Debunking “sovieboo” romanticization of the Soviet Union

Totalitarian regimes come and go. Some last more than others. But one of these regimes managed to last almost a century. This regime was the Soviet Union, the world’s first communist state. Just like many other totalitarian regimes there are those who attempt to romanticize the Soviet Union by promoting Soviet propaganda and fiction as fact. These kinds of individuals usually have radical left wing ideologies who look at the Soviet Union as some kind of Utopia and whenever someone criticizes the Soviet Union, these individuals get upset. They like to make fun of “Wehraboos” for romanticizing the WWII German army but are hypocrites for romanticizing a totalitarian regime known as the Soviet Union. These people are what I call “Sovie-boos”

Disclaimer: I understand that if you’re Russian you may be very proud of the Soviet Union and that’s fine. But there’s a difference between an ethnic Russian feeling proud his or her nation at it’s peak power and a neo-commie who isn’t Russian yet glorifies a a country they know little to nothing about except for the fact that they are on the same side of the political spectrum. Which is why it’s important to separate facts from myths. Also, I’m not a Nazi apologist or a so called “wehraboo”.

“Muh Soviet Union did nothing wrong!” The Soviet Union was formed from a coup launched by a group of angry peasants(Bolsheviks) against a weakened government and in the process executed the Tsar and his entire family. But aside from that, numerous other atrocities were committed under their crimson banner.

1.) The red terror

2.) The persecution of the religious

3.) The holodomor

4.) The great purge

5.) The Katyn massacre

6.) The subjugation of various Eastern European countries

7.) The suppression of political opposition

8.) Censorship

9.) POW mistreatment

11.) Forced labor

12.) Stripping of human rights and liberties

13.) Ethnic cleansing

13.) Invasion of Afghanistan

14.) Supporting other totalitarian regimes

And the list goes on and on.

Katyn Forest Massacre memorial in New Jersey
Katyn Forest Massacre memorial in New Jersey

“Muh Soviet army was invincible!” The Sovie boos also like to claim that the Soviet military was an unstoppable war machine. But always fail to acknowledge that the Soviets actually lost their first war known as the Polish-Soviet war in 1920. The Poles even started to push Eastward into Soviet territory causing the Soviet Union to sue for peace.

Scene from a 2011 Polish war film “Battle of Warsaw 1920”
Scene from a 2011 Polish war film “Battle of Warsaw 1920”

The Winter war also pokes holes in Soviet military superiority. Even though Finland technically lost the war on paper, the Soviet Union failed to achieve it’s goal of completely conquering Finland. The Soviet Union only ended up acquiring 11% of Finnish Territory and in the process the red army suffered almost 400,000 casualties despite having technological and numerical superiority over the Finnish military.

Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim played an important role in maintaining Finland’s sovereignty
Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim played an important role in maintaining Finland’s sovereignty

“Muh Soviet Union could have won WWII on it’s own!” The Soviet Union between 1939-1941 was not exactly in good shape, it had outdated military equipment, Stalin had purged a large portion of his generals, the Soviets were outnumbered by the German military 2 to 1 and were lacking the necessary resources to fight the axis powers. Sovie-boos fail to acknowledge just how significant the lend lease program was for the Soviet Union. Under the lend lease the Soviet Union received armored vehicles, tanks, aircraft, naval craft, oil, food, infantry weapons, artillery and other materials from the US, UK and Canada. The Soviet Union received over 100 billion dollars worth of goods. Zhukov even credited the lend lease for providing the Soviet Union with the necessary materials to win the war specifically sheet metal to make tanks.

American Sherman tanks in Soviet Service
American Sherman tanks in Soviet Service

Note: The following is a tragic statistic, in no way am I relishing in the tremendous loss of life that the Russian people suffered during WWII.

The Soviets had the highest casualty rate of every country involved in WWII. Nobody knows for sure how many Soviets were killed but the numbers range between 8 million and 20 million(When including the civilians).

