After the victory of the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army returned with nearly 11 million men. Of these 11 million, nearly 8.5 million will be demobilized after the war and left with a severance package of 1-5 months of pay, depending on years of service. Stalin and the rest of the government had to incorporate this powerful group into the rest of society, who also expected more from the government after the war. The government made it seem like the every soldier could reintegrate and become part of the rising middle class. For instance, they helped push multiple veteran success stories from around the country. They made it seem like every veteran could buy into the Big Deal and the rising quality of life for the middle class. One of these stories that the government helped to promote was Aleksandr Stopler: Story of a Real Man(1948). This story that was first a novel and then radio program is about a general who lost his leg and his journey back to being a productive part of society.
Preview above(2). Full movie in Russian here.
While there were numerous success stories of veteran reintegration back into society and strong messages from the government bout the ease of transition, the average veteran had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life. They came back to a weakened economy with a weakened infrastructure as a result of the war and its destruction. Due to this, there was a housing shortage and a job shortage. In many regions unemployment reached fifty percent, veterans had nowhere to live. They moved into zemlianki, huts dug into the earth, which were also common on the war fronts”(1).
Wounded veterans had an even worse time returning to society. They experienced a lack of care and medical treatment upon returning home, and there was a shortage of prosthetic limbs to make matters worse. Wounded veterans had it hardest when it came to the economy. With the little jobs that were available, the wounded veterans would often lose out to the healthy veterans. On the bright side however, women greatly outnumbered men in the Soviet Union. So, healthy soldiers returning from duty often took advantage of this and could easily start a family if they choose to do so.
4. http://pravoslav-voin.info/pravvoiny/495-stroitelstvo-zemlyanki-gotovimsya-k-partizanskoj.html [If you can read Russian you can learn all about zemliankis and their construction here]