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Murder, Mayhem, and…Mapmaking?

In addition to torturing dissidents, starving millions of their own people to death, and running several countries’ economies into the ground, it turns out the commies were pretty good at cartography. In fact, the Soviet military’s secret program “was one of the greatest mapping endeavors the world has ever seen.”

Beginning in the 1940s, the Soviets mapped the world at seven scales, ranging from a series of maps that plotted the surface of the globe in 1,100 segments to a set of city maps so detailed you can see transit stops and the outlines of famous buildings like the Pentagon…. It’s impossible to say how many people took part in this massive cartographic enterprise, but there were likely thousands, including surveyors, cartographers, and possibly spies.

“Possibly” spies? C’mon. Some of these maps were better than our own. The only way to achieve that kind of detail is through espionage. Not that it mattered, of course. After all, we still won the Cold War.



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