USSR Military Souvenirs for sale in Moscow.
Many people are fascinated by old USSR Military souvenirs. When we visited Russia in 2012, friends asked us to bring back USSR flags and other souvenirs. I didn’t even know that shops like these existed in Russia, but yes, they do! We were looking for a flag for one of our friends, when we saw an interesting souvenir shop close to the Babushkinskaya Metro Station. The shop was very small but filled to the brim with all kinds of souvenirs that you can think of. They had thick jackets (for men and women), coats, boots, hats, medals, mugs, caps, metal tags and glasses. You name it and it was there.
People were coming and going while we were browsing the items in the store. I did not see any foreigners but coning to think about it, I am not sure many tourists know about this place. We found it by accident. The items in the shop were incredibly cheap. A padded military jacket (which people can also use as a hunting jacket, was 1600 Rubles (USD 51 – price quoted in 2012). There are many fake products and they can easily be found close to Red Square. Most of the items that we saw in this shop were not fake.
Why the fascination with old USSR Military Souvenirs?
Why the nostalgia when it comes to military items? Personally I think that many Russians who buy from this shop are not interested in the medals or metal tags. The Cold War and Communism is long gone and from what I know about the Russian history and people, they don´t want to be constantly reminded about that era. No, they come here to buy jackets, boots and coats. Like I have mentioned before, these items can be used for other purposes like hunting or the brutal cold weather. They are not purchased because they represent something.
Foreigners I believe are purchasing ex military souvenirs to say they “own” something that dates back to the USSR. I can relate to that because my brother-in-law brought me a furry hat that they use in the military. Why did I want it? Well, I will never forget the music video to the Elton John song, Nikita. The woman wore a fur hat and I wanted one. The one that I have is not real fur in case you were wondering. He couldn´t understand why I wanted one but then again I guess most Russians wonder why foreigners buy ex military souvenirs in the first place. Most people won´t even understand what they represent. Many people are collectors and there are quite a number of items for sale in Ebay for those who are interested.
Directions: Exit the Babushkinskaya Metro Station (Moscow) and turn right. You will see a row of small cabins. The military souvenir shop has a mannequin outside , dressed in military clothes.
Update September 2016.
One of my readers wanted more information about the shop. Voentorg is a chain shop and they have many shops around the country. In fact, they have a Facebook page in English and also an Ebay shop. For more information they can be contacted on Facebook or the number in Moscow is: 782-74-88.
Where: Moscow, Russia
When: 20 May 2012