12th World Festival of Youth and Students

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Festival logo

The 12th World Festival of Youth and Students was a festival held in Moscow from July 27 to August 3, 1985.[1][2] The festival was attended by 26,000 people from 157 countries.[3] The slogan of the festival was "For anti-imperialist solidarity, peace and friendship".[4]


Soviet 5 Kopek postage stamp, 1985

The political goal of the festival was to show positive aspects of life in Soviet society. The political program of the festival included the establishment of a new international economic order, discussion of the problems of economic assistance to backward and developing countries, combating poverty and unemployment, and raising environmental issues. Anti-Soviet elements, just as before the 1980 Summer Olympics, were expelled from Moscow before the opening of the festival.


GDR stamp commemorating the 12th World Festival of Youth and Students, 1985. MiNr 2960

The main organizer of the festival events was the Soviet Preparatory Committee, chaired by Vladimir Fedosov, secretary of the Central Committee of the Komsomol.[5]

The Komsomol relied heavily on the infrastructure of the Moscow 1980 Summer Olympics for the festival venues, including the Luzhniki Olympic Complex and the Cosmos Hotel,[6] which accommodated 3,000 foreign participants.[7] The opening of the festival took place at a four hour parade and ceremony at Luzhniki stadium and was broadcast live on Soviet television. The festival was opened with a welcome speech from the newly-elected General Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Mikhail Gorbachev:

The festival included an exhibition of young artists, a photo exhibition, and concerts by amateur and ethnic groups, as well as professional performers from the Eastern Bloc such as Zemlyane, Mashina Vremeni, Tsvety, Integral, Dean Reed, and Western musicians Bob Dylan,[9] and Everything but the Girl.[10][11][12] "Waltz of Silence", a song by Yuri Livshits, was the final melody of the festival.

Commemorative Merchandise[edit]

USSR Commemorative Coin for the 1985 World Festival
Medal for active participation in the preparation and conduct of the XII World Festival of Youth and Students)

Before the festival, posters, postage stamps with festival symbols, a commemorative coin were issued and a special promotional campaign was held by the Soviet state lottery. The poster and symbols of the festival were approved by the Central Committee of the CPSU.

The emblem of the festival was chosen as a result of a competition in 1984 in which more than 200 professional artists from different countries took part. The winning designer of the festival's emblem was People's Artist of Ukraine Rafael Zeynurovich Masautov.[13] The emblem was used in more than 80 countries. In the USSR the emblem of the festival, at the order of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, was used to produce more than 7,000 souvenir items. The emblem brought the USSR a net profit of 450,000,000 Soviet rubles (through surcharges for products with festival symbols).

"Katyusha", the mascot of the festival, was conceived by Soviet artist Vyacheslav Yermakov, photographer Yuri Alekseevich Zharov and artist Ekaterina Afanasyevna Dunaeva, who was also depicted on the official poster of the festival for the Central Committee of the CPSU youth publication "Plakat". "Katyusha" was sketched by Mikhail Veremenko, an artist from Moscow.[14][15]

At the first meeting of the International Preparatory Committee of the XIX World Festival of Youth and Students of 2017, which will be held in Sochi, Russia, the logo of the event was chosen to be an updated version of the logos of the two previous Moscow world festivals of youth and students in 1957 and 1985.[16]


  1. ^ Working Papers of the Council of Europe Consultative Assembly. 36th Ordinary Session. Council of Europe. 1 January 1968 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "12th World Festival of Youth & Students, Moscow 1985: Labour History Archive and Study Centre". National Archives (United Kingdom).
  3. ^ "United States Department of State - Soviet Active Measures: 12th World Youth Festival" (PDF). United States Department of State. June 1985 – via insidethecoldwar.org.
  4. ^ "History of the WFYS". Tumblr.com.
  5. ^ "Воронежская региональная организация Воспитанники комсомола — Мое Отечество". Voronezh Regional Organization of Pupils of the Komsomol.
  6. ^ "History of the Cosmos Hotel Moscow". Hotel Cosmos.
  7. ^ "Glasgow Punter: The 12th World Festival of Youth and Students. Moscow 1985". Glasgow Punter. 11 May 2016.
  8. ^ tonysdelicatessen (12 January 2014). "Hello, 12th World Festival for Youth and Students Moscow 1985 opening ceremony" – via YouTube.
  9. ^ Freedman, John (26 October 2009). "Did Bob Dylan Shed Tears of Rage in Russia?". Moscow Times.
  10. ^ Petridis, Alexis (25 October 2012). "Tracey Thorn: Tinsel and Lights – review". The Guardian.
  11. ^ "Everything But The Girl – По Концертным Залам XII Всемирного Фестиваля Молодёжи И Студентов В Москве 1985 г. (In Concert at the XII World Festival of Youth and Students in Moscow 1985)". discogs.com.
  12. ^ Tuber, Keith (1 May 1990). "Orange Coast Magazine: Everything but the Fame". Emmis Communications – via Google Books.
  13. ^ "Rafael Masautov".
  14. ^ "Mikhail Veremenko". vk.com.
  15. ^ "I was just at the right time and the right place with the right idea: History of creation of the Festival talisman of 1985". WFYS2017. 3 March 2017. Archived from the original on 2016-11-24. Retrieved 2017-03-15.
  16. ^ RHC (9 February 2016). "Russia to host World Festival of Youth and Students in 2017". Ahora.


See also[edit]

Children of the festival