Imagine the Soviet Union. The country that started space exploration. The largest territory in the world. Enormous mineral resources. The whole economy was controlled by the state. The ideology proclaimed the socialist way of life to be the most attractive. And at the same time people lived amid commodity shortage for decades.
Young people or Europeans, accustomed to variety of goods in retail, can hardly imagine Soviet shops in 1970-s - 80-s.
With the exception of union republic capitals people could purchase in food stores only basic consumer goods: bread, salt, grits, cheap canned fish. Diary products could be available only during a certain daypart. After some time these products were quickly snapped up. Meat appeared in stores rarely and attracted long queues of consumers. It was almost impossible to purchase sausage, seafood, gourmet foods, and even fruits.
The official ideology and propaganda showed absolutely another life, unknown to most of the Soviet people. Agitprop films and posters, slogans and posters, articles and TV-programmes, speeches during meetings sharply contrasted to the real life. There was the state monopoly of mass-media and no opportunity to express an alternative opinion.
In December 1980 a party degree about further growth in prosperity of soviet people was enacted. After the promise of further growth in prosperity in conditions of commodity shortage it was possible to expect that the situation will merely worsen. It induced a young artist to create the painting "Pravda".