A letter in the time capsule of Arctic port city Arkhangelsk, composed by members of the Communist Party’s youth organisation Komsomol, talks about all the work that has been put into renovating the town and its suburbs, transforming them from villages with no roads and wooden barracks for homes into a bustling centre of industry:
“The youth of our region is gifting you, the young ones of the 21st century, with Koryazhma that has been turned from a small village into a modern town within ten years, Severdodvinsk that we built on land that used to be swamps, and the colossal wood industry of the North: Kotlass, Solombal and Arkhangelsk factories. We know that you will have better lives than us,”
The letter continues.
“You will do great things in our galaxy, will make our planet great. We are a little jealous of all you who are celebrating the centenary of our Soviet motherland. But we also know that you will be a little jealous of our restless young generation. We have a clear aim, a great future ahead of us and lots of things to accomplish. We have things that we can invest our hearts, brains, energy and labour in, and this is the source of our happiness.”
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They expected better of us.
Their hopes and dreams have not died yet.
Fight for the future, comrades.
“You are the lucky generation: wars are just history”
“Young crowd of 2017! We are sure that you have justified the trust your heroic predecessors have invested in you, that you have created a new world.”
“We know our time is interesting, but yours is much more so. We are building communism and you live it. We believe that you have perfectly equipped our blue planet, colonised the Moon, landed on Mars; that you are continuing the exploration of outer space that we, people of the first 50 years, have begun, and that your ships are sailing across the galaxy.”
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The centenary year of the Russian Revolution has seen the unearthing of time capsules across the former USSR, offering poignant — and sometimes bleakly…