“A magazine devoted to social and political problems, literature and art… .”
Published initially under the aegis of the of Soviet Women’s Anti-Fascist Committee and the Central Council of Trade Unions of the USSR, it began as a bimonthly illustrated magazine tasked with countering anti-Soviet propaganda by introducing Western audiences to the lifestyle of Soviet women, their role in the post-WWII rebuilding of the Soviet economy, praising their achievements in the arts and the sciences. Originally published simultaneously in Russian, English, German and French, the magazine went on to add more foreign language editions aiming to reach even wider audiences both in the West and elsewhere to balance the Western narrative about the Soviet Union in these countries with a pro-Soviet ideological counterweight.
Over the years the magazine developed regular sections covering issues dealing with economics, politics, life abroad, life in Soviet republics, women’s fashion, as well as broader issues in culture and the arts. One of its most popular features was the translations of Soviet literary works, making available in English, (and other languages) works of Russian and Soviet writers that were previously unavailable, allowing readers worldwide a peek inside the hitherto insular Soviet literary world. An important communist propaganda outlet, the magazine continued its run until the collapse of the USSR in 1991.