EDIT: Okay, so it’s in Ukrainian. I don’t speak that either, but apologies for possible political incorrectness.

I don’t speak Russian Ukrainian, but I do speak obscure totalitarian limousine. The propaganda geniuses understood that an imposing limousine following columns of mobile ICBMs was an excellent way to get the Soviet message across to Western audiences. Just like those parades, this video doesn’t contain a lot of dialogue that most Americans would understand, but the car more than speaks for itself.


The documentary appears to be part of a series called ‘Avtobiographya’ from Channel One Russia UT-1, which features the history of classic Soviet vehicles like the Moskvitch-407 and GAZ-69 truck. Production quality is good and it features great shots of the Chaika’s Chrysler-Lincoln fusion bodywork along with a video of the 1970s-themed man who must have designed the thing.

This episode features the GAZ-14 ‘Chaika’ limousine built between 1977 and 1988 in both limousine and open-top four-door parade car style. Making reference to the design’s Western influences, I can make out the interviewees talking about Lincoln Continentals in reference to the shape and front end treatment. It seems like this car was intended to fill in below the ZIL-115, the top-of-the-line transportation for only the most important Party leadership. That makes me wonder just what kind of positions possessors of a Chaika held. Were they members of advisory councils? Managers of important metallurgical installations? KGB bureaucrats?


Maybe the interviews in the documentary answer that question, but until I find a version with subtitles I guess I won’t know. Let me know in comments if you know of one or can translate parts of it. Maybe?

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