”Muh Soviet Union defeated 80% of the German army before the invasion of Normandy!” While that’s true, it still ignores the fact that the German military was still fighting a two front war and was investing most of it’s resources in fighting the Western allies. They also ignore that a large chunk of the German army was busy in Western Europe and in the North African campaign.

Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps
Erwin Rommel and his Afrika Korps

The other thing “Sovieboos” fail to realize is that the Soviet Union was on the brink of defeat before it successfully managed to push back the axis powers. The axis powers had reached the gates of Moscow and Zhukov himself admitted that around that point he believed the war was lost.

Soviet Anti Aircraft crew in Moscow
Soviet Anti Aircraft crew in Moscow

“Muh atheistic Soviet Union crushed the Bible thumping nazis!” Uh no. Contrary to popular belief, the Nazi regime were not firm believers of Christianity. While Hitler did endorse it, it’s been highly implied that is was specifically for political reasons since many Germans practiced Christian faiths(specifically Catholic and Lutheran) And because he came in conflict with the Catholic Church. Hitler never explicitly talked about his religious views. Some historians think he was pagan, others think he was atheist(unlikely since atheism wasn’t tolerated) But the most probable religious beliefs Hitler and most ardent nazis held were ”Gottgläubig” which simply translates to “Belief in God”. It wasn’t a Christian denomination or an official religion, it was more of a simple belief in a higher power without being part of a denomination. On a side note, as a result of new findings it has recently been accepted among historians that pope Pius actually opposed the Nazis by giving Jews refuge. Debunking the myth of the Catholic Church in cahoots with the Nazis.

Heinrich Himmler was thought to be a pagan
Heinrich Himmler was thought to be a pagan

And the red army was not an “atheistic” army. Almost all red army soldiers were of Russian orthodox faith, in fact many carried small crosses with them into battle. General Zhukov himself was of Eastern Orthodox faith albeit privately. Stalin had to suspend his anti theistic oppression in order to get able members of the Soviet populace to fight. Had he continued to oppress the religious, he wouldn’t have had enough soldiers to fight the axis invaders. Hence rumors that he started to rethink his hostile stance on religion.

st Basil Cathedral
st Basil Cathedral

“Muh Soviet Union could have swept through Europe in 1945!” A common misconception is that the Soviet Union suddenly became a superpower immediately after the defeat of the axis powers just because it had the largest land army(approx 12 million). But in reality it was just as exhausted as the Western allies and roughly had around the same number of soldiers as the Western allies combined. What the Soviets lacked was nuclear weaponry, which they wouldn’t acquire till 1949 with the help of spies who had access to the Manhattan project, Captured German scientists and American communist sympathizers. By then both the Western Allies And the Soviet Union had reduced their troop size, while the US had started hastily investing research into the hydrogen bomb. Had “operation unthinkable” gotten the green light immediately after wwii, there’s no doubt that nuclear weapons would have been used against the Soviet Union if the Western allies deemed it necessary.

“The big three”
“The big three”

“Muh Soviet Union could have conquered the world if it weren’t for mutually assured destruction(MAD)!” And “Muh Soviet Union could have conquered the world with their nukes!” The idea that the Soviet Union could have effortlessly imposed their will upon the world during the Cold War is a myth based on both Soviet propaganda and NATO fear mongering of the Cold War. While there’s no doubt that the Cold War era Soviet Union was a force to be reckoned with, the Soviet Union was roughly on par with the US in regards to military might. As for the “strength in numbers” myth, the Soviet Union’s peak man power during the Cold War was approximately 5 million troops, roughly around the same size as the US military and it’s allies.

Soviet soldiers of the Cold War
Soviet soldiers of the Cold War

The myth of Soviet superiority was once again challenged in during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, when the Soviet military failed to subjugate the US backed Afghani resistance who were poorly trained, outnumbered and poorly equipped.

