Comment: Potjomkin was a favorite lover of the Russian Empress Catherin II. After the Russian annextion of Crimea from the Ottoman Empire, Potjomkin became governor of the region. The region had been devastated by the war, but the empress expected Potjomkin to rebuild it and bring in Russian settlers. Potjomkin was overwhelmed with his task. During an unexpected visitation of Catherina II. he decided to cover his failure by building fake portable villages in order to fool the Russian Empress.
The term Potjomkin Village comes from this story and can be used whenever people try to make it look like a situation is better than it really is.
During the Soviet era the government always tried to impress western visitors by only showing them the best parts of their empire, trying to make them think how great their system works. Therefore the shopwindows were overfilled with rare products – like bananas. And if there where no real bananas (which were really hard to get in the Soviet Union) they just used something they had as a mockup. Just like I used these pieces of wood as fake bananas.