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Banned under communism, Playboy magazine became a legend among Russians. Artyom Troitsky, rock critic turned editor-in-chief, tells how the new Russian Playboy is shaping up

By Artyom Troitsky   December 1995

In the bad old days Playboy magazine-along with the CIA, Hollywood and rock ‘n roll-was a cherished target of Soviet propaganda. It was depicted as the ultimate embodiment of western decadence-which is why it became by far the most desirable printed item in the Soviet Union, the definitive forbidden fruit on paper, much juicier than any political samizdat. Twenty five years ago, thanks to my “golden youth” connections, I was among the lucky few who had not only heard or read about Playboy, but had actually seen a copy. I enjoyed every bit of it.

In November 1994, when Derk…

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