Soviet troops in Afghanistan
Soviet troops in Afghanistan

“Muh Soviet Union was very progressive when it came to social issues!” One of the main reasons why many sovieboos are fond of the Soviet Union was because of the supposed “progressive” attitudes of the government. While it’s true that Lenin himself supported Gay rights, homosexuals were still persecuted in the Soviet Union under lenin’s influence. Not to mention that many of Lenin's successors didn’t share his sentiment. Stalin himself made homosexuality punishable by 5 years of hard labor and some historians say that Stalin associated homosexuality with fascism. Khrushchev despite being anti Stalin still prohibited homosexuality because he believed it would spread like a disease. Brezhnev also persecuted homosexuals. Many attempts were made to decriminalize homosexuality in the Soviet Union but they were always denied. And overall, attitudes towards homosexuality varied from hostile to somewhat tolerant. But to assume the Soviet Union was “pro homosexuality” is highly inaccurate. Even the Russian Federation which is often labeled as a “homophobic” is actually more tolerant towards the gay community than the Soviet Union ever was.

Don’t let this picture fool you. the Socialist fraternal kiss was a greeting, not a sign of affection.
Don’t let this picture fool you. the Socialist fraternal kiss was a greeting, not a sign of affection.

“Muh Soviet Union was tolerant towards ethnic diversity!” Highly inaccurate, while the Soviet Union promoted “internationalism” they were nonetheless highly nationalistic themselves. They were fond of deporting ethnic minorities such as the Kalmyks, Tatars, Koreans, Turks, Germans, Poles and many other ethnic minorities. In many cases the ethnic minorities experienced violence from the Soviet government. While most of this discrimination occurred under Stalin’s rule, the ethnic minorities affected did not receive an official apology until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.

Crimean Tatars
Crimean Tatars

“Muh Soviet Union was very feminist!” I always laugh whenever 4th wave feminists use Soviet and communist insignia. If only they knew that the Soviets banned many feminist movements. The Soviets did indeed promote gender equality such as allowing women to work and enlist in the military. Hence the Soviets being intolerant towards feminism because they understood that feminism was not about equality. While I don’t agree with political suppression and oppression of any kind, I commend the Soviets for at least being wise enough to know that feminism is divisive.

Worker and Kolkhoz statue, considered to be a Soviet symbol of egalitarianism
Worker and Kolkhoz statue, considered to be a Soviet symbol of egalitarianism

Reasons for the glorification of the Soviet Union: There are many reasons why the Soviet Union is frequently romanticized.

1.) The Soviet Union was an ally that helped defeat the Nazi regime, many view the Soviet Union was the “lesser evil” when in reality the Soviet Union was just as bad, if not worse than the Nazis.

Soviet victory parade
Soviet victory parade

2.) radical left wingers distorting facts about the Soviet Union.

A meme showing the difference between a neo-commie and a Soviet
A meme showing the difference between a neo-commie and a Soviet

3.) Cold War nato propaganda that portrays the Soviet Union as being a monstrous regime that had the capabilities to conquer the world.

Red scare poster of the 1950s
Red scare poster of the 1950s

4.)The Soviet Union collapsed on it’s own rather than being overthrown.

Debunking “sovieboo” romanticization of the Soviet Union

5.) Fictional works portraying the Soviet Union in a aesthetically appealing manner.

A very popular video game that allows players to play as the Soviets
A very popular video game that allows players to play as the Soviets

Summary: While the Sovieboos get a few facts about the Soviet Union correct, most of their impressions are based on myths that are frequently promoted as fact. There’s no doubt the Soviet Union accomplished several scientific breakthroughs and played a big role in WWII but people need to understand the difference between fact and fiction instead of letting their biases get in the way not just to get the truth but also to acknowledge that the Soviet Union was not a utopia but rather a dystopia.


Supplementary readings:

Some of the many historic stands against communist/Marxist tyranny and injustice.

Why the axis powers lost WWII, plus facts and hypothetical scenarios

Video sources:

Debunking “sovieboo” romanticization of the Soviet Union
Add Opinion

Most Helpful Guy

  • Naydyonov
    My family is from the Soviet Union and I can attest to your points.

