Soviet Weekly

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The Soviet Weekly was a propagandistic newspaper, published from 1942 until 1991, that gave news of the Soviet Union in English. Its stated aim was "to assist in the development of British-Soviet friendship by providing an objective picture of Soviet life and opinion."[1]

Published by Sovinformburo,[2] the Press Department of the Soviet Union, at the Soviet Embassy in Britain,[3][4] its first edition (as the Soviet War News Weekly)[2] appeared in 1942 (the year after the German invasion led to the USSR becoming an ally of the UK). The final issue was that of 5 December 1991,[5] three weeks before the Soviet Union was dissolved.

Issued on Thursdays and offering "an up-to-the-minute and authentic picture of the USSR",[1] it had a modest cover price (6d, or two and a half pence, in 1967),[6] but most issues were distributed free.[3] In 1946, the weekly print-run was 75,000.[7]

One of its early editors was the screenwriter, novelist and (later) pagan, Stewart Farrar (1916-2000). Mary Rosser-Hicks (1937-2010), the future chief executive of the Communist daily the Morning Star, worked for the paper until 1975,[8] as did South African anti-apartheid activist Shanthie Naidoo during the early 1970s.[9]

Soviet and Russian photographer Yuriy Abramochkin worked in Soviet Weekly for almost 40 years.[10]

In popular culture[edit]

The comedian and writer Alexei Sayle has described how this was the newspaper his Communist parents read during his upbringing in Liverpool in the 1950s and 1960s.[11]


  1. ^ a b "Tribune Magazine archive, 1964". Retrieved 24 August 2012.[dead link]
  2. ^ a b "RIA Novosti archive". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Socialist History Society". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  4. ^ "Catholic Herald archive, 1945". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  5. ^ "LSE Catalogue". Archived from the original on 23 December 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  6. ^ "Tribune Magazine archive, 1967". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  7. ^ "Parliamentary questions". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  8. ^ "Rosser-Hicks obituary". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  9. ^ "South African History Online". Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  10. ^
  11. ^ Stalin Ate My Homework. Retrieved 24 August 2012.