11 Jokes from the Soviet Union the CIA Declassified Decades Later

Go off, Sidorov!
11 Jokes from the Soviet Union the CIA Declassified Decades Later

In 2017, 13 million pages of sensitive Soviet-era intelligence were declassified and published by the CIA. Researchers found two of those pages that whipped absolute ass: jokes the U.S. Embassy in Moscow had picked up from Russian citizens. They collected them partly to monitor sentiment among the Russian working class, but intelligence workers also just thought it was fun as hell to make a yearly joke book. Here are 11 jokes from Soviet Russia that the CIA found noteworthy for one reason or another…

And Then Everyone Clapped

A worker standing in a liquor line says, “I have had enough, save my place, I am going to shoot Gorbachev.” Two hours later he returns to claim his place in line. His friends ask, “Did you get him?” “No, the line there was even longer than the line here.”

Crucial Context: People Think Alexander Dubcek Was Murdered by the KGB

What’s the difference between Gorbachev and Dubcek? Nothing, but Gorbachev doesn’t know it yet.

The Teacher Becomes the Teached

Sentence from a schoolboy’s weekly composition class essay: “My cat just had seven kittens. They are all communists.” Sentence from the same boy’s composition the following week: “My cat’s seven kittens are all capitalists.” The teacher reminds the boy that the previous week he had said the kittens were communists. “But now they’ve opened their eyes,” replies the child.

Maybe This Guy Just Really Wants to Climb a Tree

A Chukchi is asked what he would do if the Soviet borders were opened. “I’d climb the highest tree,” he replies. Asked why, he responds: “So I wouldn’t get trampled in the stampede out!” Then he is asked what he would do if the U.S. border is opened. “I’d climb the highest tree,” he responds, “so I can see the first person crazy enough to come here!”

The People Evidently Didn’t Like the KGB

A joke heard in Arkhangelsk has it that someone happened to call the KGB headquarters just after a major fire. “We cannot do anything. The KGB has just burned down,” he was told. Five minutes later he called back and was told again that the KGB had burned. When he called a third time, the telephone operator recognized his voice and asked, “Why do you keep calling back? I just told you, the KGB has burned down.” “I know,” the man replied. “I just like to hear it.” 

This Joke Taught Me More About Russia Than I Ever Learned in History Class

A train bearing Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev stops suddenly when the tracks run out. Each leader applies his own, unique solution. Lenin gathers workers and peasants from miles around and exhorts them to build more track. Stalin shoots the train crew when the train still doesn’t move. Khrushchev rehabilitates the dead crew and orders the tracks behind the train ripped up and relaid in front. Brezhnev pulls down the curtains and rocks back and forth, pretending the train is moving. And Gorbachev calls a rally in front of the locomotive, where he leads a chant: “No tracks! No tracks! No tracks!”

Damn, Sidorov, You Didn’t Have to Go So Hard!

Ivanov: Give me a medical example of perestroika.

Sidorov: (Thinks) How about menopause?

Get Their Asses, Babushka!

An old lady goes to the Gorispolkom with a question, but by the time she gets to the official’s office she’s forgotten the purpose of the visit. “Was it about your pension?” the official asks. “No, I get 20 rubles a month, that’s fine,” she replies. “About your apartment?” “No, I live with three people in one room of a communal apartment, I’m fine,” she replies. Suddenly she remembers: “Who invented communism — the communists or scientists?” The official responds proudly, “Why the communists, of course!” “That's what I thought,” the babushka says. “If the scientists had invented it, they would have tested it first on dogs!”

At Least We Can All Agree That Ronald Reagan Is Rotting in Hell

An American tells a Russian that the United States is so free he can stand in front of the White House and yell, “To hell with Ronald Reagan.” The Russian replies: “That’s nothing. I can stand in front of the Kremlin and yell, ‘To hell with Ronald Reagan,’ too.”

At Least Errands Were a Breeze

A man goes into a shop and asks, “You don't have any meat?” “No,” replies the sales lady. “We don’t have any fish. It’s the store across the street that doesn’t have any meat.”

Just a Top-Tier Self-Roast

A man is driving with his wife and small child. A militia man pulls them over and makes the man take a breathalyzer test. “See,” the militia man says, “you’re drunk.” The man protests that the breathalyzer must be broken and invites the cop to test his wife. She also registers as drunk. Exasperated, the man invites the cop to test his child. When the child registers drunk as well, the cop shrugs, says, “Yes, perhaps it is broken,” and sends them on their way. Out of earshot the man tells his wife, “See, I told you it wouldn’t hurt to give the kid five grams of vodka.”

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