When the president of the United States becomes inaugurated, he’s wife instantly becomes one of the most recognizable women on the planet, the first lady.
What was life for the wives of the most powerful men of the Soviet Union?
Whilst the first lady does not have any official power, she offers a rare insight into the president’s life. Often times it seems more can be learnt about the number one man based on their other half than the policies they promise to institute.
The United States, home of the smoke and mirrors of show business, have never failed to provide adequate coverage on what type of woman the first lady is.
…but what about the former USSR?
The home of restrictions and strict policy. Where nothing entered and nothing left, where even a simple pair of jeans, were worth a months salary and worth going to prison for. What were the first ladies of that side of the iron curtain like?
1. Надежда Крупская(Nadezhda Krupskaya.)
It is a strange feeling looking at this photo of this non-descript couple. You wouldn’t say looking at it that the man on the left could have been the leader of the Soviet Union nor the impact he could have had in those never-ending short years he served in power.
2. Надежда Аллилуева(Nadezhda Alliluyeva.)
Second wife of Joseph Stalin. She met him in 1917 when she was 16 years old, they married shortly after. For reasons unknown(presumably Stalin was a hard man to live with), she shot herself in the heart with a Walter pistol on the 9th of November, 1932.
3. Нина Хрущева(Nina Khrushcheva.)
Most of the older generation would most likely remember Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. Who although some argue may not have done much for the country was crucial in loosening the tension between the US and the USSR.
4. Виктория Брежнева(Viktoria Brezhneva.)
President, prime minister, or the “General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union” as the head man was called in the Soviet Union. The first lady still remained that, the first lady. Viktoria Brezhneva seemed to have kept a low profile throughout her life in the spotlight, living her last 13 years devoid of any media interactions.
Interestingly her daughter is claimed to not have attended her mothers funeral, for reasons unknown.
5. Раиса Горбачева(Raisa Gorbacheva.)
The first lady had to famously once justify her attraction to luxury paid for by the tax dollar. A courtesy which is no longer required. She did however do great work in the preservation of Russian cultural heritage and children’s programs.
There we go, only a fraction of what’s available but goes to show, perhaps we are not all that dissimilar after all.