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    Soviet Jokes Kept Secret for Decades in Recently Declassified CIA Docs

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    Two pages of Soviet jokes were found among other documents in newly-declassified intelligence archives released online on January 18, according to the CIA database.

    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."

    In particular, there is a popular anecdote about an American man proving the benefits of freedom of speech to a Russian guy. The American claims he can safely go to the White House and shout out "Screw you, Ronald Reagan!" The Soviet guy indifferently replies: "So what? I can go to the Kremlin and yell ‘Screw you, Ronald Reagan!' too."

    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.

    There is also a joke about a disgruntled Soviet worker who decides to leave a line in a liquor store because he finds it too long and instead attempt "to kill Mikhail Gorbachev." However, later he returns, noting that "the queue there is even longer."

    "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!"

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    Tags:
    politics, government, classified documents, jokes, joke, Soviet Union, USSR, United States
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