    The Soviet Union was among the most evil empires in the world. I do have some criticisms of anti-Soviet bashing, most notably would be:

    1: The Holodomor was genocide of the Ukrainians.
    I think this is actually a myth — the genocide part. The famine was in Ukraine, yes, but also in Russia and Kazakhstan. The only reasons why Ukraine was more affected was that it was the breadbasket of the country: the pressure put on farmers was higher. So when they, like the farmers around the country, resisted collectivization, they suffered more because the authorities had higher expectations for output.

    I think it is actually worse that it was not a genocide. Why? Because a genocide is easy to shrug off. "Oh, well We would never do that, we are not genocidal communists." But if the real reason is simply the actual collectivization going on then this means that were communists in the present or future to try to repeat these same policies to make everybody equal, then food production would plummet.
    In other words: calling it genocide allows communists to continue supporting horrible economic policy.

    2: The war.
    Many people saw the Germans as saviors from Bolshevism. But the Germans decided that cooperation with Untermensch is not worth it and acted so barbarically that the people who were anti-Stalinist deemed it better to fight in the Red Army than fight against it.
    Many soldiers were communists, but I do think people underestimate just how much soldiers fought to keep 'Russia' Russian and to get revenge. If the main motivation for non-communists during 1941-1942 was to ensure the USSR was free of foreigners, so as to be able to live and improve the situation in the country (which can be said happened with the Peretroika — the people and leaders no longer wanted to continue running the system) then starting in 1943, when occupied lands started being liberated, then the soldiers began developing a thirst for revenge.
    This thirst is what lead to mass rapes in Europe. The soldiers wanted to punish those deemed to be the enemy. By raping a woman the soldier shows the husband, son, brother, father, that they were unable to protect her.
    This is of course related to the soldiers seeing the results of them not being able to protect their families: mass rapes, dozens of thousands of destroyed cities, towns, and villages, adults and children alike murdered.
    Is this still revelant?
    • Disagree. They served in Stalin's army because they had to. Anyone not serving would be killed or sent to the Gulag. You know that phrase "not one step back"? That was enforced on the battlefield. You even so much as look like you're about to retread from a German advance, you''re dead and your family is dead. The Katyn massacre was just the tip of the iceberg. What do you think happened to all the Rusian POWs returned to Stalin after WWII? You got it, they were all kileed or sent to the Gulag for life for being deemed traitors for surrendering to another army.

    • Naydyonov

      @October808 I disagree. Especially later in the war. If you were in an occupied village somewhere in Russia and the Germans had sent your parents to labour camps in Austria while your brother was shot by a soldier for something trivial, would you not join the army when the Germans had been pushed out of the area?

      Would you not join the partisans if you came home one day to find twenty of your family members and neighbours lying dead by one of the house walls?

      By saying they only fought because they had to you are oversimplifying the motivation for a soldier to risk death in order to combat the enemy. For example, during the Winter War some officers were shot by their own soldiers so then they can avoid combat. This wasn't really an issue during the actual war. The soldiers who did shoot their officers usually did so because of a personal feud.

      "Anyone not serving would be killed or sent to the Gulag."
      That's just not true. Not all men could even be sent to the front because the Soviet Union was largely agrarian and even so collectivization made it less efficient. Thus the peasant was not as productive as the workers in Germany and other axis countries were. This is why throughout the war soldiers were being discharged for work in the factories.

      ""not one step back"? That was enforced on the battlefield"
      Sometimes yes. But most often the officer would be arrested and the soldiers sent back to their units.

      The Katyn massacre had to do with Poles. There was no equivalent massacre of Soviet soldiers or officers during the war. Many were indeed executed, but the USSR didn't have the manpower to be shooting their own troops left and right.

      Yes, many POWs were indeed sent to the Gulag. But this has nothing to do with why they fought and why they surrendered. Equally, something like 2 million POWs were freed. But the number of inmates didn't even reach two million by 1953.

