Since the mid-50s, induced abortion (IA) has been the principal method of birth control for as much as 80% of the U.S.S.R. population, with more than 9 million of terminations performed annually. After brief discussion of the general and specific reasons for a long-term IA dominance in family planning practices, data of the national statistics and local surveys on IA prevalence, contraceptive use and their determinants are critically reviewed. Although most couples are willing to use contraception, they have to rely on traditional methods with high failure rates (withdrawal, condom, rhythm/calendar). Due to many years of misleading information, population views on pros and cons of various birth control methods are severely biased. Public health implications of multiple IA are summarised.