I'm not sure that I should be posting this, but before my trip to Leningrad in the mid 1970s, I was warned by security that I might be the target of er....what I think is described as a" honey trap". I was warned of being befriended by any "young ladies" calling at my hotel room late at night. As a precaution I sat up all night waiting...but no luck I'm afraid.
The abiding impression of the SU at that time, based on that one trip ( the trip planning and execution both), was one of a bureaucracy that choked the life out of everything. I was free to do what I wanted...as long as I had a permit. A permit to enter the country, a permit that listed all the foreign currency I had with me..coins included, a permit for a taxi, a permit to go into the hotel (a state hotel for residents not for tourists, with a "housekeeper" stationed on each floor)
I was working at an industrial facility, and being naïve (I still am) I took my camera with me on the first day..and was let in with it! By the second day I was advised to leave it at the hotel. All my documents, passport, foreign currency declarations etc ) had to be surrendered into the safe keeping of the hotel
The radio on the room had one knob..on/off and volume as there was only one station to listen to. The whole place had a what I imagine was a feel of the immediate post-war year in the UK.
Sure the SU was a terrible regime, repressive, cruel, brutal and murderous and ultimately, yet another failed socialist experiment. However, the terror that is ISIS/Procol Harum/ Taliban-stan/Sharia etc where murderous terror can and does strike anyone, anywhere at any time, any place, is truly terrifying to all of us.