It has become a tradition in the Soviet Union to Celebrate each of the nation's main national days by launching a 'subbotnik'.
GV Street in Moscow with sign announcing 'subbotnik'
GV ZOOM IN TO Another street sign for 'subbotnik' in square. (2 SHOTS)
GV & SV PAN People clearing snow from walkways. (4 SHOTS)
SV INTERIOR Workers at truck factory. (5 SHOTS)
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Background: It has become a tradition in the Soviet Union to Celebrate each of the nation's main national days by launching a 'subbotnik'. This is the name given to an extra effort being made by workers without pay. Although the practice is now formalised, it started shortly after the revolution on April 12, 1919, when 15 roundhouse workers in Moscow repaired three steam engines after their official shift had finished, and refused to be paid. Since then, it has become a mark of dedication and commitment to the future of the Soviet Union, and workers around the USSR now stage various 'subbotniks' throughout the year. The 'subbotnik' this year, dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Soviet Union, was estimated to have involved at least 150 million workers. In Moscow, people volunteered to clear the city's streets and footpaths of snow and ice, and workers at two major car and truck-making plants turned out an estimated 1,000 more vehicles than usual. Elsewhere, workers in factories, construction sites and farms worked beyond their regular shifts without pay. The money saved will go towards a fund for building schools, medical facilities and scientific centres throughout the Soviet Union.