed, and a new announcement sounds, "Flight to Tel-Aviv is postponed because of comrade Gromyko's departure to New York."

Then the wife says, "You hear, Abram? They all left. Without them, why should we leave? What have we forgotten in Tel Aviv?"

2.47 Suslov is dying, the Politburo members are sitting next to his bed. They are waiting for the doctor to announce Suslov's death. After a long silence, the doctor says, "Yes, comrades, no one is immune. Our main enemy is old age."

"Wrong," Brezhnev says. "Our main enemy is the lack of discipline. "Look, we have all been waiting for half an hour, but Suslov is still not here!"

2.48 The government announced a contest for the best monument honoring the great Russian poet Pushkin. The third prize was given for a project suggesting a monument that would show Pushkin reading a book authored by Brezhnev. The second prize was given to a project for a monument which showed Brezhnev reading a book by Pushkin. The first prize: Brezhnev reading a book by Brezhnev.

2.49 Reagan, Mitterand, and Brezhnev met. Each fetched a cigarette case. Reagan's golden case bore an inscription, "To dear Ron from Hollywood friends."

The inscription on the Mitterand's case read "To my beloved Francie from his faithful wife." Then Brezhnev opened his golden and diamond-studded cigarette case whose lid was adorned with the inscription "To Pushkin from Prince Vyazemsky."

2.50 Brezhnev visited a factory. "How is your life, comrades?"

"It's good, comrade General Secretary."

"And do you want to live even better?"

"If you give us such a directive, we'll live even better."

2.51. A new postal stamp was issued with a likeness of Gorbachev. After a while, Gorbachev inquired whether everything was in order with the new stamp.

"Comrade General Secretary, this stamp is not much in use."


"The people complain it wouldn't stick to the envelope."

"So what, is the glue bad?"

"No, the glue is good, just they spit on the wrong side."

2.52 A news item: "The Central Committee of the Communist Party advises that after a long illness, comrade Brezhnev returned to his duties, without regaining consciousness."

2.53 Brezhnev sat in his office playing with the medal of the Lenin prize winner he was given for the three books that were published under his name.

Suslov walked in. Brezhnev said, "Suslov, have you read my book "The Small Land?"

"Of course, Leonid Ilyich. It's a marvelous book, very important, especially for our youth."

"Are you sincere?"

"Of course, Leonid Ilyich. Did I ever lie to you?"

"Good. Then call Kosygin."

Kosygin walked in.

"Mikhail Petrovich!"

"I am not Mikhail Petrovich."

"Devil. Then Petr Mikhailovich."

"I am not Petr Mikhailovich."

"It's enough of interrupting me. Tell me, have you read my book "The small land?"

"Of course, it's a great book. I am re-reading it for the third time."

"Everybody likes my book," Brezhnev said, playing with the Lenin Prize medal. "I am thinking, maybe I should also read it one day?" (13)

2.54. Comrade Gorbachev summoned Soviet scientists and said, "Those Americans landed on the Moon long time ago. We must surpass them. The Party decided that our cosmonauts will land on the Sun!"

"But, comrade General Secretary, they will burn there!"

"We're not fools here in the Politburo. They'll land there in nighttime."

2.55 An American came as a tourist to the USSR, where he met a Soviet worker who was very poor. The visitor said to the Russian, "Do as I did. I went to the White House in Washington and started eating hay. The President came out and asked why I was doing such a strange thing. I told the President that I was so poor I couldn't afford to buy food. The President helped me, and now I have everything."

The Russian worker went to the Red Square in Moscow and started eating hay. Chairman Khrushchev walked out and asked what was the matter. The worker explained his situation. Khrushchev said, "You better save hay for winter. We expect a hard, cold winter. Now you can eat grass!"

2.56 Khrushchev, surrounded by his aides and bodyguards, surveys an art exhibition.

"What the hell is this green circle with yellow spots all over?"

"This painting, comrade Khrushchev, depicts our heroic peasants fighting for the fulfillment of the plan to produce two hundred million ton of grain."

"Ah-h... And what is this black triangle with red strips?"

"This painting shows our heroic industrial workers in a factory."

"And what is this fat ass with ears?"

"Comrade Khrushchev, this is not a painting, this is a mirror."

2.57 * Khrushchev decided to prepare his next speech by himself. When the text was ready, he gave it to his deputy and asked for the deputy's opinion.

