The first thing is that the USSR was indeed socialist. When confronted with the mountains of dead, modern socialists retort that it wasn't true socialism.
The objection is irrelevant.
The retort misses the point.
- They had free healthcare.
- They had free education.
- They had free housing.
- They had guaranteed jobs.
- Profits, such as they were, were handed over to the State.
Finally, their income inequality was a fraction of ours. Pick a Soviet year and then sum up the total net wealth of all of the big dudes of the Party. I would bet dollars to donuts that their total wealth wouldn't come within a tenth of what Bill Gates has today. Ergo, their income inequality was less than ours, a strong measure of socialism, if socialists are to be believed.
Socialism isn't judged on cruelty or injustice. It's an economic system wherein everyone shares everything pretty much equally. No system in real life is totally one thing or another, so the fact that it had imperfections isn't an indication that it wasn't socialist, it only shows that the USSR existed in the real world. The piles of corpses mean nothing when judging if they were socialist or not. It's like saying an apple isn't an apple because its tree is lopsided.
So let us agree that, whatever their faults, the Soviets were socialist. More tomorrow.
Plus, their East German pals had cool cars like the Trabant.