The Strange Deal That Gave Pepsi A Military Force

The eighties were a pretty weird and wild decade. Hair was at its all-time high, people actually listened to Cutting Crew, shoulder pads were worn far and wide ... and, for a moment in time, Pepsi became the sixth largest military force in the world. 

You read that right. After the Pepsi vice president offered Soviet leader Nikita Krushcecev a cup of the sugary beverage in 1959, the Soviet Union decided years later to bring Pepsi products to the county. According to Business Insider, however, the communist country ran into issues paying for a national supply of Pepsi, as the Soviet Ruble wasn't accepted anywhere outside of the U.S.S.R. At first, the Soviet Union got away with buying Pepsi using the universal currency of vodka, starting in 1972. The deal was a marked victory for both the American beverage company and the Soviet people, as Pepsi was the first Western item available in the U.S.S.R., but by 1989, the Soviets demanded more and more stock of the sugary drink. This time, vodka just wouldn't cut it.

That's when Russia and Pepsi made an agreement that is, somehow, even weirder.

An offer you can't refuse

Naturally, Russia made Pepsi an offer that, to quote The Godfather trilogy, they couldn't refuse: an entire military fleet, in exchange for a lot of cola.

In exchange for seventeen submarines, a cruiser, a frigate, and a destroyer, Pepsi bestowed $3 billion dollars worth of soda to the country (what a steal!). For a moment, Pepsi became the sixth most powerful military force in the world, according to Business Insider. Before you start fretting about doomsday scenarios with Pepsi overtaking the world, though, don't worry: the soda company's power was fleeting, of course, as Pepsi sold its haul to a Swedish scrap recycling company promptly after the agreement. That's a relief, huh?

The head of Pepsi later joked about this strange scenario with the United States National Security advisor, as described by Not Exactly Normal, and is even quoted as saying, "We're disarming the Soviet Union faster than you are."