Pripyat Beryozka Store

In the Soviet Union you didn’t necessarily have to be a member of the elite to buy Western goods and luxury items. If you were resourceful and able to get your hands on foreign currency, then you could buy things that most other Soviet citizens only dreamed of.

Officially, the only place where you could legally spend foreign currency in the Soviet Union was at the upscale supermarket, Beryozka. In the beginning, only highly privileged Russians were able to shop at Beryozka – diplomats, military specialists and athletes. But as basic consumer goods became increasingly scarce, more and more average Soviet citizens found ways to shop there.