Top 5 things that gave away rich people in the USSR and were considered a luxury

Ulyana VynogradovaLife
There was no equality in the Soviet Union

Life in the USSR is associated with boredom and monotony. During the years of communism, food shortages seemed to put everyone on an equal footing. However, in reality, this was far from the case. Among the general mass of people, the rich stood out, enjoying things that many people could not even dream of and living in luxury.

Marie Claire analyzed the TV series Patient Zero about the first HIV outbreak in the Soviet Union and found out the main indicators of success at that time. Among other things, these are vacations abroad and access to scarce products.

Only a select few went on vacation abroad in the USSR.

Vacations outside the USSR

In addition, diplomats, scientists, athletes, and executives often went on business trips outside the Soviet Union. It was there that they got the desired imports, which they boasted about in their home country, and on which they earned a lot of money. The same applies to vouchers for domestic sanatoriums. Most often, they were handed out "on a whim."


It was in those years that the phrase "a car is a luxury, not a means of transportation" appeared, which was forgotten in the post-Soviet space until the 2000s. At that time, it was impossible to buy a car not because of a lack of money, which everyone had, but only in savings books, but because of limited production. People stood in lines for years or used the well-known "blat".

A car was a luxury in the USSR.

Clothes not like everyone else's

Not everyone could afford such outfits. Soviet girls wore clothes from the "fashion houses" of numerous factories that produced identical outfits in both style and color. That's why jeans were considered a luxury item, just like jewelry, filter cigarettes, or lighters.

Clothes in the Soviet Union were all the same.

Housing design and scarce products

Crystal crockery, color TV, carpet – all of these were also available only by "privilege" and at a significantly high price. And if there was good sausage and cheese, caviar, and elite alcohol on the table, it indicated not only wealth but also status and good connections with the people of Fartsiv.

Real estate

Buying an apartment in the USSR was only possible on the principle of buying a car – wait for your turn. Therefore, here, too, status was necessary to negotiate and bypass the queue.

Good food and nice dishes were only available to the rich.

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