Elia Kabanov's column.10.10.2011 | Read other columns
This column is a part of NovosibirskGuide.com's Magazine.
Elia Kabanov lives in Novosibirsk. Used to be a journalist, now he runs his own blog and manages small PR agency.
The catalogue and price-list of the Soviet currency stores called Beryozka. This catalogue was published in 1983. Beryozka was a twin chain of state-run retail stores in the Russian SFSR that sold goods for hard currency. Beryozkas sold goods that were either unavailable or more expensive in regular shops.
One chain that belong to Vneshposyltorg (Foreign Mail Order Trade) was intended for Soviet citizens who received some income in hard currency. They were forced to sell their currency for rouble-denominated Vneshposyltorg checks. The checks were to be used to purchase goods in the Beryozkas.
The other chain sold goods directly for foreign currency and for Vneshtorgbank series D checks. Soviet citizens (except for high-ranking officials) were not allowed to enter these stores as they were legally forbidden to be in possession of hard currency.