During the Fifth Russo-Lithuanian war (1534-1537), after the initial successes of the Muscovites in the north, king Sigismund I counterattacked in the south. They occupied Homel and on 30 July the Polish-Lithuanian army led by hetman Jan Tarnowski besieged Starodub, a large city and an important fortress. Moscow decided to reinforce the garrison, but on 18 August the Crimean Tatars raided Ryazan and the reinforcements had to return to river Oka. The warlord of Starodub, Fyodor Ovchina Obolensky organized the defense and the city withstood the enemies for four weeks. Finally, the Polish sappers mined and destroyed a large part of the city wall. In spite of this, they could not enter the city for a long time. Twice Ovchina Obolensky forced them to leave the city. When he finally decided to leave the city, he attempted to break through the Polish camp, but failed and was captivated. 13,000 citizens of Starodub were killed after the victory. Ovchina Obolensky and about 20 nobles were spared and became prisoners.
The Soviet of People's Commissars issued the decree "On the Russia-wide liquidation of hallows". It was the second such decree. On 14 February 1919 the ministry of justice ordered to begin opening the church shrines. By July 1920, 58 shrines were opened in public. In the occasions when the relics were not intact or missing, they were proclaimed fake. During the campaign there were many occasions of public opposition, when people attempted to protect the shrines. Many of them were killed. Lenin welcomed these reprisals and in 1922 he wrote: "The more representatives of the reactionary clergy and the reactionary bourgeoisie we manage to shoot on this occasion, the better."
The third Program of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was published in newspaper "Pravda". In 1956, when the party decided that the socialism was firmly established in the USSR and the time has come to prepare a new political program. A special group of scientists worked on this project. They didn't want to give any dates, but Khrushchev insisted on the following phrase:
The party solemnly proclaims: the current generation of the Soviet people will live in communism.
By the end of the next twenty years the public consumption funds will compose about one half of the real income of the population. It will provide the possibility for the society to finance:
- free boarding schools;
- free education in all educational institutions;
- free medical services for all citizens, including free medicine and sanatory institutions;
- free apartments and community facilities;
- free public transportation system;
- cheaper and partially free recreation centers and stadiums;
- wide coverage of benefits, preferences, scholarships;
- gradual transition to free meals on factories, offices and kolkhozes.
Thus, in the face of the whole world the Soviet state will demonstrate the example of really complete satisfaction of the material and cultural demands of the man.
I have to admit that to a certain degree they succeeded. Free medicine and education were a very important achievement. Recreational centers were often payed by the organizations where people worked. Scholarships were payed to all university students. Unfortunately, the apartments, community facilities, transport and meals remained payed services.
However, the word "communism" always made us laugh. I recall I asked our teachers if the CPSU program failed. No, they replied. We live in socialism and socialism is the first phase of communism. Hence, we live in communism.