…bear in mind that the Russian Revolution of 1917, the ensuing Civil War of 1918–1922, the Collectivization of the late 1920s and early 1930s, and the Great Terror of the 1930s each and all had a severe, unprecedented dysgenic impact on the population of Russia proper and other parts of the USSR.
First, the old elites — the hereditary aristocracy, the merchants, the professional classes — were butchered or forced to leave the country during the Civil War. The bloom of the Army’s officer corps perished on the White side of the battle line. Then it came the turn of the relatively well-off peasants and farmers. Later, surviving old-timers were weeded again, and most of the aggressive and smart old Bolsheviks killed off as well. All of that in little more that 20 years, from 1917 to 1940. It’s surprising that the USSR managed to train enough competent officers b, say, 1943, to repel Germany, and enough competent engineers to launch the manned sputnik in 1961.
Is there an inexhaustible font of IQ sprouting from Apollonian reservoirs in the countryside?