    • Naydyonov

      @October808 I'm totally anti-communist, but I don't think it is right to group everything together as following the rule that anything done under the communist regime was inherently evil. Many people fought because they were forced to, but probably the majority did so because they believed it was the thing they had to do. Same goes with the German military.

      You have to remember that most officers didn't want to see all of their men die. Equally, not all generals were ready to just throw masses at machine guns. Obviously some didn't care too much, like Zhukov.
      But many tried their best to actually plan operations to achieve the most while losing at a minimum.

      The Red Army was mostly just worse tactically. By the end of the war many operations were strategically very successful. But the lack of proper training in the armed forces meant that for most soldiers the only teacher of combat was combat itself. This did often mean that multiple waves of men and armor were thrown against weaker positions in order to break through. The losses would be high at that point but once they penetrated the line the casualties would diminish and objectives would start being reached. Of course casualties could have been further diminished. But it's one thing to say the army was not spending enough time planning and preparing, it's another to say they just refused to do so as they can simply throw enough men against machine guns. One has to do with accidental neglect, lack of experience, or non-military considerations, while the other indicates nothing but criminal intent.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • The-White_Queen
    This is well thought out and very accurate. Good my take.
    It reminds me of some upper class highly educated champagne socialists that while employed as high level British civil servants sold secrets to the Soviet union, it was only when they defected to the Soviet union that they realised their mistake living out the rest of their lives in poverty in flats located in grey concrete tower blocks.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • October808
    Did you know that Germany invading Russia prevented Russia from carrying out Operation Thunder? July of 1941 was the operation timetable for Russia's invasion of all of Western Europe.
    The Russians even pinned the Katyn Massacre on Germans which turned out was done by the Russians.
  • JimmyQ
    Bro, do you know that you have compiled a website within a website? I mean, it is interesting, and you might reach some people here with your ideas, but no search engine is gonna find you here and I really doubt that most people are gonna take the time to even read it.
  • Mr_Kapstar
    Most issues were due to Stalin being in charge. From what I hear, from people who actually lived in the soviet union, most of them actually enjoyed it (I'm talking post-stalin soviet union) and there were plenty of jobs.

    So I wouldn't go as far as you in saying that it was some extremely horrible place. In fact, America in the same period also committed many crimes i. e. invasions in the middle east, experiments on babies without consent, etc, etc.

    Let's just agree that it was for the most part, that time and it's people as a whole that were the issue. For example, back years ago they burned humans if they thought they were witches... Now that's not allowed on most parts of the globe, but back when it was allowed, I'm pretty certain a lot of countries did it... So it would make arguments like "the xxx country was so terrible during 1xxx" idiotic and pointless, if you get what I mean.

    But I do appreciate the fact that you mentioned the thing about feminism.
    • “From what I hear, from people who actually lived in the soviet union, most of them actually enjoyed it (I'm talking post-stalin soviet union) and there were plenty of jobs.”

      For some maybe the Soviet Union wasn’t too bad but there are many former Soviet citizens who’ve also stated that the Soviet Union was indeed a miserable place.

      “the xxx country was so terrible during 1xxx" idiotic and pointless,” That’s not the point, of course every country did bad things. The point is to debunk the myths that many radical left wingers use to romanticize the Soviet Union.

      “But I do appreciate the fact that you mentioned the thing about feminism.”

      Do you consider yourself a feminist?

    • 1. Yes, there was poverty in some areas and whatnot. But there were food-related issues all over the globe anyway.

      2. Yes, but I'm just trying to show the big picture. Because it's easy to talk about "commies", but Americans aren't saints themselves.

      3. Absolutely not, which is why I'm glad it was mentioned.

    • 1.) Yes, I agree. Food related issues have always been an issue for humanity.

      2.) Of course, every country has done some bad things, the US included.

      3.) Thanks for the clarification.

      I’m just curious, are you Russian?

