from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A communal apartment in the former Soviet Union, typically shared by several families.
An only child, he -- like millions of other Russians -- grew up in what is called a kommunalka (communal apartment), sharing a bathroom and a windowless kitchen with several other families.
It is also a peacemaker: when the kommunalka bathroom is finally clean, one neighbor will pour the other the traditional one hundred grams, to make up.
Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin was born in St Petersburg - then called Leningrad - in 1952, and grew up in a kommunalka, the miserably cramped communal flats that housed millions of urban Soviet families.
In his early childhood, the Prokhorovs lived in a kommunalka, a communal apartment where multiple families shared a bathroom and kitchen in what most Russians remember as the dreariest days of the Soviet era.
The prices are a far cry from Soviet times when Russians paid monthly rents of a handful of dollars, but lived often several families to a shared apartment or kommunalka.