The Curious Case of Russia

Note: A poem written as a part of a project on the collapse of the USSR in a module on Economy, State and Society.

The century gone by—

Witnessed USSR be born and die.

19th Century was a temporal stage;

A historical drama became a rage.


The audience was captivated;

As Czar Nicholas II abdicated.

February to October was frantic;

Menshevik-Bolshevik rift was gigantic.


White and red, red and white;

Were the colours of the fight.

The split was mighty unpleasant;

Between the worker and peasant.


Proletariats were red;

They could hardly buy bread.

Working hours were long;

Bolsheviks said low wages were wrong.


Martov’s side was white;

He understood the peasants’ plight.

October 1917 was his downfall—

As Lenin emerged tall.


USSR as an industrial superpower;

Over capitalist economies, it’d tower.

Lenin’s plans were cut short;

Glorious dreams he had to abort.


Stalin was a cunning man;

Lenin was rightly not a fan.

Trotsky, the favoured successor;

Was trumped by Stalin, the aggressor.


Lenin died in 1924;

Stalin took control, amidst gore.

He did questionable deeds;

But for economic growth, he sowed seeds.


Actual figures under scrutiny;

He tamped down any mutiny.

Counter revolutionaries—shot, jailed, exiled;

Public trust was defiled.


Despotic rule, absolute censorship—

USSR was in his total grip.

Gulags are a blot on history;

At great cost, came his victory.


World War II was waged;

Many were enraged.

 An alliance with the West;

Would later create unrest.


The sun finally set;

On the colonists, they fret.

WWII was a game changer;

UN became incipient world’s ranger.


Democracy, co-operation, Fair Trade across border—

Became the New World Order.

Flurry of treaties and accords;

Would all go down in records.


Fledgling Europe would take flight;

With the Marshall Plan in sight.

No help to Germany!—said Russia;

And dampened American euphoria.


Restructuring European economy;

Gave rise to new dichotomy.

Two blocs—East and West;

Non-aligned were the rest.


Free Markets, espoused the States;

With Bipolarity, came endless debates.

Bastion of communism was USSR;

US-Russia relations turned sour.


Cold War was a period tense;

Diplomacy was only a pretence.

Absence of European goodwill;

Was christened ‘Iron Curtain’ by Churchill.


Mutually Assured Destruction;

Prevented outright wars in any direction.

Proxy wars became commonplace;

So did the Arms and Space Race.


Gorbachev was a harbinger of reform—

Restructuring and openness became the norm.

Perestroika and Glasnost criticized or lauded;

Nobel Peace Prize he was awarded.


New freedom brought about demise;

Of a leader very wise.

Soon after the USSR disintegrated;

And global turmoil somewhat abated.



Note: All content copyright of Priya Dua


One thought on “The Curious Case of Russia

  1. It is an absolutely brilliant price of work Priya. The broken USSR’s history, weaved together so beautifully by yours truly. (Hehe….Sorry, I was trying to rhyme it but such talent however eludes the likes of me) Love it<3


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