Soviets features unpublished drawings from the archive of Danzig Baldaev. They satirize the Communist Party system, exposing the absurdities of Soviet life from drinking (Alcoholics and Shirkers) to the Afghan war (The Shady Enterprise), via dissent (Censorship, Paranoia and Suspicion) and religion (Atheism as an Ideology). Baldaev reveals the cracks in the crumbling socialist structure, detailing the increasing hardships tolerated by a population whose leaders are in pursuit of an ideal that will never arrive. Dating from 1950s to the period immediately before the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, his caricatures depict communisms winners and losers: the corruption of its politicians, the stagnation of the system, and the effect of this on the ordinary soviet citizen. Baldaev's drawings are contrasted with classic propaganda style photographs taken by Sergei Vasiliev for the newspaper Vercherny Chelyabinsk. These photographs portray a world the Party leaders dreamed of: where workers fulfilled their five-year plans as parades of soldiers and weapons rumbled through Red Square.
This book examines both broadly and in minute detail the official fiction and the austere, bleak reality, of living under such a system.