In the Soviet Union, practices of indirect literary translation, particularly the use of interlinear intermediates, were institutionalized in the early 1930s through special terminology, specific administrative treatment within the literary apparatus, and educational efforts. Such practices continued until the end of the Soviet era, but were intensely debated and criticized, rendering problems of indirect translation both visible and articulated in a unique way. Drawing on archival sources, this article presents an overview of such issues, taking into consideration the heretofore scant attention given the subject in both Western and Russian scholarship. Conceptualizing the massive Soviet experience in the field, it aims at providing new perspectives on the phenomenon of indirect translation.