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  • chris0977
    "People weren't getting up at all, and we found out later if the kids did get up, then there were men in Navy Blue Suits who'd push them down again." - Elton John"People will come to love their oppression." - Aldous Huxley
  • talloak
    Who are these people who romanticizing the Soviet Union? As far as I know, all of the liberal liberals I’ve known hated the Soviet government. The only American I know who seems to adore Soviet style leaders is Trump!
    • *Cough cough* Antifa

    • talloak

      And who do they represent apart from themselves?

    • They don’t represent anyone, not even themselves considering that they fight amongst each other.

    • Show All
  • cirno
    Uh this was super intresting to read! And uh im kinda happy too when you mentioned finland since im from there 😆 i liked all of the stuff you wrote here!
  • zagor
    You certainly put a lot of work on this. But I have to disagree with your second #13. Imagine if a friendly bordering government like Canada or Mexico was under attack from within by a fanatical group that called for the subjugation of women and the execution of those who don't follow it's ideology. Would the US intervene on behalf of the government? That is essentially what the invasion of Afghanistan was.
    • The lesser evil won in the Soviet- Afghan War.

  • Neptunsheart
    Maybe adding this one to your booklist might be intresting to you.
  • Waffles731
    You do realize that command and conquer is playing on the trope of the hot yet evil Soviet agent who tries to seduce a male hero.

    Have you seen from russia with love.
    • Of course command and conquer uses the cliché hot Russian female spy. It does little to stop people from romanticizing the Soviet faction especially since they get an epic theme song.

      And yes I’ve watched the james bond movie “from Russia with love”. That movie came out during the Cold War, a few decades before I was born. I’ve also played the 2005 video game of the same name.

  • stuntbrain
    Good luck trying to undermine the modern romanticism of oppressive starvation
  • MackToday
    Very foolish useful idiots. All the "lgbt" shit will go away and those people will be taken out and shot. The people behind the scenes know homosexuality is a defect and will deal harshly with them come their Marxist revolution. All these little antifa cucks will be in for the surprise of their lives. I'd wager their names are already on a list somewhere probably at the ADL or SPLC to be picked up and shot when ever the commie revolution takes place. That tactic is very common , the old guard is always purged to make way for a more refined communist. Most of the foot soldiers they're using now are useful idiots , just broken screwed up desperate people that they can get to listen to them. They're no one they'll bother keeping around come the revolution. Besmenov explains it best.
  • SirRexington
    As much as a applaud your dedication to research; its a fucking meme dude.

    There are less Tankies out there than there are progressives in congress. It's not a thing. The idea of the Soviet Union appeals to people because of what it was supposed to stand for, which in theory was not a bad thing. But the way they implemented it was deeply flawed and by the time Stalin showed up Marxism was a thing of the past. Socialism was a failure for the Soviet Union because they treated themselves like a company. The government became the very thing they hated, a monopoly.
  • wankiam
    interesting take and very well written though i do think some of it is a little confused as a generalized view as you yourself have shown even rellative recent history of russia has been all over the place both culturally and politically. as for sovieboos as you call them. are you sure there actually are any in the face of all the anti russian propaganda we see in western media. i mean there are aspects of soviet history i like but then i could also say that about most great nations today which also i would never want to move to
  • loveslongnails
    Can't say I've EVER fostered the idea that the Soviet Union was anything but a shithole.
  • MoscowMitch
    An important and timely take, as Russia continues its attempts to spread totalitarianism across the globe.
  • The Soviet Union seems to be more deadly than Finland but not a surprise.
  • nice take
  • Good take
  • Sixgun77
    Communism is bad, red alert is awesome.
    • cirno

      Uh is that the name of that game?

    • Sixgun77

      The one pictured is Red Alert 3. Red Alert 2 is my favorite of the series. The permits of the games is that the Soviets perfected time travel and killed Hitler, leaving them as the main source of evil on the planet. The games are humorous alternate history.

    • cirno

      Aaa that sounds really funny uh time travel? 😆 Anyway.. i suppose you can't play as finland in that game in that case 😱

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