These shocking pictures may look like something out of the Great Depression - but in fact they show life in the last years of the Soviet Union, less than three decades ago.
Shop shelves were often bare, it was normal to have to join a long queue if you wanted to buy groceries and many of the people looked ground down after a century of desperate poverty.
The dismal state of the USSR's economy, during a time of rapidly improving living standards in the West, was a result of its dogmatic Communist political system, which stifled free enterprise and stopped the country moving on from its feudal past.
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Poverty, prostitutes and the long, slow death of the Soviet Union: Haunting pictures show desperate struggle to survive in last days of USSR
Stark photos of life at the end of the USSR. Very sad. But it shows what happens when Ideology trumps the welfare of the people.