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People sometimes ask "What's CCCP mean?" as they see Russian paraphernalia with CCCP on and wonder what it stands for. Well I can tell you. Firstly I'd better explain that in Russian the alphabet is different and so as well as having some characters unfamiliar in the West, in the Cyrillic alphabet some of the characters look the same but are different. So, CCCP is in fact SSSR! So, CCCP translates as "Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik" or in some variations online I've seen it as (SSSR) = Soyuz Sovietskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik!

CCCP = SSSR = USSR. Anyway, learning Russian is less difficult than it might seem, once you've mastered the alphabet. I learnt quite a lot by using as a Rosetta Stone the album cover of Zoolook by Jean Michel Jarre. If you'd like to learn Russian, how about a Linguaphone course?

Meanwhile, Soviet space hardware and other interesting Russian paraphernalia is on sale at the Sovietski Collection, and holidays in Russia might be arranged with some of the contacts on the Travel page (shop around).