I noticed you were 1 word shy of 700. I had to chuckle when I strained to cut 89 words for one of your other prompts to get it to 599. That’s okay, you aren’t competing. I find your prompts a nice exercise in tightening.
Your rendering didn’t seem rushed to me. Sometimes the prompt hits a good nerve and it’s tough to stop. I find them a reprieve from my novel. I noticed the Soviet markings as well, but to be honest I didn’t want to look up some Russian names and make a point of it for this short piece, especially ending it the way I did.
And, by the way, I would like you to know I appreciate your taking the time and effort to work up these writing challenges. I know it takes time away from other profitable endeavors. I’m sure, I’m not the only one that thanks you.