"It's an outstanding, inspiring speech," the deputy said.

Then Khrushchev gave his text to the Minister of Culture, who said, "Comrade Khrushchev, this is a great speech, in the best traditions of Marxism-Leninism."

Finally, Khrushchev gave his speech to his son-in-law who, unlike Khrushchev, had attended a school. The son-in-law said, "Your speech is OK, except that 'fuckyou' should be spelled as two words, and 'ass hole' as one."



1. Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev became the First Secretary of the communist Party of the USSR in 1964, after his predecessor Khrushchev was removed by a group of plotters, and he stayed in this position until his death in 1982. This joke is one of the many such items that appeared in the seventies when ailing Brezhnev was widely rumored to be nearly senile. Similar rumors circulated about other members of the ruling Politburo, such as Chernenko (who was to replace Brezhnev after the latter died), Pelshe, Suslov, Kosygin, etc. While the official propaganda continued unabashedly flatter the country's boss, praising Brezhnev's alleged wisdom, statesmanship, etc, the skeptical masses enjoyed jokes about Brezhnev's stupidity, self-aggrandizement, etc. In this particular joke fun is made also of the endless repetition in the official press, radio and TV of the constant reference to Brezhnev as "our dear comrade Brezhnev."

2. Nikita Sergeevich Khrushchev, one of Stalin's henchmen, became the First Secretary of the communist Party of the USSR soon after Stalin's death (1953). Khrushchev tried to modify the system to make it more efficient. He was though an illiterate man, highly conceited, who forcibly introduced many ill-conceived reforms. In particular, he considered himself an authority in agriculture, and his interference in agricultural affairs resulted in serious shortages of food. Even though he abolished some of the most anti-human features of the Stalinist state (by no means all of them) his activity was little appreciated by the people and he was constantly derided in hundreds of jokes.

3. This is the literal reproduction of a cliche of the Soviet propaganda, "Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will live."

4. Lenin's Hills is the name of a village where Lenin had his country residence. Before Lenin's death its name was just Gorki (Small Hills)

5. This line is based on a pun. Razliv, on the one hand, is the name of a small hamlet where Lenin hid right before the Bolshevik revolution of 1917. Lenin in Razliv had become a cliche in the Lenin's cult-related propaganda. On the other hand, the word Razliv also means selling wine on tap.

6. "What to do?" and "One step back, two steps forward," are titles of two booklets authored by Lenin before 1917, in which he laid out a strategy for a communist takeover in Russia.

7. Magadan is a city in the Far East of Siberia which served as the main administrative center and a trans-shipping station for the vast Gulag system in the remotest part of Siberia known as The Kolyma. Scores of innocent people perished in mines and camps of The Kolyma.

8. Marshals of the Soviet Union Voroshilov and Budenniy had been Stalin's cohorts during the civil war of 1917-1921. Both were later given high posts, decorations, and titles. Both, especially Budenniy, had become targets of many jokes which routinely depicted the two military men as dumb and illiterate Stalin's lickspittles.

9. Marshal Tukhachevsky was rumored to be the most talented and sophisticated military man in Russia. On the other hand, Marshal Timoshenko was known to be a simpleton. Tukhachevsky was executed in 1937 on Stalin's order. After Stalin's death he was rehabilitated and his complete innocence was asserted. Timoshenko was entrusted a high commanding position when the German army invaded Russia in 1941. He soon revealed lack of commander's qualities and was relegated to be in charge of some auxiliary military affairs.

10. Molotov, Mikoyan, and Beria all were close aides of Stalin. In particular, Beria was in charge of the security apparatus.

11. Karl Radek (1885-1939) a prominent communist and a close collaborator of Lenin on the eve of the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, had a reputation of a witty man to whom many puns and witticisms had been ascribed. In 1937 was arrested on Stalin's order and later died in prison.

12. In 1916-17, Lenin had lived in Switzerland where he was working to pave a way for the Bolsheviks' takeover in Russia. This period of Lenin's activities had been much glorified in the official history of the communist Party of the USSR.

13. In the seventies, three books had been published by the State Publishing Houses allegedly written by Brezhnev. In these books the role of Brezhnev in the WW2 battles, as well as in the consequent events in the country, was exaggerated and depicted in saccharin-tasting style. The official media highly acclaimed these books and Brezhnev was given literary awards. This joke is just one example how the people related to the official line about the books by Brezhnev.