The short comic narratives criticizing the Soviet authorities belong to the times of "perestroika," a political reformation initiated launched by Gorbachev in the second half of the 1980s. Neither the sources, nor the reason for creating this list was revealed. Intelligence operatives had only noted the origin of one joke, which was "heard in Arkhangelsk."
Another well-known joke describes how various Soviet leaders responded to a situation where a train they were travelling in suddenly stops. Vladimir Lenin suggests uniting all workers and peasants and asking them to build a new road. Joseph Stalin orders the train drivers shot. Nikita Khrushchev rehabilitates the executed ones, orders that the rails be removed from behind the train and put in front of it. And Leonid Brezhnev draws the curtains and starts swinging from side to side, imitating the train's movement.
"Communism is an unscientific doctrine because it was not initially tested on dogs," claims another political joke.
In another joke poking fun at the permanent shortages in stores, a man comes into a shop and asks "You wouldn't happen to have fish, would you?" The shop assistant replies, "comrade, you've got it wrong! This is a butcher's shop — here we wouldn't happen to have meat. There is a fish shop across the road, that's where they wouldn't happen to have fish!"